Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
(Or, I hope it is because we are all recovering hierarchists trying to find another way forward)
Editor’s Note: This piece is part two of a series of call and response between Amaryah Armstrong and Nekeisha Alexis-Baker as they consider what possibilities Christian anarchy can provide for marginalized peoples. The conversation grows out of friendship and mutual respect for each other, and from our commitments to living lives of liberation. We aim for to be an ongoing dialogue that builds on each call and response. As a result, we strongly encourage you to begin at the beginning and follow along from there. You can read part one from Amaryah here.
Many things came to mind as I reflected on your questions—some of which I still ask myself almost a decade after unwittingly co-creating this thing we call Jesus Radicals. I had to smile at the “Black Queer Feminist with anarchist impulses” identity you’ve adopted because it reminded me of when I called myself “a Christian with anarchist tendencies” as I sorted out whether anarchism was for me.
(Or, Why Are All the Anarchists Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?) 1
Editor’s Note: This piece is part one of a series of call and response between Amaryah Armstrong and Nekeisha Alexis-Baker as they consider what possibilities Christian anarchy can provide for marginalized peoples. The conversation grows out of friendship and mutual respect for each other, and from our commitments to living lives of liberation. We aim for to be an ongoing dialogue that builds on each call and response. As a result, we strongly encourage you to begin at the beginning and follow along from there. You can read Nekeisha’s response here.
I must confess, I simply don’t know what to do with Christian anarchists.
I am anti-domination, anti-capitalism, critical of technology, more than a little suspicious of the nation-state, and all about my citizenship being in heaven and thus having a commitment to radical politics on earth. But still, something about “Christian anarchists” just doesn’t sit well with me. It could be the irony of Christian anarchy being anti-domination and yet being predicated on domination by White men. But this is no different from other Christian identified radical groups. Exclusion is a practice we all participate in. Perhaps it is that I have yet to see or read or participate in sustained Christian anarchist discussions of White supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity that go beyond the niceties of anti-racism/sexism/homophobia 101 training. Or maybe it is because explications of why anarchy is a valuable way to dismantle these systems of evil never seems to offer anything radical feminist, black, and queer Christian critiques have not already begun to deal with.
By: James Hamrick
Whenever I talk to Christians about the non-violent way of Jesus they inevitably bring up an incident from Jesus’ life that ‘proves’ that pacifism is nonsense: his cleansing of the temple. All four canonical Gospels tell us that Jesus went to Jerusalem, entered the temple, and proceeded to chase people and animals out, overthrow tables, and cause an overall ruckus. The Gospel of John even tells us he used a whip. “That certainly doesn’t sound like something a pacifist would do!”
Unfortunately, this story is not the slam-dunk that violent Christians think it is. Ultimately there is no contradiction between Christian pacifism and Jesus’ action in the temple.
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Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Liza Minno Bloom
Eda Ruhiye Uca