Blog Roundup – March
Like many folks, I’ve followed the unfolding story of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a black teen killed by a neighborhood watchman under circumstances that may never fully come to light. In the latest development, Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) made headlines by wearing a hoodie in honor of Trayvon on the floor of the US House of Representatives and was promptly ushered off the floor for violating the dress code’s ban on hats.
Most of the news stories I saw about the incident simply reported the Congressman’s removal from the House floor. When I actually watched the video of his speech, though, I was more struck by something else.
While he briefly held the House floor, Congressman Rush recited two verses from Scripture over the rap of the speaker’s gavel: specifically, Micah 6:8, “And what does the LORD require of you, but to love kindness, to do justice, and to walk humbly with your God?”, and Luke 4:19, “The Spirit of the LORD … has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” To me, these verses get at the heart of the Gospel’s call for radical personal and social transformation; they express the cry of a universe groaning in labor pains for all things to be made new.
Why, I wondered, did the media not report that part of the story? And why, when politicians do quote Scripture, do we not hear passages like these?
Much of this stems from my long-standing frustration with how Christian faith has been politicized (can anyone really give me a good argument that disenfranchising LGBT folks gets to the heart of the Gospel? Really?). Ultimately, I’m upset that, when Christianity does enter politics, the discourse mostly misses the point of the Gospel. Important conversations about faith don’t happen.
Which is why I take comfort in the IFYC blog. In this space, we do have those important conversations, about birth control and religious freedom, about faith in higher ed, and about staying true to exclusive truth claims while forming relationships with people who don’t share those convictions. Praise the Lord for this space, and keep talking.
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