The American Tragedy

While I really think that the United States of America holds the best possibility for a good life on the globe, I’m afraid we are not impenetrable.  It’s a fine idea and the layout of checks and balances, Bill of Rights, and distribution of power seems just perfect. But, you see, human beings are not good.  So no matter how well we design a government or society, it eventually will fall apart. It’s not because the system isn’t great on paper. It’s because people generally are not only evil, but also not too bright.

Oh, I was almost convinced. Mind you, I was never convinced that democracy would always work. If people are both bad and not bright, lots of people might make it worse. Surprisingly, I was convinced that capitalism would work.  Not because it was virtuous. It is absolutely not. But because it cleverly employs our selfish and mundane desires to serve society.  The aggressive bully, who before would have started wars, now would create companies and employ people because it serves her best interest. Capitalism does best when everyone has money to spend. Most people just want to have a safe life with enough prosperity to live to an average age. One of the goals of Bush’s Iraq war was to create a normal capitalist society in the Middle East full of middle class people who don’t want to start trouble. They would just want to be happy. It was believed this would tone down the impulses of terrorism. Ironically, Osama Bin Laden came from a fairly well to do family.  (See Francis Fukuyama’s ridiculous book The End of History.)

Mankind is not only not good, it is insane. We can pretend for a while, like even 200 years, but eventually the faulty gene pool bleeds through. Amazingly, people do not necessarily choose to do what is in their own best interest or the best interest of others. Take Adam and Eve for example.  Human beings killed Jesus after all. Seriously that’s crazy. He was healing people, loving people, all and all making the world a better place. Crucify him. We like to think that we are nothing like those bad guys, just like we don’t want to think we are like any bad guy. But we all fall from the same tree.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, the founders declared, while the writer of this declaration enjoyed the benefits of slavery and sex trafficking. Today, this same lack of self evidence oversees a multi-billion dollar porn industry, abortion, human trafficking. Epstein was no peculiarity hanging out in the poor streets of despair. He hung out with the power brokers of the great Western Civilization. We see what we want to see and disregard the rest.

For a small period of time in the history of the world, the United States has enjoyed peace and prosperity. We have been lulled into thinking we are unbreakable, that there was something special about us both geographically and politically. Yet our enemy was not outside but within. It is you and me. An education doesn’t fix everything. We could learn all the facts about everything, and still do and say the most illogical things. Not those people – YOU.

Now I’m not saying that we should give up. We should continue to chase after the ideal. When it’s working it’s really good. However if our slogan is that we have unalienable rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, then the interpretation of this is held in self-centered perverted brains, including my own. The pursuit of happiness has to be one of the most flimsy reasons for living invented by man! Yet this is our mantra?

So dear Christian, love your enemy, serve your neighbor, work hard to include all in your generosity, and stop feigning surprise by our messed up world. Stop confusing the Constitution with God’s Word. Stop hoping in human beings and even the most beautiful ideals of human beings. Look to the cross where your self-centeredness met selfless mercy. Look to the empty tomb where your destiny met your brother rising from the dead. Look to the promises you have been given of forgiveness and resurrection. Look to a city that has been given to you for free, where there will be no more dysfunction, funerals, inequality, fear, confusion, loneliness, evil or insanity.

Thank God we are citizen’s of another country. We have a King who can not be defeated.  We have a constitution beyond reason centered in the ridiculous mercy and love of the Creator of the Universe.