There is a very real temptation, when exploring the intersection of Christianity and anarchism to simply force one category into the other. I see this all the time.
There are those who simply believe that their Christian tradition is so inherently anarchistic that they can simply “claim” anarchism. They trump all other anarchisms in such a way as to dimiss them entirely. There is a danger in this: it creates theological ghettos increasingly unable to respond to current political and spiritual crises. Theological ghettos simply assume that everyone else should be like them while the world and its people continue to rush headlong towards the abyss.
And there are those who see Christianity as a useful tool on one’s journey towards anarchism. They see anti-domination as their true god, and even Christ serves to bring people to this god. The danger of this temptation is that anything sacred becomes scrapped for parts to a cause that will never arrive. The inner transformation necessary for social liberation cannot be obtained simply through structural analysis. There is a reason Marx was never a Marxist. There is a reason why many of my most brilliantly anarchistic friends come off as authoritarian. There is simply more oppressing us than social structures. And more is required for us to embrace our fullest humanity than tearing down oppressive structures and replacing it with our clever utopias.
If one is a Christian anarchist, who largely congregates with other anarchists, then it could easily be understood that one’s Christianity is simply their own flavor of anarchism. And, when the chips come down, anarchism is what it’s all about. Likewise, if one is a Christian anarchist, then one could easily feel that one’s anarchism is simply a political affiliation…and that, being in fellowship with militaristic Capitalist patriotic Christians is more important than seeking liberation. Neither appeal to me.
Food as Spiritual and Political Praxis Part 1: An Exchange between Autumn Brown and Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Autumn’s note: As a part of editing one of my previous blog submissions, Nekeisha and I had a dialogue about whether or not to include an anecdote about my personal meat-eating practices. It was in this dialogue that I learned about her deep political and spiritual commitment to veganism. That dialogue led me to invite Nekeisha into an intentional exchange in which we would question each other about the political and spiritual dimensions of our food choices, and each take space to more fully and deeply explore the journeys that have brought us to similar political realities, but very different food choices. Here is Part 1 of our exchange.
Autumn: Some of our readers may not realize that veganism can be a politically motivated lifestyle choice. Nekeisha, can you share some about your experience of becoming vegan? What inspired you to make this choice and how is it a manifestation of your politics?
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Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Liza Minno Bloom
Eda Ruhiye Uca