A recent Pew Research report indicates that 71% of the population is angry. I do not doubt this in the least. The reason for the anger may vary from group to group, but on the whole we are one angry country.
Forced isolation due to a pandemic, leaders squabbling on how to contain it, escalating racial tension and violence breaking out in cities across the country, job losses, businesses closing, schools in limbo, constantly conflicting information, and citizens pitted against citizens by politicians and the elite who run this country, all of these things – and I haven’t even included foreign issues – have left the people of this country confused and angry.
I’m not angry. I am concerned and frightened. I have not wavered in my love for and belief in this country. I just wonder who is going to stand up and speak up?
This woman is speaking up. She is not allowing a young man to scream obscenities to her; she confronts him and he immediately backs down. It reminds me of a grandmother scolding an out of control teenage grandchild. I don’t know if I would have the courage or the words, but I pray that if I am in a similar position I will allow God to work through me and speak truth and wisdom into the situation.
One of the founding tenets of our country is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. We are promised the ability to practice the religion of our choice, or no religion at all without government interference or mandates. The government may not force a religious belief on its citizens. I contend that much of what is being forced upon us today is a form of religion.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of religion is:
1: The state of a religious; the service and worship of God or the supernatural, commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs or practices
3: archaic: scrupulous conformity: Conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.
With those definitions in mind, I believe the loudest voices and an growing segment of the population of our country subscribes to a religion based on definitions 2, 3, and 4. As with all new religious people, their fervor is deep and vocal. Many have not lived in this faith long enough to be able to clearly articulate the specifics of their belief system; any dissent is threatening, so they yell and resort to violence. To be clear Christians throughout history have not always behaved well either – The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition are just two examples.
When I had what I call my “awakening” in my Christian faith I became one of those zealous baby Christians. Though I believed in God and in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ for as long as I can remember, it was only about thirty years ago that I really committed myself and my life to Jesus. I studied the Bible; I attended Bible College classes; I was excited for what I had discovered and wanted everyone to know it and believe it as I did. I look back now and cringe.
I understand the zeal. I do not understand the methods, and I do not understand most of the message. Again, this is not a racial issue, this is a life philosophy issue, an issue that is too big to be covered in one post. When God and prayer were removed from society a vacuum was created. People are born with a need to believe that there is meaning and purpose in life and they will religiously follow that which provides them these things. In the absence of God other things have filled the void. Today, we are reaping the consequences of nearly fifty years of this secular belief system.
Tomorrow I will explain why the stones are crying and what that has to do with our current state of affairs. Go forth and have a beautiful day. Despite what is going on around us, there is beauty and joy to be found in the world.