|House by the Tracks (M.A. Reilly)|
The most devout person I have known was my mom, Catherine Reilly. Her faith revealed itself in her day-to-day living, in the kind acts she did quietly, in the way her study of St. Paul's letters informed her decisions, in her generosity. She was a woman filled with wonder and more. It wasn't until I was listening to an interview between Krista Tippett and Mary Catherine Bateson that I better understood the relationship between wonder and faith. Bateson was discussing the intersection among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and said this:
"And what struck me is that what — actually, all three of the religions that come from Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — that what we all have in common is the sense of wonder that leads to praise" (from here).
A sense of wonder that leads to praise.
It was not wonder alone, but rather wonder that led to praise that better fit my memory of my mom. So certain of God's love, she showed my brothers and me the many ways to hear one's conscience. Years later, these daily lesson lived, more than taught, remain with me the most.
I woke up thinking about this sense of conscience-listening this morning. I wondered how the many people today who will cast a vote for Roy Moore will do so. What role does one's conscience play in how decisions are made and broken? How is deep religious faith balanced with the desire for expedient outcomes? The president has told the voters of Alabama that he needs a senate seat to make America great again. He told them, “The people of Alabama will do the right thing...Roy Moore will always vote with us. VOTE ROY MOORE!” His sole argument for Moor is that he will vote for "us" and us is a narrow group.
A devil's bargain that.
I was raised Roman Catholic and surely at the liberal end of that continuum and so it may not be so surprising that the white Evangelical movement as displayed these last few decades has confounded me. White evangelicals gave us Trump and perhaps by the end of the day they will give us another predator, Roy Moore. It seems antithetical to all things holy to support men who fail to engender a sense of wonder that leads to praise, unless the praise is about themselves. Where is God in such displays? How do these self-defined religious people square their choice with their faith? How do you look a pedophile, like Moore, in the eye and vote yes?
I don't buy the argument that because Moore has not undergone a trial voters ought not to consider the vile crimes that the women who have spoken out against him have claimed. That many were minors should concern all. That argument is weak and frankly, if the man in question was someone else--say a Democrat--would they be so hesitant to believe the accusers? Just look at pizzagate when many of the same people believed that Hillary Clinton was running a child pornography ring out of the basement of pizzerias. Such idiocy is still believed.
I'm curious how you reconcile yourself to all of this. What's your understanding?