09 July 2015

Exiles in America

"Now we feel like exiles in our own land..."
I've heard numerous variations on this phrase in recent days. This has been said in reference to the Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage.

While it is indeed an evil and distorted view of the world that would permit such a thing I also find it striking that so many of the Christian commentaries focus on the Constitutional issues surrounding this point. Our response and our criticisms ought to be theological, not political. It shows where the hearts of so many are really at. Many seem to care far more about the narrative of America rather than the narrative and nature of the Kingdom.
And yet, it would seem so very few of the so-called Christian experts seem to understand what has happened in American jurisprudence over the past 150 years. The 14th Amendment fundamentally changed the nature of the Constitution and like it or not, there's a lot of established precedent. To roll back the 14th Amendment could only be surpassed by rolling back Marbury v. Madison. It's not going to happen.
They mock the notion of evolving ideas and moral consciousness. It is problematic in an absolute sense but in terms of society are we going to strictly follow the Constitution and label African-Americans as 3/5 of a person? Slavery ended. Society has 'evolved' on that point and few would want to see a return to slavery.
Whether or not you agree with women having the vote, there are very few even in the Christian community who would disenfranchise the fairer sex.
Granted, these changes were brought about with Amendments but the implications of the amendments work out over time and they build on each other. Sadly, our broken and flawed system depends on the lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of legislation. It takes a long process of litigation and lawyerly machinations to work out the parameters of what a law means. Did homosexual marriage 'need' a new amendment to make it valid? That's the paltry argument many Christians are trying to offer. And yet many jurists would say the precedents established by the 14th and 19th Amendments in addition to subsequent legislation provided conditions in which a separate amendment (at least for this issue) was not required. Whether it's accurate or right can be argued but to dismiss these issues as five justices 'just making up laws' is not accurate.
At this point I don't think the Christian community would be so keen to call for a Constitutional Amendment to ban homosexual marriage. It would likely fail.
Put no confidence in princes. The United States isn't the saviour. The Church doesn't need or depend on the whether or not the United States enforces or pays lip service to some form of Biblical law. Any attempt to do so is a perversion of the Scripture and a distortion of the Church's mission. We don't call on the civil sword to wage war on the sins of unbelievers. That's not the gospel.
The further politicization of an already politicized court is not the answer either.
What is the answer?
There isn't one. America is a Babylon, a beast and man-made Babel project that is doomed to fail. It has all but run its course and its fall may become violent. Woe to us.
As far as being exiles, weren't we supposed to feel that way all along? To abandon our understanding that we as Christians are pilgrims, stingers and exiles is to deny the antithesis, to deny the Christian's position vis-à-vis the world.
Expatriates often have keen insights into the cultures in which they live. As outsiders they see things the natives do not. If we as Christians can even hope to see what's really at work in our culture, if we hope to have wisdom is assessing it, we have to live like and think like expatriates. We are at best second class citizens, obeying the laws, paying taxes but not calling on the state to aid us in our mission nor calling on the state to deliver vengeance. We are called in every society to live as outsiders, strangers and pilgrims.
Some of us have felt like exiles all along. A recent court decision did nothing to change that.
You are ashamed because the White House was bathed in the tokens of sodomy?
I've been ashamed for decades as my conversion brought me to realize the United States is a nation of theft, murder and lies. The United States is an evil empire, a veritable axis of evil.
On another point we must ask, is the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate? No doubt it used that way, but for much of the world and to many in this land the American flag is no different and in fact has harmed more people than the Confederacy did in its brief lifespan. You find the Confederate flag to be offensive. That shows wisdom. But you should also find the American flag to be an offense and a lie, a symbol of thieves and a banner of death.
To say that just now you feel like exile says far more about you than it does about the state of American society.