What a sadly un-American speech was delivered by President Trump yesterday. His mantra of America First sounds to my ears not just un-American but also un-Christian. Our country has always been marked for me by its leadership in the world, by its willingness to help the less fortunate, by the light that shone on the hill for others to see.The speech was, for me, little more than sticking our tongue out at the rest of the world. I find myself wondering just where the church is on this. The template of our faith, for me, is the Samaritan who went to the help of the man beside the road. Yesterday’s speech and the ones before it sounded as if we were going to walk on by. That’s not the America that I thought I knew.
Professor Zeki Saritoprak’s book Islam’s Jesus is summarized most insightfully in this brief article in Christian Century. It turns out that Muslims and Christians have more in common than I had believed.
Our very challenging sermon yesterday from our minister Robert Steiner quoted Acts 4:34-35 “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
Nicholas Kristof reminded us in the New York Times yesterday that it was not poverty per se but inequality that is the real problem. I came home wondering how in today’s world we Christians could reduce inequality. Is tithing enough? Do we need to go beyond that? And, if so, how? It was a challenging sermon.