THE SILENT MAJORITY
Older folks may remember when this term surfaced in our country. It was a label for people who felt a certain way about the Vietnam War, but it has come to refer to many issues that are not pushed by the media, by columnists and politicians of various stripe, but whose way would prevail if a vote were actually taken. That is just the way most folks are, I have decided. We don’t express ourselves even if we may feel strongly or even if expression is needed because the nation seems to be going in another direction. So, often that other direction is taken, contrary to what we feel is correct or right.
This is how I feel about the Covid issue, and this is a response to Fr. Chris’s sermon on August 8. IT IS NOT A REBUTTAL; IT IS AN EXPRESSION OF MY THOUGHTS AS I LISTENED AND CONSIDERED FR CHRIS’S SERMON. I have made up my mind about vaccination and have acted. I speak now as though I were a member of the Silent Majority, and of course, you are free to have your own mind about what that group may think about vaccinations against covid. My thoughts start with the assumption that the Silent Majority feels we should all be vaccinated.
1. WHAT’S THE ISSUE? Many times before, we have complied with the directions of public health officials. Do you remember polio? Are you and your children vaccinated against smallpox? Did you accept the need to be inoculated against measles, mumps and rubella?
Why not now, then? I believe the current controversy springs from a generation coming to adulthood protected from major catastrophes. They have been permitted to live focusing largely upon themselves. Many add a word when speaking to Authority: Question, Disobey, Distrust, Deny, you pick it. But older folks have been through times much worse than the younger, and they got through by hunkering down and doing what needed to be done, not using marches, yells, or clamoring for rights that are not mentioned in our Constitution. WWI, Flu Pandemic, Great Depression, World War II were survived in part because we came together to overcome, and we are the beneficiaries of that cooperation. One thought about what has happened since those crises. Our country’s politicians decided they could do several things at once. Have a Great Society and fight a Vietnam War. One effect was that many people felt it was not their war, so they did dishonor to those who served. Some media and politicians encouraged them. I believe the younger don’t often think of the sacrifices others have made to allow them the privileges they have. They have learned the mindset that they are right, others wrong because they have been shielded from the effects of their actions. This is why few of the young are called “wise,” and many more elders are.
2. WILL BEING ANGRY TOWARD OTHERS CHANGE THEIR MINDS? In a disagreement, have you tried to outshout people? Have you won? In most cases arguments are not won out loud. You may have out shouted someone, but have you changed their minds? How they would act or vote? What I think is that one should respond in the way Jesus would: With love and concern, with a willingness to support or offer support when it is timely, and with prayer. I agree with Fr. Chris that those who are angry do have a right to express their anger when others won’t do what they want, but as followers of Jesus, should we give it back that way?
3. JESUS NEEDS US, JUST LIKE HE NEEDED THE APOSTLES. We came from a common creation. We have been given earthly responsibility for a part of that Creation. Let’s continue doing the right, but difficult things, for our sake, for our families, for all humanity and Creation. If you are careful as you do the right things, you and your issue will get through this. Jesus Needs Us to get through.
4. Finally, for those who think reaching Herd Immunity is important, here is a thought. You either increase the numerator or decrease the denominator. Man is trying to do the former, Nature is doing the latter. Which will prevail? We have an expression that gives hint to the answer. It starts with, “Don’t fool with….” I believe, even in self-interest it is best to follow the judicious path. Staying healthy will be all the more necessary, once this is “over” and we are among the survivors.