politics


ZionismLast night, while visiting with friends who are heading to a “sensitive” county in North Africa, I was reminded of the crime that is Christian Zionism.

Christians all over the Middle East and the Mediterranean rim have suffered mightily because of Western Christians’ views on Israel, Palestine and the Jewish people as a whole. Fellow Christ-followers have been forced from their homes and traditional sites, places where God has been worshiped and Christ has been taught for twenty centuries, because Jesus will come back if we put the Jews back in the Holy Land.

What a sad state of affairs, when we would side with folks who don’t claim Christ over and against our confessing brothers and sisters…

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Why doesn’t George W. Bush just step down and go hide in Crawford?

I mean, when Mayan priests are having to perform rituals to remove evil spirits that follow you around, you probably need to rethink some things.

I’m with the Mayans on this one: if GWB ever came to my temple, I’d go all Maccabean on the place.

I was chatting recently with a friend who ministers for a moderately-sized church in a very large city.  He mentioned that he and a few other ministers were going to try to start a group that was focused on social action (our particular tribe of Christians has not had a great track record in this arena).

Q wrote recently wondering why we Christians seem to get very energized and excited about partisan politics, but barely register a pulse (it seems) when it comes to matters of faith.

One of my mentors talked about his time as a student at a Christian college during the Vietnam war and about his experience with protests and pickets and times of singing anti-war songs.

So this leads me to wonder (we do seem to be getting off to a very questioning start, don’t we?): Why don’t we protest anymore?

Surely there are things about which we are passionate enough to raise our voices, or to step away from our Lost and 24 and SportsCenter for an hour or two of marching.  Maybe it is because of issues Q raised initially, that we are more concerned with partisan issues, and are therefore more likely to show up at a Republican rally or an Obama book-signing.

Are we just not aware of the great injustices around us (doubtful), do we not trust enough in the political structures to correct the injustices (more likely), or do we just not give a damn(most likely)?

I’ve been curious about the intersection between politics and faith and was wondering why it is that we seem to be so passionate about our politics and less so about our faith?

Talking to church members about loving the poor and showing love to one another tends to evoke little interest, but merely mentioning politics dramatically increases the collective blood pressure of all involved. It doesn’t matter that when we entered a room that we were “one in Christ,” for the true marker of our worth and identity during these times seems to come down to political affiliation, a two party system that often trumps and perpetuates the dualism inherent in Western Christianity. All of the sudden people assume that they are righteous because of their political proclivities, while others, whose perspectives differ from the majority, are easily tossed into the category of bolstering the cause of “the enemy” and others who make up the so called “axis of evil.”

What we are beginning to see is a incredibly influential yet damning use of language that reduces humanity to a single concept, that of being either good or evil. The remarkably multifaceted nature of humanity as created by God, and therefore ontologically good, yet fallen and in need of redemption is instructive for our public discourse intent on reducing individuals to the lowest common denominator.

How do we get to the point of inculcating a respect for all people regardless of their political perspectives and families, countries, and religions of origin? How do we call our people back to their baptisms in a way that allows for free discourse on political issues but that ultimately yields the need to be right for the sake of Christian community? Being apolitical is not a solution, for the bulk of humanity’s problems must be addressed on a political scale.

At the same time, our ecclesiology must become more robust and reformed if we are to become anything more than a place for political conservatives and liberals to gather as they attempt to spew surface level niceties at one another when in reality they harbor deep seated resentment toward those on the other side of the political spectrum. How do we get at this dynamic in our churches and in our world?