Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, May 1, 2017
America, From Exceptionalism to Nihilism – The U.S. leads the free world in its helplessness before the dissolution of its most cherished values.
Extravagant promises by ruling elites, and their unexamined assumptions, are at least partly to blame for this moral breakdown in the world’s most powerful country. In 2011, for instance, Mr. Obama had claimed, “We are perfectly poised to make the 21st century again the American Century.” But such onward-and-upward narratives seemed to mock the suffering, despair and frustration exposed in different ways by Black Lives Matter or the white Rust-Belt proletariat. Mr. Obama, who recently accepted a very lucrative speaking engagement on Wall Street, now looks like just one of the fortunate members of historically depressed minorities who mistake their own upward mobility for collective advance.
Generalizing about the world at large on the basis of personal success, or proclaiming that life has never been so wonderful, can be politically disastrous, it turns out, especially when loss, decay and fear sum up the experiences of many other people. We will have learned nothing from Mr. Trump’s victory if we do not examine today how and why American elites came to indulge in ressentiment-generating boosterism just as economic and cultural inequality was becoming intolerable to so many, and how their loss of intellectual credibility and moral authority brought about the post-truth era.
Readings from Isaiah 50.10-11 for Monday, May 1, 2017
The option to walking in the “fear of the Lord,” is to walk “in the flame of your fire.” We can choose between loving God with our whole being, which is the heart of the fear of the Lord, or we can walk according to our own best thoughts and plans.
Isaiah 50.10-11 – Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the Lord and relies upon his God? But all of you are kindlers of fire, lighters of firebrands. Walk in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled!
Prayers for Monday, May 1, 2017
Dear God, may we love you with our whole being and give love and only love to everyone around us. Help us to obey, trust, and rely on you.