Causes Behind Closed Doors

The inspiring vision contained in epic stories has to be real, or else appreciating those stories is meaningless.  Is it worth rallying around movements or causes to try to bring to life inspired vision?

Great stories in all genres of fiction and across all forms of storytelling are inspiring, but they are also frustrating.  The frustration comes from the fact that the adventure is not real.  The sense of solemn honor -- of personal meaningfulness or of wonderful awe -- is confined to the pages of the novel or the frame of the screen or the little simulated game world.  I want the story to come true, both for me personally and for the world.  I want the vision to spring out of story and into reality.  And I know that I can do absolutely nothing to make it so.

Of course, I don't believe that life is ultimately meaningless.  I am not a nihilist.  However, I do feel that real life is bland and boring -- more than that -- is hollow and empty.  I know that the fantastic should be real, and I believe that it truly is real precisely because it should be.

But that does little for the here and the now.  There is no shortage of ideas to rally around and believe in.  We live in a stormy ocean of Big Causes.  Naturally, there are some causes or movements that I agree with and could support.  The thing is, I'm just a mindless twenty-something.  I like to think that I've come to my ideas myself, but I'm really just parroting arguments that have been fed to me by people who know how to manipulate college kids.  The people who wrote Already Gone even say so.

Will supporting Causes help to bridge the gap between what we need to be real and what we actually experience?  I have no idea.  I think we always fail our ideals and betray our faith, in the end.  But maybe we have to at least try, or else life is miserable.  So, even though I may be standing for the cause of the first charismatic adult who influenced me through fine words and friendship (at least in the arena of politics), here it goes:

The Christian philosopher and novelist Marc Schooley makes the point that if to support the Democratic Party is to support abortion, to support the Republican Party is also to support a lot of bad things that hurt people.  I disagreed with Schooley's apolitical philosophy in the comments of the blog posts he wrote for a series on Speculative Faith; for one thing, I do not believe that voting necessarily implies personally supporting the candidate's party or agenda.  However, he makes many points that are definitely relevant, piercing the delusion of a righteous, chosen America.  I think the above video supports that idea very well.

I need to love America.  The truth that the United States is no better than any other nation is clear.  In fairness, the United States is no worse than any other nation, either.  The old saying that power corrupts holds true for nations as well individuals.  However, a better point is that the ideals -- the causes -- upon which the United States was founded were always true and universal, even though the nation has always failed to live up to them.  The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two of those awesome books that contain ideas too holy to be lived out in the gritty, ugly real world.  Americans have never been able to take those noble ideas out of the documents and into real life.  As Schooley argued in the Speculative Faith series, the Founding Fathers were blind to injustices and limited the universal moral claims that they had rallied around in the struggle for independence.

We always fail.  Does that mean that we should stop struggling to make real the lofty ideals that transcend any nation, that even transcend politics?


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