Jacob’s biography is not a blueprint for activism, but perhaps a helpful model for what the church looks like in a world of empires, or at the very least a reminder that power can exist outside of prescribed structures. The story of Jacob empowers the marginalized to secure their own justice while reminding of the importance of confronting empire directly.
Nevertheless, murder is never moral–regardless of whether it is done in the name of religion, politics, the nation, ideology, etc. Any such killing of civilians–by the left or the right, religious persons or atheists–is to be denounced loudly and clearly as morally wrong.
Does this text foster or critique violence? Perhaps the text should be read as anti-political or an alternative politics? Or does it get at the question of our most sacred idol, the family?
Far from rising to the occasion of what has been labeled as the Arab Spring which is surely ushering in a new era of international relations, for all Obama’s rhetoric America has simply confirmed the viewpoint that led Bin Laden to launch his campaign back in the 1990’s –American interests trump values and the rule of law.
Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage share the belief that not all relationships are moral or faithful, and that part of the church’s mission is to encourage and bless faithful expressions of covenantal union.