I have a book of humorous illustrations by the cartoonist Gahan Wilson titled “Is Nothing Sacred?” Apparently the current generation thinks so. Christmas has become the joyous celebration of nothing in particular. The stupidity of the current age has reached a crescendo in this year’s “holiday” season. There was a “holiday” fundraiser for Planned Parenthood featuring celebrities Rory Scovel, Nick Thune, Chris Sullivan, Mandy Moore, Taylor Goldsmith, April Richardson, Daniel Van Kirk and of course, Colin Hanks.
The run up to Christmas has been filled with news that public figures in the sacred professions of news person and entertainer are guilty of making disgusting suggestions to those over whom they have power. The people who have taught us that there are no rules are now in trouble for breaking the rules. We’re talking crazy here. Perhaps the most amazing silliness of the season is the St. Peter’s square nativity scene by which the eye is drawn not to the child born in the manger but to a rather erotic sculpture that people are calling the “Nude Dude”. The whole thing is a busy, distracted collection of sculptures in the style of the Christmas scenes of Naples Italy.
The purported purpose of the display is to remind people of the seven corporal works of mercy. It reminds me of nothing so much as the Disney torture-chamber ride, “It’s a Small World After All”. The eye is drawn to nothing except the Nude Dude, reminding one to renew his gym membership so he is ready for swimsuit season or other clothing optional events. We say that anything goes in the name of tolerance, and then get upset when people do or say strange things. It is almost humorous that the same pundits who have been telling us all how immoral we Christians are find themselves being devoured by the forces that they themselves set in motion.
Again, does it not occur to anyone that if you take away the Judeo-Christian ethic with its Ten Irritating and Intolerant Commandments, there is no real reason not to enjoy the perks that power brings? The people who smear Christians as conservative fundamentalists and Pharisees forget that fundamental is derived from the Latin word for foundation and the Pharisees were heroic defenders of revealed truth. Catholicism is an inherently reasonable religion. The secular worship of nothing in particular other than personal preferences and emotional experiences is inherently crazy. So what do we do?
St. Paul answers the question in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 14, verse 15. “What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also.” Keep praying. Keep studying. Keep thinking. Be reasonable. Don’t get mad. Get smart. Remember what St James tells us, “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) It may be true that the lunatics are running the asylum. Don’t worry. They are in the process of burning the asylum down. If we preserve the fundamental foundations, it won’t be that hard to rebuild. We’ve done it before.
The Rev. Know-it-all