Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Moose in Our Yard; Good Day at Church

There was a moose in the back of our house this morning. Jasper alerted us to its presence with unusually enthusiastic barking. At first, I couldn't figure out what it was, but it turned in full profile and was unmistakably a moose. It was an enormous she moose. I couldn't wait to tell everyone in the choir about it.

One of the assistant preachers was in the pulpit today, the one with the gift of prophecy. Boy did I feel like just about the crappiest Christian who ever lived when it was over. He really spoke the truth about our being, before anything else, citizens of the Kingdom of God with a calling to be different from the world, to love God and our neighbors in radical ways. He preached of implementing "Kingdom solutions" to various problems, all of which involved the Body of Christ acting freely in the spirit of love and service. For us, the election on November 4 is of tangential importance because there will still be work in the Kingdom to be done on November 5 and every day thereafter. I feel inspired to do something for someone, to open my heart to possibilities of service. Maybe this time the feeling won't pass so quickly, and I'll actually lift a finger to serve God and my conspecifics.

We had a last meeting of the faith and politics discussion group, the most satisfying so far because we got down to core issues about how to disagree with one another and how to find common ground through action. Nobody said a thing about the election, but we talked about how to put our faith into practice in addressing problems such as injustice, poverty, hunger, and all kinds of needs. We shared how overwhelming it all seems and how it might help to focus on meeting needs within the local community. We shared how being a better neighbor might be an excellent place to start.

The discussion was close to my heart in that we had a focus on voluntary, collaborative, non-coercive solutions informed by our faith. There was a substantial amount of common ground on this point from Republicans and Democrats alike, and I didn't feel like such an odd duck. The group seemed to come to a general consensus that solutions that were freely undertaken with no coercion were infinitely preferable to the alternative, although there was some disagreement about what to do if consensual solutions did not suffice. The preacher, who was facilitator, did not want to address the desirability or necessity of the state but to focus on how Christians of various political viewpoints can act together in the work of the Kingdom of God.

I'm thinking that my own advocacy of anarchism should focus less on a hypothetical stateless end state (which I won't live to see) and more on outlining alternative non-coercive solutions to problems. In addition, I can do more to point out problems that are artifacts of the state itself. Maybe a little more praxis and a lot less theory are what I need.

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