Close all the churches for a day

by Bob Schwartz

Some are guilty, but all are responsible.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

Close all the churches for a day. The synagogues, the mosques, all the houses of worship.

We may believe in God and all that implies. We may believe that worship, prayers and other divine rituals and messages, personal and group, affect the course of events and society.

That may be, but that is not enough. Maybe if the doors to those buildings are barred—they are only buildings after all—that will remind us of that shortcoming.

What is enough?

“Action” is the common and reflexive answer. A good answer. But when we review the actions born in the name of God in those buildings, we have to wonder if that answer is incomplete or misguided.

It is incomplete. The more complete answer is the personal transformation that is supposed to develop from frequenting those buildings or otherwise engaging in the traditions. Without that transformation, one follower after another, actions and speech may hit the higher mark, but can also horribly miss the mark by miles, turning traditional ideals and aspirations on their head.

Maybe if the churches, synagogues and mosques were closed for a day, and followers could not rely on those buildings to justify their cases, maybe transformation would take a featured place on their religious agenda. Just for a day.

© 2022 Bob Schwartz