by ProfDave, ©2021
(Jun. 15, 2021) — [See previous installments of this series here.]
There’s a line in the Serenity Prayer that says, “taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.” Post-moderns need recovery – they certainly are not taking the world as it is. If you don’t like the news, change the channel. Each warring party has its own narrative of what is going on in America and where it is all going.
Narrative I – The Left
Beware, this is fictitious – I even made up a little myself
The Great Reset. Washington, DC will remain under siege until Biden, Harris and the Democrats set things right. Biden is using executive orders to reverse all of Trump’s nefarious policies, to save the country from Covid-19, climate change, a trade war with China, ICE, racism, sexism, capitalism, homophobia and so much more. Everyone will have free healthcare, free abortions, free college, free recreational drugs, free euthanasia, free sex, free sex-change, open borders and $15 an hour – all at the gift of the federal government. We will all live happily ever after.
Narrative II – The Right
Also may be fictitious
The People’s Republic of America. The objective of the left, according to the right, is to do away with America as we know it. By manufacturing a crisis, the elites hope to centralize the nation under virtual martial law, closing schools, churches and businesses, confiscating weapons and intimidating conservatives. The Constitution and the laws will remain on the books (as they did under Hitler), but will be ignored. When things reopen, they will be under the firm total supervision of the new socialist state – and the economic domination of China. Everything will be federal – state and local law will be moot – if not international. The Republican Party will be forever effectively banned from office.
Narrative III – The Argentinian Historian’s Surmise
We will never know what happened
Dreams and Reality. Of course, we cannot know what the 23rd century will hold for America – or whether there will be a 23rd century in which a hypothetical Argentinian historian might live and write. Adding the narratives together and dividing by two leaves us hanging in midair. There may be plots, conspiracies and stratagems by the dozen, but our Argentinian historian will probably see two competing visions for America. The vision of “America great again” was a rosy-tinted version of the past – all that was good and great in the American heritage carried forward into the future. Taken to the extreme, this could have been chauvinistic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic and even racist, but none of those flaws were characteristic of America at its best – the Judeo-Christian values of life, liberty and justice for all. The dark caricatures were not the idealistic America that spent so much blood to expunge the blot of slavery, came to the rescue of Europe twice and spent countless billions on repairing its defeated enemies.
Likewise, the progressive vision was equally tinted and perhaps even more unrealistic. Only the neo-Marxists believed they must tear down the guilty old order in order to build the new utopia. Viewing America as the sum of its worst crimes and misdemeanors was neither balanced nor hopeful. Sweeping new programs and voluminous reform legislation encountered multiple roadblocks and would have had unintended consequences. Executive orders, while impressive (or alarming) in the moment would be undone by the next administration. Who would control the future? Americans have been fallen human beings from the start, neither all good nor all evil. Should their future be based on the one or the other?
David W. Heughins (“ProfDave”) is Adjunct Professor of History at Nazarene Bible College. He holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Holiness in 12 Steps (2020). He is a Vietnam veteran and is retired, living with his daughter and three grandchildren in Connecticut.