I Am An American Citizen

First, look at this interview with an imam in Orlando. A horrible version of Islam is possibly being taught by an imam near you. We certainly know it is being taught in Orlando.

Is this America? It stuns the psyche and dislocates you. “Wait a minute”, you ask. “Where am I? Could this be America?” Scary stuff. Is this free speech? Is this what our Muslim neighbors are hearing when they go to the mosque on Fridays? This can lead to no place that is good.

Churches, as churches, are not going to be proactive when it comes to politically engaging this darkness and driving this stuff far from us. I don’t think that this is their institutional role. It lies in the political realm and in that realm it needs to be exposed and receive the brunt end of our political discourse and the three branches of government. Political Islam is a threatening barbarism.

In this phase of my life I have turned to the political process to seek the common good. I am simply A citizen. I speak as a man, on level ground with any other citizen, as an American in social contract with other Americans, to protect those values that lead to human flourishing, outlined in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Most churches simply do not know what to do with a moment such as we are now in. Christians do not want to turn their churches into political rallies. Pastors want to focus on worship, Christian education, and evangelism without political labels and party platforms. I think this instinct is right. Our true citizenship is in heaven, for sure.

Yet the individual Christian is not released from the “cultural mandate,” the work of managing creation so that order comes out of the chaos and human beings have their best chance at that kind of life which mirrors the good, the true and the beautiful. We recognize the value that comes to us through suffering, yet as citizens we seek the relief of human suffering and the optimal conditions for others, at least as far as our fallen conditions will allow. On the whole, churches do not have a firm grasp on what this means, to seek human flourishing as citizens in the spheres of the political, the economic and the cultural. Christians need a vision for this kind of engagement.

In the meantime, as a citizen on the level ground of American citizenship, I link arms with fellow citizens of my town of Pembroke, my county of Plymouth, my Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and my country.

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