The challenge for religious leaders is to work for change in a non-partisan way, navigating the no-man’s land between the extreme right and the far left ”” and between Republicans and Democrats. It’s a minefield, because when clergy work to secure funding for free dental clinics and affordable housing, they run into conservatives who want lower taxes and smaller government. Yet when clergy takes action to move parishioners through the current immigration system, they face criticism from progressives who insist on amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Because congregations are intimately involved with the poor, interfaith action will always be focused on issues of social justice ”” or if those two words offend, let’s go with the less-controversial “uplifting the needy.” But clergy and laypeople know how difficult ”” and even dangerous this work can be. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for this cause.
And Jesus? He was nailed to the cross because he was considered to be a political ”” not theological ”” threat to the power of Rome. That’s a Holy Week message that all faiths can embrace.