Again a response to the discussion mentioned in the last post:
Ok, so I’ve already stated one thing that irritates me about Christianity and Christians. So we know that a majority of them can’t (or won’t) think for themselves. This means that they blatantly ignore when Christians and the Church are not fulfilling their responsibilities. One big thing that the majority of American Christians are ignoring is their responsibility for Social Justice.
So, I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. Why is it that we as Americans; the wealthiest country in the world, continue to allow injustice to happen all around us. Sure we will freakin bomb and invade a country for oil and economical gain (like the US needs that anyway), but we do very little to right other injustices around the world and (gasp) within our own boarders!
There are way too many social injustices in the world today to name, but a few that come to mind are world hunger/poverty, genocide, racism, torture, etc… and the list goes on. Now I just got kicked out of a church because some “Christians” had a problem with me having a friend that was gay listed on my myspace. In fact I had to delete the entire site to appease these people, and still was fired over it. Homosexuality!?! Really? I mean c’mon, I know that is a hot-button issue, but why not get riled up about something that you can actually make a difference in. All the time spent by these people to figure out some way that having a gay friends and “loving them as my neighbor” was somehow unchristian (the minister living in a glass box analogy was used, but I thought I WAS making a theological statement by having that person as a friend. (Granted I have no control over what other people have on their myspace site, but at least I was allowing that person to be himself and not conform before I befriended him!) I sit and think, all that time those few people spent creatively figuring out how to justify getting rid of me because I was a threat… what if they had used that time to creatively figuring out how to solve a real social justice issue!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not belittling the way Christians treat homosexuals, and I do believe that is a true social justice issue that should be addressed, but those people won’t change their mind about that issue, so I would think there is more hope getting them to focus on another issue that they can’t sit the fence on like world poverty.
My point in all of this is to say what makes me so irritated at Christians, and at times ashamed to call myself one (because of the actions or inactions of those who proudly display the title), is the fact that they will put so much effort into something so nominal, but so little time on accepting and working towards their other Kingdom-Building responsibilities. Why is it that all of my sermons seem to be geared towards the theme of “get off your butt and do something”. We can’t come to church one day a week and call passive participation in the various Sabbath rituals “worship”, if the actions of our lives the other six days are not kingdom-building in nature, and thus truly worship! This may be a faulty belief, but I think that true worship starts well before you walk through the vestibule on Sunday mornings. Kingdom-building is rooted in Social Justice.
've been re-reading Marcus Borg’s Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, and he makes a really good statement when talking about the Exodus as Israel’s Identity story:Isreal’s “primal narrative” is the story of radical protest against and liberation from [the agrarian empire (10% wealthy and the rest in bondage, slavery, poverty, peasantry)], and it affirms the radical criticism of and liberation from such societies is the will of God. Moreover, the radical economic legislation of the Pentateuch was designed to prevent such a world from reemerging. (see economic laws of Deut. 15:1-18 and Lev. 25). (Borg p.104)
He goes on to say that when God states in Exodus 20 that “I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,” and that the “exodus story is not about Social Justice without God; equally it is not about God without Social Justice. .. Ancient Israel’s primal narrative brings together two areas of life that [Christians] tend to separate: religious passion and social justice, God and this-worldly liberation. “ (p.105).
So this brings me to my point: what is our role as Christians within this current American regime in terms of Social Justice? I think that is the same question that this group is exploring. According to Borg’s (as well as others like Brueggemann) assessment of our religious creation (for this being Israel’s creation story as a nation, and we were historically Jews before we were Christians) It is our RESPONSIBILITY and DUTY as followers of God and Builders of his Kingdom to be radically critical and involved in the liberation process of social Justice. While preachers in America stand behind their podium with their expensive suits and lapel mikes clipped to their silk ties, preaching the Hell into people (in order to get them to say a prayer to get them out). They never get around to taking part in the work of Social Justice in the world, nor do they (and I’m implicating not just ministers, but American Christians in general) hold our government accountable for its role in the global realization of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Christians, just like most Americans, are content with enjoying our freedoms and luxuries while so much of this world is being denied these basic human rights; many by our own hands! I never thought that by association, I could both be ashamed to go by the title as Christian and American at the same time.