These are difficult times, dangerous times, times pregnant with possibility. They lay upon us many demands, one of which in particular causes me to toss and turn at night, to trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, as the Bard says. It is my practice at such times to turn to the Good Book, and there to seek counsel. This familiar passage from the Gospels speaks to my distress:
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
I refer, of course, to the necessity laid upon me by political exigency of welcoming to the fold the likes of George Will, Bill Kristol, Nicole Wallace, Joe Scarborough, Joe Biden, and even ‘Mad Dog’ Jim Mattis, who, after lives of spiritual profligacy have found their way back and now seek to join, nay to lead, the struggle against Donald Trump and his Republican enablers.
“Where were you” I want to cry out, “when Kennedy invaded Cuba, when the CIA overthrew Mossadegh, when LBJ invaded Viet Nam, when Bush invaded Iraq? Why did you cheer on Reagan as he attacked the unions? Why did you savage Anita Hill, help write and pass the 1994 Crime Bill whose bitter fruits now sour our stomachs?”
And then I return to the Good Book, where the father replies to the dutiful brother, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”
I know this, and I accept it. But I will not lie. It is hard.