Social Desolation

Social Desolation

            I have been in a funk lately, actually from the day I knew Donald Trump would be the President of the United States; I have been in a funk.  My funk at times seems to be only worsening.  I don’t think I am the only one who is in a funk.  Our nation is in a funk too.  I believe the constant stream of lies, the minimization of the poor, the refugees, and our constant state of war is subconsciously taking its toll on the American psyche, creating anxiety in the soul of America.

Just yesterday, in my morning meditations, I read:

“The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.” (Matt. 13:20-22)

            Anxiety… This is me.  This is us.  This is the United States.

I have most of my adult life tried to be apolitical, leaving the political systems up to God, who is supposed to order the powers over these systems, but I have never been as anxious about the state of affairs in the world as I am now.  I know I should not be anxious, but the lies, filth and profanity spewing out of the mouths of some in leadership just have gotten me down.  For instance, President Trump’s vulgar statements have now been surpassed by his new Director of Communications, Anthony Scararmucci’s filthy and vulgar ranting.  I won’t repeat them or even reference sources on them but proof can readily be discovered as to what exactly has been said.

Trump, the supposed darling of American Evangelicalism, and Scaramucci, supposedly a Catholic, just do not look like Jesus to me.  Nor, would it seem they understand or practice the ethics of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 5 from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

I expressed my frustrations and my sin of anxiety with my Spiritual Director yesterday, and his suggestion was that in place of being less involved, (apolitical) perhaps I should be more involved and write a letter to my congressman, Senator Shelby, of Tuscaloosa, AL.  I think that is a good suggestion, and I have previously written Senator Shelby about a couple of matters, but I think it will do more good to submit my ideas to the New York Times and publish my feelings on the internet.

I am a student of Ignatian Theology, and have written a book concerning my Spiritual Journey, “Let God In: One Ignatian Journey,” which has been submitted for publishing, but until it is published, can be downloaded free of charge at  I believe it is time for America, and the world, for that matter, to return to God, not the endless quest to solve the world’s problems with the Myth of Redemptive Violence, which can also be violence of the heart and violence of the mouth, or violence of the eyes, in addition to the violence of perpetual warfare and killing, as the United States is doing.

In my Ignatian studies, I came across the following text I will quote from “finding God in all things” by William A. Barry, S.J. which, of course, would ask us to find God within our political systems, within our enemies, and I suppose I will have to admit, within Trump and Scaramucci too.  I quote:

“This social desolations shows itself in a feeling of futility before what seem to be intractable problems of our complex world.  Those who find themselves in such a state, a gnawing sense of futility, about the world in general and about the particular institutions, to which they belong, need to be freed by the Lord just as much as the addict or habitual sinner needs to be freed by the Lord.  The gnawing feeling saps life and vitality from them and keeps them from the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.

When they do let the Lord of life free them, what s the result?  They feel astonished at the enormity of God’s love for them in this sinful world.  They know that in spite of all the horror, the Lord has not abandoned his people.  In spite of the stupidity and evil, in spite of institutional injustice, the human spirit is not crushed and defeated.  The powers of darkness have not prevailed.  As a result they feel themselves empowered to try to do their part in the social injustices in which they have participated.”  (pp. 63 & 64)

Therefore, I too am trying to take action, to do my part, to do something that may help to bring myself back to how God views Trump and Scaramucci, how God views our enemies, and how God views me, as beloved sinners.  I believe we need to let God into our lives, whether we are Christians, Jews, or Muslims, or anybody who has a conscious, who at least believes there is something, if they do it, that it is wrong.  Having a conscious is the indication we are humans, and that God’s Image is in us.

Social Desolation is a worthy term to describe what is happening to us, but I am going to try to recognize God’s presence in our political systems, in our nation, and in the people in positions of power, but I also want to speak to them, and tell them that they just do not look very godly to me, and that I think they are wrong, very wrong, and so am I wrong who is complicit with them in by paying my taxes, at least half of which go to support the evils of our society, such as warfare.  Let us wait to hear a sincere and public apology for the wrongs.

John Cooper

Tuscaloosa, AL






About jcooperforpeace
Peacemaker in Fellowship Engaged in Active Nonviolence and Social Justice

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