Against my better judgment I attended part of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I should have given it up at the Metro station when I saw the sea of vehicles. Instead, I parked illegally, bought a day pass, and plunged in. I got to the memorial in time to catch the last half hour of Beck’s speech. I even caught a glimpse of the man but only after shoving my way through the masses of sweaty patriots. Unfortunately, I missed our dear Sarah Palin’s warm up speech due to my lateness.
I’m still not sure if Beck is a politician, TV/radio host, celebrity or evangelist. Or just a very successful windbag. But he can talk and get a crowd of people stirred up about America, veterans, God, and good old-fashioned values. Values that all people love but don’t want to practice.
But the day got better. Much to my delight Al Sharpton was also in town and organized a pro-Africa/pro-peace/pro-choice/pro-gay/pro-Obama march on Constitution Avenue. It was pretty much pro- anything that the Beck rally attendees were against which created a wonderful clash of ideologies. Far right versus far left. Angry people met on street corners and yelled at each other about things that nobody understood. Both sides repeatedly claimed the name and blessing of Jesus. I wonder what Jesus would have said had he been there. I wonder if he would have been as amused as I was. A sort of sad amusement. At one point I struck up a civil conversation with one of the marchers after both of us witnessed a less civil interaction. We agreed that the world would be a better place if we all hugged each other instead of yelling at each other.
Many other scenes could be related, but at this point I’m tired of patriot hats, Palin buttons, ridiculous T-shirt slogans (my favorite stated, “By his stripes we are healed” and pictured a cross and American flag), “Don’t tread on me” flags, peace signs, chants, and sweaty bodies. Especially the latter. So far attendance numbers vary according to political persuasion, but I’m with the 300,000 to 500,000 claims.
All in all it was worth it for the experience, but the ride back almost convinced me otherwise. I was sweating in the corner of a horribly over-crowded Metro train when they announced that all passengers need to exit due to a maintenance concern. I winced when I stepped onto the platform and saw nothing but a sea of heads and an empty train leaving the station. Three trains and three failed boarding attempts later I finally spotted a precious square foot or two of train space, took a deep breath, held it, and inserted myself into the writhing cauldron of humanity. Elanor (my Focus) was still waiting when I got back to the station, and she hadn’t even collected a parking ticket. I guess the masses make the rules.
If nothing else, the day reminded me how beautiful the Kingdom of the true God really is. Jesus is Lord!