Yesterday I talked about how we have difficulty when the ruling classes in whatever realm we are dealing define reality for us. Case in point – a monsignor commenting on the Popes concern for the poor and needy and the immigrant said, “I tell my people all the time to pray for those who mow their lawns”.
I would like to tell the monsignor that I mow my own lawn, but somehow I don’t think he really cares. The point is he lives in a world where most of his parishioners have “staff”. He can afford to be condescending.
Peter Drucker said that a leader’s job is to define reality. The leaders around us seek to do that by telling us what they want us to hear and keeping silent about other things. They will flood us with information and entertainment but the fact channels are closed most of the time. An interesting thing happened yesterday just as the Pope’s plane landed. News was released that Osama Bin Laden’s former body guard who was being held at Guantanamo had been released, and that Clinton had turned against the Keystone pipeline. This was backed up by several sources, and the timing was obvious; all the hoopla about the Pope would drown out any coverage of these stories. One would like to think that kind of cynicism is not going to work but we prove daily that our attention span can be measured in nanoseconds.
In the meantime some of the Republican candidates have contacted some “hunk” that dominated the twitter universe after one of the debates because he was good looking, and asked him to come and be a part of their campaigns. One would like to think that kind of shallowness would not be taken seriously by leaders in the free world but….
So where are we exactly? Popes and politicians have talked about the poor as long as I have been alive. The poor and needy are still here and still growing. Prosperity is still for a few it seems. Religion and faith are placed in the realm of entertainment. Ecology is a religion that is taken over every aspect of our life and Pilates words are as interesting today as they were when they were so cynically uttered; “What is truth?”.
Luther had a pretty good view of life in my opinion. He was a political figure and a religious figure but he always pointed to something greater than himself. He understood that politics and religion were good gifts of God corrupted by sin and that even in religion one can only be saved “through faith”. He said that “Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. It follows then that anything that is not Jesus is not the way; anything that is not Jesus is not the truth; and anything that is not Jesus is not the life”.