Jesus’ final command to his disciples before his ascension back to heaven was: “Go therefore and virtue signal while protesting.” … Oh, wait, that’s not right. Jesus’ final command was actually “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).”
I’m sure my initial confusion will be forgiven considering that the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. has scheduled a protest to raise awareness about what they believe is President Trump’s hatred for poor people. Borrowing the words of the PNBC’s press release published on the Religion News Service, “The event demonstrates the denomination’s social action priorities of poverty, mass incarceration, healthcare, and voting rights.”
Take special note of the word “priorities.” Make disciples indeed, right?
The march on Washington is scheduled for April 17 and is part of a broader, year-long initiative leading up to this November’s election. According to the press release:
The event begins with a 10:00 a.m. press conference held at Alfred Street Baptist Church, 301 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 to highlight how devastating the White House policies are to the poor and working-class families. Afterward, PNBC clergy, constituents, and other leaders will conduct legislative visits to Capitol Hill and hear from elected officials on their policy positions while presenting the denomination’s interest in promoting issues that address poverty/economic justice, health care, mass incarceration and voting rights. PNBC’s social justice agenda includes multiple activities throughout the year in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The talking points to justify this massive virtue signaling are revealed in the statement issued by the PNBC,
Since the beginning of the new Administration in 2017, there has been a clear agenda to set policies that benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of struggling Americans. Both budget cuts and structural changes have been previewed in President Trump’s State of the Union Address and proposed budget. These changes include “wedge issue” reforms that do not speak to the real issue of fair wages, access to jobs, and the purpose of safety net programs. The wedge issues include work requirements, cutting the food stamp program by 1/3 and replacing it with “food commodity boxes,” and capping the family size for receiving benefits. If these structural changes are enacted, they will leave a gap in services that will fall on non-profit organizations and churches to attempt to fill. Churches do not have, by any stretch of the imagination, the resources of the federal government. The government collects our tax money while stating that there is no funding to serve the basic needs of ordinary people. The PNBC Advocacy Day will address these issues directly.
I find it interesting that the PNBC claims that “churches do not have, by any stretch of the imagination, the resources of the federal government.” That statement laughably lacks any self-awareness. Of course, churches don’t have the resources of the federal government. However, if the federal government would stop stealing money from its citizens, more money would be given to churches to fill the “gap in services.”
Likewise, if the PNBC would invest its time and energy into making disciples, the social problems that give rise to the need for social services would be lessened. Virtue signaling is easier than actually obeying Jesus, I guess.