Monday, May 5, 2008

Shane Claiborne: Beyond Self-righteousness

In chapter nine of the Irresistible Revolution, Claiborne makes a pitch for us to move beyond self-righteousness and into love.

A few quotes: "Conservatives stand up and thank God they are not like the homosexuals,the Muslims, the liberals. Liberals stand up and thank God they are not like the war makers, the yuppies, the conservatives. It is a similar self-righteousness, just with different definitions of evil-doing. ... Rather than separating ourselves from everyone we consider impure, maybe we would be better off just beating our chests and praying that God would be merciful enough to save us from this present ugliness and to make our lives so beautiful that people can not resist that mercy."

"If [purity] ... is not born of relationships, if it is not liberating for the oppressed and the oppressors, if not marked by raw, passionate love, then it is the same old self righteousness ..."

Shane suggests that instead of looking at people as objects and labeling them, we can look "into" them and see humans.

None of this is new stuff, but I think it's useful that Shane highlights the way the self-righteousness or "purity" of left and right mirror each other. What do you think?

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