I spent ten years of my life believing in salvation. That promise was a lie, and I paid dearly for my belief. Rather than moving forward with my life, my depression and my inability to be a responsible adult became the truth the truth of my life.
I am still paying for believing in salvation outside of my own being. But at least I no longer look for others to save me or save the world.
The Electoral College was never going to save us from the results of November 8th.
Bernie Sanders will not save us, nor will Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker or any other politician, thinker, artist, or religionist.
Getting rid of Citizens United won’t save us. Ending dark money won’t save us.
Bill Moyers won’t save us. Molly Ivins will not be rising from the dead to save us.
Give it up. There is no salvation waiting for us, and we waste our lives, our resources, our hope in waiting for that salvation to appear.
Politics is about what is possible. Politics is about what we can accomplish today – and, if we’re smart about that, and a bit lucky, that can lead to accomplishing other things in the future. But since we can’t do a damn thing about either the past or future, we are stuck with the present. That’s where politics happens.
Salvation happens in a magical future that never will never exist. For over two thousand years, Christians have believed that Jesus was going to return and set up an eternal kingdom for the “saved”. Two thousand years and counting.
(Also counting: the number of times Christians have believed that special day was right around the corner.)
Other religions have similar beliefs. In my opinion, they are no more correct than the Christians. Obviously, I could be wrong. I’ll likely never know, and I’m cool with that. The future is a place we cannot visit; only the present is available for human occupation.
That is why politics is the work of the here-and-now, why it is about the possible.
Salvation is a lie, a deception that only weakens, distracts, and delays the real work of being a participant in what can be done today. I can shape the future to some extent, but it’s always tentative. Far better to do something good today, to place my little stone on the path and do what I can to encourage others to join my effort.
The future is not a place we can visit, but today, in unity, we can create a road that leads towards the future we want to see. If we do not build that road, we’ll simply stumble along and end up wherever our wayward feet are led.