Chronicles in Ordinary Time 175: Xmas in America

Thanksgiving was two weeks ago, and the ‘Christmas Movie’ season began on networks; and it appears that we are in that time when the season of Christmas lasts for a solid month.
One thing I find interesting is that in the Catholic Church [I’m not], the Season of Advent begins December 2nd, and the Season of Christmas begins on Christmas Day. No Christmas carols before Christmas. Advent music, yes; Christmas, no. When I worked for the City of Portland, I took my lunch to an atrium on the 5th floor of a nearby office building, and often listened to KBVM, the local Catholic radio station. On KVBM I could listen to peace-restoring music that WASN’T Christmas songs. Advent, the time of waiting for the Savior to appear, precedes Christmas. For me, Advent is largely all year.
Those who know me well [a relatively small number], know that I really dislike this time of year. The celebration of Christmas is ostensibly about the Creator entering Time and Space in the form of a single cell embedded into the womb of a teen-aged girl, the first In Vitro Fertilization in history; in America, the celebration instead glorifies the Having of Stuff, more stuff, and stuff you don’t want, but it was on sale…
Consequently, I find this image incredibly appropriate to this Season in America:

I’ve never watched the movie, The Shining, my understanding is that if I had, the image would have more meaning for me… Melania and the Blood Red Christmas Trees…

Mary, Joseph and the young child Jesus, left Bethlehem and traveled to Egypt [without papers] in order to protect Jesus from Death by Roman Soldier, in what artists have called The Slaughter of the Innocents. King Herod, fearing his being supplanted by the foretold ‘King of the Jews’, prophesied by the Magi who visited him, ordered the murder of every child in the land that was under the age of two years. Our own Autocrat wants the children stolen from their parents at the border and placed in Foster Care for the rest of their childhood. Our Autocrat readily admits that the idea is to make emigrating to America completely undesirable. “America is closed” for immigration business…
My take on a not-original idea that floated around Fb last week:

The Holy Family at the Border

My forebears arrived by boat, from Scandinavia. My Mom became an American citizen when she married my Dad.

Too few Americans are aware that the notions held by our current President regarding immigration do not match the provisions of our Constitution. It is not illegal to enter our country at someplace other than an Immigration station. It is not illegal to enter our country without a Visa or even a Passport. Our Constitution guarantees the right of refugees to enter our country from anywhere on our borders, in order to seek asylum. It is merely inconvenient for thousands of immigrants to seek asylum en masse.
Without an immigrant work force to do the work that Americans refuse to do, we would have less produce in our stores; and they would be far less tidy. Immigrants comprise a large portion of our service industries.

In the weeks before our most recent election, in regard to our historically-low voter turnout for midterm elections Richard Rohr, wrote the following for Sojourners Magazine:
Low voter turnout is generally a sign of a demoralized society, and people of power feed on that demoralization, knowing that they can then easily gerrymander, suppress and limit voting rights, and give elections to the rule of money and lobbyists—and there will be little outcry, because there is so little trust or even interest in the whole system anyway.
Yet, this is largely where the U.S. is today.
The powers that control society are quite happy that it is always minorities of all stripes that first feel this powerlessness and this demoralization. Since the early days of representative government, it has been believed that democracy would only work if there was a truly free and informed citizenry. We presently seem to lack both in the U.S. This is why voting is a deeply moral act for me—in rebuilding confidence and encouraging an intelligent and hope-filled society. It is also a decisive act of Christian faith that I matter, society matters, justice matters, and others matter.
Not to vote is to hand our power and our dignity over to people who fear actual freedom, honest intelligence, and faith in the very goodness of humanity.

Half of the electorate failed to vote in the last Presidential election, and now chaos reigns. Voter turnout was much better in the recent midterm election—it set a new record for the last century; but it was still less than the number who turned out to vote in 2016. People still don’t make voting a priority.

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