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

(Nick Ansell/PA via AP, archive)
Recent allegations about one of the United Kingdom’s biggest and best-known charities has driven increased demands from some quarters that overseas aid be reduced, if not abolished completely.
David StewartFebruary 23, 2018
Students who walked out of classes from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland protest against gun violence in front of the White House on Feb. 21 in Washington. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)
The desire for stronger gun control may not translate into more caution with gun storage among owners of firearms.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 23, 2018
Of the estimated 14.5 million school-age Catholic children in the U.S., about or 55 percent are Latino. Yet 4 percent of school-age Latino Catholic children are enrolled in Catholic schools.
Maria Luisa TorresFebruary 23, 2018
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, is pictured at the Vatican in this Oct. 9, 2012, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Sarah questions why Catholics stand—rather than kneel—and receive Communion in the hand.
Michael J. O’LoughlinFebruary 23, 2018