Friday, May 23, 2008

The candidates and our “we”

At the Duke Center for Reconciliation gathering last week, during our closing worship time, a black pastor from Texas challenged us to rethink our “we.” Who is our “we”? Who is our beloved community? And he used the three presidential candidates as illustrations of how society defines the “we.”

John McCain’s age raises questions of generational divides. Is he too old? And do we identify as young or old? Boomer or Xer? Over 65 or under 30? Is that our “we”?

Hillary Clinton’s identity has raised questions of gender. Is the media sexist? And do we identify primarily along gender lines? Is that our “we”?

Barack Obama’s biracial and crosscultural background has raised questions of racial and ethnic identity. Do we identify our community on the basis of race? Is that our “we”?

Obviously all of these factors are significant and unavoidable. But if we are Christians and people of reconciliation, our identities and communities must transcend all of these dimensions and point to a larger reality. Our churches ought to be intergenerational, gender interdependent, and multiethnic and multicultural. Such is the kingdom of God, where the beloved community brings down dividing walls between slave and free, male and female, Jew and Gentile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The argument is there is a divide therefore we need to reconcile- make compatible.

What made the divide? We can argue and counter argue for decades and still be at the same point. Let’s rephrase, what is the real divide? The divide is in the thought, young & old, men & women, white & black. Focus on race, to think, promote & justify that the thought of other races were inferior was wrong. Being black was not wrong nor was to say black think different; but to suggest that the quality of black persons thought are inferior was the problem. Church too played an evil role in this process, the Christian text, in body or footnote did promote, justify the inferiority of certain race and sex. That is still seen in catholic churches, wherein women are refused to be ordained to date.

To reconcile, or make compatible with truthful norm of equality would be that all people reject faith based religion. Rejection of certain thoughts and acceptance of certain thought is just fooling oneself to understand the real truth. Faith based approach to monotheism is the problem, thought cultivation through this process leads to fanatics and adherence to false truths. Forcing people to believe in monotheism is fatal; monotheism is philosophical thought not faith based approach; critical thinking is the prerequisite not faith. This is the real problem, understanding the core of the monotheistic reasoning is necessary not mere following the some biblical scholars interpretation compiled in bible. Remember its just 1 point of view of the monotheistic thought school, do not follow his interpretation by faith instead church should encourage people to write their own bible based on their interpretation of the core thought.

If one interpretation is forced on all, then the interpretation of interpretation starts to manifest real ignorance and then core thought are completely lost. False truths start to emanate as real truth and as belief is the prerequisite it becomes hard to distinguish real and false. Thus the reason for all the divide in the society. Mere faith in reconciliation is rubbish, its like contemplating on peripheral concepts these will still divide and confuse masses and more flowery attempt to reconcile will resurface over and over again. Its just words.