Saturday January 9, 2021
Over the past few years theologians and philosophers as well as other commentators have talked about the loss in “social trust.” What does that phrase mean? Social trust is the belief that others have the same stake in society that you do. When this trust breaks down, there is a loss in cohesion and integration. In other words, one group of people believe that the other is intrinsically evil and out to get you.
We saw one result of this breakdown this past week in Washington. Mob riots occur when people have been led to believe that the basic institutions of society don’t work anymore. This is different from a protest when people are demonstrating over an injustice or wanting change in certain policies. Protesters believe that by raising concern on a certain issue they can change the direction of a society.
This breakdown of social trust in America predates the current President although he certainly stoked it for his own political advantage. Over the past 40 years or so we have seen a growth in income inequality, societal depression resulting in opioid abuse and death, and the growth of political tribalism. We must recreate society to reflect what we can be – an inclusive society where we are truly able to care for each other.
Prayer for the Day
Holy Love, who graces our lives with love, open our hearts,
Show us the possibilities of your infinite love for all beings,
Move us beyond a sense of duty into an ever widening circle of love,
Opening us to possibilities we never even imagined;
Enlarge the boundaries of our thought and imagination,
Confronting us with love's demand for justice and mercy,
As did the One who lived for others,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
Thoughts for the Day
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its own people.
- John F. Kennedy, President (1929-1963)
As contagion of sickness can make sickness, contagion of trust can make trust.
- Marianne Moore, poet (1887-1972)
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble,
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
For you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
– Psalm 9: 9-10