I want to share a comforting thought. For this thought, I want to take you to to the year 2068.
I’m sitting on my front porch, scratching my wrinkled head with a finger from my robot body.1 Two of my grandchildren, Xenon and Zorpo, play in the surf2 with my new thylacine3 puppy.
I’m reading my antique iPhone 20 while another grandson, Nikolajokic,4 reads his high school textbook on his iLens.5
“This new dinosaur theme park is a bad idea–mark my words.” I mutter. “Life finds a way–not that young people today know anything about that.”
“Hey grandpa.” Nikolajokic cuts in. “We’re studying the early 21st century in my history class. Is that Don Trump guy for real?”
I get a far away look as a shudder surges through my circuits. “Donald Trump. Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long, long time.”
“How did a guy like him become president?” When Nikolajokic sees the gleam in my eye, he instantly regrets the question.
Over the next fifteen minutes, I tell him the whole story–how we all thought it was a joke at first, how he kept winning no matter what we did, and how most evangelicals eventually followed him. I then made some thoughtful remarks about how evangelicals learned from their mistake and tried to make amends to later generations, but Nikolajokic has stopped listening. As soon as I started talking about some ancient technology called “Twitter,” he secretly played a Seinfeld6 episode on his iLens.
Yes, that’s my hope: that fifty years from now, Trump will no longer be an epochal disaster. Instead, he’ll be an embarrassing anecdote for our grandkids–hopefully with a hard-won lesson.
Hopefully it’ll keep getting better. In two hundred years, when America has been taken over by Amazon’s droid armada and Rwanda has become the epicenter of world Christianity, Trump may just be a footnote in a treatise about the moral collapse of the Christian West.
One thousand years from now, when we finally defeat the Plutonians7 and the Church consecrates its first Bishop of Mars, maybe Trump won’t be remembered at all.
Don’t get me wrong. Trump’s pollution of American Christianity is serious, and will likely have long-term repercussions.
But Trump isn’t the final world on Christianity. When it’s all said and done, our particular time in this particular country is a tiny sliver in the grand story of the Church. It may be a shameful sliver, and we should do everything we can to fix it. But it’s still a sliver.
So rather than despair over the 81%, let’s take a deep breath and rest in the grander story of the universe. A story whose ending has already been written.
1 I got my head and vital organs attached to a full-body robot exoskeleton in 2059. Even though nobody gets the reference, I still like to joke that I look like Krang.
2 The rising sea levels submerged so much of the United States that Colorado Springs became beachfront property in 2072. A catastrophe for the planet, but an economic windfall for me. Stop climate change, kids.
3 Scientists finally cloned the first thylacine (or tasmanian tiger) out of extinction in 2065. Because they were so expensive, it took me years to convince Danielle to get a puppy–and even then, it was our grandchildren who won her over. Thanks for your help, Zorpo.
4 After winning his seventh consecutive NBA Finals MVP in 2028, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was universally recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time. “Nikolajokic” quickly became a popular name in Colorado.
5 In 2055 Apple launched the iLens, which transmits images and audio directly into your retinas and inner ear. I refused to get one for vague “political reasons” which I never articulated.
6 Yes, Seinfeld is still popular in 2068.
7 Ironically, the thing that sent the usually-peaceful Plutonians into an atomic rage was their discovery that Earth no longer considered its homeworld a planet.
Photo by Neuroventilator