To Seek Justice...

My faith used to be demonstrated in my justice seeking. It's how I understood the world. I'm not sure where this came from, but it's how it happened. Maybe it happened while I was travelling to Nicaragua. Maybe I picked it up from the progressive context of my high school where we all proudly wore rainbow colored triangles announcing that "All are created equal." To seek justice was just who I was. It made sense.

And I got into all kinds of justice-seeking work, as might be evident here in my blog. I drink fair trade coffee. I drive a hybrid (which has yet to appear on my blog). I try to be aware of what it means for me to be a consumer of McDonalds or Verizon Wireless. It's caused me to do other more radical things that don't appear on my blog, but I consider myself to be tame in the crowd of my social justice friends. It's funny actually, as I think that I'm kinda a social justice slacker these days. I don't think that I do enough. I wish I did more. I don't do more, but I wish I did. Alas.

But, I'm also in the middle of a job search and every so often I get a careful, prayerful question about my justice work. And this question makes me cringe. I must admit that I'm a little indignent. How could I not to this work? It's what I feel called to do. So, I have to admit that I don't think we should make excuses about the work that we have done because there were good reasons -- reasons that may no longer be clear in today's context -- that I made the choices that I made. I'm not always sure that I would do the same thing. And yet, I don't think that should matter. This is where I become an idealist. I hope that church does not judge the actions we have chosen but instead understands the prayerful discernment of a group of people trying to do God's work. We don't do this work alone. We can't. We try to work together to find ways to realize God's Realm. But, it seems that there will always be some who judge and this I can't understand.

In the context of today's world, it seems that religion and politics can no longer be separated. I don't like to make my politics known. I have not written anything partisan in this blog. Indeed, I have demonstrated my distrust and disapproval of President Bush's action. But, this is not a partisan action. It says nothing of my political bias. Instead, it speaks to my religious core. I don't approve of the misuse of theology within the political realm. Indeed, I don't agree with President Bush's theology and perhaps this biases me too greatly. But, my faith calls me to seek justice. There is no mistake about this. My religious understanding is that Jesus challenges me to extend my family to know no bounds. In this boundless family, I am to offer extra love to the least of these, no matter who they are. There will be forces -- whatever they may be -- outside of the Realm of God that belittle, ignore and abuse the least of these. I name the people and places that I see in this light. You may choose others. But, my faith calls me to love them. And for this, I will not be judged. It frustrates me that there are others that don't want to offer this radical love -- the kind of love that Jesus offers. But, I shall not judge, until you judge me.

1 comment:

Mystical Seeker said...

I just stumbled onto your blog today. Personally, I admire those who reveal their faith through their struggles for social justice. I believe that a faith that does not express itself by fighting for social justice, or at least supporting in some way the fight for social justice, is a hollow fight.

I believe that in so doing, you are only carrying out Jesus's own message and emulating what he did. In my view, Jesus was not a moderate--he was a radical. He resisted nonviolently what Marcus Borg calls the "domination system" of his day, the Roman Empire and the peasant economy that oppressed the poor and powerless of his day. We have a political and economic system today that also oppresses. I don't think its about partisian politics; I think it is about resisting a system and promoting a vision of the inbreaking Realm of God. May you have God's blessings.