Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dis-establishmentarian Jesus

I'm enough of a dis-establishmentarian to have been perhaps more ready than some for the emerging political climate we find ourselves in. I'm not at all pleased to be living in a nation with such a hawkish military. I tend to think we've allowed the plutocrats to divide the demos and order most of government and "the system" towards their benefit, padding the pockets of the rich.

So, as a pastor committed to not only raising a voice in solidarity with the poor, but also living into the reality where class war is no longer waged and all people are free to thrive, I try to find a third way beyond the tired tropes of the system.

In this sense, the anti-establishment movement (which was also a populist movement) that elected Trump and I share common cause. We think the system is rigged.

The difference, though, between our sense of how it is rigged is rather profound. Whereas they prefer nationalism, tend to use rhetoric against ethnic and various minorities as a way to consolidate and emphasize what might be better about our nation, I find myself seeing our diversity, our offering of refuge to strangers, our democratic process of always seeking more ways to engage and give voice to those on the margins, as our greatest strength, our sources of resilience.

I'm at work, always, striving to amplify the practices that encourage our resilience. It's why I march against plutocracy, it's why I gather with intentionally diverse and ecumenical communities, it's why I try to learn about my forms of complicity in the system that is, and repent of it.

This is what I think it means to listen to Jesus, to love my neighbor as myself, and to very clearly, articulately, and steadily, distinguish myself and my movement from the interests of Empire.

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