Sunday Sermon: Gun Violence and the Dissolution of the Commonwealth

Charles Pierce puts the horrible kindergarten massacre in perspective:

When we go on forever on the blog here about the value of a political commonwealth, and how it is a product of the ongoing creative process of self-government, this kind of response is what we’re talking about. There are things we must do together, in a political context, because these things are too big — and, in this case, too monstrous — for us to handle alone. Self-government and its institutions — public schools, police and fire departments, and all the people to whom we increasingly begrudge their salaries — are the only things keeping us from falling back into barbarism, and the only things keeping us safe and sane when one of us falls back into it on their own.

We are our brother’s keeper. The bell tolls for all of us. These very old — and, yes, Bryan, very Christian — concepts really do undergird our experiment in self-government. We all have an investment in the institutions through which we apply these concepts to each other and to ourselves. We have to nurture those institutions and guard them, because they are so very much more easily destroyed than they are to build. And, yes, dammit, we have to pay for them, and we have to pay the salaries of the people who work for them, because we are their keepers, too, and because the bell tolls for them the same way it tolls for all of us.

Resist, then, the forces who tell you that the creation and maintenance of that commonwealth is too expensive or too complicated, or that it is an appeal to a time now lost to technology and modernity and the glories of free trade. Resist the frauds and mountebanks who seek to prosper from fragmentation and isolation, and who tell you that your “freedom” exists in a place outside of that creative process of self-government, and that, in fact, the institutions produced by that process are the enemies of that “freedom.” Resist, as strongly as you can, the people who seek to profit by isolating you in your homes, and in your anger, and in your wounded sense of aggrieved entitlement, and with all your guns.

Amen selah to that.

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1 Response to Sunday Sermon: Gun Violence and the Dissolution of the Commonwealth

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