Three threads lead me to once more congratulate America’s founders for their knowledge of history and their foresight when they disestablished a state-sponsored religious institution. May we continue to reap the benefits of their wisdom.
I recently finished Adrian McKinty’s Troubles trilogy, which features a police officer attempting to fulfill his role in society during The Troubles. Although the books are set in the Thatcher period, there is a recollection of Sunday, January 30, 1972, also known as Bloody Sunday. On that date thirteen unarmed people participating in a peaceful civil rights march in Derry, Ireland, were killed by British paratroopers. In the course of a few months, IRA paramilitaries controlled large portions of Derry, where English law had become unenforceable.
The second thread was the appearance in my Facebook timeline of this graphic and its variations aimed specifically at bankers, starting before the Holy Week just past and increasing in frequency. The Temple was a powerful economic institution. Shekels were the only currency allowed for payment of the temple tax, hence the money changers. Animals suitable for sacrifice could only be purchased in a courtyard. The disruption of this system is a large part of what led to Jesus’ crucifixion.
Third was the remembrance during Holy Week of the violence done to Jesus. If you are part of one of the religious traditions that includes The Stations of the Cross, you might be more aware of this than most. Still, many people have been exposed to the story of betrayal, arrest, torture, and execution by crucifixion. Hardly any wonder that resurrection is the preferred focus for many.
I am glad this kind of violence is only a minor feature of life in the US. That said, where are the more civil expressions of outrage that lead to changes supported by the majority of Americans? Sixbears has a relevant quote, which makes more sense if you read his entire post.
“We can make pretend that politicians matter, that law enforcement has our respect, that the IRS should be feared, and so on. They are all a bit . . . challenged (bat shit crazy). We know how the power game is really played, so pretending to live in a functional democracy is just playing a polite game.”
Perhaps the time for politeness and gamesmanship will pass.