But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
- Jeremiah 29:7
“What’s the tallest building in Forsyth, Will?” a reader asked on my voice mail last week.
He was ready to jump. He was joking. I think.
After Democrats took complete control of the federal government by winning both Georgia senate runoffs last Tuesday, and a Trump rally turned violent at the Capitol on Wednesday, many Americans, and Monroe Countians, were scared. Then on Friday Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms permanently banned President Trump. Immigrants from communist countries said it all had a scary, familiar feel for them.
Meanwhile, the COVID virus continues to surge and cause death.
America is a mess. Unhappy New Year to you.
I cannot tell you anything about the political situation you don’t know or couldn’t guess. President Trump had made a fan out of this skeptic. His policies on economics, taxation, regulation, immigration, education, the military and foreign affairs have been the best of any president in my lifetime. They succeeded (until and then even through COVID). He’s withstood withering assaults from the media and his own party, and spying, criminal traps and malicious leaks from his own government. He has stood firm and resolute when most men would’ve quit long ago.
Alas, he lost. There was voter fraud (always is). We don’t know how much and it cannot be resolved in a courtroom. Trump couldn’t do what every Republican has to do —- win beyond the margin of cheat.
I am terrified about what full Democrat control of the federal government will mean for the country. Democrats are further left than they’ve ever been and their hate for Republicans has metastasized.
The only consolation for conservatives is that hatred for President Trump is what has kept the Democrats unified. With him gone, our best hope is that Democrats fracture between the upstart socialists like AOC and the allegedly moderate members. Fractured Democrats would fail to impose their full agenda. That’s a thin reed for fragile hopes.
In the end, what happens in Washington will affect us, but most of us can’t really affect what happens in D.C. Screaming at our Twitter feed or CNN probably isn’t gonna save the U.S. from socialism.
“What can we do?” an anxious friend asked me last Wednesday.
A good start is Jeremiah 29:7: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Instead of spending hours every day arguing with strangers on social media about faraway debates, why not invest our time in our own community? Many Monroe County churches and civic groups would welcome your presence as they aim to build true community that you won’t find online or on Zoom.
One look at the misfits and fantasy characters who stormed the capitol last week will tell you that our problems are not really political. If you think Congress or a federal agency can repair the anger, bitterness, and hate that plague our people, you must’ve slept through 2020. America is suffering from a breakdown of family and spiritual and moral values that require a spiritual solution. Our society is so depraved that we can’t even agree on how many genders there are. I believe that solution is the person of Jesus Christ. I believe the solution is introducing as many of friends and neighbors as we can to Christ. That should be our priority.
My second suggestion (as if you asked) is like unto it, and one easier to recommend than to adopt. Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) wrote a challenging column in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal that proposed it again.
“Why I’m taking a Social-Media Sabbatical,” is the headline.
“I’m doing so not to make a political statement,” wrote Roy, “but in the hope that America can return to kitchen tables, churches, taverns, coffee shops, dance halls (it’s a Texas-thing) — whatever it takes to look others in the eye and rebuild our communities and humanity.”
Roy said as a father and husband he wants to spend less time staring at a screen and reacting in ways that make him ashamed. Like many, he says he’s decided social media is a net negative in his life.
“I have concluded that it does more harm than good to individuals and society alike,” writes Roy.
Roy said social media divides people further and has led to angry people calling for censorship.
“We used to have a better way to communicate with each other,” concluded Roy. “Let us dine together. Let us look each other in the eye. Let us sit down and talk again. Then let us unite again as Americans.”
So if you haven’t made a New Years’ resolution yet, these two, rekindling your faith and pushing away from social media, are available for the taking. At this point, what do we have to lose?