Saturday, May 5, 2012


Here are some thoughts from A Political Reading of the Life of Jesus by George W. Baldwin. At the age of 50 he sold all he had to serve the poor in Nicaragua in the time of the Iran-Contra wars. His view is that Jesus was an insurrectionist because he refused to participate in the power structure that oppressed him and taught a non-violent way to oppose that oppression. That defied authorities because their oppression was based on violence. It was St. Paul who then turned the story into one of salvation. I'm just over a quarter of the way through the book. I'm sure I'll report on more later.

These are my words of what I understand from his story.

* Unless you are poor you have a vested interest in maintaining oppression of the poor.

* Charity for the poor only makes you feel good while participating in the oppression of the poor.

* The traditional understanding of salvation maintains oppression of the poor by (1) teaching that submitting to authority is ordained by God, (2) making your submission to church (and also civil) authorities a key part of attaining Heaven, and (3) focusing attention on yourself instead of others.

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