In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, , Pastor Freed used this quote – “It’s always easier to cancel something than to fix it.” (Nick Zano)
We have heard and seen the term “cancel culture” used to describe the era that we are in right now, an era where people are unfriended (canceled), shows and programs dropped and other actions taken to stop or cancel someone or something that we (or someone) find offensive. Yet, when one really thinks about it, canceling is just a form of avoiding the issues. It’s sort of the “Don’t see me” of adulthood. It doesn’t really confront and change the underlying issues; it just avoids having to see or hear of it again (for a while anyway).
Certainly, canceling is a way to show displeasure with the person or things that is displeasing, but what does it really accomplish against the real issues? Racism will continue to exist whether we cancel everyone, or every show, that uses the “N” word. Homophobia will continue to exist even if we successfully stamp out the terms like “queer” or “homo” from our vocabulary. Hate will continue to divide the country unless we fix the underlying misinformation and mistrust that drive them.
Fixing our society’s big issues is a complex thing, so just canceling and ignoring the parts that we don’t like seems to be easier. But, canceling doesn’t fix anything. Society needs to find a way to move away from an us vs. them view of the world to a “we” view of the world. In the past, when our society faced a common and serious threat from an external enemy, “we” united in our effort to fight that enemy. It wasn’t really that differences were forgotten; they were just put aside for a while.
We recently faced a common enemy in the Covid-19 virus and, as serious and deadly as the fight against it has been, even it could not unite the country. We still had the mask/no-mask confrontations and the politically divided views of the countermeasures that were put in place (depending upon the party of the governor of the state that you lived in), and the vaccinate-not vaccinate arguments. A common response to this external enemy could not be found (common sense was even in short supply).
I am convinced that the decline of the church in our society has greatly contributed to the current morass. Even with the differences between religious denominations, attending church used to provide us with a moral compass that provided a much needed common moral base for people of both political parties. We had a better sense of right and wrong, of justice and injustice and of what the common good looked like when we had a strong church presence in our lives. One does not get that out of attending Sunday morning soccer, hockey or baseball games and our children certainly don’t learn the same lessons on the playing field as they used to learn in Sunday School classes.
There is no going back to “the way it used to be”, but perhaps there is a way (and certainly a need) to rethink the priorities in our lives and find a way to put time for God back into them, be it at church or just taking time to stop and pray with family. You may still have to be out on the athletic field early on Sunday morning, instead of being in church, but you can show your children the importance of God by also setting aside some family time for prayer or bible reading – time to reconnect them with God. If you don’t teach them, they will never learn and respect the moral teachings that come along with religion. Perhaps the refresher that you might need to become the teacher would help you, too.
So rather than ignore (or cancel) the issues of society, commit to fix them by giving a priority to the principals found in your religious beliefs and committing to teach your children, too. Canceling it doesn’t fix it; only you can fix it. Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Building a better moral base within our society, one believer at a time, will not just cancel the evil that is all around us today, but will drive it out of society.
Let’s fix this!