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Thoughts on Easter Sunday

Jeff Hall

Posted on April 4, 2021 21:21

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We live in confused times. Too many worship false gods.

I have been thinking about an op-ed published in the LA Times Friday, April 2 (Good Friday), “Why America’s record godlessness is a good thing,” by Phil Zuckerman.

Zuckerman claims that as participation in organized religion goes down in different countries, we see improvements in social justice – more attention being paid to minority rights, women’s rights, the environment, science, gay rights, etc.  Countries with less religion are happier countries, we’re told.

Here's a link to the original article in the Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-04-02/godlessness-america-religion-secularization

But if less God in our lives equates to greater happiness, why is it in America’s increasingly godless society we seem so increasingly unhappy?

As belief in God in the U.S. has declined in recent decades, we've seen a rise in mass shootings, opioid addiction, social isolation, divorce, suicide, disinformation and a loss of trust in our institutions.

Churches, like businesses and governments – and even big media – are institutions.  Many Christians would be the first to say the corruption, scandal, hypocrisy and self-serving that exist in much of organized religion is abominable.  It is.

But institutions are man-made things, designed to maintain order and perpetuate power. And power corrupts. But are American institutions corrupted by too much religion – or by those who use religion and any other means necessary to secure and hold onto power (and the money and fame that often follow)? 

In recent days we’ve seen a rap artist, Lil Nas, inject 666 pairs of Nike tennis shoes with a single drop of human blood and adding devil imagery to the sneakers, branding them “Satan Shoes.” These “works of art” immediately sold out online for over $1,000 a pair. The original Nikes run around $180 a pair.

Nike is now suing for trademark infringement, but a “boycott Nike” movement had already gained traction.  Score one for Satan.

On Easter Sunday, the LA Times ran a full-page ad on page 5 from “Heaven by Marc Jacobs,” a fashion brand, depicting a scantily-clad temptress posing as the devil.  It’s a pretty scary-looking ad that, in an earlier era, surely would have been rejected. 

From an ad that ran in the LA Times on Easter Sunday.

Publishing this ad would be questionable enough under any circumstances, but on Easter Sunday?  Really?

Maybe it’s not that we worship God too much – it’s that we worship false gods. Maybe, if we paid more attention to God, those who run our institutions would transform themselves into better servants of the people they are there to serve. 

If that happened, America’s level of happiness, social justice and belief in institutions would rise, too. 

Let’s pray that it does.

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on April 4, 2021 21:21

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Source: The Guardian

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