First Class Stamp
Philately (fhi-la-tely-) is the collection of stamps. The word means “without Tax” or “without payment” since stamps were for pre-paid delivery of mail. Stamps used to be finely engraved and etched works of art representing heads of state and seats of government. Sometime in the 1990’s the fine etchings were replaced with such figures as Elvis Presley and Tweetie-bird. The appearance of the famous yellow cartoon canary should have warned us that the air was bad in the spiritual gold mines of American character. Now the US Post office is talking of shuttering half its stations and says it can no longer offer next day delivery with First Class postage. The Middle Class is almost gone and First Class is not what it used to be. America itself may be a stamp which has already been cancelled.
The housing market has collapsed. People’s retirement accounts and investments have withered. America no longer has a Space Shuttle (we can purchase a seat on a Russian Rocket until we run out of money). Our economy is in shambles. CBS news ran a story about the thousands of homeless families living in motel rooms on the public dime or living in their cars or trucks. Millions of people are without work and more and more each day are finding themselves without options. Our political machinery, like a clock in Martin Scorsese’s movie “Hugo” is being wound by orphans. It seems like, as in the movie, a whiskey-addicted Uncle (ie. Sam) had one binge too many and thought too little of the nieces and nephews that would inherit the clockworks of broken promises and pyramid schemes.
Before the words “In God we Trust” were etched on our currency they were etched on the consciences and hearts of ordinary citizens who believed that there was a God in Heaven who cared about nations as well as people and who entered into covenants with those who believed and trusted in His Grace and Goodness.
There is talk of a coming “class warfare.” A class is a collection, group, or configuration containing members seen as having certain attributes or traits in common. What we used to have in common was respect for each other’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. What most people don’t realize is that reverence is the fountain and basis of respect. One cannot survive without the other. Without reverence for God, respect ( as in for property: thou shalt not steal; or for marriage: thou shalt not commit adultery, etc) collapses under the weight of selfishness and self-interest. The Alchimedean point that gave the American Dream leverage and power to become great was never in itself. She believed she received her unalienable rights from the transcendent God of the Bible.
When God goes, anything goes; and when anything goes, everything goes. When the Bible (as an absolute) is removed there is no fulcrum, there is no footing. No one can stand on the shifting and ever-moving ice flow of time or upon the gaseous vapors of popular opinion. The Forever Stamp may one day be worthless. The middle class my disappear along with first class service. We need something more certain. Alchimedes said “Give me a place to stand, and with a lever I will move the world.” God’s Word is eternal, it is truth. Stand on it and with the lever of faith move your world.