While I was in church today doing my best to pay attention to the homily, I couldn’t keep my mind from bringing up an image that has haunted me for three days now. It was a short video on face book of a three year old boy crying in fear as an adult male tormented him with a pellet gun. It was a clip from some third world middle eastern pot hole, and the guy was laughing thinking the whole thing funny; the poor kid was terrorized. He was standing in a corner while the man made moves as if he was going to shoot him. I wanted so badly to fly to that little boy’s defense that I ached as I watched it.
There was of course nothing I could do, but my heart broke for the little lad. As I sat there in my pew, I began to ask myself not why this stuff happens, this and far worse has been going on since time began. But never have I seen it on my watch. During my generation, not on this scale. I found myself yearning for my innocence back. Not childhood innocence, but the innocence I used to have even without realizing it. When by and large people had the attitude of live and let live. Where there was a certain level of trust among men. It would never have occurred to me that the kinds of evil we see every day in the news could be possible, yet here we are.
That has been slowly but steadily ripped away to leave me angry and frustrated at these horrors and my inability to do anything about them. How did we get here? Why do we have to deal with this kind of barbarity and with people who tell us that we are “phobic” and out of touch if we raise a voice in defense of what we believe in?
I think there are two things going on. First, after the end of the second world war, our culture made the mistake of thinking that evil had been beaten once and for all. That the monsters we slew where dead forever. Time has proven that to be a folly of unimaginable proportions. The second thing is that those dragons while defeated for a while, merely slunk into the darkness, licked their wounds and came roaring back. Only this time they where far more subtle and devious. They presented themselves as our friends. As things that no man could oppose like the idea that all cultures are equal and that if we all just wished hard enough we could put an end to violence and war and that by giving just a little bit more, we could end famine, disease and disaster.
It was a brilliant plan that worked brilliantly. So as I sat in God’s house, asking for wisdom and guidance, it occurred to me that what I really want, is to be able to live quietly, raising my family and going about my daily affairs without the constant threat that my government was going to impose not only new rules on me to make me conform to how they saw my life unfolding, with no input from me, but that they would embrace and uplift the very dragons we thought we had beaten 70 years ago.
I want my children to be anything they choose to be, depending on their gifts and talents. I want my country to truly be a place where anything is possible if you have the imagination and drive to attempt it. I want success rewarded not punished. I want my government to work for me, not against me.
Unfortunately, it seems that all these things are quickly vanishing like an early morning fog, where politicians pay lip service to defending our rights and freedoms, but at the same time undermine them with nearly unbridled glee. It seems that if I am to have the things I want, I am going to have to do what I never thought I would ever have to in my beloved Canada. I am going to have to fight for them.