I am not impressed by the weeklong revival going on in Kentucky, where hundreds have come to sing and pray nonstop.
While some think it’s a sign of national revival, it looks a lot more like a political rally that pedals propaganda to me.
Any one of these people could be out feeding the poor, standing up for the rights of women, LGBTQ folks and people of color. They could be calling for an end to the war economy or to the destruction of the planet. They could be delivering sleeping bags and tents to people who have no home.
They could help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
That’s right, you won’t see Jimmy Carter here, and you wouldn’t have seen him here as a younger man, either. He was building houses. As president, he set the example of cutting back to save the planet. He alway sought peaceful solutions. He was faithful to his wife — whom he also respected and from whom he sought counsel.
Jimmy Carter lived his faith every day. So, to those who have said they’re praying for Jimmy Carter, let me say he doesn’t need your prayers. He’s good to go. He has lived in tune with the teachings of Jesus his entire life. You’d be better served by following his example than by sitting in a pew and throwing money into a barrel.
These revivals seem to devolve into a sort of mass hysteria. People are so filled with the “Spirit,” yet as soon as this marathon ends, they’ll go back to their lives, back to voting for people who won’t raise the minimum wage, who won’t offer us the same health care access they have, who won’t do a damn thing about the proliferation of gun violence.
They’ll go back to demanding women endure forced pregnancy and childbirth, even going so far as to ban contraceptives. They’ll try to destroy the marriages of LGBTQ people. They’ll continue institutionalized racism, especially in the so-called justice system. They won’t raise the minimum wage because if you love Jesus enough, God will bless you with material wealth (about the biggest perversion I’ve seen of Jesus’s teachings).
When this clown show ends, people will talk about how great they feel, but I assure you, poor and marginalized people don’t benefit from others’ religious experiences.
Does this country need a revival? You bet it does, but not this revival. We need people to wake up to the systemic injustices in our system. We need to lift up the poor and marginalized. We need to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, welcome the stranger … you know, all the things Jesus taught us to do. If you claim to be a follower of Christ, stop whining about your gun rights and gay rights and women’s rights and start reading the red print.
Get off your butt and do the work, like Jimmy Carter did.
I’m not condemning all Christians here. I’m a follower myself. But American Evangelicalism has so corrupted the teachings of Christ that he wouldn’t recognize hismelf in what they teach. And if he were to return today, American Evangelicalism would reject him in a heartbeat.
This “Christianity,” isn’t Christian at all, and it has done irreperable harm to millions — especially to women and girls — and to the entire planet.