Today Trump told Christian leaders to be afraid. They are one vote away from losing everything they have gained. Not that different from any other day in this presidency. I am of course tempted to reference Hauerwas at this juncture and his oft quoted reminder that their is only one instance of democracy in the Bible, and they choose Barabas.
(For my more secular readers, The romans give the “crowd” a choice of sparing one of two prisoners – Jesus or Barabas. The crowd seeing on one hand a freedom fighter and the other a troublesome parable telling rabbi… chose… as one does… the less loquacious of the two and condemned Jesus to crucifixion.)
And though contemporary United States politics does present a rather easy target for Christian theology, I want to focus this rant on the fear Trump uses here, specifically fear of violence.
I get it. In a land where refusing to sell a cake to a same sex couple is high martyrdom, the thought of actual physical violence must be so outside the american christian’s daily experience that this must seem apocalyptic. (ugh… I hate I used the word that way… but i’ll leave it and rant later on how in talking theologically, one should avoid using Apocalypse in such a lazy fasion.) Violence against the church? Who could imagine such a thing? Surely this is something other (poorer and tanner) Christians must deal with but not here in good ‘ol WASP country standing up for God by not kneeling for the anthem.
Jesus had a lot to say about fear. He keeps talking about it, goes on and on and on. His disciples probably wish he’d move on or at the very least explore the other side of topic for a bit. But Jesus was rather consistent. His basic philosophy can be summarized thusly: Don’t.
And violence? The guy got cruxified. And his follwers were lucky if they didn’t get cruxified. There is a reason St. Lawrence can joke while being roasted over a fire, he’s dying in a novel and interesting way.
Christians used to die rather than to pledge allegiance to any other Lord other than Jesus…. now we rake coals over football players protesting the violence against their community by kneeling during a song cuz ‘Merica and Jesus, maybe?
So no, Christians you have nothing to fear from the vote come December or any other vote. You are not first and foremost an American, your Lord does not dwell in Washington.
If your going to be temporarily fearful… be afraid of your neighbor not having enough to eat, the widow being alone, the homeless cold.
Then do something about it and stop being fearful.
For Jesus is Lord and you are His subjects, so let try once more to act accordingly. Spread the Gospel to all the Earth, this Ceasar has no real authority. Fear not, God loves you and me, yes even you and me.
Last couple of months have been full of transitions. I moved to Lowell, Massachussets. Began work as a fishmonger in Cambridge. Yesterday I signed a lease in Malden, Massachussets. Will be moving in a couple days which means the great book packing will begin once again. Will need one… maybe two… more boxes as I have aquired a few more books in my time here. I’m sure it is coincidence in a state that actually pays librarians a living wage one would find an abundance of used bookstores.