Saturday, November 22, 2008

History in Front and Behind

I think that I've put my finger on a pervasive assumption here in the U.S. It is that things cannot get as bad as they were in the past.

The camps are closed, we think - at least closed within our borders. (Did you think that there never were any? Research "Andersonville".) There will be no more starvation, we think, no more economic collapse and the terrible want that follows in its wake. There will be no more epidemics that kill millions. There will be no war within our borders. There will no more great and terrible events of the sorts we read about in books of history. We are past all that, we assume.

It is one of my deep convictions - one on which I often dwell - that this simply is not so. (Is this historical blindness something we share with other peoples at other times and places? Perhaps those who know more than me will tell us.) We have no reason to suppose that we live in a privileged era, an era in which there is no history in front but only behind. Calamity is as likely to strike us as it was the Germans or the Russians, the Jews or the Gypsies. Pray to God that you and those about you never have to endure such events. But remain strong in your faith, for you just might.

2 comments:

SteveK said...

This blog post is somewhat related to your comments here, Franklin. I think you will get something out of it just as I did.

Alena said...

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Alena

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