In November of last year I read the Daniel Silva novel The Order. While I enjoyed the novel a great deal and it got me interested in reading more of his novels I won’t pretend that the plot was realistic or much different than a Michael Bay flick. It was delivered much better but it was still pop fiction. A modern day dime store thriller.
That is why I was so confused when I looked through the reviews on Goodreads and saw a lot of people complaining about the politics in the book. Let me some up this super sophisticated political plot. There is a secret order of Nazis within the Catholic Church who murdered the current pope and are attempting to install their own pope sympathetic to the Nazi cause.
I was confused. I kept reading through the one star reviews thinking that maybe one of them would tell me where all this political stuff was. The only people I could think of that would be offended by the politics of this novel were literal Nazis.
Then it happened. I read a news article that the Art Spiegelman graphic novel Maus has been banned in Tennessee. Maus is a retelling of the Holocaust and the inspiration for the American Tale movie. Author Neil Gaiman summed it up best when he tweeted that only one type of person would want to ban Maus and I realized those are the same type of people that would call a novel about a secret Nazi order too political.
America is not at a crossroads. We’ve longed left that in the past. We wouldn’t be at the point where there are literal Nazis on school boards banning graphic novels about the Holocaust. We passed the crossroads long ago because if we were still at the crossroads we could choose not to get to this point. Yet, here we are.
I don’t know what can be done about this. I am once again left with the question of what can I do, and the only answer I can come up with is to teach my children to be better. Teach them to be kind, understanding, and empathetic people. Teach them that never again means never again. Show them the horrors of the cruelty of man, and make certain they understand they must fight against them in whatever way they can.
This is all I can think to do. We cannot let the people that want to both sides the Holocaust win. Those people must lose. I have not seen one person defend the banning of Maus so that is a positive sign, and in my own state of Virginia our newly elected governor is already thought of as a fool.
Is it enough? I do not know. It feels like the bad people of this world are far more motivated than the good. They are working to take over and lock in their power, and at times I doubt if there will be a world left fighting for much longer.