Congratulations, America

When I was first invited to contribute to "In All Things", I wrote as a European envious of what the rise of Barack Obama showed the old continent about the United States.

Enlightened religion is deficient in piety, feeling, and popular power, while Evangelicals are too prone to give reason the day off. Without each other as counterbalance, they fall into sterility on the one hand and fundamentalism on the other; yet blended, in American civil religion, and in a leader like Obama, they are a potent force for greatness ....

Advertisement

... "Yes we can" is not a policy but the promise of a capacity to change by harnessing transcendent forces. It’s the not just the man, but the culture which created him, that can deliver. American religious culture, and the genius of its constitution, harbor not just the seeds of political renewal, but the fertilizer and the water too.

I hope Obama’s policies will be great for America, and for the world -- and that Catholics, in particular, come to recognise in him their partisan and friend. But today is not about policies, ideology or even politics in the traditional sense. It’s about the harnessing of energies, the uniting around a common purpose, the transcendence of narrow interests and the triumph of the hope of a people.

It’s the US that won last night. Congratulations.

(And congratulations to America magazine, and to my "In All Things" colleagues, for peerless coverage.  I’m only sorry I never found a US citizen to marry in time to vote.)

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Photo: IMDB
A new Netflix miniseries brings out the story’s aspects of adventure and conflict, with occasionally pulse-pounding results.
Rob Weinert-KendtJanuary 19, 2019
Protestors march to support a U.N. anti-corruption commission in Guatemala City on Jan. 6. Photo by Jackie McVicar.
“What they are doing not only puts Guatemala at risk but the entire region. Bit by bit, for more than a year, they have been trying to divide us. The elections are at risk. We are six months away.”
Jackie McVicarJanuary 18, 2019
“We will just do what we need to do to help people in need,” said Antonio Fernandez, C.E.O. of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Emma Winters January 18, 2019
The study found Latina immigrant women in Arizona who were pregnant during the contentious S.B. 1070 passage had babies with lower birthweight compared with those in prior years. Average birth weights did not decrease among U.S.-born white, black or Latina women during the same time.
J.D. Long-GarcíaJanuary 18, 2019