Jesus was often more than a little tone deaf. Frankly, he just seemed at times not to give a crap if he sounded offensive. He almost seemed to relish it. He dispensed with the niceties if they got in the way of the message and its intended audience. Our church today is just the opposite of Jesus.
This week the President is expected to sign an executive order that uses religion as an excuse to permit discrimination. It will likely focus on LGBTQ people and women, but it will also affect those of minority faiths as well as non-theists. It even explicitly sanctions discrimination against people who have sex outside of marriage. Yep, the religious triumphalists have taken over the White House.
This struggle to end the apartheid occupation of Palestinians, is deeply connected to our collective struggle here in the U.S. to end the criminalization, incarceration and deportation of Black, Indigenous, and immigrants. This is what globalized settler colonialism & imperialism looks like. We must resist together!
I am writing you with an invitation to partner with me as I join a delegation to Palestine and Israel this May. This unique delegation will focus on human rights issues surrounding incarceration and the political persecution of human rights defenders in the larger context of the ongoing and unjust occupation. Not only is this delegation unique because of its focus, but also because of the commitment required of participants to ongoing advocacy work together.
What should be the response of progressives to the attack on Syria? So far, what I have seen is the typical liberal response – prayers and pleas for an end to violence that seem directed at no one in particular and will therefore go unheard and unheeded. We should point out that the response of donald trump and his mindless Republican congressional throng is merely false bravado.
So, now we will be stuck with Neil Gorsuch for a Supreme Court justice. Of course, adopting the “nuclear option” is a dangerous precedent, especially when current Senate Republican leadership has shown so little self-awareness or self-control. But the vote to put Gorsuch on the court is mainly dangerous simply for who Gorsuch is. Gorsuch repeatedly refuses to take into account the context in which legal disputes take place.
Last week Michael Flynn’s lawyers asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony before Congress for any possible crimes he may have committed before he was nudged out of his position as National Security Advisor in the trump administration. So, with donald trump now in favor of immunity for people who seem to be targets of enthusiastic inquisition, then there should likely be more groups of people for whom immunity should be granted.
I was involved in the criminal justice system for almost 10 years. For those 10 years, I probably spent at least one full day a week in Court. It was a parade of human misery and hopelessness in all aspects that was soul numbing to behold. The victims were not going to be made whole and the defendants were not going to receive any rehabilitation that would prevent future offenses. It was a mass churning of humanity for no apparent reason whatsoever except a violation of the law demanded punishment.
When I watch the film the driving theme is whether our lives individually or collectively as a church will be ruled by the passionate pursuit of the mission of the church or whether that will be sacrificed so that the institutional priorities can be maintained. And yes, missional priorities and institutional priorities are not one and the same.