“Is nothing sacred?”
That question used to get the largest eye roll imaginable from me.
Primarily because it normally came from someone sufficiently old enough to all use the expression “I remember when….” more than once in every conversation.
Today, that irritating expression appears to be coming from my mirror.
As we’re getting preparing to observe a sacred holiday weekend to two of the world’s major religions, I find myself wondering if the answer to that rhetorical isn’t the worst possible answer imaginable: “No. Nothing’s sacred anymore.”
Many things considered essential “family values” for both Christians and Jews appear to be under attack by someone. Usually the someone in question gives some psychobabble explanation that says we need to be freed from our “historical caucasian bias” “systemic racism” or “learned bias against gender fluidity”.
For the record, I’m suffering from a total of none of those things.
Should I choose to argue with another idiot (I try to limit those to the idiot in my mirror), I could quickly point out that I’m actually not a caucasian. I’m a Native American/caucasian mixture. And by today’s flexible standards, I experienced “systemic racism” from the opposite of the caucasian viewpoint growing up. In the 1950s, it wasn’t unacceptable to use descriptive names for friends that would have your entire family standing before a family court judge today.
Like the rest of my classmates, including the booger-eaters, thumb-suckers, cry babies and nail biters, we managed to come through the experience none the worse for wear. More than a half-century later, we’re dear friends.
My only “learned bias against gender fluidity” resulted from basic anatomy lessons learned growing up on a farm. Birds, bees, beasts and people only arrive in one of two flavors. Biology was never my favorite subject, but the last time I looked, that remains unchanged.
Having grown up in that unenlightened age, I believe in a lot of stuff that is longer en vogue.
That half-truths are complete lies.
That breaking your word means you’re not trustworthy.
Or that elected officials put the needs of others (their constituents) ahead of their own wants or welfare. In those good old days, public service was a burden, not a retirement strategy.
Before you think I’m stuck in those much-desired good old days, I’d like to add this: those “good old days” weren’t really all that good. We just weren’t nearly this darned old. We miss our youth and enthusiasm, not black and white TV or houses with no air conditioning.
But our old world was much bigger. Sure, we’ve brought it closer together, but I think we forgot to bring the sweet part along with all the bitter. Some days when I’m reading the headlines, I wonder if that juice was really worth the squeeze.
But this weekend is sacred for both Christians and Jews. They’re actually similar to a point. Both celebrate deliverance from extreme peril by decidedly divine means.
One was observed for more than a thousand years old before the other was first commemorated. This weekend, Jews gather to celebrate Pesach- God’s “passing over” the homes of the Jews when the tenth plague was visited on the Egyptians.
For Christians, the Last Supper (celebrated on what some call Maundy Thursday - tonight) and the Resurrection three days following complete the full deliverance promised to Moses - and expanded to all people.
Deliverance from troubles. That’s a concept I feel we should all embrace, no matter our differences.
Whichever you celebrate this weekend, I wish you and your family chat samech or Christos Anesti.
We’ll keep you posted.
— Jim Shepherd