Pin It
Favorite

We Need a Prophet 

Publisher's Note

I loved learning about the prophets during Bible class in high school. A bona fide prophet, we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga Prep, would "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's a pretty simple job description, and I've cited it as a mission statement behind our social justice reporting. Prophets have been inspiring people for centuries.

click to enlarge mcgregor.jpg

In his visit to America this week, Pope Francis is revealing himself to be more prophet than pope. Too often, the popes have been caught up in the pomp of the comfortable camp. This pope, however, chose to sleep in a Vatican guesthouse instead of the opulent pope's quarters. He drives a secondhand 1984 Renault. For an outing, he often washes the feet of the poor or imprisoned.

Now Pope Francis arrives in a land of great contradictions. On the surface, we're a nation of comfort. But look closer, and you'll find plenty of affliction. While Wall Street traders who break the law and wreck the economy face zero legal repercussions, men and women who have not been found guilty of a crime wallow in our Spokane County Jail because they can't muster $250 for bail. Ours is a land badly in need of a prophet.

Now Francis has drawn criticism for questioning the morality of capitalism and the greed it can create, along with challenging the affront to God's creation that is climate change. Republicans in Congress — you can't get more comfortable than that bunch — were the ones who invited Francis to speak to our nation's leaders. Now they're falling all over themselves to destroy his message. Guess they didn't learn about the prophets in school.

Comfortable people throughout history have shown they don't like being afflicted, and as a result, the prophets were usually martyred. But that only guaranteed that their message would live on. Two millennia later, we still study, cherish and (try to) follow the words of Jesus. Meanwhile, those moneychangers in the Temple remain the eternal villains.

"Why are the wicked so prosperous?" the prophet Jeremiah asks the Lord in the Old Testament book bearing his name. " ...You [God] have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts."

Jeremiah is describing the vain, complacent, too-comfortable class of his era, around 600 BC, but he could be describing America in 2015.

Our own moneychangers have the majority of Americans feeling afflicted. That's why, despite the blatherings of most GOP leaders, Pope Francis will find America to be a fertile field to plant his own seeds. And they are seeds of hope. ♦

  • Pin It

Speaking of Publisher's Note

  • Please Make It Stop
  • Please Make It Stop

    What's been learned in this Bataan Death March of an election?
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Staying Engaged
  • Staying Engaged

    From the Mayfair Cafe to Central Park
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • Rift in Reality
  • Rift in Reality

    Is America changing the channel from the real world to fantasy?
    • May 5, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Humpback Whale Ecology & Song in a Cultural Sea

Humpback Whale Ecology & Song in a Cultural Sea @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wed., Jan. 25, 6:30-8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • The Watch List
  • The Watch List

    You'll learn a lot by watching some key people who could make or break Trump's presidency
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • What A Feminist Looks Like
  • What A Feminist Looks Like

    Some pointers for men who want to help women achieve equality
    • Jul 7, 2016

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation