I’ve written about and read more about politics in the last six months than I did in forty years prior. I confess my morbid fascination with the poisonous concoction we as citizens are rabidly consuming.
At the heart of my newfound interest is my education and experience in building communities of like-minded people. I was taught early on that community was best done with people who look, think, and believe as I do. That’s straight from the church small group training manual of the 90’s and early aughts. It’s mixed with the marketing axiom that we must pander to our target audience. That formula also has some white supremacy and classism mixed in.
This formula was executed (still is) at many mega-churches around the US. I’d need to do research to confirm, but my educated guess is that the largest churches are statistically more likely to be skewed in attendance towards upper middle class white people. They are not representative of either our nation’s demographics nor the demographics of the people gathered around the Throne.
It’s been a well-intentioned but ill-fated effort at community. The mixture of marketing, homogeneity, and classism accomplishes the opposite of what it intends. It results in division and echo chambers rather community and compromise.
Can we agree that’s exactly where we are as a nation and as participants in the Great Experiment?
Thus, my interest. My theory: our nation is the concoction of efforts towards homogeneity (gerrymandering), marketing (niche media), and $ as free speech (classism). (Side note: classism and racism are bedfellows. You can’t talk about one w/o addressing the other.)
Mixed in a bowl of voter inattention and representative inertia, a very poisonous mixture has been served to us. This isn’t just a political party, choose-your-pet-issue problem.
It’s about what a blessed community looks like and how it behaves. Read at its best, Christian history has a lot to say about this. Look past the fractured identity sub-groups that are wrapped in favorite verses and pet issues. The Biblical story points us towards a community that is inclusive and welcoming. We are welcomed to a community that’s fed with a rigorous helping of self-discipline and self-denial.
The national suicidal concoction sitting on the plate before us has an antidote. It’s not the dismissal and annihilation of the other party, liberal elites, deplorables, city-folk, rednecks, or snowflakes. It’s a character that believes in and fiercely pursues the blessed community.