The Economic Crisis Finds Faith in Detroit


DETROIT, MI (Free Press): With General Motors filing for bankruptcy, people of the troubled Motor City began searching for answers during these lean times in a cross between the Great Depression and an economic recession.

While some look for President Barack Obama for change, others decided to seek out God for strength, wisdom, and hope. “The less you have, and the less secure you are … the more that you have to draw upon faith” 35-year-old Scott Gendron said last Sunday in the Free Press. “There could be more layoffs, especially if there’s a bankruptcy. It comes to a point of: What do you trust? Do you trust your finances or do you trust God?”

In the movie Daredevil, Matt Murdock’s priest and confidant said that a man without fear is a man without hope. By day, Matt is an attorney fighting for the innocent, but at night, he picks up where the law left off as Daredevil, guardian of Hell’s Kitchen in New York — seeking justice one way or another. But in the end, it wasn’t about saving the city but about saving his soul, as Matt slowly realizes that faith is all we need.

“It’s good to know there is an all-powerful presence overlooking everything in the world” said 31-year-old Pavani Malladi of Rochester Hills, recently laid off from her job with Chrysler last year; she goes to the Bharatiya Temple, a Hindu center in Troy. “Religion gives answers to the questions we face in our lives” she stated.

Questions such as why would a God, who is supposed to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and good, allow bad things such as this economic crisis to happen? “It seems to be creating … an emotional disequilibrium” Pastor Rocky Barra told the congregation of Connection Church last Sunday; his sermon was based on financial problems. “There is a lot of anxiety going around. There is a lot of fear” he went on.

Gendron is one of the people who attends Connection, which is one of Wayne County’s biggest churches; one of his co-workers was recently laid off at the Pontiac GM power train facility he works at. “The reality is”, he said in the lobby after the sermon, “you never know how secure it is.

“I definitely think there’s a plan at work. I don’t think you can explain it any other way. God provides – we truly believe that. I believe that God provides, no matter what the situation is. No matter how bleak things look.”

In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne told trusty butler and father figure Alfred Pennyworth that people need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy, but can’t do that as a man because he is flesh and blood and can be ignored. However, as a symbol, he can be incorrupt, pure, and everlasting. That symbol, as we all know, is the Batman: bringing hope on the streets of Gotham, and light as the Dark Knight Detective. The FOX series Dark Angel (2000-02) takes place in the future, where America has become a Third World country, and the economy is in another Great Depression. Jessica Alba starred as Max, a genetically-enhanced prototype soldier who teams with crusading cyber-journalist Logan “Eyes Only” Cale (NCIS‘ Michael Weatherly) to battle crime and corruption in Seattle.

“…the world got a whole lot meaner all of a sudden. It wasn’t supposed to, but it did. So now, it’s back to the law of the jungle, and there are predators and victims” – “Eyes Only”, pilot

It is easy to have faith and trust God during the good times, but what would happen if we lost everything? Could we still trust in God? For though His ways are mysterious, God is still good, for He gives us what we need because he knows he is best for us. God doesn’t take great pleasure in our pain and suffering. It is during these tough trials and tribulations that He does His best work, as we discover that God is there for us at all times: the good, the bad, and the ugly. He’s never left us nor forsakes us; He will be with us always. All we have to do is trust Him completely — and have faith.

“We learned that God is our source” said 58-year-old Beth Henninger of Taylor, also a member of Connection Church with husband Steve. “His mother always used to say, ‘What this country needs is a good depression.’ While there are a lot of negative things about it, I really think that it is drawing us closer to God. Beth’s husband Steve, a third-generation autoworker, recently took a buyout from Ford, where he worked as a die maker. “We always thought this was going to go on forever” he stated. “Now, it looks like it may not. … It makes me realize I can’t count on Ford Motor Co. or the United States government. I have to count on God to get me through.”