Michael Budde says many Christians would like a Christ who allows them to kill.
A friend of Budde’s once described him as “the most Anabaptist Catholic I’ve ever met.” I would agree and as proof hand out copies of his work on American Christianity’s capture by consumer capitalism, on demystifying and resituating martyrdom within the everyday practices of the church, and on Christian identity as ecclesial solidarity.
His new collection, Foolishness to Gentiles: Essays on Empire, Nationalism, and Discipleship, looks at whether American imperial decline will take American Christianity down with it; the role of the church “after development”; Dorothy Day as “the patron saint of anarchism”; and themes of violence and revenge in popular culture.
I’ve been hearing one essay, “Killing with Kindness,” in my head these last few weeks as we view the destruction of Ukraine, an ancient Christian community, by a political leader who is an adherent of what is historically a branch of that same Christian community. (Our inurement to the spectacle of Christians killing Christians is a major theme in Budde’s work.)
Originally published on Plough, used with permission