• Social Justice Blog Post about We Belong to Each Other

 

 

Last week my younger sister headed back to college, and like thousands of other people our age there were multiple flights, shuttles, dorm keys and bus schedules to coordinate. Due to a misplaced dorm card and late check in schedule, there were a couple of hours where her location and access to her dorm couldn’t be verified. At one point while I was toggling between texts with her boyfriend and a friend who was looking for her, I mentioned a tag line I had just seen on social media that said we’re responsible for each other. As he and I texted back-and-forth, I recalled an “Interesting tidbit” that I had recently seen on the media, “Interesting theology for a TV show”, I texted him. Before more hurried discussion of the need to contact campus security he replied, “Don’t think I’ve heard of that.”

 

What does this mean?

 

Later, as things settled down, I thought of course we’ve heard of this theology. Maybe you grew up with varying amounts of Disney or PBS in your life. Perhaps even specific Sunday school lessons on being a good neighbor with Flannel Jesus. Aside from learning an impressive number of song and dance numbers that can be recalled a decade later, there’s a pretty consistent theme or theology of community embedded in most of that childhood media: We Belong to Each Other.

 

refugees for articleIn the American context, the idea of the lone and awe-inspiring individual is a consistent narrative often nestled within another of discovering community and one’s place in it all along. Right now, as evangelical fault lines appear over theologies of embodied solidarity and what bearing witness to societal inequalities means, it is extremely hard to remember this childhood mantra of a shared responsibility echoed through our media and scripture. In my experience, these fault lines serve not as calls to huddle up, examine the damage and form a plan, but as reason to break away and stake out lines that should not be crossed.

 

Black and WhiteWhen Francis Spufford retold the crucifixion of Christ in his book “Unapologetic”, he reminded readers that Jesus was partaking in the reigning politics of the day normal destruction of the physical body. The crucifixion was not this one rare event that happened with shining lights and soaring orchestral music. This was business as usual, the crushing hand of the regime who dominated and subjected various people to it. That Jesus chooses to die the physical death of humans, to die as an oppressed and poor individual at the hands of the empire is explicitly political and what I consider the greatest act of embodied solidarity that I am also called to as a “little Christ”. It might not look like death today, but perhaps it looks like a rally or a protest. Perhaps it looks like me listening to and not talking about a community. Maybe it’s working in a community to achieve parity of some kind, or trusting the women who say God has called them to preach his word. It doesn’t matter if the “issue” falls into my experience or within the societal constructions that often demarcate humanity.

 

As someone whose life and body is automatically found on multiple margins in the world, I had little choice in the advocacy and theology I had to contend with. My existence and work can be devalued and denigrated on the turn of a word. Click To Tweet It’s uncomfortable to realize that in many cases equality is entirely contingent on exegesis of scripture and constitution. For all the other things that fall outside my lived experience – I don’t get a pass as a Christian. I take on responsibility of witnessing the lives around me with the type of love described. I see this not as a burden, but as an invitation into a community, family, and love defined in Corinthians. A call that is greater than the challenges and forces that threaten to break it apart. Christ calls us to a life that invites us to life out of our greatest hopes, and not our deepest fears. May we dare to see the image of God in all people, and may we let that change us. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

Alex Beightol Beightol

Associate Editor at O-logy Journal
Alex Beightol is a 21 year old very much enthralled by this existence and Christ. She loves being a sister, friend, and student of government as well as an associate editor at O-logy Journal, leader of an incredible team of entrepreneurs with Rodan+Fields, and a local political organizer. An alum of Evangelical homeschooling and Phillips Exeter Academy, she enjoys splitting her time between Florida and New England and can be found at most living room dance parties. She writes at Tiny Human Sounds and occasionally Grit and Grace about business, local advocacy, and liturgy.
Alex Beightol Beightol

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Alex Beightol is a 21 year old very much enthralled by this existence and Christ. She loves being a sister, friend, and student of government as well as an associate editor at O-logy Journal, leader of an incredible team of entrepreneurs with Rodan+Fields, and a local political organizer. An alum of Evangelical homeschooling and Phillips Exeter Academy, she enjoys splitting her time between Florida and New England and can be found at most living room dance parties. She writes at Tiny Human Sounds and occasionally Grit and Grace about business, local advocacy, and liturgy.

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