2016, Year of the Apocalyspe

“Apocalypse” is a Greek word that means uncovering. It is usually translated as “revelation” (e.g. “The Book of Revelation”, thanks to the Latin translation of the Greek New Testament) but we usually think of revelation as referring to a special message from God when it literally just means what is says: re-velare, unveil.

By pitting a game-show host against a criminal, the elections of 2016 have uncovered quite a bit about America: a selfish and incompetent ruling class, millions of voters eager to be conned, an ever more vulgar culture, ever more strident extremists.

If there is any comfort to be taken in the apocalypse of 2016 it is this: the revelation that power is largely an illusion. Political power loves to portray itself as power for good, but its real capacities mostly range from neutral to negative: it can make noise and flail about, destroy, and sometimes punish, but it finds it nearly impossible to build or create. At its very best political power protects and coordinates the creative energies that exist in spite of it.

So who builds if not government? Who builds the neighborhood, the culture, the church, or the family?

Why, you do.

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5 comments

  1. “By pitting a game-show host against a criminal….”

    I think I saw this movie, the Running Man. Are we living our lives right out of a science fiction script these days or what? It’s like watching a really bad re-run.

    I like this post however, as I keep trying to say, “we are the church,” we are the people who shape culture and while the unveiling of what really lurks in our hearts is not so pretty, it is perhaps a good time for an awakening.

    1. It’s always a good time for an awakening- but I think that perhaps the real lesson here is to disconnect with the destructive noise. Imagine the good that could be done if all the time focused on destruction was used for productive causes?

      1. That is part of it. Also 1) distinguishing what is a political party’s sales pitch from the issues to be really worried about and 2) I think what I’m trying to express is that politics isn’t the real vehicle of culture or goodness – it is a blunt instrument of power.

      2. I’m soooo tempted to jump up and down and rant about AMERICAN DECLINE but a savings account at 2% or so isn’t the best investment. Most families are counting on their 401K and social security for retirement, and anything else is probably in a mutual fund or their house which they can downsize in an emergency. I’m sure most families are behind where they should be but savings account isn’t the best measure.
        That having been said, DECLINE!!!!

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