The world has gone crazy. Pray for restoration of common sense, civility and sanity

·4 min read

There are moments when I step outside the comfort of my world and wonder when the insanity ends. I read newspapers, listen to cable news and hear extremist podcasts that just make me shake my head.

I find myself saying to God, “Please restore some common sense to us.”

A British citizen takes a plane to Texas and holds a rabbi and his parishioners hostage on the Sabbath. A son of Robert F. Kennedy gives a speech likening the people who give vaccines to the Nazis. A CEO of a software company in Utah blames the existence of COVID-19 on the Jews. Airplanes return to their departing airport after someone punches a flight attendant or refuses to wear a mask. Members of Congress attribute the efforts of Americans who advocate for vaccinations to Nazis and liken Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, to the infamous Auschwitz doctor, Joseph Mengele.

When people conform the Holocaust to their political agendas, it is a profanation of a sacred memory.

“God restore to us our common sense and our sanity.”

Good people and stalwarts are trying to keep it together in our nation, but many others stridently believe any suspicion, scheme or hint of conspiracy against anyone. Why? It’s not about truth. It’s not about facts. They are irrelevant.

Families are torn apart by this. Colleagues at work no longer socialize. Even cliques in houses of worship form around these crazy doctrines. The cliques sit together during worship to support each other, causing me to wonder: What happened to the religion and the faith?

Look at Exodus 32 and the golden calf story. Moses goes up to the mountain to receive the holy law of God. God tells him that he’d better get back to the camp at the base of the mountain, because there’s trouble.

What he finds at the camp is debauchery. People dancing and carousing around a calf built of gold by Moses’ brother, Aaron.

Aaron says, “This is your God Oh Israel!” Moses throws up the sacred tablets of the 10 Commandments in utter rage, and then those standing with the golden calf are consumed in a fire, while the faithful return to Moses.

How could a people who experienced the salvation of God, who freed them from over 400 years in Egyptian slavery and who led them through the Sea of Reeds, now suddenly worship an idol? That, too, was insanity.

The story of the Tower of Babel is another story of insanity and no common sense. How could people build a tower reaching the heavens to God and demonstrating their own power? It is as if that tower could somehow show that humans could reach God and be God as well.

God simply confounded their language, which is where the Hebrew word Babel comes from, and that ended their foolish efforts. But where was their sense?

All it takes is for one person to conjure a falsehood and repeat it until people start to believe. All these cases have a common thread: People get hold of an idea and take it to the extreme without regard to common sense, goodwill or faith.

Have things changed so much over the millennium? Whether the group is a mob or expands to represent an entire nation, an infectious fear and a plethora of lies fill that insatiable craving for confirmation and affirmation. “See, I’m right.” It’s what leads people to believe and to take action that can lead to violence, even wars.

From Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.” Think about how we talk to each other, how we don’t listen to each other. How we see with eyes that yearn to see only the bluff, the trick or the ruse we perceive in our neighbors.

I’m not asking a lot from God. Not for world peace. Not for good health. Not for an end to the pandemic. I have a simple prayer without fancy words: “God, give us back our common sense. Teach us to be civil and to take a deep breath before we speak to anyone who disagrees with us.”

Let’s start there and see if we can take a few steps toward a better world.

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