Monday, December 07, 2015

What is going on in this country?

Gun violence that is out of control. A persistent refusal to acknowledge that something has to change. That the laws have to change. It should not be harder to get a dog than a gun. And nobody needs to own an assault rifle. Nobody. Ever.

Violent, racist, xenophobic, hate-filled speech from Donald Trump, who claims to want to be our President. There are thousands of people who support his horrific rhetoric. He has given a loud, public voice to the racism and fear and ignorance that this country has tried to claim no longer existed here.

The president of Liberty University encouraged his students to carry weapons in order to "end those Muslims." Liberty University calls itself a Christian college. Christian as in "Christ" - the one who told us to turn the other cheek. To love our enemies. The one we call Prince of Peace. The one who never took up a sword and defend himself against anyone.

Often when I hear stories of people who claim to know and love God advocate violence or hatred or fear or discrimination, I think back to the 1990s when thousands of people wore WWJD bracelets.
Those letters stood for this question: What would Jesus do?
If we see someone homeless or in need, we should ask ourselves: What would Jesus do?
If we hear of someone who is sick or lonely or dying, we should ask ourselves, What would Jesus do?If we see injustice happening, what would Jesus do.
Ostensibly, we were supposed to respond with answers like: Feed them. Visit them. Pray for them. Welcome the stranger. Be present. Be generous. Forgive. Speak up for the downtrodden and needy.
Crazy stuff like that. Radical stuff like that. Revolutionary stuff like that. Jesus-y stuff like that.

What would Jesus do in response to what is going on in this country.
I have a few ideas, but I don't know exactly what Jesus would do or say.
However I do know this: Jesus would not arm himself in order to kill the newcomer or the stranger.
Jesus would not tell the young people in the synagogue or the town to arm themselves either.
Jesus would not vandalize or burn down mosques or churches or homes.
Jesus would not build walls to keep desperate people out.

What is going on in this country?
What am I going to do about it?
What are you going to do?

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