Bill McKibben is quite right: dignity works much better than rage in activism. And his example of the dignified but politically forceful protest led by Rev. William Barber gets to the heart of why I continue practicing Christianity (fitfully). It is not so that I will find success in my private endeavors (heresy 1), or even that it will help me to love everybody (heresy 2). I practice Christianity to learn human dignity, period. This is not something that any doctoral program can teach me. Some have learned it really well from other religions, and more power to them -- but I chose Christianity at age 26 and can't see the point in changing now.
explanations of my so-called heresies
1. The "prosperity gospel" is a well-known and bold-font version of this. I think a softer version may lurk in the reasons many people adduce for going to church, viz. "to make connections," "to plug in to society," etc. But that's another post.
2. It's true: one can argue, with biblical passages, that this is exactly what Christians are supposed to learn. I do not share these high hopes of learning to love everybody, but I do believe the Word of God teaches us to love ourselves and those closest to us better, which is no small thing.