As we celebrate Black History Month, the State of Virginia has been thrown into turmoil by revelations that its governor and attorney general had dressed up in blackface in their youth. The scandal is another reminder that the long fight against racism in our country is not over.
Nineteen European countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Poland and Portugal, recognized this week opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the acting president of Venezuela. In the previous weeks, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and many other Latin American countries had expressed their support for Guaidó. The short list of countries that still support Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela is a collection of repressive regimes like China, Russia, Iran or Cuba.
Political parties are always coalitions of different tendencies, philosophies and opinions. This is especially true in the United States. For most of its history, and for all practical purposes, America has had a bipartisan political system. At the time of the last presidential election, there were 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older. There are more than two political ways of thinking in America today, but we just have two political parties with a real shot at winning a presidential election.
Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, one of Pope Francis’ favorite authors, used to say that as a kid, he felt embarrassed on his birthday. He didn’t think he deserved all those presents his parents and friends gave him on those days.
The man who spoke those words on Aug. 28, 1963 in Washington redefined the American Dream by the power of his word and his faith. And that day in Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reached the zenith of his amazing oratorical gifts.
Democracy is, in a certain way, like baseball. You want your party to win every single election. But if you like democracy and freedom you know that it wouldn’t be good if that happened. Democracy is based on the notion that no party, no leader has all of the solutions, all of the answers.
Last week, when we were receiving donations and sending Bright Christmas checks to parishes and diocesan organizations, we received a remarkable letter that was published last week in the Readers’ Forum. Candy Ross wrote:
This week, we’ve been extra busy trying to send Bright Christmas checks to parishes and programs that help the needy of Brooklyn and Queens celebrate Christmas.
Requests for funds from The Tablet’s Bright Christmas campaign are arriving every day. Those letters make clear the reason why we do this every year.
The ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ slogan reminds us that sometimes the commercial side of the season could leave Jesus ‘no room at the inn’ of our lives. Caring for others during this joyful season could be a very good way to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas.’