I am praying each day of Lent for the salvation of donald trump. It is not difficult and it does not require a lot of time, though perhaps it should. My prayers do not seem to be working from my vantage point at least. There is a gospel story that comes tomind when I pray; the story of Zacchaeus. There is a reason why this passage is so rarely heard about in our churches.
Further, whether a church has a US flag in the sanctuary or not does not address some of the deeper issues associated with nationalism and service to the state. I do not want to give too much credit to churches that do the simple (remove a US flag from the sanctuary) and virtually ignore the more difficult task of addressing our essential loyalties and allegiances which can either buttress or undermine the sin of nationalism
In the current age of political entrenchment it is easy for liberals to immediately jump to the side of Christopher Wray and the FBI and vigorously defend both. But, to be fully honest, this has to feel a little odd, especially considering the less than stellar history of the FBI. In fact, when Democrats and others become outraged that trump is politicizing the FBI their outrage rings a little hollow.
Amnesty is usually given because we know and like the people who receive it. We even talk about how amnesty is given because the recipients have “earned” it. But how do you “earn” something that is freely given? If you “earn” it, then it’s not amnesty; it’s a form of compensation. We grant amnesty to people we know and like and we withhold it from people we do not know or we do not like.
INVEST IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS - increase teacher pay, fund the arts, get rid of the damn tests, and let schools educate! Schools can be the place that spark the dreams in our kids that will set their worlds on fire, which can lead to remarkable scientific discoveries, new advancements in technology, and deeper empathy for those lead in social services.
My problems with home schooling emanate from more of a missiological concern than anything. I believe home schooling inhibits a necessary social and political engagement on the part of Christians in their neighborhoods, and I am also deeply concerned for the political power that the home school lobby has in Washington DC.
Can it not be said that had the Turpin children been in a public school there is a chance that a teacher would have noticed how malnourished they were? As the answer to this question is likely to be yes, then isn’t it worth it to do all we can to ensure that children receive the best attention both at home and in our public service institutions such as public schools?
I am finding more and more that mistreating people, inveterate lying, placing the reputations of individuals and organizations far above the welfare of employees, and committing actions of blatant hypocrisy, misogyny, white privilege, and even sexual harassment is becoming the norm among those who love to publicly proclaim their commitment to the ideals of justice.
There is literally a broken world that would love for you and I to dream new dreams, create new networks, and raise up new leaders this coming year. And rest assured, if United Methodists turn aside from this uncharted and holy mission, God will certainly find others to walk forward. In many ways, God already is.
At no time more than Advent is our church year so in conflict with society. While we are focusing on our journey, studying, fasting and praying our way towards joy, the world is already obsessed with presents and decorations. Christians are forever citizens of two worlds, with a foot in each, and tonight those worlds are so far apart.
The story of Jesus’ birth still carries a strong message for the United States today; that providing hospitality to those who most need it can being unexpected blessings. It also parallels much of our national context today when the ruling authorities, threatened by the mere presence of Jesus as a baby, crack down with overwhelming power, far beyond what was necessary.
My approval of the Mueller investigation is that I know the more political space being devoted to these investigations and their immense political fallout means that there is less space being given to codify the harm this administration seems hell bent on causing people. But I also find myself wondering to what end are all of these investigations coming to. Is it faithful, as a follower of Jesus, to hope for significant jail time for trump or the members of his cabinet or campaign team?