Christian Nation, Remember the Face of God

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In celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, we Christians celebrate a God who is human, vulnerable, and poor, who “hears the cry of the poor”, not from afar, but face-to-face, who assumes the wretched condition of the poor, the better to take up their cause in compassion (co-suffering) and solidarity.

By contrast, our self-proclaimed “Christian Nation” obstructs the ethical gaze of the Divine with a muscle-flexing theo-politics of corporate power and cultural hegemony, in which a sturdy, self-made Son of Man is enthroned in the CEO suite beyond the clouds, distant and unapproachable, detached from the human condition, abandoning the vulnerable to their own devices, leaving the poor without a prayer.

The Christian Right wants to see “the law of Christ” codified in secular legislation, yet there is absolutely nothing in the gospel of Jesus Christ to support the sort of laws the Christian Right believes will “Make America Great Again”. There is nothing — literally nothing — in the preaching of Christ to justify laws that fill the rich with good things and send the poor empty away. Such legislation is a diabolical reversal of biblical prophecy, and Jesus clearly condemns the hypocritical attitudes and unjust social order that produce it. Similarly, laws that oppress the refugee and set traps for the undocumented immigrant are foreign to the mind of Christ, who sees his own weary face in the haunted eyes of the wandering stranger.

The Christian Right does promote the cause of the unborn child, which is the epitome of vulnerable humanity, yet the harrowed face of the pregnant woman is too often brow-beaten by arch pro-life rhetoric and utterly ignored (along with the child) by the callous economic ideologies of Christians more beholden to Capital than Christ. Thus the face of Christ is doubly buffeted.

Christian nation, remember the face of your God. His face is human, vulnerable, and poor. Be reformed in your politics accordingly.

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