I'm very grateful for my immune system. It's because of my immune system that I don't need to fear a host of diseases where I inherited an immunity from my parents or earned it through enduring an episode of the illness. But my immune system is neither comprehensive nor wise. There are many pathogens it would not recognize or resist. I would be defenseless against ebola or the bubonic plague. I've read about those diseases but my immune system does not take the paper.
But put me in a room with a cat!
For some reason my immune system has decided that cat dander is a pathogen and uses every destructive tool at it's disposal to save me from the cat in a manner that brings to mind the time I was preaching and watched a young man take up a hymnal to deal vigorously with the wasp that was on his brother's head.
When I consider my vulnerability to ebola and my hypersensitivity to cats I do not conclude that the problem is with the cat. The problem is with an immune system which, however wonderful, remains imperfect and is of the most use to me when made subject to the wisdom of health professionals who sometimes augment it with vaccinations and at other times counteract it with antihistamines.
I've been thinking about this lately because of our culture's immune system.
I know our culture has one because we keep getting the spectacle of full on allergic reactions. I'm no apologist for the confederate flag, but when "the Dukes of Hazzard" gets pulled from TV Land because the boys' car features a symbol that is indirectly offensive it is time for the nation to take some ideological benadryl.
We know our culture's immune system works (even too well), except when it doesn't.
For months now we have been forced to consider news from Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya about atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State. People burned alive in cages, crucified, beheaded, and tossed from heights for being gay, for being Christian, for being insufficiently devout during Ramadan, for trying to free sex slaves. Oh yeah, the Islamic State uses and sells the young women it captures as sex slaves who are subjected to the most barbaric and inexcusable crimes.
Our cultural immune system regards this looming evil with, at most, indifference.
And yesterday a video was made public in which an official with Planned Parenthood casually discusses the sale of parts from aborted babies. In a nice restaurant, against the backdrop of clinking glass and pleasant chatter, she talks about how she is careful in her placement of the forceps not to crush the parts that would be valuable to her clients. With breathtaking frankness she admits to performing (illegal) partial birth abortions so that she can deliver intact heads of aborted babies to the people who are eager to pay her for them.
Planned Parenthood should be regarded as what it is: a criminal organization that sprang from the soil of racial hatred. But my great fear is that the nation will yawn because our immune system does not recognize this evil as a pathogen.
We have a system that rewards the traffickers of baby livers with federal funding while saving it's wrath and fury for the Dukes of Hazzard.
An immune system is neither comprehensive nor wise. It must be subject to a wisdom greater than its own for it to preserve the health of the body.
And consider this - God himself reacts allergically to us when we take our cue from our immune systems rather than from Him.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices--
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations--
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog