My friend @jesus_anarchist recently posted on twitter a few thoughts, and I’ve had trouble getting out of my head. (The same friend has also been known to say that the truth sticks and you can’t get rid of it.) They were three separate tweets, but if I remember correctly, they were a string of thoughts, so I combined them:
jesus_anarchist We’re all pursuing the same goal. Jesus asks to be radically consistent about it, that’s all. Conservatives and liberals and libertarians and communists and fascists all stop short of their ultimate desires. Pulling back from stepping into the light, as if afraid of the fire.
If I think about this for even a second, I know it’s true.
Come election time, I typically vote democrat because I want to make a difference, I want there to be social change, and mostly I want my friends and my neighbors to be taken care of and the best narrative handed to me is one of government. As a Christian, though (and if you claim this tradition, honestly truly reflect on what was said by Jesus-not what your doctrine claims), the narrative of government solving issues just isn’t enough.
I want all children of today to be educated and have a love of learning, whether they have money to go to school or not. I want the people who are having to decide between eating and having a roof over their heads to be fed and sheltered, so that they can live their lives and contribute to the community our society so desperately needs now.
I want fairness, equality, and justice.
The narrative given to us today falls short. Those involved in the political discussion typically want this, we’re all just too afraid to go for it.
Government cannot provide these things and we should probably stop trying to convince ourselves that we are voting ‘morally’, no matter which path you take to the polls. We all think we are doing right, but perhaps we’re really just settling for a narrative that is easy, doesn’t push our walls too much, and requires less work.
I’m not entirely sold on the idea of Christian anarchism, but I have to admit, it’s much closer to the type of society that Jesus proposed. And if I really think about why I’m not sold on the idea, it’s because I’m worried. I’m worried about what would happen to education if the government didn’t fund a public path. I’m worried that the marginalized would become even more excluded. I’m worried that there will be potholes…no seriously…that’s something to think about.
I think that these worries deny what humanity can and will do. The diffusion of responsibility is a well known psychological concept, in which the larger the crowd, the less likely people are to take charge and responsibility. Perhaps if we moved towards a peaceful anarchist society, we’d get the gumption to fill our own potholes and fund our own community’s education and invite others in as well.
It’s really a beautiful concept when you all yourself to dwell on the possibility that humanity really could do what we’ve been trying to for hundreds of years, if we would all just leave each other alone.