D’etre and D’etat: The Difference Between Jesus and Church

I worked at a big fat church for a few years once.

For about five minutes of those few years, the staff was charged to “live in the republic of ideas.”  I wrote what follows earlier today, but it strikes me as the difference between the Kingdom of God’s raison d’etre and the raison d’etat so many churches live and ultimately die by:

It occurs to me that our use of terms like “industrial” or “industrialized” nation reveals rather efficiently the willingness of our power elites (political and economic) to sacrifice most of us for personal gain; to spiritually, emotionally, and economically destroy the creative, academic, merchant and truly small-business class (let’s call it the bourgeoisie) right along with the cynically styled “working class.” We bourgeoisie and/or proletarians freely mingle, and not-so-freely mimic the choices of the power elites (be they Clintons or Romneys) with what we’re told are consumer “choices” but are really the gasping acts of hanging-on desperately performed by human agents too exhausted from surviving to enact true human agency. This is purely diabolical; if there is a God in heaven, that God must not endorse this system. Surely, the central Christian image of God not in heaven but on a cross is in reaction to the system that enslaved Judea, that murdered John the Baptizer, that found Jesus guilty of blasphemy and sedition. That Christ’s message — God is for the margin and not for the power structures we worship — brought about his death at the hands of those power structures isn’t only a sort of proto-theological poetry, it is the essential Christian fact, the essential Christian witness, the essential Christian claim about the nature and person of God. That Jesus spoke of a kingdom different from those of the Sanhedrin and Rome and Washington and Wall Street and Seattle isn’t some spiritual-only conceit. What Christ called the Kingdom of God is not so-called Christendom, not the so-called Church; it is a physical network of willing rebellion.

Advertisements
Featured Image -- 17927

Ken Cuccinelli: Stop The Widespread Collection Of Americans Metadata

So is THIS the angle with which Republicans will gain some traction? Crudely, progressives fear the tyranny of business more than the tyranny of government; conservatives the inverse. Is it possible to fear both (as we all should) AND legislate with both fears in mind? I think so. Neither major party has been great at that. Too often, once-progressives settle into “liberal” middle-age (think Ed Rendell) and the fear of corporate tyranny goes out the window as the campaign cash comes rolling in. Too often, their conservative counterparts place unbridled faith in the market and its rigged system (often as the campaign cash comes rolling in). And so, let the fight over metadata begin.

CBS Philly

By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ken Cuccinelli, a former candidate for Governor in Virginia, spoke with Dom Giordano today on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, about a lawsuit he filed with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky against the National Security Agency.

“The NSA sweeping up all of our telephone metadata, the phone numbers we’re calling, who we’re getting calls from, how long those calls are, and all sorts of other things, Americans generally expect that information to be private,” Cuccinelli said laying out his case for protecting what can and cannot be collected by the federal government.

“That expectation of privacy under the 4th Amendment is critical to determining whether the NSA is actually violating the Constitution which we have asserted in this lawsuit we filed,” he said explaining his argument that current levels of data collection have crossed the line into illegality.

Listen to full podcast here…           

View original post 167 more words

Jesus Messed Around With Gender Roles

Can we recognize that Jesus inspired marginalized women to action and proclamation on one hand and affirm on the other that the pastoral epistles equating “good and orderly” church governance with all-male leadership aren’t bound to localized contexts?  I don’t think so.  It’s like saying “sure, you wanna spread the word about a man come back from the dead, you let a woman be the first to know. But if you want churches to work as institutions, you better call a man. I mean, come on guys, it doesn’t have to be circumcised.  But it has to BE there.”

It’s Okay, US Senate, We Got This: Due Process and The War on Terror

From the NYT:

“WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday decided to leave unanswered a momentous question about constitutional rights in the war against Al Qaeda: whether government officials have the power to arrest people inside the United States and hold them in military custody indefinitely and without a trial.”

Let me handle this for you, The Senate:

No.

With thanks to Kyle Minor for sharing the article on Facebook.