Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Vanity Legislation, Baseball, and John 3:16

We're in the middle of the most high-profile trial over a police killing ever, Minnesota just saw another black man killed "mistakenly" by another policeman, all the while COVID-19 is still a thing, and Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz want to retaliate against baseball? The three of them held a press conference today about removing their anti-trust legislation.

This is all in response to Major League Baseball—a corporation acting in the free market— moving the All-Star game out of Georgia due to voting laws that would disenfranchise minorities.

I'm not going to examine the ins and outs of the law or the baseball trust exemption, but the Gospel readings today, John 3:16-21 (Coincidentally, a sign held up at many baseball games) stood out to me, specifically, verse 19.  

And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.

That third line stuck with me "but people preferred darkness to light." In the midst of so much trauma and turmoil in our country, these three men chose vanity, attention, and retaliation over actually helping people. This trait isn't unique to these three men or their party. And I know at times I have preferred vanity to all these other good qualities of the Holy Spirit. 

These three are wealthy, privileged, well-educated men who have the ability and power to change the world, and yet they made this decision. Our politics, faith, and communal life are worse off because of it. 

George Floyd had no money, no privilege, and not much of an education. He had his struggles and I'm not going to pretend he was an angel, but this anecdote from a special section of the Star Tribune on him stuck out with me. (The whole thing is worth a read.) 

When Smith and other volunteers arranged for homeless people to have their blood pressure checked, get haircuts or go out to eat, Floyd was usually there to help out.

Even though his life was full of darkness, I think Floyd strived to find those glimmers of light.  

But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.


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