"I Pledge Allegiance"

The Relationship Between Politics and Christian Faith

Below are resources following the "I Pledge Allegiance" Webinar Event

Allegiance to Whom? Subversion and the politics of Scriptur
Rev.  Janna Louie, 20 min talk - Start at 21:28

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9rY7K6V5FI&feature=youtu.be

Debrief Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection            

To claim that Jesus walked on the Earth is political because he engaged in the political systems of the world and social realities. 

  1. What are everyday realities that we don’t often consider as political realities?  
    1. What are examples of how you and your community engage in these political realities?  

Idols are powers that have influence over our everyday lives and underlying forces that drive our society. 

  1. What are underlying forces that our society cannot function without? Or, simply, what are idols in the U.S.? 
  2. What are the values of the US? How have these values perhaps coincided or reinforced spiritual values?   
  3. Where have you seen Christian faith used to uphold the idols of the US?   

Janna says that repentance comes first when we acknowledge how we've been accomplices to upholding the political powers of our nation. 

  1. How have we implicitly/explicitly aligned ourselves with the idols of this land? How may your community cultivate a practice of repentance?   
  2. How are you challenged to be a people of Christian hope? How can your community cultivate Christian hope?   

What’s your political theology? The 5 Political Tropes  
Brandi Miller, Tacoma Justice Program Director 9 min talk - Start at 1:00:42  

Brandi mentions that we need models on how to engage with the world. But we all fall into tropes that we need to be freed from and be critical of. Our hope is that this will be an invitation for us is to be critical and compassionate.  

Debrief Questions for each troupe along with 2 overall questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection 

  1. Hyper-spiritual group: 
    1. What are your thoughts on how this trope becomes tolerant with present injustices?  
  2. Conscious-Engager 
    1. What are some examples of how you may have exercised your privilege as a conscious engager? What would it mean to become a holisitic voter with the community in mind?  
  3. Single-Issue Voter 
    1. What principles do you need to expand to consider the nuances and complexities of single issues?  
  4. Overwhelmed/apathetic person 
    1. Start with an issue you may feel overwhelmed by. What core values/beliefs do you hold and how may that apply to the issue you feel overwhelmed by?  
  5. Politically active but spiritually complacent: 
    1. What prevents you from being formed by Jesus?  
    2. What practical steps do you need to take to be formed by Jesus?  

Overall Questions: 

  1. What keeps me civically engaged and disengaged? What moves me and what forms my values? 
  2. What principles and scriptures guide my engagement? Where did I learn those things? And who shaped those for me? 

 

“The Making of Another Faith: Babylon Has Not, Is Not, and Will Never Be the Kingdom of God” 

Jonathan Walton, 20 min talk - Starts at 21:05 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF1HRAJ5c6w&feature=youtu.be

Debrief Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection 

Possible Scriptures: Acts 1:8, Matthew 24 

  1. When thinking about the problems in this country and world what are the dominant feelings that come up for you? In what ways have these feelings influenced your actions or thoughts? 
  2. In what ways has fear shaped your beliefs, political views, and actions? 
  3. What are some of your initial reactions to hearing the history of the moral majority? 

Jonathan offered a list of 4 things that we can track to help raise our awareness for the ways in which we are worshiping earthly kings instead of worshiping the risen Jesus.  

  1. A structurally empowered population that believes themselves to be under imminent threat. 
  2. Faith Leaders are crafting theological frameworks and arguments that sanctify the state and its allies; and make the oppressed and marginalized enemies of the divine.  
  3. Pastors canonize the people and documents of empire and demonize and/or sanitize the people and texts of the opposition. 
  4. Opposition leaders are neutralized through intimidation, imprisonment, violence, and assassination. 
  5. Where do you see these 4 things happening in our faith and political context today? In what ways has the moral majority shaped these 4 things? 
  6. How have you personally seen or felt the influence of the moral majority on society around you? In what ways (good or bad) has the moral majority influenced or shaped your political views? 
  7. Can you name some friends and family members around you who have been negatively impacted by the moral majority? What would be a helpful way for you to engage with them about the intersection of politics and faith? 

Get a taste from our last program here.