Richard Beck: Political detox for evangelicals

Richard Beck has a wonderful post up today, describing American evangelicalism as “addicted to politics”, with a need to detox. He lists “three simple steps” to get free and sober of the addiction.

1. Do not vote in an election for the next ten years, or even ever again.

Basically, go cold turkey. An evangelical who stops voting is like an addict flushing pills down the toilet or emptying bottles down the sink. Break the connection between God and country. 

2. Abstain from or delete social media, cable TV and talk radio.

Stop going to the drug dealers. Avoid the street corners where they are pushing their pills. 

3. Invest in an apolitical local ministry that cares for the hurting or marginalized.

Sobriety requires a new lifestyle. So stop haunting the crack houses. Find a service, organization, or ministry in your town that cares for hurting or marginalized people. Invest all the hours you used to spend on social media into looking some hurting person directly in the face. Keep doing that until you know her or his name. And keep going until the names become your friends. 

Beck notes that these same steps would be appropriate for politically-addicted progressives, too. I dunno if I’d call them “easy”, but it’s helpful to think about the kind of radical steps that would show the problem were being taken seriously.

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