Do you believe in coincidences? Today I had the honor of leading a teaching session on the role of the church in acting as a public witness in light of the #injustices in our world and communities. I have to believe that long before I knew that I would be teaching on #injustice on the same day that the #rethinkchurch Lenten photo project’s focus would be #injustice that God knew and would challenge me in a way that I could never imagine.
I must admit that this blog post was intended to have a very different tone. But then, Justice Scalia died and the world of social media and political sound bites went crazy. First, shock. Next, judgement. Then, political posturing. And all at rapid speed.
So, I have to ask the question – primarily because I seek to understand: As a people, who have we become? Where is our humanity? Someone lost their spouse, father, grandfather, hero, friend. Is our primary reaction to fight about which president should appoint his replacement?
Please hear me. I am not making a blanket judgement. I am merely asking a question – seeking to understand. People of God: is not a life worth more than a debate about their position?
Yes, the political scientist in me fully comprehends the consequences of Justice Scalia’s death. And many will disagree with me and want to defend (re)actions. That is fine.
In the meantime, this leads me to a deeper challenge about the value of a life. Above and beyond our political affiliation, when a life is boiled down to a position, a state in life, a title, a judgement; when we only see homeless, hungry, victim, murderer, hypocrite, Latino/Latina, black, white, rich, poor, worthy, unworthy, democrat, republican, independent, Supreme Court Justice, Christian, Christ-follower – or anything else – what #injustice do we perpetrate?
At the end of the day, whatever happens with the Supreme Court, I trust that the God who created us all is in the midst of it. Our political leaders must execute the work we’ve elected them to do.
Through whatever agreement or disagreement we may have with Justice Scalia’s work – here’s my prayer for the Justice and his family: May God be with you until we meet again. May the God of grace, peace and comfort be present with your family and friends in unmistakable ways. May the people of God face the #injustices we help to perpetrate every day. And may you be gracious to us in the midst of it all. Amen.