Political Craziness

On a night when the Packers took on the Bears, last Thursday evening, I found myself in Milwaukee speaking to a crowd of 450 friends of the Wisconsin Jesuits about the state of electoral politics in the U.S. The invitation came from the Jesuit Partnership Council, a lay group that garners support for the needs of the Wisconsin Province Jesuits and their missions. The lecture’s title “How to Keep Our Heads Amid the Craziness” (I had actually proposed ‘the Crazies’) was inspired by a lecture by Dan Henniger of The Wall Street Journal last winter during the height of the Republican primaries. The direction of the talk itself owed more to Nick Cafardi’s Voting and Holiness (Paulist) and his July 18 article in America“Keep Holy Election Day."

My own approach, however, took the form of an examination of American political conscience. I argued that neither rationality nor sane judgment seemed capable of cleansing the body politic of the demons that now possess us and that only a more probing spiritual examination of our deeper motives, when “we turn to God in utter openness,” can heal the divisions that currently rent the nation. I had been led to believe that in Paul Ryan’s neighborhood I would meet a partisan audience. Some who attended thought that was not the case. For sure, it was clear the crowd was filled with Americareaders. In any case, the audience was attentive, respectful and very appreciative. But they did want more time to ponder what I had said.

Advertisement

At the request of my listeners and of others who were not able to attend I have provided a link here to the text of the talk.

Drew Christiansen, S.J.

 

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

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis speaks from the Vatican as he addresses Canadian youths in a video message that was included in a Salt and Light Television program on Oct. 22 (CNS photo/courtesy Holy See Press Office).
“The world, the church, are in need of courageous young people, who are not cowed in the face of difficulties," the pope said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 23, 2017
Men walk near destroyed buildings as thousands of Somalis gathered to pray at the site of the country's deadliest attack and to mourn hundreds of victims at the site of the attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 20. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Mogadishu was rocked to its core on Oct. 14 by a truck bombing that left 358 dead and hundreds wounded. The missing are still being sifted for among the scorched rubble.
Kevin ClarkeOctober 23, 2017
Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017