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Having suffered somewhat in each of these hurricanes as they visited Miami, I can bear witness to some of those dolorous syllables. Not for me to chastise in random flourishes; I’m no better than anyone else. Yet, after sixteen days in the dark when Wilma scourged our power grids, I can deliver one message with a measure of clarity. We are guilty of a lack of thanksgiving, a dearth of gratefulness, a shortfall of appreciation, for the blessings that God bestows through technology. Even those disposed to thank for their health and wealth and family are apt to dodge their debt of gratitude for the machinery that enhances their life.
Let’s start with electricity to power our homes. This was not imported from another galaxy, it was something built into the fabric of our world. Yet it hovered beyond our reach for over five thousand years of recorded history. All the great men of history, all of our ancestors, all the people who brought us to where we are today, did it without the benefit of a heater in winter and an air conditioner in summer. They spent many an exertive hour flailing at frozen trees with hatchets for a few cords of firewood or hacking at frozen lakes to dislodge blocks of ice for cooling.
Our mothers lost so much of their lives in the arduous painstaking tasks of washing dishes and clothing by hand. Without washing machines and dryers, without dishwashers, every speck of grime on a dish or a cloth exacted a toll in strenuous labor. And time, always time, as great lives ticked away with hands elbow-deep in murky water. We are gifted with a great bounty of hours freed from bondage, open for creativity. Pieces of our lives have already experienced their Exodus and their Messiah; no woman should ever again have to lose an afternoon churning butter.
What of refrigerators to store food and enable us to limit the adventure — and burden — of food shopping to once-weekly binges instead of daily grinds? How about ovens that cook by flipping a switch and microwaves that reheat in moments? These enhance the flavor of our lives and emancipate our time and energy, all utilizing materials that were provided in nature from its inception but revealed ever so slowly. Not to mention indoor plumbing and water heating.
Transportation is rendered nothing less than miraculous. Indeed the Jewish tradition speaks of miracles that occurred enabling certain characters in the Bible to travel great distances in short times. For instance, it teaches that Abraham’s servant got from Israel to Mesopotamia (near the Syria-Iraq border) in one day via supernatural intervention. Yet we can do that trip today by plane in a few hours and by car within a day. What was once a miracle is now natural and everyday. And we have not even begun to discuss the communication of human voices and images through radio, television, telephones and the Internet.
Someone needs to write a special prayer thanking the Creator for opening our eyes to the secrets that He planted in the world to be discovered in our own era: the era of prophecy fulfilled, the epoch of “a new heaven and a new earth”. The next time a light bulb flickers or a tire goes flat, don’t sit there and cuss, but close your eyes and reflect on the Fate that chose you to have these wonderful things that all of our noble ancestors did not. Perhaps then we will be spared the more violent reminders by the likes of Zarqawi and his brothers, Katrina and her sisters, that electricity and oil are ours by grace, not desert.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?