The Common Good
March-April 1996

For the Salvation of My Soul

by Jim Dickerson | March-April 1996

In many ways I feel like a hypocrite in regards to my actions
at the Capitol.

In many ways I feel like a hypocrite in regards to my actions at the Capitol. My race, gender, class, and religion are the chief beneficiaries of the current government's policies and direction. I and people like me are part of the problem. We are complicit in the injustice, immorality, and declared congressional war against the vulnerable in this country. I may complain and preach against what the government is doing, but I cling to my privileged position and refuse to act in costly ways to help change the direction.

I was not only protesting bad and immoral public policy and political leadership; more important, I was publicly repenting of my sins and my complicity in the corporate sin of America of which I am a part. I also wanted to make my Christian witness, worship, and faith more complete, authentic, and clear. I am concerned not only for the poor and those detrimentally affected by our government's current actions, but for the salvation of my soul and that of my people as well.

Jim Dickerson is director of MANNA, an affordable-housing community development corporation, and pastor of New Community Church in Washington, D.C.

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