Saturday, July 5, 2014

American Camelot

“You know, Mother,” said Alfred, looking up from the New York Times, “Harry Truman was the last President we had that didn’t want to be king.”

Mother put down her Royal Albert Old Country Roses teacup and daintily wiped her lips with her embroidered linen napkin, raised an eyebrow and asked, “How so? Alfred.”

It’s this business about President Obama carrying on the Camelot of the Kennedys,” said Alfred, ”Even if Ted Kennedy did endorse him at the American University in 2008, I still find it a little too difficult for me to contemplate today; especially in light of the current popularity polls.”
At that point Alfred began to sing sotto voce,

We're knights of the round table
We dance whenever we're able
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable
We dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

 “That is why, Alfred,” said Mother, “I’m going to vote for Queen Elizabeth for President.”

“Now, Mother,” said Alfred, “you know she can’t run; she wasn’t born in the United States of America.”

“Well, neither was Senator Cruz,” said Mother with a twinkle in her eye, “he was born in Canada; but then again you know very well that I always vote Democrat just so that I can cancel your vote.”

            When Alfred stopped laughing he said, “Mother, the thing that started this odd chain of thought was reading St. Peter.”

            “St. Peter,” asked Mother?

            “This morning and I ran into this verse, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” [1 Peter 2:17]. Now I thought to myself, I can understand “honor everyone, and love the brotherhood, and I can even understand ‘fear God,” although I would rather love Him. What causes the problem is ‘honor the emperor!’ We have a democratic system where we do not have a king, nor do most Americans want one. That makes it difficult to ‘honor the emperor.’”

            “I suppose, Alfred,” said Mother, “the uncomfortable application is that we should honor our political leaders

            “That poses a problem Mother,” said Alfred, “what if they are not honorable?”

            “That is what elections are for,” said Mother. “If they are not honorable, vote them out of office, no matter what party they belong to.”

            “I suppose, Mother,” said Alfred, “underlying all of this is, that in our case, it is the Office that should be honored, both by the politicians and by the people who elect them, or vote them out of office.”

            Alfred continued, “St. Peter also said, “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good” [1 Peter 2:13, 14], because if we don’t honor authority, whether elected or not, the whole system falls apart.”

            “I think, Alfred,” said Mother, “that the same thing applies to the Church, even though that in the Church it can be just as difficult.”

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” [Hebrews 13:17].

No comments:

Post a Comment