The crusader impulse
Going on a crusade just feels absolutely amazing, doesn’t it? I mean, maybe you’re not rushing into any small towns on horseback wielding a sword these days. In our modern world, our crusades take place on social media or, if you’re bold, across dinner tables or picket lines.
What is that impulse in the human heart that just loves rising up against… whatever?
In the moment, I love it. When I have someone really cornered in a political/moral argument. It doesn’t happen often (I’m no political scientist by any stretch), but when it does…
The juice from that emotion is intoxicating.
Which is why I’m writing this here…
We’re coming up on election season, friends.
And this crusader impulse always leads to death.
Many folks are out of work. We can’t go hang out with real people like we used to. Our physical distancing translates to digital boundary-crossing. We’re spending our time online more than ever — not a healthy place to hang out. Our rage and frustration are being fueled by algorithms that bolster our cognitive biases and protected by a glass screen that holds us distant from “the other”.
The fruit of human sin — personal rightness — is at a fever pitch. Plus, we’re lonely, pissed off, and stuck in a state of uncertainty unlike any I’ve ever seen in my 41 years.
I pray that God can take away this crusader impulse before we get too carried away by it. Please, God, turn our rage inside out and help us see the need in the eyes of our human siblings no matter how much a part of us wants to slay them.