Monday, November 03, 2008

voting day hymn

Look, so I'm not even sure that I believe electoral politics can enact long-term meaningful change, under the current system. But I do believe it can make things at least better or worse.

And my theology professor, who is sometimes one of the most cynical guys I know, says he's "beginning to lean into the hope."

And whoever we elect tomorrow, the day after the inauguration, we'll all still have to start a whole new cycle of working to end government-sponsored racism and war and torture and environmental degradation.

But I'll be at the polls when they open. Here's a hymn to get you going. May it guide your heart at the polls, and in the days to come. If you don't know it, look it up on youtube or something; as DTH says, it's one of those hymns where the tune really fits the words.

Once to every man and nation

Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
and the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble,
when we share her wretched crust,
ere her cause bring fame and profit,
and 'tis prosperous to be just;
then it is the brave man chooses
while the coward stands aside,
till the multitude make virtue
of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, thy bleeding feet we track,
toiling up new Calvaries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
new occasions teach new duties,
ancient values test our youth;
they must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above his own.
Words: James Russell Lowell, 1849
Music: Ton-y-Botel (Ebenezer), Yn y glyn

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