Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Gospel's left turn: care about poverty - SOF

In Speaking of Faith, Krista Tippett took me to an experience I was not prepared for, yet which made perfect sense with what I know. The political color of Evangelists, in my mind, is of the far right. Is the ideology of narrow-minded traditionalist family values in league with ultra-nationalism and capitalism. No traces of what I recall from the gospel about tolerance, egalitarianism and care for the weak and the outcast. Krista Tippett interviewed Evangelical reverend Jim Wallis who emphasizes all the social issues: the fight against poverty, unequal chances and so on. For him, these issues follow straight from the Scripture.

You can be cynical about this and claim the Scripture can lead you anywhere, but there is also a reply. The highest values are the most abused. Where Jesus tried to teach us solidarity with our weaker neighbors, preachers of the faith have collaborated with the powers in charge. There have always been distortions of religion for evil purposes.

The same can be done with rationality, or secular world views, I think. Wallis also makes a point to remark Christianity has no monopoly on morality, neither has religion in general. Each religion and each philosophy, so I understand him, is a language with which to attain morality. As such it represents the noblest qualities in us and as such they are infinitely open for abuse such that the ideas, symbols, metaphors, traditions and rituals serve to suppress in stead of to support.

More Speaking of Faith:
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel,
Karen Armstrong,
Wangari Maathai,
Faith based diplomacy,
Rachel Naomi Remen (highly recommended).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Post a Comment