Today is Pearl Harbor Day, a serious day that should give us serious pause amidst all the silliness like a phony “War on Christmas” defense that infects America today.
It’s hard to imagine how bleak the future looked on Dec. 7, 1941, although things were looking and feeling terribly bleak on a Sept. 11 in our own times. The difference is that in the 1940s, the whole nation rallied, and every American heeded the President’s calls to make sacrifices–not only in the war zones but in homes, villages, towns and cities.
People were asked to buy savings bonds to finance the war, and rationing was widespread. People had “Victory Gardens” for the cause.
After 9-11, who outside of the military sacrificed anything, or was even asked to sacrifice, and who is sacrificing anything for America’s future now, outside of the military and military families?
In the forties, we still had capitalism, but there was also such a thing as “enough-ism.”
With 9-11 we had a chance to measure up to “The Greatest Generation.” And yet we weren’t called on to sacrifice anything to support two wars. Instead we all plastered “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS” stickers on our vehicles.
And we were called on to burn gas driving to the mall to shop.
Unable ever to obtain or have enough of anything–even in a time of two wars–we went to the malls. (And casinos and lotteries mushroomed! You could win millions, pay off the $25K you owe in credit card debt and have enough left over to go to casinos any time you want to lose your fortune while not earning any honest money for honest work or productivity! It’s win-win, even though odds are overwhelming that you lose-lose.)
Not that shopping is bad or ever was; I do a little necessary shopping in the States myself sometimes, even though I’d prefer a poke in the eye.
But we live in some really silly times, thanks in no small measure to a silly media that keep people juiced up and edgy about silly stuff like a non-existent “War on Christmas.”
Bill “Merry Christmas, damn it!” O’Reilly and Sarah Palin and all the other malcontents defending us against a “War on Christmas” can’t see that they are waging a war on Christian spirituality–and spiritual contentment above all.
But then, their “wars” are very lucrative.
St. Paul was in a jail cell when he wrote to the Philippians of a secret that seems to be lost on the O’Reillys and Palins of the world–that contentment is the best defense in a time when people have so many wants that they don’t know what they want.
“I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it.
“Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
— Philippians 4: 10-13