“Are you celebrating?” The Uber driver’s question took me a little off-guard. He was talking about the election. And my answer was “no.” There is nothing to celebrate when New York City was boarded up for election night, with the threat of violence looming on the chance that Donald Trump would win reelection.

There were literal fires election week around Washington Square Park. I watched one viral video of a woman spitting in the face of a police officer simply trying to keep the peace. I’m grateful for when police are around, because people are being crazy. I’ve never gotten so yelled at in my life as I have in recent weeks in Manhattan. People are on edge. Election week included helicopters hovering overhead late into the night, a buzzing sound that wouldn’t quit. Of course, then there is all the noise we willingly subject ourselves to. What if we all just turned off the endless angry rhetoric of cable news for a while, for the sakes of our hearts and minds?

And so now we will have the second Catholic president. That’s a tragedy and a scandal. The second Catholic president, representing a party that has the most radical abortion agenda, with the one legit pro-life Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski, leaving, having been primaried out of his seat by the abortion lobby. And let’s not get into the vice president-elect’s views on Catholicism.

The news of Biden’s victory came around the same time as the long-awaited report from the Vatican on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. One of the most well-known and connected churchmen of recent times has turned out to be a criminal. Maybe by the time you read this column, I will have finished the 400-plus-page report, but I find it impossible to read any other way than slowly and prayerfully. It’s a searing examination of McCarrick and the people he abused, but it also portrays a poisoned culture, and I’m not just talking about within the church.

On the way to Mass at Old St. Patrick’s cathedral one gloomy fall morning, I noticed the words “good in bed” on a store window. It turns out they were part of an ad for sleepwear for women — something much more modest than the sex toys in the window down the block from St. Joseph’s in the Village, not too far away. You’ve got to wonder if the creepy, perverse oversexed nature of so much in our society is a cry for help, evidence of a buried longing for a transcendence other than the physical.

We should pray for forgiveness for all who contribute to a culture of death — and many of us do contribute, one way or another. Life, light, love: Those are the things to celebrate, outside and inside politics.

© 2020 United Feature Syndicate

Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication for UFS

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