This campaign season has revealed a huge moral malfunction in the American psyche. When a presidential candidate can say — and be believed ! — that he could randomly shoot someone without losing a voter, we know that for many Americans there are no moral standards left.
David Brooks in the current issue of the NY Times writes, “We learned this year that millions of Americans are incapable of being morally offended, or of putting virtue above partisanship.” He is correct and that’s terrible. The lack of concern for character and virtue, shown alike by conservative Christians as well as non-believers, is a severe threat to the social contract which underlies our political unity.
The moral chaos of our day is just one part of the intellectual and spiritual fragmentation that has been tearing us apart for the last century. Having tossed aside the general Christian ethos that was our common parlance from the beginning of our nation, we are now seeing that we have nothing with which to replace it.
Our business world has proven itself incapable of resisting greed. Our educational system has proven itself incapable of generating to socialization which is essential to diversity-in-unity. Our political system has demonstrated with particular ugliness that it can no longer rise above partisanship or even in valuing leaders who try to do so.
And that leaves the church. It has failed our culture as much as have the other institutions but there is one difference: In our faith in God lies the seed of perpetual renewal. the Good News that lies at the heart of every church, no matter how buried, is that resurrection conquers death.
When Jesus Christ arose from the grave, hope was given a solid and permanent foundation. God’s renewing Spirit is greater than the moral and spiritual muck of our presidential candidates and the parties they represent.
The only question is, When will the Church hear its own Good News again and return to its role as yeast in the social bread? I hope it is today. . .