Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Barth on Christian Community and Civil Community: Polling Place Meditations for Election Day 2016

"The church is witness of the fact that the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost. And this implies that- casting all false impartiality aside- the Church must concentrate first on the lower and lowest levels of human society. The poor, the socially and economically weak and threatened, will always be the object of its primary and particular concern, and it will always insist on the State's special responsibility for these weaker members of society. That it will bestow its love on them, within the framework of its own task (as part of its service), is the one thing and the most important thing; but it must not concentrate on this and neglect the other thing to which it is committed by its political responsibility: the effort to achieve such a fashioning of the law as will make it impossible of ‘equality before the law’ to become a cloak under which strong and weak, independent and dependent, rich and poor, employers and employees, in fact receive different treatment at its hands: the weak being unduly restricted, the strong unduly protected. The church must stand for social justice in the political sphere.(Christian Community and Civil Community, 173). 
As we walk to our polling places and fill out our ballots, may this frame our work and witness as the people of God in the public sphere. May our voices echo those whom Jesus leveraged, befriended, and called blessed (Matthew 5:1-12).