Monday, May 23, 2016

Clinton, Obama and Leadership

Just then, Pastor Mike spoke directly and prophetically to the church.  “Faith formation,” he said, “is underdeveloped in the Christian west, insufficent and hollow.”  Love remains a romantic aspiration, “a me-centered position,” rather than a “we-focused practice” of discipleship and beloved community.  “We’ve just got to do better,” he cried, with love in his bright eyes, and all over his face.  Faithful reckoning with American history moves disciples and accomplices on the 'way of the cross.'

Reading Clinton's letter on the eve of the Methodists' gathering, I'm reminded (in an eerie way) of Obama's decision to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright and the UCC in 2008.  It seems that she's doing the same thing here, for the same reasons.  Supporting legitimate Palestinian aspirations (a state of their own, or simply human rights within Israel) brings little or no political benefit to a major-party candidate.  The slightest critique of Israel is devastating.  So both Obama (2008) and Clinton (2016) basically disavow the peacemaking prophets in their own faith communities to do the expedient and politically advantageous thing.

Why are things in the Holy Land so intractable?  Well, there you have it.  No US leadership (or courage) of any consequence.