…You’re against us. Which is why I hate the election season so much.
Today is a very hectic day around the parish, actually it will be a hectic weekend as we have the relic of St. Maximilian Kolbe on display. The Kolbe Relic is “touring” the Province of Our Lady of the Angels as part of the 75th anniversary of Kobe’s martyrdom at the hands of the Germans during the Second World War. St. Maximilian has a very special place in our province, we were founded over 100 years ago to minister to the Polish immigrants on the east coast; once war broke out, many Polish friars came to the US and ended up in our province, assisting with Polish speaking Catholics. And, many of those men personally knew St. Maximilian, as they lived together in the large friaries of their time. Plus for full disclosure, St. Maximilian is my personal patron saint; he is someone whose intercession I ask for on a regular basis. So as you can see, Kolbe has a very special place in our province and among the men who serve it.
Today at mass I explained to the parishioners that how Kolbe was martyred by the Germans in the Second World War. To be exact, he was killed in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp during one of the darkest periods of civilization, the Holocaust. After mass a Knight of Columbus approached me and asked if I had been to Auschwitz. I answered that I had not, and he said, “My wife and I have and we’ve seen the bunker. It is a 10×10 ‘room’ that had to fit 10 grown men. So you can guess it was pretty crowded in there.” That was when we agreed that something like that, the torture, the complete savaging of another human being could only take place because the one torturing did not consider the tortured to be human. It was “easy” for the guards to do what they did because for the most part, they did not see the Jews as human; they saw the Jews as objects to be disposed of, nothing more.
The dehumanization of the Jews took time; it was a slow process that happened over time using the “us against them” philosophy. Unfortunately, our political process has not learned from the past and continues to use the idea of “us against them.” In other words, if you are not a Republican or conservative, then you are the enemy; if you are not a Democrat and a liberal, you are the enemy. There is no middle ground, you’re either with us or against us.
I follow several political blogs and the comments section is something out of Mad Max; a post apocalyptic dystopia. The name calling, the mentality of, if you are for the other guy (or girl) then there is something wrong with you, you hate America; you are the enemy. The 24 hour cable news networks are no different, many commentators saying that if Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz, Or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is elected president, it will be the end of the Republic. Many of you reading are thinking the same thing, if you candidate does not get elected we are doomed. Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon with a link where you can search your friends list to see who supports Donald Trump. And then drop them as a friend. Because anyone who supports The Donald should be ostracized, shamed, and friendless. Because that’s what should happen to anyone who has a different opinion or political ideology than you.
Maybe the person who should be ostracized and shamed is you. Because, picking and choosing who you drop as friends solely on the basis of their politics says infinitely more about you than it does about the person with a different political view point.
So guess what? No, we are not doomed; if we survived an Obama Presidency, two Bushes, the Big Dog Bill C. Nanc, I mean Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and his lust filled dreams, and 18 Minutes Nixon, the Republic will be okay.
Finally, for those who just can’t bear to live in a country where Trump, Clinton, Sanders or Cruz is the president…Well, Morpheus has the answer: