I was a bit jarred by a recent American Greatness article about how Republicans are bleeding white college graduates to those on the progressive left. I should’ve known this stuff is happening—I’ve seen it firsthand with those I love.
The article raised a lot of good questions, particularly how to stem the tide of young voters heading toward woke progressivism. What the article didn’t address, however, is the need to restore faith in young, middle-aged, and older voters—and I mean faith with a capital “F”—the belief in something much greater than ourselves.
Why must we have faith? Because human beings naturally hanker for faith and will find it in the strangest and darkest places (like the government) if that desire is not corralled through the benevolently guiding hand of organized religion. Because true faith deters, rather than encourages, the evildoing so prevalent in our society.
Yet true faith is fast disappearing. Today many are replacing even basic identification with Christianity or another religion with other ideas of “goodness.” Systemic racism—that seeming vendetta against whites—is one of these, social justice is another, and climate activism is a third. In each case, the adherents of these “faiths” believe without even a cursory examination of their chosen ideology. Absent a solid religion to guide them, people will also find and put faith in amoral, greedy, and soulless things—such as partisan local government or a professional football team.
But more importantly, such relativism and individualism gone feral erode the foundational trust which forms the shared moral code holding society together. Without it, society has no core and won’t exist long.
Despite overwhelming evidence of government intrusion in citizens’ lives, many young people continue to believe in the government, the media, the medical establishment, academia, and corporatism, because theirs is a dull world that really offers no big surprises. Many of them are jaded by their experiences rather than expanded by them. They believe in a mostly transactional world, unmoored by moralities. They are the plastically molded modern consumer, with consumption their sacrament and self their god.
They don’t even recognize their lack of soul because they’ve read very few books that address its reality and value. Many will identify themselves Christians and social justice believers in the same breath, but these contradictory views offer no solace, but instead confer a dreamlike state of consciousness. “It’s all relative, and that’s just fine, or in fact, fabulous. Do what ya want!”
People of conscience, though, end up feeling differently. You needn’t have been raised in a faith to grow to believe that there is Something More. But what do you do with the realization once you have it, and how do you inspire the same realization in others?
The way of faith—of belief in God, the forgiveness He offers, and the hope of the Afterlife He promises—makes sense to many and provides assurance, peace, and instruction in how to live, far more than whatever college dogma, social mania, or sexual trend is the latest flavor of the week. And because it works for people of faith, it is their job to prove it.
How have people of faith since time immemorial demonstrated that faith? They’ve done so through good works, of course. That’s how others around them saw these believers and early saints were good and came to adopt their beliefs—their goodness was not just extraordinary, it was also undeniable.
We people of faith need to show these youngsters who are lost, lonely, and adrift the way of faith through good works. We need to mainstream these old, onetime, widely understood universal truths by being witnesses to them. We need to loudly speak out and affirm these truths, even at risk of being persecuted or unjustly called a hypocrite.
We also need to demonstrate those truths of brotherly love, neighborliness, and self-sacrifice by showing care even through small acts. Give the lie to the presumption of a random, godless, uncaring world, by talking about God and caring about others. Have a neighborhood barbecue with all invited. Host a free concert. Clean up the neglected part of the city that sits only steps from your house. Start a community garden or join one. Befriend a young person of the opposite political party.
Faith combined with good works is the formula for converting consumer-ish belief in government and brands, to a humane belief of people in each other—and in “Something More.”
First things first, then politics.
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