Here in the USA, things haven’t exactly been going “right” lately.
Recent Texas legislative action to restrict abortion was (for lack of a better word) aborted by a day-long filibuster and a Senate gallery full of shouters.
The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the Defense of Marriage Act that had sought to federally define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
The U.S. military and the Boy Scouts of America are now OK with gay. Marijuana is edging toward legality, and the country is edging toward nationalized health care.
Liberals are dancing in the streets while the “right” – which defines itself as representing Christian, conservative, traditional values – is reeling.
This week I heard a comment from Michele Bachmann, the Congresswoman from Minnesota who has earned a reputation as somewhat of a crazy person. She said, “Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.”
When asked about Bachmann’s remarks, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded: “Who cares?” It got a lot of laughs from her fans.
Bachmann has said some crazy things, but I have to go with her on this one.
The United States of America was founded in the late 18th century. It did not invent the institution of marriage and doesn’t license or regulate it at the federal level. All the federal government does is recognize marriage for the purpose of taxes, insurance, estate settlement, etc.
Marriage has been a recognized institution in human society throughout history. It’s worldwide, crossing national and cultural lines. Governments rise and fall, but people still marry.
It’s a long-settled fact that marriage is between a man and a woman, just like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, rain falls from the sky and seasons progress in this order: summer, fall, winter, spring.
The U.S. government may overrule all of those at some point, but that won’t change the reality of nature.
I want to give Nancy Pelosi the benefit of the doubt, hoping she meant “Who cares what Michele Bachmann says?” not, “Who cares about God?”
But in the grand, overall scheme of human history, who cares what Nancy Pelosi says, or what I say, or even what the U.S. Supreme Court says?
It is apparently very easy for those inside the Washington Beltway to lose sight of the fact that the world does not revolve around them, nor do they control it. Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring water to flow uphill, but that would only make Congress look silly. Some things are outside their jurisdiction.
Driving to work the other morning I saw and photographed a breathtaking sunrise – one of those where the shafts of light stream through gaps in the clouds and create a magnificent spotlight effect, blending dark and light, blue and white and gold.
I had to move around a little to get the power lines out of the picture.
Then it hit me – the contrast between our power grid here on the ground and the awesome power of God displayed across the morning sky. I thought about lightning, bolts of electricity flashing among clouds – a power display that dwarfs anything we can generate down here. I thought about that enormous nuclear reactor we call the sun, whose power animates our planet even from a distance of 93 million miles.
How silly would it be for us to think our power plants, our generators, our network of wires strung on poles represents the ultimate power in the universe?
Shakespeare’s Hamlet told his buddy Horatio that “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I tend to agree.
If you believe there’s a higher power, then live your life that way. If you don’t, don’t.
But if your faith is in government, I would encourage you to lift your eyes a little higher.
Bob Buckel is the Messenger’s executive editor.