Monday, March 08, 2010

Glen Beck & Social Justice

I have been recently on a series of posts looking at Jesus. The point of this has been to distill down how I am understanding the words, teachings, and ministry of Jesus at this point in my journey. I am continuing forward with that series. I am currently writing the "Prayers of Jesus" and will be posting that soon.

However, the stir created over Glen Beck's much reported comments on his radio program has caused me to desire to post some thoughts originally part of a conversation on Facebook on here.

Recapping the original Glen Beck quote:
I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church?

After these comments by Beck I set my status to a quote by John Allan Bankson (@knowtea).

I'll continue to preach social justice because Jesus did. I pity anyone who gets his/her theology from Glenn Beck.

A friend of mine responded with his endorsement of Glen Beck's ideas.

So this was originally offered as my response to him. I am now posting it as my response to Mr. Beck and those others who would claim that Jesus' message is easily harmonized with the republican motto of "individual freedom and personal responsibility"
Being born into the most privileged class of the most powerful empire on earth, it is easy to be sold on the imperialst creed of 'freedom' and 'personal responsibility'. However great those ideas are, and I do believe they are great ideas, there are causes and complication beyond those ideas.  Loving people requires we (I am speaking to those like myself born of privilege) look to understand the systemic inequality and emotional complication those inequalities make manifest in the world.  

This does not mean we look to the state for answers to the systems of oppression. I am not supporter of using the empire as vendors of good & services.  Coercive power, even when being used for "good" is an enemy of love.

Instead we practice a new creation, a powerful transformative force rooted in economic justice.  We empty ourselves of privlege, entitlement, and power, to suffer in solidarity with, and to creatively empower new realities within oppressed peoples.

Look at the life and ministry of Jesus. Whether it's Healing the sick, giving the blind sight, setting the oppressed free, and proclaimg God's love among the poor that he promised in his ignaugral adress and traveled from village to village to practice, or  touching the unclean, eating with the outcasts, and speaking against an oppressive religious system which ultimately got him executed as an insurectionist; Jesus message was FIRMLY rooted in social justice.

The power of social justice is one of self identication as equals to the poor and disadvantage.  Social justice is the word of God, (love your neighbor) taking on flesh.  Incarnation is social justice, and I would tell anyone, if you're NOT hearing social justice in your church then leave, because they are preaching a different Jesus than the one recorded in the gospels.

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