Saturday, March 15, 2008

God and Country

As I listened to the news cast last night – on every major news network - I listened in disbelief to the conversation, questioning Senator Obama for his association with Trinity UCC church here in Chicago and his relationship with Dr. Jeremiah Wright. As I was drawn into the news frenzy, my disbelief turned to anger and then to sadness as I listened to the conversation questioning his ability to lead this country, his patriotism and his relationship to God based upon comments made by Rev Wright. Not only was the exchange unfair to Trinity and Dr. Wright’s vast and long history around social justice, ministry to the African American experience, and prophetic voice, but I found it profoundly sad that our political system has come to this. Have we come to a point in our religious and political history in this country, that a prophetic/religious critique of our social systems, economic distribution and the fairness of our access to opportunities is not allowed by any candidate or the people in the wider circles he/she travels? Has the dominate voice praised God and America with the same breath for so long that it has forgotten how to separate the demands of God’s justice from the demands of being a patriotic citizen. It seems as though empires always try to silence or marginalize voices of dissent. Isn’t that what Holy week is about? As I pushed beyond my anger this morning - perhaps, I thought, (trying to see some positive side of this debate) there is a window of opportunity for Americans to seriously ponder just how much their feelings and thoughts about God are separated from their feelings and thoughts about America. Let us remember that God is not at god that aligns with any particular government, or people, or economic system. But rather, God stands as an ethical critique and a prophetic voice of all systems, stands as a voice of protest against any national policy that exploit, oppress and/or uses violence as a way of enforcing and maintaining the self interest of some at the expense of others.


Anonymous said...

Amen! Amen! and Amen!

Erika said...

The tide that has turned in this political race is so disheartening and unfortunate. Your response was wonderfully honest and poignant... BRAVO!