Theater v. Action

This past Wednesday Democrats in the House of Representatives staged a sit-in on the House floor in an effort to bring gun control legislation up to a vote.  One representative summarized the proceedings in one tweet that read, “Time to occupy the House to demand action. #NoBillNoBreak #DisarmHate”

No matter what you believe about guns and the right to bear arms, it seems there are some additional laws that can be put in place to make it more difficult for certain groups of people to own a gun.  Both Democrats and Republicans agree on this, as does the NRA.  Which is why earlier this week four bills were brought up for a vote to beef up existing gun laws: 2 bills were introduced by Democrats and 2 bills were introduced by Republicans (1 with the support of the NRA).

So what happened?

The Republicans nearly unanimously voted against the Democrats’ bills, and the Democrats nearly unanimously voted against the Republicans’ bills.

I would give you the boring details but you can look them up yourself, as voting records are made public.  Here’s the point: politicians of both parties are more interested in scoring political points against their opponents than coming together as fellow Americans to do something productive, even if it’s imperfect, for their countrymen.

Which brings us back to Wednesday’s sit-in on the House floor…

It’s all theater.

The Senate (Democrats and Republicans) had a chance to act but chose not to act.  Now, some politicians pretend that something or someone is keeping them from acting on behalf of the American people and they plan to protest until their “oppressors” relent and let them vote.

Again, it’s all theater.

And its’ disgusting, disheartening, and insulting.

But I have to ask…

Are there areas of my life that are all theater instead of action?

James, in James 2:14-17, wrote: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in piece, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, wrote: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Those two passages of Scripture make clear that the Christian faith is meaningless if it is not lived out sincerely and if it does not move a person to act for the good of others.

So, I can shake my head in disgust at politicians who like to hear themselves talk and see themselves on TV but who have no desire to act on their “convictions”, but first I must examine my own life in order to root out places where my faith is not accompanied by the kind of action that is motivated by love.

Otherwise, it’s all theater.


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