August 30, 2014

IT'S A PURITAN NATION:

Our Secular Baptism (Nathan Nielson, 8/30/14, Real Clear Religion)

The ALS "ice bucket challenge" has become our new rite of social participation. But it's so much more. Mass public movements have many ancestors, including religious ones. This phenomenon is tapping into something deep in the human spirit, feeding on the desire to order our ethical and social lives by ritual. In a time when traditional religiosity may be losing its appeal and religious experience is becoming more diverse and pluralistic, we now see a practice that unites everyone, regardless of religious, political or socio-economic status.

In short, we have a new baptism -- the renewal of life delivered by bucket.

All the elements are there: cleansing by water, the call to act, absolution of our affluent guilt, commitment to a cause, charity that suffereth long and endureth all things, hope in philanthropic perpetuation, and faith in the efficacy of donations, performed one by one, for all the community of believers to see and enjoy.


Posted by at August 30, 2014 7:58 AM
  
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