Ready? The old phrase is that you don’t talk about politics or religion and then everything will be fine! Only it won’t so that’s really not true. The point of course, is civil discourse so don’t talk of things that might cause disagreement. Obviously civility has taken a hike in the past several years.
But many of you won’t be ready to face this:
White folks who regularly rebuke others saying “Stick to the Gospel and quit talking politics, it just divides people!” are themselves A. often (not always of course) if they were truly honest, really saying “If you had voted like I did I wouldn’t mind so much.” B. The majority of the black churches in the United States have a long history of political organizing specifically due to Jim Crow laws back in the day, the new Jim Crow of incarceration, etc., needs for city and county response re. neighborhood infrastructure and other needs not being met via local politicians (by FAR white).
So what are we saying about our black brother and sister CHRISTIANS in CHURCHES who often sponsor politically leaning and organizational neighborhood meetings, function as polling places and such?
“Preach the Gospel and enjoy your “place” in the back of the bus”?
We talk of grace but those folks didn’t earn it like we did?
Ignorance, denial of racism perhaps? Yes. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s going on but most whites wouldn’t admit we talk against minority people, “the other” in just that way when we call folks out on the basis of “Gospel and spirituality”.
The fact is, love costs and it may well cost the white majority politically -which means plenty of white Christians in the U.S.A. are about as angry and/or afraid as they can be.
So you want followers of Jesus to quit talking about politics? I don’t think that’s the gut truth. I think being the majority, the dominant power, the very thing we cling so hard to and are so rarely willing to share or even relinquish re. both church leadership and political dominance are idols like all idols, that need to go.
I think loving our neighbor rather than running the show, especially if they are among “the least of these”, is a cross that many of us have avoided far too long.
Yes, let’s talk religion and politics, and in the words of Bob Dylan, “Let us not talk falsely now, the hour’s getting late.”
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn