It is painful to acknowledge a more full picture of the truth. Christians need not shy away from this pain, though. It is the pain of deep repentance from deep complicity with a system that has caused torrents of blood. We are to weep with those who weep: whether they are our next-door neighbors or our Global South and East neighbors. May God give us the strength and the courage to do so: especially as a consistent commitment to this path will lead to marginalization in Western culture. Rev. Jeremiah Wright encountered this marginalization and rejection in a selectively-quoted sermon in the runup to the 2008 Presidential Election where he proclaimed that Malcolm X was right decades before that “America’s chickens were coming home to roost.” Malcolm X said this about the scourge of racism, while Rev. Wright said this about the awful series of events on September 11, 2001. Listening to the broader context of the sermon, however, provides a deeply uncomfortable truth for Christians. We must confess that Rev. Wright is correctly following the symptom of 9/11 to a proper diagnosis of the cancer of Western militarism that subjugates and tears apart the bodies of those who do not comply.
We are not called to be chaplains of the Western system, but prophets of God’s global community, tearing down sinful barriers of nationalism, militarism, racism, cultural blindness, and other maladies. May we strive toward this embodiment of the people of God.