Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Tebow: A tale of two Christianities on its knees

It seems to me that Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick represent the two very different forms that American Christianity has come to.

And not just in the United States. In many parts of the world it feels as though the church is separating into two versions, one that values personal piety, gentleness, respect for cultural mores, and an emphasis on moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, and another that values social justice, community development, racial reconciliation, and political activism.

One version is kneeling in private prayer. The other is kneeling in public protest.

One is concerned with private sins like abortion. The other is concerned with public sins like racial discrimination.

One preaches a gospel of personal salvation. The other preaches a gospel of political and social transformation.

Krista Tippett interviews Thich Nhat Hanh

MS. TIPPETT: The kingdom of God?

BROTHER THAY: Yeah, because I could not like to go to a place where there is no suffering. I could not like to send my children to a place where there is no suffering because, in such a place, they have no way to learn how to be understanding and compassionate. And the kingdom of God is a place where there is understanding and compassion, and, therefore, suffering should exist.

MS. TIPPETT: That’s quite different from some religious perspectives which would say that the kingdom of God is a place where we’ve transcended suffering or moved beyond it.

BROTHER THAY: Yes. And suffering and happiness, they are both organic, like a flower and garbage. If the flower is on her way to become a piece of garbage, the garbage can be on her way to becoming a flower.

Transcript: Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri Maples, and Larry Ward — Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism | On Being