The United States of America is currently, for all practical purposes, embroiled in a spiritual crisis. The basic issue is that the leadership of the United States, President Donald Trump, has apparently little respect for the diverse humanity that is characteristic of America. Many of his followers, who call themselves “Christians,” espouse some of the most unchristian positions imaginable. For example, the treatment of those who are not white is notorious. They seem to have no problem with keeping immigrant children in cages at the border, or with separating them from their parents, some with probably no chance of ever being reunited.
In addition to the foregoing, the attacks on people because of their race or religion is said to be on the upswing. Mosques have been bombed, churches have been burned, and the attacks on citizens by the police seem to be escalating. Scores of Black and brown men and women have been attacked and killed by the police. This is such a problem that many young African Americans have actually taken lessons on how to behave when stopped by the police. In other words, the old idea that law enforcement is there to serve and protect has been replaced with the need to be protected from the police.
Throughout history, one of the main tenets known to be part of the human condition, is the concept of LOVE. Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, this idea is misunderstood. It does not mean that we must be emotionally bound to what everyone else does; it does mean that we respect the mutual humanity of others and allow them to live their lives as they see fit as long as it does not interfere with others. If there was a grading system to determine where we fall on the scale of love, the world, at this point, would receive a failing grade. Most of this is due to improper leadership; currently the world is not being led in a direction that is conducive to the kind of success that would ensure a successful living experience.
It is important to understand that this is not an accident. A lot of people think that things happen in a haphazard way. A lot of what happens in the world is planned out years in advance by those so high in the political and economic spheres that they are actually invisible to the rest of us. This does not, however, absolve us from the responsibility to think for ourselves or to do what is necessary for our lives, because what happens to others ultimately ends up having an impact on us, since we all live on this planet together.
Now, the Black community is no different. The leadership in the Black community has almost always given a nod to the religious side of things. Pastors have traditionally been our guiding lights. Today, since we are part of the whole that is engulfing the world, the fumes of toxic religiosity have impacted even the Black church. Misbehavior in the spiritual realms in the form of ministers who have multiple extramarital affairs, or who are domestic abusers, or more, have become evident. Because of this, even some ministers have come out on social media denouncing a belief in God or in a higher power.
It is true that separation of church and state, which is a hallmark of the American fabric, was an important concept. This is because religion is one of the most powerful determinants of behavior that exists; and if those in the seats of power can use it, or in some cases, misuse it, the society follows. What needs to happen in our community is that we begin to understand what LOVE really means; the spiritual aspect of love will be absolutely necessary in order for us to work together to overcome the toxic plumes of hypocritical religiosity that encourages our youth and other impressionable persons to devalue the spirituality that will be necessary for us to survive. And it will be important that we really understand the difference between religion and spirituality. Though we be Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, or whatever, we should be able to come together in order to make our existence better, in spite of what happens at the top of a seemingly disintegrating society. We, the people, hold the power, and as long as we understand the power of agape, of love, we will prevail. In this way, we can have some control over our destiny and influence our ultimate fate. A Luta Continua.