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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Christians Should Attend May Day Celebrations

First, what is May Day? The answer to this question proves American Exceptionalism. That is because to the rest of the world, May Day is Labor Day. It isn't in America. There is another related proof of American Exceptionalism. Most of the world sees the connection between labor and wealth. But in the land of the financial services, what is connected with wealth is the combination of gambling and remote ownership.

May Day is about human rights. May Day in NYC, for example, will be about the rights of workers and immigrants. It is about standing up for and protecting those who are being exploited by our current economic system. The American worker has taken a beating during the past couple of decades. Pay has either stagnated or gone down when adjusted for inflation and fewer workers from certain sectors have jobs. Many other jobs have been outsourced to underpaid foreign workers or machines. And this is all done in the name of maximizing profits. In the meantime, immigrant workers are often herded, abused, and then exploited. Not only are they threatened, so are their families back home if these workers do not cooperate with their handlers.

So why should Christians participate in an event that is both a protest against abuse and a celebration of how these victims contribute to our lives? The question should answer itself but it doesn't. It doesn't because something has gone awry with American Conservative Christianity. That something can be found in the question of whether this religion is more conservative American than Christian.

To its believers, there is hardly a difference. American conservatives are all about the individual and morals. And since these Christians believe that their country was founded on the Bible and their faith, they believe that as American conservatism goes, so goes their Christianity.

What does their Christianity consist of? It consists of everything for the individual. One's personal faith brings one's own salvation. Once one is saved, one attempts to live on a fantasy island, an island where one believes that one can be protected from the world, with other likeminded Christians. Thus, those living on this island can ignore the collapsing world around them because their future is set. And the only way to really help people is to prepare them for what happens after the world collapses, that is get them to become citizens of their island. After all, nothing else matters but eternity.

But some such Christians still want to help others with the things of this world. They become a testimony to American Conservative Christianity. These Christians believed that individuals could help but that nobody should be compelled to. And this last point shows the influence of American conservatism on Christianity.

This emphasis on the individual has a strong effect on whom Christians will associate with. The first group they will associate with are fellow island dwellers, fellow Christians, for what they have in common is what is most important: eternity. The second group these Christians will hang with are those who share American conservative societal values. These people, some of whom are not Christians, are the real Americans while the rest of us are deemed as American wannabes. These people are ones with conservative political and social values. Finally, American Conservative Christians love to be with real patriots. A real patriot is one who regards America as the best country God has placed on this earth. So what the American Conservative Christian has in common with the patriot is this love of country, or could we call it tribalism, that needs to taken back before it is destroyed by strangers.

In addition to the above, American Conservative Christians have an aversion to challenging the law or speaking out in public. Such is looked down upon as a lack of faith in God and respect for the authorities God has placed over us.

So with all of these natural obstacles, why should Conservative Christians attend May Day? Perhaps the Bible says it best when Jesus says that even "the heathen love their own" in Matthew 22:36-40? See, May Day provides a Biblical opportunity to the American Conservative Christian of following Jesus's commands to love others.  Instead of supporting those one is comfortable with,  here is a chance to be with those who are different. On May Day, Christians can stand with those who are exploited or discarded by their employers and with immigrants who merely want to live like the rest of us. And since many of those attending these May Day celebrations throughout the country are in groups outside the American Conservative Christian's normal circle of friends, here is the chance for Conservative Christians throughout the land to do what Jesus commands.

The question becomes will American Conservative Christians seek to be with and care for those who are different? Will such Christians show the courage, the Bible looks on cowardice rather negatively, to stand with some of the victims of our economy and society? The excuses not to go will be as plentiful as they are convenient. Excuses like: there are other ways to care for workers such as prayer or one is too busy on May 1. But the real reason why many such Christians will not attend May Day celebrations is an all controlling fear. They are afraid to leave the safety and comfort of their fantasy islands. They are afraid to be with those who are too different and they are afraid to speak out against wealth and power. They will be afraid to be different. They will feel robbed of a chance to enjoy the spoils. And the irony here is that people who present themselves as the readers, lovers, and defenders of God's Word will not give a real Biblical reason why they refuse to attend May Day celebrations or hold their own holidays where they celebrate and defend those who are not their own.

Below are links to some of the May Day celebrations throughout the U.S.

May Day in Boston

May Day in NYC

May Day in Philly

May Day in Baltimore

May Day in Washington, D.C.

May Day in Atlanta

May Day in Pittsburgh

May Day in Chicago

May Day in LA

















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