SPM: Before you go, I wanted to ask you about your comments about Donald Trump. You said, "The more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, 'You know? Maybe the guy's right.'"
FG: Not on the birth [certificate] issue. I'm talking about the economic issues, how to get our country out of the economic mess we're in.... No question, the guy's got a lot of baggage. He owns casinos. He's had multiple marriages. He's got a lot of issues. No question he is a very smart guy. I did not endorse him. Christiane Amanpour asked me if he could be the right candidate. He could, under the right circumstances, but we're still not there yet.... We have to look at the policies, are they consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ?...
If a person says that they're a Christian and then they have policies that are against what Christ teaches, that's a problem. There are candidates out there other than who we have talked about who are very good people who I could support. Mike Huckabee is a great man. He is a preacher. No question this man is saved.... You have Sarah Palin, who is a fine lady, who has great experience as governor, as a mayor, a very successful author, good family. Her husband is a man's man. He is one tough guy. Her kids are nice... You do have Mitt Romney.... He's a Mormon, but he is a smart business guy, a good man. Mormons have very strong families, and I appreciate that about him.
I'm not going to get involved in the political process. There will be people who I like and dislike. It's obvious the policies that are governing our country right now are not working.... Economic issues are issues that affect the church because if the country is not strong, we're not going to be able to support the mission work that we do. We're not going to be able to get involved in social concerns in the community. If we have more and more people out of work, it's going to affect the churches in a big way.
SPM: Are there times when a reporter asks you a question and you decide not to weigh in on it?
FG: Again, if someone asks me a question, I try to answer it. I was on MSNBC and they came after me. I decided that I'm going to see how many times I can get the gospel in. I think I got it in three times. Of course, they were attacking me. The most important message is that there's no one politician that's going to save America. The only hope that we have as a nation is if we repent of our sins.
I want Christians to recognize the grotesque nature of a social performance of Christianity that imagines Christian identity floating above land, landscape, animals, place, and space, leaving such realities to the machinations of capitalistic calculations and the commodity chains of private property.... Of course, our imaginations have been so conditioned by economically determined spatial strictures that .... imagining [change] is no small thing. Yet I am convinced that such a change is not only necessary but now stands before human communities as the only real option for survival in a world of dwindling natural resources and tightening global economic chains of commodification. To imagine along the direction I suggest in this book would be nothing less than a theological act, indeed, as I suggest, a Christian act of imagining. And if, as I believe, Christian life is indeed a way forward for the world, then it must reemerge as a compelling new invitation to life together....Indeed! And perhaps they are entirely unrealistic! Perhaps they can only be striven for in community's confessing Christ as Lord. Perhaps such communities can only seek this out within the limitations of their societies at large at cost to themselves -- doing so in the self-giving and cruciform love of Christ. Jennings himself concludes exactly this. This is the place where such a Christian imagination hits the ground and plods forward patiently.
Jesus entered fully into the kinship structure [of his time] not to destroy it but to reorder it -- around himself.... The kinship network in Israel would not be profoundly qualified. Jesus came first -- not husband or wife, not mother, father, sister, brothers, not familial obligations and demands, not cultural conventions, and not social responsibilities. If the strongest bonds of relationship were qualified through commitment of Jesus, then the entire socioeconomic and political structuring processes deeply woven inside these bonds came into qualified view and ultimately unrelenting challenge. Jesus drew a new communion together in Israel. This new communion carried of necessity the distinctive marks of his scandal....
[No doubt Jesus and the apostles expose] the tremendous challenge toward intimacy created by the presence of the Spirit of God.... [But if] the struggle toward cultural intimacy was not faced by the church as inherent to the gospel itself, despite the constant work of the Spirit to turn Israel and Gentile peoples toward one another, then over time the only other option was the emergence of a Christian segregationalist mentality....
Imagine a people defined by their cultural differences yet who turn their histories and cultural logics toward a new determination, a new social performance of identity.... This new cultural politic is a complex new configuration and social alliance and political allegiance bound up in life together with the many. The implications of this new space in which a new cultural politic emerges are breathtaking.(quoting pages 293-294, 263-264, 270-271, 273)