How many disasters do we have to endure before stirring from our deadly citizen slumber?

Recently, we have experienced the opioid holocaust, the border calamity, the police murders and protest outbreaks, the partisan political hate imbroglio, the pandemic roller-coaster, the Haiti and southern states climate destructions, the annual West coast wildfire cataclysms, and the imperial undeclared war misadventures (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan).

This is not to mention the college, consumer and national debt calamities, our mental health and suicide misfortunes, and the I-hate-science despair.

Earlier, we experienced the native American removal holocaust, the Civil War, World War I, the Depression, World War II, the divorce and abortion debacle, and economic outsourcing stresses. But our ancestors were able to breathe a little in-between. America’s newest shocking events have picked up so much speed and momentum of late, we don’t even pay attention to them, but just go about our business.

In the Western tradition, large events used to be quite a bit farther in-between. In memory we know of the Jewish holocaust, the Russian and Chinese concentration camp/political purge/starvation holocausts, the European religious wars conundrums, the Asian-European plagues, and the tumultuous transition from monarchy to democracy.

In ancient times, nations had a way to deal with national tragedies. They didn’t just sit on their hands. They served up a totally burnt animal sacrifice for the use of the gods alone, and not for human consumption. This meant they were begging for and finally committed to national forgiveness, atonement, and renewal. Ironically, this sacrifice was called the “holocaust.” We have made a whole new meaning for the term in America. In America, everything is burned up and unusable almost every day.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

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