On Saturday, August 28, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people will gather on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to be a part of the Restoring Honor rally, sponsored by Glenn Beck. The purpose of the rally is to pay tribute to America's service men and women as well as other upstanding citizens who embody America's founding principles of integrity, truth and honor. It will also offer a chance for participants to make a pledge to help restore the value of honor to America. "Our freedom is only possible if we remain virtuous," the event's FAQ's for media states, "Help us restore the values that founded this great nation. On August 28th, come join us in our pledge to restore honor on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C."
Beck believes, as many people on both sides of the political spectrum do today, that there is very little honor left in politics, regardless of political party. He asserts that the only thing that can save our nation is a recommitment to honor and virtue, by the American people, and politicians especially. And although I do agree that Beck has a point (I too feel there's very little honor and virtue left in politics), I can't help but question the value of such a rally.
In my opinion, a lot of conservative folks today have an overabundance of experience in publicly condemning immorality and bemoaning the declining state of "our great nation." But how many of them have any experience at all in actively doing and being the honor and virtue they say that they seek? This Restoring Honor rally is all well and good, and yes, they are certainly issues that merit dialogue. But as I look on Beck's website, I find groups of people chartering busses from all over the country to attend the rally. Some groups are coming from as far as Oregon and California. There's even a chartered bus leaving from Lawrence, IN - just outside of Indianapolis - that's rally bound.
But allow me to pose this question: How exactly is spending three or four days traveling cross country to listen and talk about honor and virtue a more valuable use of time than actually doing something virtuous and honorable, as the hands and feet of Jesus? Don't get me wrong; I'm not anti rallies. There's a time and place for everything. But how many of the people who are spending days to get to and attend this rally, would not drive 15 or even 30 minutes from their homes into the inner city to serve a homeless person a meal? How many people spend endless hours complaining about the declining state of our great nation, but haven't lifted one finger to fulfill Jesus' commission to serve the poor and needy? I applaud their efforts to get involved in social activism - I fully believe that most people are not involved in social activism and social justice issues nearly as much as is needed. But as for me, I would rather spend the weekend serving Jesus by tangibly serving the least of these who are made in His image.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi