Today Mark Sandlin from The God Article and Zac Bailes from Crazy Liberals and Conservatives discuss the fallout from the death of Osama Bin Laden. We also discuss the trajectory and state of the GOP. Come laugh and learn with us. We're trying to figure it all out, and we hope you can be in conversation with us along the way.
This edition of State of the Christian Left engages Libya, the end of the Tea Party, and the theological questions of providence concerning the disaster in Japan. Join Zac from Crazy Liberals and Conservatives and Mark from The God Article for what promises to be insightful, thoughtful, and fun commentary.
To the New House Majority:
You say that with this vote America has spoken. I voted. Will you hear my voice?
From what I've seen and heard, I don't think you believe my voice is American enough. It would seem that in your America only those who agree with you get to be 'real' Americans. So, yes, America has spoken, but it is your America, not mine, because that's the only one you can hear.
My America made it's voice be heard during the last Presidential election. It was a resounding voice that was heard around the world! Was your voice heard around the world on Tuesday? When Obama won The Daily Telegraph's headline read, “A New Dawn,” with a picture of he and Mrs. Obama embracing. My voice was heard around the world, but you probably didn't hear it. My children have the same problem. I call them to do their chores and they are surprisingly hard of hearing. When I call them for dinner they have better hearing than our dog. I understand.
I am a Christian minister, every day people come into our offices asking for help. They've been stepped on by Big Business, you probably know some of them. Not the people coming into our offices, of course not... heavens no. You probably know some of the Big Businesses that have stepped on them - some of them are the same Big Businesses that paid for your win. Remember who paid for Obama's win? We, the people. That was our voice being heard. Your winning is more about Big Businesses having their voice heard. I guess those are the voices you are hearing.
The people who visit our little church have voices too, but you probably don't hear them. Their voices call out for equality, for health care, for justice, for peace and for a little acknowledgment and respect. They work hard every day just so their kids won't go hungry each night. They beg from people they don't even know because the system has failed them. They get doors slammed in their faces because they haven't been able to keep their water turned on or because they couldn't afford to finish their education. They don't ask for much, just the basics that everyone in such a wealthy nation should have: food, water, a job, a roof over their head, people who care about them and a government that helps them get a leg up rather than helping Big Business step on them. Do you hear their voices?
You say you represent the voice of America. Well I'm American. I'm with The Christian Left - do you hear our voices? We stand for biblical precepts. We believe that when Jesus said, “When you do it unto the least of these, so too you do it unto me,” he was talking to us and that includes you. We believe that when Jesus turned over the tables in the temple he was sending a message to us and to you that taking advantage of the least of these will not be tolerated! We believe that when he said, "love your neighbor as yourself," it was more than a suggestion; it was a mandate on how we are to conduct our lives. We believe that when he said blessed are the peacemakers that it was a divine calling to war no more. Do you hear our voices?
From the way you ran your elections, it's clear that you hear money better than voices, but contrary to what the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision might lead you to believe, my voice, our voices are supposed to matter more than the voice of Big Business. So I ask you, “Can you hear me now?” ... Can you hear US now?
The Christian Left is much more than a Facebook (FB) page, it is a growing movement. It is the future hope of The Church and the only non-hypocritical way The Church stands any long term chance of being an effective Christian voice in politics. (Wow. I hope I didn't overstate that. Let's see, “ the future hope of The Church and the only non-hypocritical way The Church stands any long term chance of being a effective Christian voice in politics.” Nope, that's about right).
Let me say that while The Christian Left is much more than its FB page, if you want to participate in this very important dialogue, the FB page is a fantastic place to start. It engages head and heart, politics and religion, theology and contemporary topics...it's worth the read and the engagement it takes to be a part of the dialogue will do us all some good. I might just add, if you do decide to join the dialogue (and I hope you will), it'd be helpful if you were to check out our Code of Conduct. Thanks.
But let's get on with the whole “We Need The Christian Left, Now More Than Ever” title. Bit of a bold statement, isn't it? Well, not really.
Christianity, over the course of a few thousand years, has drifted away from the teachings of it's founder. That man was a walking Heath Care System. He wisely, gently and unapologeticly confronted hate at every turn. He always believed people could be better than they are and when he met someone, he asked them to change – toward the better person he knew they could be. He loved people and abhorred abuse of power (in both religions and politics). He walked quietly on this earth and yet made a loud impact. He was willing to lay down his life for the love of others.
In a world where big business seems to control everything, even the government; in a time when the Supreme Court is sometimes promoting businesses' rights over individual's rights; we need a guiding principle that reminds us that our Creator wants us to put people first. In an environment when news channels are formed around encouraging people to be afraid and fear people who are not like them or don't believe the things they believe, we need a point of light that beacons us toward acceptance and love. In a nation where businesses' bottom lines continue to be promoted over the health and welfare of the 'least of these,' we need the image of a healing hand that reached out, even to lepers, to heal without asking for or expecting anything in return...other than faith. In a world being devastated by our consumerist attitudes and privileged lifestyles, we need Jesus' life to remind us that we must walk gently on God's Creation. We need the man who hung on a cross for love, to teach us to live our lives for love.
You see, the reason we need the Christian Left now more than ever, is because it is not really 'the left.' If anything, what Christian 'leftist' stand for is just good theology. If anything, we should be the “Christians centrist” or the “Christian originalist.” Ultimately, we are 'left' only by comparison, relative to what the dominate voice of Christianity in the U.S. claims Christians stand for. The same voice that has left younger generations beleiving that Christians have become, well, unChristian.
We need the Christian Left now more than ever, because we need to follow the teaching of Jesus more than ever.