North Texas Daily

Where are today’s religious leaders?

Where are today’s religious leaders?

Where are today’s religious leaders?
September 06
18:33 2016

The way religion is so knit into the fabric of history makes the subject unavoidable to talk about. Whether you identify as religious, spiritual or neither, no one can deny religion’s influence on our politics, social movements and enculturation as a whole. Even Superman was created by a writer and an artist from their passions for science fiction and Judaism.

With that in mind, I’ve pondered for quite some time about the state of today’s religious leaders. Prior to the millennial age, it appeared that every generation had their own spiritualists to look up to.

For example, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X changed race relations forever; with their beliefs being deeply rooted in Christianity and Islam. King’s chief inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi, created nonviolent tactics that continue to influence modern politicians. Going further back, look at Roger Williams, the Puritan that saw a need to “separate church and state,” resulting in the right to religious freedom in the Americas.

The point isn’t that the best leaders are always religious, but that history tells stories of religious men capable of connecting with people of all colors, creeds and demographics. Unlike the eras that preceded this one, millennials don’t really have that kind of leadership. You would think with today’s Black Lives Matter hashtags and nationwide LGBT reforms that someone would step up to become a positive face. Not a face that would spearhead movements on his keyboard, but a truly great man with enough knowledge and clout to heal an entire nation.

Where are the faith leaders that I can tell my kids about one day? The heroes that champion positive causes for the betterment of mankind. The legends poised to set history in the right direction. The men who maintain a specific set of morals to inspire others that may or may not be religious.

Our generation has had so much lie on our shoulders that we need someone who can fit the bill. We’re at the perfect age for one of us to take the post-9/11 attitudes of our parents, the massive diversity of our culture and the technical awareness Obama perfected; only to identify with where millennials socially stand so this leader can bring us into the future. Ideally, in a nonviolent fashion.

I would normally say politicians are the best bet, but certainly not this year. In fact, the closest we’ve gotten right now has been Ted Cruz, who is infamous for hiding behind Christianity to justify his ignorance toward global warming. That, and he would’ve been a bad president to begin with.

It is never too late to have a leader in the vein of MLK or Gandhi. Keep in mind that it took 27 years for Nelson Mandela to get out of prison and become the South African President. It is always possible for us to make a statement, or simply defend a helpless individual. That being the case, it’s long overdue for an icon of our era to set an example, whether that person is religious or not.

Featured Illustration: Sam Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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