God spare us any more of these interfaith shows.
Organized to kick-off the civic healing process—a cant phrase for a delusional concept—these political reiki events presume to make us feel better about feeling bad in the wake of horrific assault. A Daily News headline intones “Boston Marathon Survivors Begin the Healing Process as President Obama Leads Prayer Service.” The article gives us the comfort of knowing that Barack and Michelle visited victims at Massachusetts General Hospital “to try to heal a little more.” US News burbled in a subhead: “The president issued a love letter to Boston during speech at an interfaith service.”
Sanctimony oozed from platitudinous coverage of the president’s “message of healing.” The Cathedral of the Holy Cross could have held a quiet, unspectacular Mass for the dead and wounded. Instead, it staged a pseudo-pious photo-op for the same feckless politicians whose policies and ideological timidities open doors to terrorist aggression.
It was left to Investor’s Business Daily and the UK’s Daily Mail to note that, prior to the Marathon, our Consoler-in-Chief had slashed funds for a program to deter domestic bombing. He cut the bombing prevention budget by 45 percent against the advice of a leading military IED expert. Not so long ago he went to bed while his ambassador in Benghazi was being murdered. No prayers wasted on that carnage. Yet he feels our pain, does our high rolling healer. Much like Lewis Carroll’s canny walrus who wept for the oysters he devoured.
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said: /”I deeply sympathize.” / With sobs and tears he sorted out / Those of the largest size/ Holding his pocket-handkerschief / Before his streaming eyes.
We need to retire the word healing divorced from its medical applications . Like hope and change , it is a word for hire. It can be rented out to any purpose whatever:
“I am excited to be a witness to healing, and grace, and peace,” burbled one female attendee at the service. It is hard to say which is more virulent, her narcissism or her naiveté.
In an oprahfied, therapeutic age, there is no end to Psychological Man’s maneuverings to avoid unpleasant realities. One reality is that—a presidential love letter notwithstanding—this bombing was not about Boston. It simply happened there. It was about the difficult truth that Islam is fueled by a theological imperative to conquer. Bumper sticker slogans (“Forgiveness,” “Peace”) on hand-held signs in the crowd outside the cathedral announce our vanishing capacity to realize that sometimes peace has to be imposed. That we have no standing to dispense forgiveness as if it were a lollipop. And that we are obliged to recognize humbug when we hear it.