In April, Jim and I attended the Alliance of Baptist’s Annual Gathering, “What is Liberty Without Liberation.” We worshipped with progressive Baptists from across the country, lifting up the Gospel-centered call for love and liberation. We heard the prophetic challenge to name and exorcise toxic theology, repent of the ways in which Christianity functions as oppressive, death-dealing religion, and embrace loving, life-giving and community-oriented ministries that seek the well-being of all. In these times, fraught with dehumanization and “other-ing,” we are called to share the love of God, the hope of Resurrection, and the solidarity of the Spirit with one another; that we all may know liberation.
These themes of love and liberation undergird my decision to participate in Rise Against Racism: Counter CUFI, a direct action challenging Christian Zionism held in Washington D.C. July 7-8, with many Palestinian activists (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) I have worked with over the past 20 months. We will stand together to challenge the racism, colonization and injustices that continue to plague Palestinians in their homeland – and so many in our own land.
Christians United For Israel (CUFI) is the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the country, boasting five million members. They profess Christian Zionism, a distorted theology that argues God wants (actually needs) modern day Israel to expand in order to usher in the “end times.” Using proof-texting and manipulation of Scripture, they have mobilized their political power to pressure President Trump to endorse the occupation and increase the oppression of the Palestinian people.
I want to be part of this action because I am horrified by the ways Christianity is being used to legitimize inhumanity; I am sickened by the violence, significantly financed by our government, being done in the name of security; and I am appalled by the silence of the church, media and politicians regarding the realities endured by Palestinians.
I am grateful that the church council unanimously affirmed my participation in this action and its endorsement of the statement grounding it (you can read the statement at fosna.org). I go representing the long-standing commitments to love and liberation that we enact in many ways in our multiple ministries. I appreciate your prayers and will report back on my trip at the Forum on July 21.
Praying together for peace, working together for justice,