David Brooks wrote a wonderful column in The New York Times last week, called "Let's Have a Better Culture War." It has become even more meaningful and important this week as we all have struggled in the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy.
Here are some excerpts:
“Character formation can’t be done just individually. It’s carried out in families, schools and communities. It depends on some common assumptions about what’s right and wrong, admired and not admired – a common moral ecosystem. ... At the same time, the larger culture itself has become morally empty, and therefore marked by fragmentation, distrust and powermongering.
"The larger culture itself needs to be revived in four distinct ways: We need to be more communal in an age that’s overly individualistic; we need to be more morally minded in an age that is overly utilitarian; we need to be more spiritually literate in an age that’s overly materialistic; and we need to be more emotionally intelligent in an age that is overly cognitive.
"We need a new traditionalism ... fueled by love and contact with the transcendent. The first step would be to put the spiritual and moral implications of everyday life front and center. ... If we talked as if people had souls, then we’d have a thick view of what is at stake in everyday activities. The soul can be elevated or degraded at every second. Each thought or act etches a new line into the core piece of oneself.
"Love is the elemental desire of the spirit. People are desperately motivated to love something well, and be loved. A core task of communities is to arouse and educate the loves, to widen and deepen the opportunities for love and to appraise people by how well and what they love.”
If ever there was a time for Kenwood Community Church to be relevant, now is the time. What is our role in fueling this new traditionalism? How can we channel and give voice to this elemental desire of the spirit?