Hello everyone! I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to write a blog post! As a teacher, times get pretty busy around the end of the quarter as grading periods end and report cards are due. Regardless, here I am today, finally getting around to typing again as the quarter grades are in and I finally feel as though I have breathing room once again!
As for what I am talking about today, it happens to be related to the recent events that have transpired within the United States the last week. To say that it has been a tumultuous 2 weeks is probably an understatement. President Donald Trump has certainly been busy beaver signing away executive order after executive order, pushing through his preferred cabinet members (do NOT get me started on Betsy “I support Accountability” DeVos) and using his perceived power to try to shut down any person or entity that speaks contrary to himself (the National parks, EPA, and the “Monday Massacre”). In all reality, the past two weeks have been troubling and scary for many of us. As I am not a political expert, I am not really going to delve into the executive orders or the cabinet members really. What I am going to delve into is something that many seem to be talking about; the “Muslim Ban”. As a Christian, this is one that hits very close to home. You see, what this order verbalizes at a very deep level is that “The other are evil and they must be exterminated at all costs, because a few extremists from their religion did and are doing atrocious stuff.”
I want to take you back into the world of Jesus, who many Christians profess as their rabbi, or the teacher that they have committed to emulate entirely. See, in Jesus’ day this same issue cropped up. Harlots, lepers, Samaritans, tax collectors, Roman Sympathizers, among others, were considered “evil” too. Many people considered them less than worthy, but you know what Jesus did? That’s right, Jesus went right up to those “corrupt” “Evil” people and told them that He loved them. He told them that they belonged in His kingdom. Jesus came to those who were ostracized because of others who came before them that they were welcome by his side! In fact, it was the people who were saying “The other is bad” who were actually the ones who ended up crucifying Jesus in the end! It is the same kind of situation that we are experiencing right now. This is the same narrative that has existed throughout the years; Civil Rights, Slavery, Ghandi’s Pacifistic Liberation movement, The South African Apartheid, to name but a few narratives that combated this very same issues.
After Jesus died, The christian movement started spreading, and you know what? The Christian movement included people from all sorts of religious, ethnic, and status backgrounds! Jesus’ message won out in the end, even when the critics silenced Him. What about the issue of Slavery? well, we don’t have that any more. And Ghandi’s movement? Yep, India is an independent nation now. But Civil rights, it’s not completely there, but with the help of Dr. King, Jim Crow laws were abolished and people were granted rights that they had never had before. And Apartheid? Go check out the Reconciliation Commission headed up by Desmond Tutu.
You see? When it comes to this issue, justice and acceptance almost always win out. As our human understand expands, so too does our society as a whole. Currently, there are a lot of people out there trying to drag society back to the “Way it used to be”. To quote John Phillip Newell when talking about society as he encounters it in his book The Rebirthing of God, “There’s no going back.”One way or another society always seems to move forward and expands. Look at the tribal and violent world that we came out of. We no longer have to feel the need to slaughter our neighbors in order to feel safe. We no longer have slavery. Does this mean that there are not birthing pains? Does this mean that hard work does not need to be done? Of course not! In the case of many of these movements, there was a lot of pain. People were hurt, people died, but humanity still struggled to move forward, to become the people that it is supposed to be. Dr. King, Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus; all of them lost their lives in the course of standing up for other people’s rights and liberties.
I am in no way promising that the next 4 years are going to be a cake walk. It will mean that we need to get involved. We need to be at the airports protesting. We need to write our senators and congresspeople. We need to stand against this injustice of discrimination against a particular religion. I don’t care if their religion is different than mine, they are God’s creation and they retain the Divine Image within them, they are my brothers and sisters as much as my actual brothers and sisters. God doesn’t call u to “love other white christians.” God calls us to love everybody. EVERYBODY! Love is everything that comes out of I Corinthians 13. It holds no record of wrongs, it does not judge. It rejoices when Justice wins out. The next 4 years are going to be tough. They are going to be a slog. There will be pain that is going to unfold. We may be ridiculed or beaten down, but just as the people who came before us, with indomitable spirits, let us stand for the message that Christ gave us. Just as they persevered and stood victorious, so shall we. It is the way of the universe. Stand for the weary, weak, orphan, widow, and the marginalized. Stand for those who can’t speak out for themselves. Speak out for those being silenced. Write blogs. Write politicians. Talk about this with friends and family. March in protest. Pray. Donate to organizations that defend personal liberties such as simple entry into the country. Do what you need to. We are faced with a government that is trying to suppress us with fear by saying “The other will hurt us”. I say “The other is our brother or sister.” The other deserves love, and I will stand up to fight for that love to be given to them.
This is a personal blog and does not necessarily represent the views of Community Church or any groups mentioned here