A.J. DiCintio
Not on Christmas or any other day
By A.J. DiCintio
December 23, 2013

Barbara Walters, if not the inventor of the pop interview, certainly the cotton candy genre's most well-known practitioner, recently said this about Barack Obama:

"We thought he was going to be – I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah."

Now, the most important observation to make about that statement is this:

It cannot be surpassed as an example of the reality that the pretensions liberals love to gush regarding their moral and intellectual superiority represent history's most painfully insufferable irony.

Not that Ms. Walters' words ought to surprise or shock us.

After all, the very essence of being one of the "we" she speaks of is passionately embracing the perverse church that makes a religion of politics and gods of politicians.

It is a pity any human would willingly join such a congregation, a pity made all the more pitiful by the fact that for millennia truly great minds have revealed the frightful truth about political rulers.

For instance, the Old Testament has this to say to people who clamor for a king:

"This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: he will take your sons [to] serve with his chariots and horses. . .to plow his ground and reap his harvest. . .to make weapons of war. . .He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves." (biblegateway.com, NIV)

The New Testament speaks not of a political messiah but of Jesus, Christianity's Messiah and "reason for the season" of Christmas who taught not the saving grace of politics, politicians, and government but of being born again in His loving, peaceful, forgiving name.

Essentially a Deist who nevertheless praised Jesus for teaching "a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man," Thomas Jefferson absolutely despised the notion that centralized government and its elitist leaders give rise to the best of all possible human worlds.

Turning to humanity's greatest creative minds, we find not exultations of politicians but, from antiquity to the present, bone-chilling warnings about the horrendous pain and suffering that flow from beings distinguished only by their infinite capacity for arrogance and insatiable appetite for power.

Of those creative spirits, each of us has favorites.

However, since we are Americans and since we are speaking of the folly that is worship of political messiahs, we might turn to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, who mentions neither a word about government nor the politicians who control its rapacious engines in student Nick Carraway's recollections of traveling home for Christmas:

"One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time. . .

When we pulled out [of Chicago's Union Station] into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour, before we melted indistinguishably into it again.

That's my Middle West – not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow."

To bring a final perspective to this subject, we turn to the quintessentially American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, the thinker who "heartily" accepted the motto, "That government is best which governs least," and the indefatigable proponent of individualism who, having served a night in jail for having placed the demands of his conscience above those of the government, wrote this about his release:

"When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour – for the horse was soon tackled – was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen."

How loudly and long Thoreau's words ought to echo in our minds; for regarding every last thing crucially important to every individual human being's life, it is invariably true that "the State [is] nowhere to be seen."

Yet, owing to one of human nature's most astounding flaws, there will always be those who grovel before a merely human being as the all-powerful State's almighty messiah, an act any person who strives to keep even half a foot on the road of morality and intellectuality will find perfectly abhorrent not just during the Christmas season or on Christmas Day but any other day that will ever dawn under the real, substantial star we call the sun.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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