Journalist Eric Sevareid, is no stranger to this blog. I blogged about him a long time ago. He was born in Velva North Dakota and wrote a lot about the hardship and travail. Stacking cow manure around the foundation of a house on the prairie to generate heat in the winter is an evocative image. He was educated in Minnesota and that gives him another connection to this blog“ He was a long time television newsman and one of the original “morrow boys” after his connection with Edward R. Morrow the CBS hero of all things news, back in the day when they actually had reporters. Sevareid once called North Dakota “a vast rectangular blank spot on the nations consciousness”. Minnesota, when he went to school there shared some of the same benign neglect except for Mao Clinic and the Vikings. They are getting a bit more pub because of Minnesota politics which some people follow out of curiosity.
Anyway I was thinking about how everything is meant to get us riled up about something. The wall, the Covington boys, Occasio Cortez who has admitted she just wants to make trouble, the talking heads on the TV, the actors and singers and the talk shows are all designed to put us into a constant state of anger and anxiety. Sevareid in his Cassandra role once wrote that “The biggest business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television It is the manufacture, refinement, and distribution of anxiety”.
I keep linking that thought with the Biblical injunction to pray for our leaders that we might lead quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and honesty”. Richard Caemmerer the old preaching professor and Pastor wrote, “Christians are to be tremendously concerned for their civil government to the point of being fervent in their prayers to God about it and grateful for its activities. The nature of civil government is that it has “authority,” preeminence, position for rule. This position is to be used to the end that people, specifically the Christion’s, lead a quiet and peaceable life, one in which people in an orderly way go about their stated tasks, displaying to one another and to others their reverence
for God and their usefulness for people. This display of reverence and worth carried out in a situation of order and peace has a purpose, which our Lord mentioned in John 18: God has a plan that His truth, His program of salvation, should come before people, and He is anxious that “all men” come to that knowledge. This saving truth asserts itself in men realizing who God is and that God reaches man through one Agent alone, “the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.” This truth of God, this redeeming work of Christ, needs to be testified at moments which are proper in the life of every man who is thus to be brought to the truth. Christ’s own incarnation and redeeming work was such a testimony, and so is the continuing witness of every Christian – St. Paul goes on to describe his own
-throughout the world. The point of this passage is that witness functions as people live together in the orderly pursuit of their tasks in business and family, and government needs to do its work to the end that this witness will be so facilitated..”