At times this blog has been more political than faith based discussion, more populist rantings than modern pastoral care. Part of that is the nature of our mission: we talk about the links between faith and activism; sometimes that balance gets skewed one way than the other. This last year we got caught up in such a shitstorm on politics that spiritual matters got pushed aside by angry political diatribes in order to maintain sanity. I hoped that would change after the election, but I’ve been wrong before. In fact, the atmosphere is even more toxic.
Yet our mission and purpose won’t change, but I hope to rebalance us to better equilibrium. During the Martin Luther King service at my church (see our previous blog entry for that), it reinforced how big a role spirituality plays into civil protests. Any religion worth its salt advocates for human rights and gives a moral cover to a campaign on behalf of all religions. This is different than theocratic authority—the combination of religion and the political rule; this is the moral center of spiritual based activism—speaking truth to power because we need to do right by all faiths in the name of humanity; speaking up so no one suffers. This is churches being sanctuaries to immigrants facing deportation, soup kitchen and food pantries for the homeless and hungry, organizing groups to march in protest, and supporting other protestors. The next four years are going to call on and tax the power of spirituality to deal with the political realities. We need to be up to that call. It doesn’t matter if you love Christ, Allah, Newtonian physics, or human kind itself, you are being challenged to hold up what is best in this world against people and governments doing their worst, and we all need to answer that call.
Find that center within you that gives you strength and nurture it. Then be ready to use it in marches, direct actions, hashtag activism, petition signing, or donations. It’s going to be a long four years ahead of us, but the wind blows hardest the closer you get to the top of the mountain. Keep moving upwards.