Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Comfort the afflicted? Afflict the comfortable?

When I think pastorally, I feel some sympathy for the concerns people have about UU church life being too much about politics.

But other times, I ask myself, what is the proper response of a faith community or a denomination at a time when our country is practicing torture, extraordinary rendition and what would be considered war crimes if performed by any other government on earth?

I'll admit that I am a pretty serious activist and don't need to hear about these issues from my church. And I'll admit that I've had enough going on in my life that I need pastoral care as much as anyone. And my sermon didn't mention any of these political issues this last Sunday.

But what is the purpose of our religious life together? To feel better? To keep us entertained? To feel smarter than people who go to "regular" churches?

How can our worship together serve its prophetic function without everyone complaining about politics? I've come to believe that anything that involves people and power is politics and there is no way around it. I'd rather plead guilty to being political in church than forget that silence is the voice of complicity and that the prophetic voice is just as important as the pastoral.