It was Sunday, and with just two days left before the election, I couldn't put off an "election sermon" any longer. It was a depressing topic.
Fortunately, the lectionary readings for the day were right to the point. The scripture was timely, prophetic, and actually quite comforting.
In Psalm 50, verse 9 seemed a divine response to all the campaign ads, slogans, and rhetoric we had all suffered through: "I will accept no bull from your house...." But the heart of the sermon came from Amos 5, as the fiery prophet offered fitting commentary on the pathetic political contest. Verse 19 speaks of woes that had befallen, "as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him...." We, I remarked, had fled an elephant only to encounter an ass.
We had the truest representative of the rich, white, male, elite, political establishment in years, whose favorite issue was the Pledge of Allegiance. Against him was a man who kept saying he would make a good president because he had been a good governor.
The night before the elections, Bill Moyers revealed a little historical irony. "Little did these people know that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by an American socialist one hundred years ago who helped to organize the Society of Christian Socialists. Among their very un-Republican notions was the belief that the teachings of Jesus Christ would lead to the public ownership of industry."
Bush said we already had peace and prosperity. Reagan said, "Facts are stupid things." Dukakis said, "This election is about competence and not ideology." Amos said, "Take away from me all your noise.... But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."