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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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A Beneficiary of Christian Social Justice (Sort of) Responds to Glenn Beck

March 12, 2010

 

A Beneficiary of Christian Social Justice

 

Confession:  I have never watched or heard Glenn Beck.  But even those who are out of the conservative talking heads loop have heard the latest from Mr. Beck:  a plea to Christians to flee churches that preach and practice social justice.   "Social justice" is simply a code word, he says, for Nazism and communism.  Not only is social justice not a part of the Gospel, it actually militates against it, according to Mr. Beck.

Sigh.  It looks as absurd as it sounds, even as I type it.  Is he for real?

The Christian blogosphere has lit up with very accurate and articulate responses to Glenn Beck.  (My favorite is from Jim Wallis who says that instead of fleeing their churches, Christians should flee Glenn Beck.)  I refer you to any number of those responses if you're looking to spar with Mr. Beck. 

I'm not interested in dialoging with Mr. Beck.  (And in truth, I don't think he's interested in dialoging with me, either.)  What I would like to say is this:  I am a happy beneficiary of Christian Social Justice.

Mr. Beck's radio program aired March 2.  This past Monday, March 8, was International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future (from www.internationalwomensday.com). Both events have reminded me just how much I owe to the foresight and courage of my Christian foremothers and fathers.  Thanks to those brave, faithful purveyors, preachers and practicers of social justice, I am able actively to live out my calling... ironically enough, to be a purveryor, preacher, and practicer of social justice, according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am woman.  I am pastor.  I am grateful.

What is the gospel call to social justice, but a call to give everyone the right, the opportunity to become fully who they are created by God to be?  As one who is finding that fullness of my created potential in the faith community, one who is thriving because of the just actions that were taken decades and centuries before me, I am left with this thought:  Thank God (literally) for those who engage in social justice.

Grace for your journey,

Kim


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