Usually I skip over stories that have to do with the Pope, but I’ve been reading more of them since Francis took the rather large yarmulke a few years ago because he seems to get the part about treating people like humans. He still has work to do with women and the Rohingya, but his proposed new change to the Lord’s Prayer (which I have as a 45 rock version from 1973) comes at a most perfect time.
Temptation seems to be all the rage these days and I have to agree with Francis that the problem is not with a deity leading us there, but with us as functioning people resisting the lure. And we do have problems with that.
From national and state politicians, media moguls, entertainers, business executives and, yes, the President of the United States, men have been tempted to use their power and influence to harass, rape, threaten, bully and terrorize both women and men for…what? Sex? Influence? Power? Babies? There’s a pathology here because rolling the dice and hoping you don’t get caught must be part of the demonic thrill involved in the chase. And sometimes, even an apology does not substitute for tears.
But there are other temptations that are weakening us too. The Republican Party, tempted by power, is shutting out any reasonable attempt at bipartisanship on health care and taxes, and I imagine that they’ll extend their terrible ideas to infrastructure, government spending and immigration.
The Democratic Party is similarly tempted by the thought of overreaching in their opposition to the president by becoming, at times, irrational baying wolves, calling for impeachment or overturning the election results. Neither of these will lead to the path to power, nor do I believe that they will become a force that compromises or ends the partisan war being fought throughout this country.
For all of this, I am not a religious person, but occasionally religious leaders do tap into the zeitgeist, intentionally or not. We could all use a little humility, and if it won’t come from the president or his inner circle of sycophants, then it must come from us because only the American people can put an end to a tolerance of lies, misdeeds and obstinate behavior.