Two Actors, One Stage
During this week when we commemorate the life and times of Ronald Reagan as the media focuses all its attention on the star of the 80's, the would-be star of 2004 John Kerry remains a tarnished microbe forced once more to take a back seat while continuing his descent towards hell by standing as a hypocritical heretic. The bad thing is he has a lot of company with so many bishops firmly in the Democratic Party camp. Reagan showed you can leave the Democratic Party. Will the bishops learn from his example? From their track record you'd be better off betting on Bonzo!
"Art is open to interpretation, but the greatest art is that which feeds our souls with appreciation for God's creative majesty. We are all actors on a stage, but only acting according to the Divine Script of The Master Playwright is what counts in the Academy Awards of Salvation. We each have roles to play, but are those roles graced by God's touch or are they the creation of selfish, sinful, and godless motives? No matter what our roles in life may be, we are called upon to perform them for the greater honor and glory of God, the actualization of Christ's example, and the salvation of souls. It is not the size of the role, but the heart and sincerity of the actor. There is no such thing as a small role, only a small actor!"
The recent death of Ronald Reagan brings to mind the notion pushed by many of his political enemies and opponents that he was merely an actor portraying one more role when he performed as President of The United States. This opinion, intended as a sarcastic, cynical observation by many, is actually merely a repetition of Shakespeare's famous lines, for we are all, indeed, actors on a stage in one way or another. I think that the real question is not whether or not we "perform" some roles, for we all do, but whether those roles are consistent with God Almighty's plan for us and whether or not they bring greater glory to God, follow in the footsteps of Christ, and help bring about the salvation of souls. No actor is perfect, but the greatest actors can move others in mind and action despite their humanity and imperfection.
Art is open to interpretation, but the greatest art is that which feeds our souls with appreciation for God's creative majesty. We are all actors on a stage, but only acting according to the Divine Script of The Master Playwright is what counts in the Academy Awards of Salvation. We each have roles to play, but are those roles graced by God's touch or are they the creation of selfish, sinful, and godless motives? No matter what our roles in life may be, we are called upon to perform them for the greater honor and glory of God, the actualization of Christ's example, and the salvation of souls. It is not the size of the role, but the heart and sincerity of the actor. There is no such thing as a small role, only a small actor!
We have all seen the smiling and sad masks that depict drama. These masks present us with the truth that life is a true drama bringing a wide array of roles, moods, themes, and scenes. Above you can almost see the likeness of John F. Kerry with the sad mask on the left and Reagan with the happy one on the right. How appropriate. Yet, we can neither view nor measure our lives by the highs and lows of human existence, but rather by the more consistent themes and purpose which our lives should have. In this vein, our lives must be guided by the theme of God Almighty's Divine Will and the purpose of the salvation of souls. No matter what our roles or the changing dramas of our lives may be, we will be guiding our audience toward God and salvation if we follow The Almighty's Divine Script and the example of our Savior. A constant companion of the drama of life is the irony which often feeds that drama, and nowhere is such irony more present than in the comparison between the Presidency of Ronald Reagan and the Presidential bid of John Kerry.
Who is The Real Actor?
In Ronald Reagan we had a professional actor turned politician who used his personal attributes and skills to unite and motivate a nation into a rebirth of patriotic pride and resolve. "The Gipper" as he was called, was the right coach at the right time in the right game, and his pep talks stirred a country to believe it could accomplish great things.
An actor going into his role as President, Reagan grew into that role and ended up performing from a script of his true beliefs and sincere aspirations that a great nation could regain even greater greatness by returning to its moral and religious roots.
In his Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation, President Reagan argued powerfully that not only was abortion never intended as a constitutionally protected right, but also its legality flies in the face of the value, dignity, and respect which any nation pretending to be great owes to human life. He persuasively reminded the reader that the selective and whimsical devaluation of some human lives as compared to others was the basis of slavery and therefore the evil which Lincoln so passionately sought to eradicate from this country born of a struggle for dignity, equality, and respect for human life. Reagan's strong anti-abortion stand has caused many to call him a Pro-Life hero and a champion against abortion. I choose not to pass judgment on whether he did enough to stop abortion for this is not a time to critique a man who is so fondly remembered. Not surprisingly, the biased liberal media wants to erase and forget how important and prominent Reagan's Pro-Life views are to his legacy!
No, Reagan was not perfect, but none of us are. Yes, he was an actor, but he was not pretending when it came to those values and beliefs central to his conscience and heart, of which the respect and protection of unborn life may easily be counted. Though it is thought he was baptized into the Church in his infancy, his aunt who raised him was not Catholic but there was more Catholic principles in many of Reagan's views than in any of the views of those who would disgrace the term Catholic with their cowardly, selfish, and evil betrayal of all that being Catholic stands for! Yes, Reagan was both an actor and a politician, and therefore likely often pretended as part of his job, but at least he did not pretend when it came to the most important and central moral issue of our times….abortion! There are those today who pretend to be Catholics, who pretend more when things matter more, and who deface their roles as Catholic leaders by twisting noble callings into vile cowardice!
Who then is the real actor? The one who comes in as an actor and stands for life, respect, and God-fearing principles or the one who comes as a sweet-talking soldier for so-called choice and freedom but pretends to be a Catholic while being nothing more than an advocate for legalized murder? You be the judge!
We all come to this play called life with different abilities, different roles, and different backgrounds. We cannot be judged by the size of our roles, for all roles given by God are noble and worthy. We will, however, be measured by how well we performed our various life roles in the service and glory of God and for the salvation of souls. Regardless of the value which this society gives to our roles, it is the above standard by which our performance on this stage of life will be evaluated! Given this standard, this litmus test for our participation in this production created by The Master Playwright, we must appreciate Ronald Reagan for at least standing up for the sanctity and respect of life, and for opposing those who would sweep that sanctity and respect away under twisted, counterfeit, cynical notions of freedom and choice. At this time when we face a Presidential candidate in John Kerry who plays the role of Catholic leader very poorly and not very persuasively in pretending to be a Catholic, we should remember a former President who played the role of champion for life very sincerely, publicly, and bravely. At this time when we face a man who admits to wearing the two masks of drama between his so-called private and public roles and who has been labeled derisively "Mr. Flip Flop", we should remember a man who was not two-faced or two-sided when it came to his private and public stands against abortion.
At this time when we face a politician who has become an actor pretending to be a moral and noble leader, we must recall a man who was an actor who became a politician standing at the center of a moral and noble cause. There are no small roles, only small actors, and Ronald Reagan played the role of Pro-life advocate very well because he believed in his cause. John Kerry, on the other hand, plays the role of a sincere, moral, Catholic leader very poorly because he is a small actor trying to play a part much bigger than he is because he lacks the conviction of his beliefs. That is one reason for the constant flip-flopping. Yes, one stage and two actors…and that is where the similarity ends. Let us pray that, as the curtain goes down on Ronald Reagan's legacy, it will do the same on John Kerry's farce!
As an encore to this article, it will be interesting to see what ensues from the USCCB Conference in Denver next week in respect to how the bishops will deal with the issue of denying communion to those who persist in sin. They could always take a page from Reagan's script in 1981 when he disregarded public opinion and did the right thing by firing the obstinate, stubborn air traffic controllers and busting the union. That's what they need to do: bust the Democratic Party's bubble by "firing" any who refuse to adhere to Catholic Truth. That would truly be winning one for the Gipper, not to mention Christ and His Holy Church!
Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce Gabriel Garnica will be contributing many articles in 2004. Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, will submit regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes will be music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.