Thursday, November 04, 2004

Christianity, Faith, Justice, and Politics: Just what's it all mean?

I am a member of an online Benedictine Oblate Forum, an ecumenical online community created to foster discussion, and information and prayer sharing for individuals interested in all things Benedictine. The list owner sent out a note which, in part, said,
We are challenged as religious community to see beyond a culture of war (and that is the reality in our world today) to a culture of nurturing and life-giving for all who share this planet. This is what should form the discussion...not political parties, single issues, or individuals.

I offer the following wisdom from Sojourners publisher James Wallis:

"In a deeply polarized country, commentators reported that either political outcome would "crush" the hopes of almost half the population. So perhaps the most important role for the religious community will come now, when the need for some kind of political healing and reconciliation has become painfully clear. In the spirit of America's greatest religious leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., the religious community could help a divided nation find common ground by moving to higher ground. And we should hold ourselves and both political parties accountable to the challenge of the biblical prophet Micah to "do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God."
I would suggest that all of us, no matter our faith (or lack of faith) must seek the common ground. I fear that as a nation we are so polarized, there is no incentive to seek common ground; and, I fear many of us (likely including myself... and the President...) have mis-read what this election means. It tells me we are dangerously polarized at home and have cut ourselves off from much of the world; it tells the President he has a mandate to continue with his current policies and practices.

I hope I'm wrong. And I know he is.


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