I remember reading Stephen King's "The Stand" when it first came out in 1978. It is a long, long, long book for a young reader, but I remember that I just couldn't put it down each day until sheer exhaustion forced me to.
To this day, I'm amazed that book came out of that author. Stephen King recently did a cannonball into the Left side of the pool with an obscenity-soaked rant about wanting to be taxed more, and about Gov. Chris Christie's weight.
King has always had a vulgar streak, and over the years it has grown from a streak to a greenbelt to an entire nature preserve. Yet, he has also managed to tell a lot of wildly entertaining stories.
The man's written about a bazillion books, so maybe I missed an entire subgenre, but "The Stand" has always seemed to me to be unique among his works. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a post-apocalyptic horror adventure that describes the division of the entire human race into two camps: those following the 108-year-old "Mother Abagail" Freemantle and those who follow the sinister Randall Flagg, referred to as "the dark man."
While not explicitly Christian in outlook, "The Stand" definitely operates from the idea that God is intervening in the fate of mankind by coordinating a final showdown between Mother Abagail's rural, democratic society and Flagg's power-mad, corrupt techno-tyranny.
It's oddly reminiscent of the way this election is shaping up, with sharp lines dividing the two major parties.
The GOP, which just finished its convention, has adopted a pro-life, pro-family, pro-woman, pro-freedom, pro-capitalism platform that if used as a political blueprint could really restore this country's greatness. They've even adopted Internet freedom and anti-Agenda 21 planks.
On the other side, the Democratic Party just seems to slip further and further into darkness and want to drag down the country with it. Abortion, gay marriage, environmentalism, gun control, state-controlled health care, more economic destruction, socialism and statist tyranny are the aims of Left-wing policies.
In "The Stand," Flagg's people take up residence in Las Vegas, literally "Sin City." The climax comes when they are parading on The Strip a repaired nuclear missile which is intended for putting an end to the do-gooders, only to be foiled by what is apparently divine intervention by the Hand of God.
Over the past four years, King Obama has worked to divide this country along race and class lines. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the two political parties themselves. The unspoken difference underlying all the other differences is nothing less than belief in God.
That observation is not meant to suggest that God supports conservatives over liberals. But it's clear which side of the political spectrum makes an effort to follow God's wishes. This presents Americans with a stark choice.
Here's hoping we make the right one.