Friday, November 13, 2009
Something Left to Save
I've been away this week -- I was down in Alabama shooting an interview with EWTN for The Abundant Life. An unexpected fringe benefit of the trip was a better understanding of the culture war. From a Generation Y Canadian perspective, it always looks like the culture warriors are something akin to a mother who continues trying to breast-feed her dead infant. It's like, unless Christ appears and tells the Culture of Death to get out of bed and walk, it's best to just bury it. But then you get to Alabama, and you're in the airport, and people are dressed in real clothing, and having real conversations, and the security guards are making jokes about officiousness and you think, "My God, there is still culture here. Civil society. Something worth fighting for and saving." That's when all of those angry right-wing pundits on talk radio start to sound sane. And then you wonder what you're supposed to say to that audience, because my entire perspective on the culture wars comes from a Canadian triage mentality. It's a different place to be, and I think that it could be seen as being defeatist or fatalistic, but I don't think that's true. It's a different kind of hope that we need to have here, sitting in cosmopolitan Toronto -- the decadent world city perched on the frontiers of the wilderness. It's the kind of hope that must of sustained Our Lady after Christ was put into tomb, the sort of grim, "Okay, it's over now, but we go on believing anyways," resignation. Not a hopeless resignation, but a submission to the facts combined with that strange thrill, the feeling that somewhere, in secret, beneath the corpse of the present culture the Holy Spirit is moving through the dark earth breathing life into hidden seeds.