The Necessity of Actually Doing Something
It is about time Christians recognize their responsibility to take action.
Nathan Eatwell is a history graduate with interests in theology, psychology, politics, and their function in and on society.
We are living in a peculiar time. Trust in the government is at a low, trust in the media is equally as low, and what of people’s opinion of the political parties? According to a recent poll, record numbers of Americans identify as “independent,” with the reason why being “disillusionment with the political system, U.S. institutions and the two parties, which are seen as ineffectual, too political and too extreme.”
It is doubtful that anyone would disagree with such an answer when most political acts seem only for show. For example, we supposedly have “the most pro-union president” in American history, who goes on to undercut railroad unions by blocking their strike. On the other hand, Republicans for decades have decried the public school system as hubs of leftist indoctrination, yet demanded Democrats open the schools shut during COVID. There was a show of doing something, but in reality, nothing was actually done. The union was undermined, and in the case of the GOP, they sent children back to the very schools they continue to complain about. America needs something better.
It may seem ironic to the postliberal, but the current Libertarian Party led, by the Mises Caucus, is worthy of some respect for their push to actually do something, not talking about doing something or virtue signaling. Soon after the Mises Caucus took over, the Libertarian Party pushed to end the United States’ involvement in the Yemen War, which began in 2014.
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For months, across various social media outlets, newsletters, and podcasts, the party was out telling their supporters not only to reach out to representatives and demand an end to American involvement in Yemen, but how to reach to reach out to representatives with specific talking points designed for whether your representative was Democrat and Republican.
Unfortunately, both House and Senate bills introduced to end the war died, but the Libertarians knew what they wanted and moved forward to achieving those ends. Do Republicans take this level of action? No. They look to the Supreme Court to pass rulings, lower court judges to block measures they do not like, and voting the “right people” into office because “this time it will work.”
The reality is that these methods to bring change are only minimally successful. President Trump held the White House with a Republican Senate and House majority and what happened? Nothing. The country did not embrace Christianity nationwide, the air waves and internet were not purged of filth and debauchery, and the country more or less stayed the same as it had previously.
Christianity originally spread following a responsibility and action formula. Look at Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This is an explicitly political directive. Notice that “go,” “make,” and “baptize” are all actions. They command one to do something.
Take story of the young ruler who walked away from Christ in Matthew 19. All of the commandments he claimed to have kept could be done passively. He kept “thou shall not murder” by passively not murdering, “honor thy father and mother” by passively not doing anything that would dishonor his parents, but, when Jesus tells him to sell what he has and give to the poor the young man went away, why? Because Jesus called him to active responsibility and action and he did not want either of those things. Thus, change for our country will only come if we too take responsibility and act.
Douglas Hyde was a British communist for twenty years, but by the grace of God, he left communism and became a Roman Catholic, going on to write a book called Dedication and Leadership: Learning from the Communists. In his book he sought to answer the question “Why are Communists so dedicated and successful as leaders while others (Christians and the West) so often are not?”
Hyde looked at what Communists did in terms of reaching, motivating, and inspiring their followers with the goal of applying those successful actions to Catholics and Catholicism. While the point is not necessarily to adopt his strategies, it is important to recognize that he looked at the “do.” What do these people do that works and how can we use those methods to do be as equally successful? Questions like these are the ones we must start asking. It is about time Christians recognize their responsibility to take action and not do just something, but build an authentically better America.
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