“The American Way” Unpacked

I was in a justice class and we were talking about the use of disposable products and planet stewardship. The instructor asked why I think people don’t care enough to quit using these products. I replied, “It’s the American way!”. He wanted me to unpack that, so it basically came down to inconvenience. Some Americans don’t want to put in the effort. In anything. Sometimes, that includes salvation, discernment, and taking care of the planet. I’m sometimes guilty of this myself. After all, I’m American and have also been taught the American way. Let’s unpack this.

Salvation. In American Christianity your salvation is between you and God. You don’t have to worry about that pesky little Matthew 25. Jesus wasn’t really speaking of doing work because of your salvation. In America, Jesus said don’t be gay, put Christ in Christmas, and keep up with the Jones’s. Easy peasy, amirite? That’s more convenient.

Discernment. This could take a whole month to cover, so to keep it short I’ll summarize. We live in the era of information at our fingertips. Why are we still sharing fake news, fear propaganda, and lies about climate change? It’s more convenient to share a picture clearly edited that justifies our beliefs that we haven’t put much research into. Research is inconvenient; there’s nothing more inconvenient than admitting we were wrong. Climate change can’t be real. That would mean we’d have to start being stewards as intended. That would mean we’d have to ask for clean energy jobs, therefore, learning a new trade. Inconvenient.

You know what else is the American way? Unity! Once we lay down our biases, prejudices, and hate we can be pretty awesome. Every major catastrophe, sadly with the exception of Puerto Rico, we’ve banded together. We became more willing to help the least among us. When everyone is the least among us, it’s hard not to help. It’s a great reminder that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. I love that American Way. I just wish it didn’t take death and loss to get there. So dear world, God’s working on us. Don’t give up on us yet.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts.

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