I wonder how many people are aware that Star Wars has grossed over 65 Billion dollars over the years.
But I also wonder how many know why George Lucas created the first in this wildly popular franchise.
I suspect there are far fewer who connect Star Wars with the “Nones.”
Is there any connection with the Star Wars phenomenon, the Nones, and Good News today?
The Why of Star Wars
Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted to create a mythology that could provide moral guidance within the context of a renewed sense of spirituality and transcendence.
In a 1999 interview with Time magazine, he reflected on these mythic qualities:
I see Star Wars as taking all the issues that religion represents and trying to distill them down into a more modern and easily accessible construct […]
I put the Force into the movie in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people – more a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system. I wanted to make it so that young people would begin to ask questions about the mystery.
Who are the Nones
Today about about three-in-ten U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated. They are among the largest “religious “groups in the U.S.
Rather than a religion built upon what they feel are“stifling” creeds and sacred texts, Nones prefer the free, intuitive expression of personal spiritual beliefs and practices.
Their religious beliefs are difficult to pin down. A None might enjoy grandma’s church on Christmas Day, but use Eastern meditation for his mental health throughout the week.
How did they become nones? Increasing secularization, the drop in social desirability of the Christian religion, and the rise of the internet and many other factors all play a role.
How approach the nones
I don’t think there is any simple answer. Just as the causes are complex, there is no one approach.
But I offer a suggestion one might consider.
It is rooted in the awareness of being loved and sharing joy that radiates from the awareness of being loved.
I don’t think it getting 100 on an orthodoxy test. Neither is it in the experience of a Pharisee justifying himself because he followed all the rules.
It is the experience of knowing one is loved and trying to bring that awareness to others.
The awareness of being loved is a transformative experience
Hopefully, you have had an encounter of transforming love.
- The mother or father who loved you unconditionally and was always there for you, especially when you were frightened, discouraged by your mistakes, etc.
- The spouse who chose you not because of what you could do for them but simply because they loved you and saw something in you that maybe even you had not seen.
I believe the gospels witness to Jesus communicating that kind of transforming awareness of being loved.
- Why else would people drop their nets and follow him?
- Any wonder they would tell their brothers and sisters and friends about their meeting with him?
- Why else would the woman at the well excitedly say, ‘he knows everything about me, and yet he loves me’?
- Remember how the disciples on the road away from Jerusalem said, “Were not our hearts burning .“
They all experienced a transforming awareness of being loved… and ran to tell others about it!
I think the Jesus approach would work.
Becoming aware of being accepted and loved
- Do I take time to become aware of God’s loving glance? (Personal Prayer)
- Can being with others who are aware of God’s loving glance deepen my own awareness? (Celebrating Liturgy)