Reader Submission: The Bumper Stickers of Jesus

(TFC) – I see people all the time glorifying authority by sharing sentiments like “I support the police” or, “I support the troops”. Not only do they do so with pride, most of them will boldly proclaim to know or love Jesus as well. I can only assume that most of the time they have been conditioned to think the only other logical response would be to say “I do not support….”. That is hardly the case.

Verily I say to you that Jesus would not have a Thin Blue Line or Support The Troops sticker on his electric car. He might have a peace sign sticker though and that’s something neither one of these organizations promote. Unfortunately, our pompously perverted views of patriotism and statism have found a comfortable home in our churches. Jesus may have been a man of prayer but he was also a man of action. I don’t think he’d settle for just praying for our soldiers — he would urge you to quit supporting the politicians so eager to deploy them. Before he’d ever pray for our officers he would stand against their despicable actions and demand they be held accountable for them.

Our out-of-control police and military aggressions are both becoming runaway trains that few politicians and even fewer churches oppose. To the contrary, most have lent their support. Why? I think we’ve lost touch with the world beyond the Pacific and Eastern time zones. (On the Sunday after Harvey how many of you attended a church that included the victims of the monsoons in South Asia in their prayer requests along with the victims of Harvey and the wildfires wrecking us here at home) How else could anybody in 2017 have the gall to say “God Bless America”? For what? For incarcerating people at the highest rate in the world? Not only have we grown accustomed with arresting people for victimless crimes, we even arrest people whose only arrestable offense — is resisting arrest! (On a daily basis this happens)

Really, I mean REALLY try to let that sink in… I suppose if we were ever to catch Jesus throwing support behind any military action, the only plausible scenario that comes to mind would be fighting in self-defense or preservation. I hope you don’t need me to tell you that we’re not fighting for freedoms anywhere and probably haven’t been our entire lives. So, should we be arrogant (I mean ignorant) enough to ask for God’s blessing for dropping and selling more bombs than anyone else in the world? You think our allies that we arm to the teeth are using those bombs to protect their freedoms. No friend. Just like us they are indeed destroying peoples’ freedoms, families, and livelihoods — up to and including the genocide going on in Yemen. And one more time for the people in the back: creating refugees and simultaneously denying them refuge is 100% un-Jesus. I urge you to put some thought into this movement started by Kaepernick and then ask yourself if you’d be more likely to find Jesus ridiculing him with you; or kneeling beside him? Go ahead. Ask your pastor the same question.

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Can you seriously not see the irony, arrogance, and ignorance of leaders of a church that claim to uphold the values of Christ saying things like “God has given Trump authority to take us to war” or “Anyone kneeling during the anthem should be lined up and shot”. I know it hasn’t been trendy for a long time but it’s the right time (more than ever) to ask: What Would Jesus Do? One of these days an American citizen is going to wrap a bible in an American flag and burn them both. On camera. Millions upon millions of Americans are going to lose their shit over it! Death threats will ensue and some of them will even be legitimate. Well…. WTFWJD? Would he be triggered? NOPE!

We’re so polarized these days that the only thing capable of bringing us together seem to be disasters and dogmas. While the stories of solidarity that came in the wake of Harvey were uplifting, they were not uniquely American, uniquely Christian, or even uniquely human for that matter. We’ve all seen how ants respond when you kick over one of their mounds, right? Attacking or condemning someone that burns a book or a piece of cloth is not protecting the fundamentals (or freedoms) of what it means to be American (or Christian). It is indeed protecting extremism. We should all strive to question others before we rush to judge them. Let’s re-open the doors to open discussion and rethink what we think — we think. We literally have nothing to lose by doing so but billions may have something to gain. I really want to see America “made great”. I really do. Forget your politics/nationalism for a moment, embrace your Christ, and be human first.

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye”?

Reader submission by Nick Brown