Must Read Monday: Democratic Socialism, Chronic Illness, and Mental HealthJuly 2, 2018
In a week we celebrate democracy and the capitalism that made it possible, we need to watch the rising tide of democratic socialism in America
Last week in NY, 28-year-old Democratic socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defeated 10 term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley. It should not be viewed as merely a shift from center to left in a Democratic primary. The primary is the election in this very blue district of The Bronx and Queens. And although Crowley clearly list touch with his district, he still outspent his challenger 10 to 1. The lessons for the midterms are many. Christians will find this analysis of the underlying ideology of what socialism is offering millennials interesting.
The New York Times looks at the election of Ostacio-Cortez and other Democratic Socialists who won nominations revealing energy, community and enthusiasm that marks what Christians find in their activism. “Democratic socialist chapters have constant streams of meetings and social events, creating an antidote to the isolation that’s epidemic in American life. ‘Everything is highly individualized, and it is isolating,’ Svart said. ‘People are very, very lonely. Suicide rates have gone up astronomically. And we do create a community for folks.’ This fusion of politics and communal life isn’t so different from what the Christian right has offered its adherents. Such social capital is something no amount of campaign spending can buy.”
The fusion of politics and communal life, is that really what Christian community is all about? We engage injustice because God is just. We fight for liberty because God made Man free. We stand against racism because God made ALL men, not just some men, equal in His image. We do what we do because we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and we align our activism with the prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, The will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”
And we do it all in the common-unity of fellow believers. We do not do it to escape isolationism nor despair but in the joyful knowledge and proclamation of a Kingdom already and not yet.
Do you want to get well?
Remember when Jesus asked that very question to a man who had been lying at the edge of healing hope for decades? Read that story in conversation with this article and ask yourself how Christians can come alongside the chronically -and complicatedly – ill and their families.
Antwon Rose’s killing by police affects blacks’ mental health across the country
This opinion piece is an important, difficult read. The conclusion is right: these killing must stop. As Christians we know that the issues are deep and as Americans we know the issues are wide. But deep and wide is where God does His best work.