On Saturday, thousands gathered for a rally at the South Carolina state house to “stand with God.”

It would be curious to ask the crowd, ‘which god?’

Presumably, they are referring to some version of the God of Jesus Christ. But, the God of Jesus Christ is always on the side of those who are marginalized, oppressed, disenfranchised, and excluded from the halls of power and privilege – with those who are left out of the structured and institutionalized spaces of well-being historically constructed and maintained for the benefit of only a few.

So, really, this rally isn’t about solidarity with the God who comes near in Jesus, but rather solidarity with Pharoah’s god of brick-making, with the familiar golden calf, with Baal, and with the Invisible Hand of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, with Pilate, with Herod, with systemic homeostasis, ‘peace,’ ‘decency,’ and ‘religious freedom’…

This can’t be solidarity with the One to whom Mary sang in Her Magnificat:

“God has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit, casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.”

Or, solidarity with Jesus, who preached these words to the ‘religious’ and political authorities of the day:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…”

The crowds, led by religious and political authorities – they ‘stood with god’ – they held a rally too at a Roman State House of their own. Perhaps the campaign’s platform! The beatitudes of a godly and appropriate people: Preservation of the ‘family,’ ‘biblical marriage,’ ‘morality,’ the ‘right’ to bear arms, prayer in schools, the true glory of ‘whiteness,’ trickle-down/supply-side economics, ‘god’ and country, making America great again, individualism, social Darwinism, and so much more…

On that day, the God of Mary, of Jesus, of the outcast, of the ‘illegal’ immigrant, of the ‘indecent,’ of the ‘deserving’ poor, of the ‘unclean,’ of the sick, of the humble, of the powerless, the God of black lives and brown lives, the God of transgender people, the effeminate God, the weakling God, the Queer – this God was executed by the system and by the crowds.

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