Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
Time counts and keeps countin', and we knows now finding the trick of what's been and lost ain't no easy ride. But that's our trek, we gotta' travel it. And there ain't nobody knows where it's gonna' lead. Still in all, every night we does the tell, so that we 'member who we was and where we came from...
—Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
In an unrecognizable land the people are preparing to elect a Dear Leader. Among the many choices are Vladimir Lenin, a charmless Eva Peron and Henry VIII.
A large part of the citizenry is in the middle. Mostly they graduated school at some level, hold steady employment and waited until they were wed to produce children. They all dutifully pay their taxes and a lot of them: Income tax, payroll tax, property tax, inheritance tax, sales tax and lots of taxes disguised as licenses and fees. Over and above that they freely donate to charity, support their places of worship and engage in activities to help the disadvantaged at home and even abroad. Many of them send their children to private schools thus freeing up more money for the government school students. And for all that they are held in contempt by the people who rule over them. They are told they are racist, bigoted, intolerant and xenophobic.
When they express annoyance that they are being forced to pay for other people's birth control they are accused of waging a war on the female of their species. And if by chance someone else's promiscuous behavior produces a child they are required to pay for an abortion or that child's care. Then when the safety net they have erected is misused, abused or the funds wasted they are once again reminded of how self-centered they are. When five unelected people decided to redefine the only definition of marriage that they ever knew in their land and their leader's house was awash in rainbow colors, the sore winners punished them for not agreeing with the redefinition and castigated them as homophobic and unfit to appear in polite society demanding: let them make Wedding Cakes.
These people were repeatedly told that theirs was not a Christian country. But when they expressed security concerns over bringing in so many refugees from war torn lands they were told that they were betraying the Christian character of their nation. When they asked for an immigration system that was fair, orderly, just and humane and that they were tired of seeing other humans victimized by human traffickers, sold into the sex trade industry or just die trying to cross the border in the desert they were again told to cease their xenophobic, racist rants and pony-up the funds to take care of these people.
This people started off by electing leaders who would rule with the consent of the governed. But those leaders continued to do things without the consent of a large part of the governed. So the people grew angry and began to push back. The people cried, "us suffer bad. Want justice. We want Thunderdome!" "Thunderdome's simple. Get to the weapons, use them any way you can… you won't break the rules, because there aren't any." Some of them put forward a candidate, Dr. Dealgood who said many of the things they felt, albeit in a tactless and ungracious way. He vowed to enter the Thunderdome and take on the opponent, knowing full well that "two men enter, one man leave!" With him many of the people raised their middle finger in salute to the ruling class. Another side put forth a candidate, Aunty Entity who repeatedly says, "You think I don't know the law? Wasn't it me who wrote it?"
So whether these people elect Aunty Entity whose campaign theme is "Where are you gonna run? Where are you gonna hide? Listen to me! We will rebuild!", or Dr. Dealgood who when asked what's the plan replies, "Plan? There ain't no plan!" ---whoever they choose they are about to find out what life is like beyond the Thunderdome.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dyin' time's here. Welcome, to another edition of Thunderdome!"
Love, Fr. John B.
P.S. A rare opportunity during this election year: ASU Center for Political Thought and Leadership is offering a 5 week course on "Religion and Public Life" here at Mt. Carmel. See website for details and registration. Be an informed faithful citizen! Help us survive Thunderdome 2016!