There Are No Republican Fire Stations or Democratic ERs

From Eboo Patel’s excellent book We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy:

Here is what diversity lookes like in the city of Mostar, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you work for the Croat Catholic fire department, you don’t reponnd to the burning buildings of Bosnian Muslims, even if you happen to be closer. And if you work for the Bosnian Muslim fire department, you let the flames engul croat Catholic homes. They have their own fire department.

We don’t do it that way in the United States of America. When Florida (a politically red state) experiences destruction from Hurricane Ian, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – of course – vote to send relief to Florida. When the horrific shooting occured at Sandy Hook in Connecticut in 2012 (a politically blue state) Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – of course – voted to send emergency relief to Connecticut.

Rescuers evacuate residents from the Avante at Orlando assisted living facility on S.R. 436 in Orlando, Fla., due to flooding from Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Actually this is not true. It should be true. We do not support our neighbors based on their political proclivities, their religious background, or their ancestry – right?

Actually, in the past week, there have been politicians, tweeters, and cable news commentators expressing their opinions that those who disagree with us – politically – should not receive assistance. They are not “on our side.” They “do not deserve to be saved.” They are “those people.”

This is the opposite of what Jesus teaches. For God so loved the world . . . Not “the Christians” or “the Jews” or “the good people” or “the locals” or “our people.” Jesus died for Nancy Pelosi and Ron DeSantis and Joe Biden and Donald Trump and Ilhan Omar and Tucker Carlson and the MAGA lady in the Orlando retirement community who is trapped in her apartment and the Democratic Socialist on their roof in Pawleys Island. We have got to get over this notion that some people are not deserving of rescue, love, or forgiveness.

Yes, this annoys me too. What if I believe they don’t deserve it? (News Flash: Not one of us deserves the grace we receive in this life.)

Here’s the infuriating thing about The Gospel: the slackers, the greedy, the heinous, and the undeserving are all people Jesus loves. Errr. It’s enough to make us Pharisees.

A blessed World Communion Sunday, my friends.

4 responses to “There Are No Republican Fire Stations or Democratic ERs

  1. nancyswiatekpardo

    This is so good! Amen!


  2. Love this message and your honesty.


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