‘May you live in ‘interesting times’ is an English translation of a Chinese saying that appears in the form of a blessing, but is actually a curse or at least a warning. It’s a bit like ‘break a leg!,’ the traditional anti-blessing for good luck before a theatre performance (or the variation of that for the musical Annie! based on Little Orphan Annie and her dog Sandy, ‘lift a leg.’ )
Our Service this Sunday (Feb. 23) is on the UU Association of Congregations’ 5th Principle, “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” It is weirdly apropos this week, as our President seems to believe his acquittal of two articles of impeachment by the U.S. Senate two weeks ago gives him the power of a dictator, or a king, or–we have to wonder–a god.
We are facing a great test in 2020, and we must prepare for it. Tom Paine wrote in late 1777, at the beginning of the winter at Valley Forge, ‘These are the times that try [our] souls.” It seems our souls will be tried this year.
Franklin told a inquirer at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that we have not a monarchy, but a republic, if you can keep it.
We are facing perhaps the most dangerous challenge to our Constitution since its adoption. What are we going to do? What are you going to do? Can we keep our republic? I am not confident we can.