Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Well the only thing that changed last night was the amount of scotch left in the bottle. Two decent-sized tumblers did nothing to change the outcome of the election -- we still have a minority conservative government whose values are clearly at odds with compassion and concern, that is anti-environment and pro-business (and the bigger the business the better) and whose arrogance (epitomized by the way the party parachuted hand-picked candidates into ridings [that they didn't win, by-the-way]) and negativity throughout the campaign produced the feeling that is someplace between slight motion-sickness and a mild hangover.

The other thing that happened yesterday was that barely fifty percent of eligible voters actually turned up. The pundits will dissect that fact for a while, but I think it shows that we, as a country, are uninspired, not apathetic. The negativity of the Conservative and NDP campaigns, the inability of the Liberals to show a vision that actually touches hearts, the regional interests of the Bloc Quebecois and the perception that the Green Party is still a fringe -- even as I write this, I can see why nothing changed.

I wonder if the same thing goes for church attendance. If we, as church, are not presenting anything for people to get excited about, is it any wonder that they won't show up? I don't have the sense that people are against anything (which is why negativity won't work), but are simply well-intended but uninspired. In Rob Reiner's movie, The American President, when speaking of leadership, Lewis Rothschild (played by Michael J Fox) says, "People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand." Substitute the word 'vision' for 'leadership' and I think I'll find a bunch of Christians -- and Canadians -- with mouthfuls of sand.

Theologically, it's like longing for the kingdom that used to be, and hoping that a great king will emerge. Except that Jesus says we are the kingdom and it's here now. Let's spit out the sand and get inspired.

Today's weigh-in: 231 lbs. Unchanged.


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