Tangled. Gnarled. Twisted.
Twisted is the word that better describes the current expression of American (by that I mean USA) nationalism. Perhaps, not American nationalism, but white American nationalism.
For generations USAmerican Christians have experienced a civil religiosity that have allowed them to live their Christian values in comfort. Yet, now it has become evident that the civil religiosity have given way to a misshapen christianity, one really robed is xenophobia, patriarchy and perversion of all those who do not fit in the mold pushed on us by the current political administration.
The words claiming “America first” and the executive orders that perversively brand Mexicans and Muslims as the monsters to be protected from cannot be ignored by baptized Christians who are called, initiated, sent, to work for justice and seek that the dignity of every human is respected. Whether or not they are white, whether or not that speak Spanish, or Arabic, whether or not they are Christians or Muslims.
The questions to answer (with loud words and even louder actions) in the days, weeks, months and years to come is how does we live into the radical and politically challenging Baptismal Covenant with its renunciations of evil and its affirmations toward justice.
I know what it means to me. To oppose and resist every government sanctioned oppressive word and action. To help others remember the mysteries of mercy, compassion, grace and justice. To host spaces and celebration of deep respect, curiosity and openness.
Being a Christian demands by virtue of the mystery of Incarnation that we engage in physcical acts of justice, mercy and compassion. To Christians means that we continue in that guild, the fellowship and teachings of those early followers of Jesus by embracing the embodied truth of the commonwealth of God intruding in our time and space. The commonwealth of God is supranational, global. Those who follow Jesus take upon themselves the task, the mission, to rehearse and live into the possibility of wholeness, healing, justice and embrace for all.
The concept of America first is an affront and mockery to the what Christianity stands for – the unbreaking of God’s goodness in the world above, through and beyond the fiction of national identities.
The message of “America first” is twisted and perverted.