While 2008 was a crappy year, I have hope that 2009 will be better. My hope is not in who is in the White House; what laws are written; who is on the Supreme Court; what interest rates do; employment numbers. None of that or anything else impacts my hope in any way, shape, form or fashion.
My hope is in the power of the resurrected Christ.
I don't know what heaven is like, though I know enough to know that what most people think about heaven is more pagan than Biblical. I'm not even sure about hell, though I know a lot of folks want to use their idea of torment to scare the hell out of people, & into church --- a bad move, in my opinion. Scaring people into acting a certain way is just being a bully, & won't produce lasting results.
But no matter how or what or whom or anything else, 2009 will be memorable. We live it to the best of our ability & tell the warmongers & the morons to "Stick It."
Me thinks it is more fun to fight for a righteous cause than to fight for power or money or some politician's whim. The Constitution --- that is worth standing up for. Our liberties --- that is worth fighting for. Justice --- I think we need to make sure it is freely given & dutifully protected.
I'm miffed at our politicians who use faith as a means to gain political power by playing on the naive masses.
I'm downright ticked off at the Religious Right who for 30 years have manipulated the faithful to garner votes, & by doing so have elevated themselves to the position of Religious Regent on behalf of the state.
But there is hope. The next generation is more open to treating all people fairly, without regard to race, creed or sexual preference.
The next generation, I think, sees the need to protect the essential liberties, lest we be essentially enslaved.
2009 may be another flop. 2010 may flop as well. But I've got confidence in the next generation that they understand even better than we did the importance of liberty.
I am confident of this because I see my 20 year old son & my 16 year old daughter, & the commitment they have to religious liberty & civil rights of all people. They strive to not just tolerate others, but actively protect them with the same vigor used for self preservation.
When I helped my son move pack up his stuff from college for Christmas break, I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find, on his dorm door, a copy of Madison's Remonstrance. Hanging in his dorm room is a copy of the Declaration of Independence & the Bill of Rights. Then there were several posters about liberty & freedom ...
My daughter is not one to back down from doing the right thing, especially one on such weighty principles as the Separation of Church & State & equal protection for everyone. I've heard her make the arguments --- she can stand her ground against a Godslinger any day.
I'm really proud of 'em.
2009 my be another 2008. That's very true. But my hope is in the forward thinking of the empty tomb, not the backward thinking of a cross. And when I see my kids & can be as proud of them as I am now ... well, it will be better sometime because they will make it so.