Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The SJ Word

I joined a new Facebook group yesterday.  It's called My Church Preaches Social Justice.  Because mine does.  And I'm not leaving it.  Even though Glenn Beck says I should.

In case you missed the instructive Beck broadcast session late last week, let me catch you up.  If you go to a church that has the term social justice or economic justice anywhere in its mission, curriculum, or Sunday sermon - you must leave the fellowship and report the pastor to church authorities.  Immediately.  Here's why: 
the term "social justice" many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a "code word" for communism and Nazism
That's what Glenn says.  I am not making this up. 

I can't tell you what church service Glenn visited before drawing his conclusions.  Perhaps there are some communist/Nazi Christian churches out there just for the sake of amusing us all with the oxymoron-ness of their existence. But where I worship, social justice is code for:

  • Loving your neighbor as you love yourself.  (ex:  I have plenty of food to eat, why shouldn't a starving child in Africa have enough?)
  • Treating other people the way you would treat Jesus. He did say, "Whatever you do for the least of these people of mine you do for me."  (ex:  Someone is unfairly oppressed by a system that favors the rich over the poor...shouldn't we change that system for the "least of these people?")
  • The list continues:  Give more than is requested, turn the other cheek, love enemies, do good to those who hate, don't judge, forgive, avoid hypocrisy.  

In my church, social justice is code for not being satisfied with a resourced and self-focused kind of lifestyle that entitles me and mine to have more than you and yours...whether it's health care, or food, or a place to sleep at night that's free from the perils of war, or a right to love and be loved by the person I choose.

In the holy book I study, the very first people to gather in the name of the holy man we Christians try to emulate actually seemed to operate a bit like socialists.  Take a look at what was going on in the second chapter of the book of Acts (The Bible):  
 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
What's that about, Glenn?

Take a look at yourself in the photo below, trying to scare church people into believing the very justice Jesus lived to proclaim is something evil and subversive.

Funny.  That's exactly the spin the religious "right" put on Jesus' message in his day.  They had their own version of scare tactics and crazy talk to stir people into a frenzy.

What do you say, Glenn?  Nail that social justice nut up? 



gay said...

Perhaps Glenn has taken a page from Al Capone's management style, he said "Fear I run my organization by it."

Karleen said...

Glenn is an idiot. Unfortunately, he's articulate enough and cheesy enough (cry me a river....oh, pleeeze) to convince some people otherwise. Sigh. He and Russ L. and Ms. Palin are dangerous.