As you already know, I’m watching “The Crown” and loving it.
And for those of you that are watching it with me or have watched the whole TV series, I’m focusing on the episode called “Moondust.”
You got it.
It’s the show about the astronauts landing on the Moon.
Yup the “That’s-one-small-step-for-man, one-giant-leap-for-mankind” episode.
It’s also the episode where Prince Philip allows a religious academy to be housed in Windsor Castle. (I assume with the Queen’s permission.)
The religious academy’s goal is to assist burnt-out clergymen with “personal and spiritual growth.”
These religious leaders have lost faith, as has Philip.
I think, “Don’t we all have our doubts about our relationship with the Almighty at some point in our lives?”
Therefore, aren’t we all, “spiritual defectives?”
Then like a Scottish terrier’s ears, mine perk up when in a group-therapy session, Prince Philip mocks the clergymen’s goals by calling their program a “concentration camp for spiritual defectives.”
I know that Prince Philip most likely never uttered those words; that they came from the furtive and creative imagination of a high-priced scriptwriter.
But the flippant use of the words “concentration camp” causes a visceral acidic reaction in my stomach, a churning of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid that slowly climbs up my esophagus and lands on my throat.
The acidic juices burn as questions surface on craters of my brain:
“Is it now okay throw the words, “concentration camp” in front of any group of adults or children for dramatic effect?”
For example, “Mrs. Carl Schmitt’s kindergarten class lined up as if they were slaves in a concentration camp.”
Is a scriptwriter spiritually defective for trivializing the words “concentration camp”?
Has time washed and bleached the horrific stench off of those words?
Has time blurred the images of the camps?
Sadly, I think it has.
Sadly, the children and grandchildren of survivors are fighting a losing battle.
Sadly, as much as we try protecting these words, we’re doomed to failure.
For time takes tiny steps and wins when it washes the pigmentation out of words until they’re made a colorless heap of vague, meaningless terms that can flippantly thrown into any conversation or any sentence.
Time, misuse, general use and overuse weaken the words of our religious and historic journey: inquisition, pogrom, concentration camp and holocaust.
But we must try to protect them!
For the sake of our long-lost relatives.
For today, we still possess partial ownership of these words.
But holding on to their power is as elusive as a handful of Moon dust during a lunar storm or a thimble of faith during a time of existential crisis.