Gospel Passion and Resurrection Stories and the Current Political Environment
By Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.
While preparing for Easter Sunday by diving into the Scripture readings for Easter Sunday morning, especially John’s description of Peter and the beloved disciple’s visit to the “empty tomb,” I stumbled upon the article “The Great Unsettling,” by David Maraniss and Robert Samuel (yes, Packers fans, this is the same Maraniss who has written one of the most comprehensive biographies of Vince Lombardi!). The article opens:
“So much anger out there in America.
“Anger at Wall Street. Anger at Muslims. Anger at trade deals. Anger at Washington. Anger at police shootings of young black men. Anger at President Obama. Anger at Republican obstructionists. Anger about political correctness. Anger about the role of big money in campaigns. Anger about the poisoned water of Flint, Mich. Anger about deportations. Anger about undocumented immigrants. Anger about a career that didn’t go as expected. Anger about a lost way of life. Mob anger at groups of protesters in their midst. Specific anger and undefined anger and even anger about anger.”
Are we looking for anything to be angry about? Heck, we are angry about anger and angry about both sides of the same coin: “Anger at President Obama” and “Anger at Republican obstructionists.” Are we such lost souls?
Read on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, one week before Easter Sunday and 15 days before the Wisconsin primary, I was struck by how linked this emotion was to the Scriptures of the coming weeks. There is lots of anger in the crowd that wanted to put Jesus to death; mob mentality seemed to rule the day. How different is this from the mob mentality surrounding the issues listed above by Maraniss and Samuel?
Does the true follower of Christ, believer in the Resurrection (that’s Resurrection, not insurrection!), succumb to so much anger about national and world events? To be honest, I don’t expect the anger meter to drop dramatically because of a conversion to joy and hope based on Easter 2016. But as my home state rises to national attention due to its presidential primary, just nine days into the Easter season, I hope that Wisconsinites do vote based on hope for the future and not current anger and frustration. Do Wisconsinites need to stand back and do some good ole’ fashioned theological reflection before pulling the lever on April 5?