“Make American Great?” Lee Camp Responds

From Lee Camp, a wonderful, multi-talented prof at Lipscomb University (make sure you go to the link to read the whole piece):

The root of the problem, it seems to me, is that we think America is the problem, and that the most important public work we can do is fight for our vision of America. So we fall prey, in vast, outrageous numbers to stupid rhetoric like “Make America Great Again.”

Here’s an alternative: “Make the Church Great Again.” And though my academic snobbery can lead me to be contemptuous (one of those apparent character defects we white Christians apparently have in spades these days) of pop culture and social media, I think I’ll just go ahead and acknowledge my hypocrisy, and suggest a hashtag: #MakeTheChurchGreatAgain

Look, America is not the problem. Nation-states have never had the calling to be the primary locus of the “wisdom of God.” Our job as Christians is to give the world a different picture of greatness, an alternative wisdom: to conquer death through long-suffering love; to overcome evil with good; to feed our enemies when they are hungry, and give them drink when they are thirsty; to enjoy sex rightly ordered for the goods of human intimacy and the bearing of children within committed monogamous relationships; to share our money and our goods and our time generously, and even in costly fashion; to let our yes be yes and our no be no; to care for the widows, orphans, and foreigners; to practice hospitality; and so on.

There has been no “fall” in America, because America was never on a pedestal. America was never a “Christian nation,” nor any sort of Garden of Eden. The effort to suggest that it was understands neither American history, nor orthodox Christianity.

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