On the first day of the Obama administration, our newly elected president signed the order to close down Guatanamo. Scores of human rights advocates were in ecstasy. For those of us committed to peace and social justice, the words Guatanamo and Abu Ghraib invoke images of shock and horror. How could we as a nation have stooped so low? Where was the outcry from the Body of Christ?
With the bicentennials of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin the subject of numerous conferences, articles, and television shows this month, we also should remember another important commemoration in 2009: the centennial of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
It seems that much of our conversation as a Church is in a perpetual cycle of reaction. We are tempted to exaggerate the neglected truth, and end up making incomplete disciples, either social justice disciples without Jesus or Jesus disciples without social justice. Then there are those special moments where Jesus and Justice kiss.