Sunday, February 16, 2020

Religious and Political Apathy

Religious apathy runs rampant in American society.  By apathy I mean the “lack of motivation to do, to complete, or accomplish anything.”  After all, why bother.  Only "Jesus saves!”  That’s the main thing for many—the saving of our own puny little souls—in order to eventually (after death) have an eternal and glorious existence.  This mentality, this apathy that permeates the churches of Christendom is a travesty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In this “apathy” there is no “motivation to do, to complete, or accomplish anything”—like loving our enemies, caring for our neighbors, establishing peace, speaking truth to power, battling injustice, building communities of love, caring for the planet, feeding and clothing refugees—all of which is part of the “New Age” Jesus inaugurated and asks us to follow up on.  No, we’ve watered it down.  Jesus will do it all if it needs to be done.  All we need to do is “accept him as our personal Lord and Savior” and wait for the Rapture!

Martin Luther King, Jr. following Jesus’ words  in the New Testament, said, “I must correct what might be a false impression.  I’m afraid you’ll go away misinterpreting my whole message.  I have talked about a new age which is coming into being.  I have talked about the fact that God is working in history to bring about this new age.  There is the danger, therefore, that after hearing all of this you will go away with the impression that we can go home, sit down, and do nothing, waiting for the coming of the inevitable.  You will somehow feel that this new age will roll in on the wheels of inevitability, so there is nothing to do but wait on it.  If you get that impression you are the victim of an illusion wrapped in superficiality.  We must speed up the coming of the inevitable.”  Apathy is not an option in religion. 

Political apathy runs rampant in American society and is often buttressed by religious apathy.  Religious apathy says leave it in the hands of Jesus.  Political apathy says let the elected political leaders handle it.  All we need do is vote for the right leaders, give allegiance to the flag, support our troops, and bask in “the greatest economy ever,” etc.  That’s all!  No need to make noise, to protest, to speak truth to power, to seek peace, or to battle injustice. Just vote and forget about being “motivated to do, to complete, or accomplish anything.”  Or as Mr. Trump has trumpeted:  “Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening….”  Apathy is not an option in politics.

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