There’s a lot at stake in our country this week. A quick spin through today’s Washington Post offers a glimpse:
First, our planet is falling apart. Doug Struck filed a report from a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker on a journey through an iceless Arctic at a time of year when thick “old ice” should be filling the narrow navigable channels. Ecosystems are out of balance, the way of life for indigenous people who were here long before us is threatened and we’re all facing environmental peril.
Next, young people in the small Southern city described as a military recruiter’s dream are realizing that the war in Iraq is pointless. The family of the man who was the high school quarterback two years ago recently buried their son, leaving a lot of people to question Iraq.
And, the Episcopal Church, already on the verge of fracturing, installed it’s first female leader — also a first for the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. She faces a tough haul in trying to keep the denomination together at a time when social divisions in America are deepening.
So what do these three things have to do with the upcoming week? Perhaps more than any other time in my adult life, the future direction of this country is now squarely on our shoulders — “ours,” as in the American electorate. Of course, we’ve had this chance before. Just two years ago, in fact. But then, “we” squandered our chance because “we” thought it was more important to “kill them over there before they kill us over here.” The world saw us, as a nation, obsessed with “protecting” the institution of marriage while we enshrined hate and discrimination into our state constitutions and our federal laws.
But now, it appears change is coming. According to all of the polls and research, if The Likely Voter actually goes to the polls Tuesday, there will be a dramatic shift in the United States. To be sure, it will be a shift toward the middle, a shift toward inclusion and a signal to the rest of the world that America is not a country of crackpots and go-it-alone cowboys.
So if you’re the praying type, this is crunch time. If you meditate instead of pray, grab your cushion. If you believe that we have the power to create our own destinies, then now is the time.
The whole world is watching, America. It’s time to step up.