Reading from Matt Taibbi (someone with Rolling Stone press credentials):
“Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd’s Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for “forgiveness… for years and years of racism” are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in “African kente cloth scarves”?
There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it. In a business where the first job requirement was once the willingness to ask tough questions, we’ve become afraid to ask obvious ones.”The issue here is not the persecution of religion but the hijacking of religion for political purpose. Pelosi the nominal Roman Catholic and Schumer the nominal Jew seem to have little affection for the doctrine and piety of their faiths except to claim that they are in good standing even when they offend those faiths with their practice or politics. Neither of them is about to change their politics for the sake of religion but politicians are more likely to use the faith for political purposes. Yet even this is not quite the same as what we have seen in the protests.
The danger to religion is not so much that it will become captive to politics but that it will cease to mean much of anything. When those outside the faith and those on the fringes of that faith use religious symbols for political purpose, they do more than offend. They weaken those symbols so that they become meaningless. While some might celebrate that the courts allow nativity scenes, when that permission comes at the expense of what that symbol means, nothing is gained and everything is lost. This is also true when political scenes take on religious signs and symbols. The politics gain is religion's loss. In the end it is more than weird but worrisome. We should be noticing and, more than that, we should be objecting.