How stands John Winthrop's "city upon a hill" this Thanksgiving?
How stands the country that was to be "a light unto the nations"?
To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. For consider the issues that have lately convulsed the public discourse of the American republic.
Today's great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Sen. Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore.
On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines.
And every day for weeks, beginning with Hollywood king Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers nearly number in three digits, actors, media personalities and politicians have been falling like nine pins over allegations and admissions of sexual predation.
What is our civil rights issue, and who are today's successors to the Freedom Riders of the '60s? Millionaire NFL players "taking a knee" during the national anthem to dishonor the flag of their country to protest racist cops.
And what was the great cultural issue of summer and fall?
An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen.
Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.