Bruce Springsteen and the Biden-Harris Victory

Bruce Springsteen, photo from Wiki Commons.

Bruce Springsteen is so essential to the American character that if he did not exist, we would have to invent him. I’ve never believed that more than when watching his new film, “Letter to You”.

In the film’s closing monologue, Bruce reflects on what it means to be closer to the end than to the beginning. He knows that there are only so many snowfalls left, only so many star-filled nights and brisk fall days. When he was young, music was his metaphor for prayer. Now, prayer is his metaphor for music. In ‘Letter to You’, he plays Virgil to our Dante in this spirit-filled universe.

All around us, he insists, there are blessings to be had. Benedictions when we are buttering our toast. The hand of God gently resting upon our shoulders, even as we are simply getting dressed.  We realize how lucky we are, “lucky to be alive, lucky to be breathing in this world of beauty, horror, and hope.”

What we are given is a chance, a chance to love and to be loved. We go, we try to make sense of things, we do the best we can, knowing all the while that “how we conduct ourselves and do our work matters.”

If you listen closely, you can hear echoes of Springsteen in the victory speeches of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris last Saturday night. There is the realization that life is hard and still full of wonder. We are given the steady presence of God, the glory of the natural world, each other, and a chance to make things better. There is the possibility of sacredness in every day, in the work we do, in the plans we make, and especially in how we treat the people around us. It is the America of William Carlos Williams and Gwendolyn Brooks and Marilynne Robinson. In the language of Islam, it is the meeting point of Din and Dunya, the spirit world and the material world.  

The last four years have felt like flying a plane in a tornado, a whirlwind of grotesque bigotry, gross incompetence, and gratuitous meanness that emanated from the highest office in the land, on a daily basis.

And still, IFYC managed to make progress. Not only have our core programs (student interfaith leadership, faculty-based interfaith studies curriculum, strategic planning with campus administrations) all experienced impressive growth, we have built partnerships with unlikely allies: the Charles Koch Foundation, Evangelical Christian campuses, scholars at conservative think tanks.

Such partnerships were more than countercultural over the past four years, they were unpopular with just about everybody. In this new American moment, we hope that they flourish and scale, indeed, become the order of the day. We believe, along with Bruce and President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, that America is about embracing our differences, bridging our divides, highlighting our shared values, engaging in practical projects, and nurturing a common life together.

This is the way we at IFYC conduct ourselves. This is the work that we believe, matters.


If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

more from IFYC

It is certainly within the rights of philanthropic and political institutions to 'not do religion,' but such an approach undermines any meaningful, holistic commitment to community or place-based humanitarian efforts in much of this country.
Last month, Kevin Singer, co-director of Neighborly Faith, brought two interfaith leaders together to discuss their respective publications and the consequences of the Equality Act on religious organizations, institutions, and places of worship.
It is in this spirit respeaking memory and finding time to etch it into the future that I offer the following exercise. It is designed to do with your friends or folks – preferably three or more. Take some time with it. Use it as a catalyst to...
Imagine my surprise upon coming to USA and celebrating my first Easter, but didn’t people realize it was Easter? Why are all the egg die and chocolates already sold out and none left for us celebrating a few weeks later?
They will, in other words, be learning the skills of mindfulness meditation — the secular version of the Buddhist practice that has skyrocketed in popularity to become America's go-to antidote for stress.
This is a sampling of sacred texts and statements, listed in alphabetical order by religion, that religious communities have used to engage in the work of public health amidst this global pandemic.
Chaplain Fuller’s leadership and guidance has left a lasting, rippling effect on and off campus which will guide communities and individuals into multifaith work and engagement long after her tenure at Elon.
In the grip of a deadly second wave of COVID-19, religious charities and faith-based organizations are among the many civil society groups that have stepped up to mobilize relief efforts.
Una nueva encuesta conducida por el Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) e Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) encontró que los enfoques basados en la fe pueden mover a más comunidades indecisas sobre la vacuna hacia la aceptación.
Highlighting the role of faith and community in providing relief to communities during the pandemic, the project documents how diverse religious communities in the Charlotte area are responding to the pandemic.
Rabbi Sandra Lawson offers religious literacy education in this piece focused on Lag BaOmer, the day of celebration during the otherwise solemn period of the 49 days between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot.
While vaccination rates and warmer weather are currently lending us ample opportunity for optimism and joy, we are not nearly out of the woods regarding the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our nation’s mental health.
Cargle is not alone in her spiritual discovery. Generation Z has been the driving force behind the renewed popularity and mainstreaming of the age-old esoteric system.
Clergy from 20 New York congregations, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and Christians, met as the Interfaith Security Council held its first meeting to talk about how to share expertise and improve relations with law enforcement.
The past four years have devastated communities across the United States with issues including police violence, climate change and environmental degradation, racism, anti-Semitism  anti-Muslim bigotry, and political upheaval.
"No matter the memory, the ability to grow older and look back on life is a privilege. And it’s heartbreaking and disturbing that as a nation we’ve witnessed so many children robbed of that privilege because they were killed by the state."
Musa explores and analyzes data related to the growing irreligiosity and declining religious affiliation in America.
The report, co-sponsored by IFYC and the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), revealed higher rates of vaccin hesitancy among certain religious groups, including Hispanic Protestants, white evangelicals, and Black Protestants.
I noticed this year the Christian holiday Easter or Resurrection Sunday fell on the same day Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4th. What people outside of the black community don’t realize is when an innocent life is lost it connects us...
Collaboration between religious officials and health care professionals — from both nonprofit and for-profit companies — has aided efforts to increase access to vaccinations.
As various communities consider the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and navigate the physiological and psychological toll of the virus, town halls can be a space wherein community members can be presented with resources and accurate information.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.