Call me crazy …

This past weekend, President Trump said that “anyone that votes for a Democrat now is crazy, when you look at what’s coming up, crazy.”

82387343-A828-4B13-83B2-2DC2C68FF5A8He also said, “Let’s get these people out of there, there’s something wrong, they’re cuckoo.”

And he also said, “Democrats produce mobs. Republicans produce jobs.”

Now I know there are a lot of people who believe that the Christian Church of every ilk should stay out of politics. “Stop politicizing church,” these folks cry. “We come to church to escape politics.”

But there’s a problem with trying to separate politics from the Gospel, because the Gospel is, in and of itself, a political document.

When Jesus continuously shows preference for the poor, the excluded, the immigrants, the refugees, the unloved, the unclean and the oppressed, when he continuously calls out the government – whether it was the Jewish leadership or the Roman Empire – as oppressive, unfair, unloving, unkind, you know Jesus is intimately concerned about politics.

I am not talking about partisan politics of the kind we have here in this country and around the world. That kind of politics has no place in the Gospel.

I am talking about the politics that center on the people – and taking care of the people.

Because that is what God commands us to do. There is nothing suggestive in Jesus’ command to love our neighbors. There is nothing suggestive in Jesus’ command to “feed my sheep.” There is nothing suggestive in Jesus’ last command, to love one another as Jesus loved us.

These – along with everything else Jesus taught us – are commands.

And every single command centers on caring for people, for the least among us, for including the excluded, touching the untouchable, loving the unloved.

All of which means that the Gospel is political. And political comes from the Greek word polis, which means city, and from polites, which means citizen.

So, you see, there is no way to separate the Gospel from politics.

So, yes, I talk about politics all the time: The politics of the Gospel. The Gospel that tells me that I have to live a life of love as best I can.123B4AEC-D3CB-4BF8-8C7F-6F1C06CDB812

So when the president of the United States says that to vote for someone whom I believe will take care of the citizens of this country and this world is “crazy,” I have to respond.

Which I did. On that great social medium, Facebook. This morning I wrote:

“Dear Mr. President: You should get to know me. Because I’m “crazy.” I am crazy in love with God. I am crazy in love with God’s beloved children. I am crazy in love in God’s peace, God’s mercy, God’s justice, God’s acceptance, God’s desire for goodness in the world. I am crazy in love with caring for people, with treating all of God’s people with dignity and respect – even the ones I don’t like. I am crazy in love with living the Gospel to the best of my ability every single day. Fear me, because I am indeed crazy.”

 

So, please: Call me crazy.

Call me a member of the mob.

Just remember:

I am crazy for Jesus – and everything Jesus commanded me to do.

I am a member of the mob: The Jesus Mob, which our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, calls the Jesus Movement.

I am proud to be crazy for Jesus.

I am proud to a member of the Jesus Mob.

And I will fight to make those politics come true.

I will fight like crazy for people of color.

I will fight like crazy for #NativeLivesMatter, #BlackLivesMatter, #HispanicLivesMatter, #AsianLivesMatter, #LBGTQILivesMatter.

I will fight like crazy for immigrants and refugees.

I will fight like crazy for all those who have been told their lives don’t matter, their rights don’t matter.

I will fight like crazy to spread God’s message of love and acceptance.

I know this: If we don’t stand up for all of God’s people, then we aren’t following the Gospel.

If we stay silent in the face of fear-mongering and hate-spewing, if we say, “Don’t give them the attention,” if we say, “This isn’t my fight,” then we are ignoring everything Jesus told us – no, commanded us – to do.

And since I am crazy for Jesus, I Just. Can’t. Do. That.

So go ahead: Call me crazy.

Call me a member of the mob.

I admit – proudly and lovingly – to both.

 

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About Lauren Stanley

All my life, it seems, I’ve been on mission. And it’s all my mother’s fault. You see, when I was a child, my mother was adamant: We were to help those in need, those who had less than we did. We were to speak for those who could not speak, feed those who had no food, give water to those who were thirsty.

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