Friday, September 05, 2008

"Jesus was a community organizer"

So today's meme, in response to Sarah Palin's nasty attack on Barack Obama and his background as a community organizer, is to point out that Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor. Of course, this isn't exactly right (if you take Christian doctrine as granted, Jesus was something more than just a community organizer), but it certainly resonates with a lot of people.

The idea that community service is laughable is deeply offensive to a lot of people, and should be especially offensive to Christians in light of, oh, say, Matthew 25:34-36. The Bible is full of instances of imposing the duty to care for one's fellow man, and community organizing is a prime example of doing that. The Catholic Church, in particular, has a long tradition of community service. It very difficult indeed to read Palin's (and Guiliani's) comments as anything other than demeaning of all those who have ever volunteered for anything anywhere.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to do it, but I've put a slightly abridged version of this quote on a t-shirt/button/magnet etc at Knock yourselves out!