Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thank You, Glenn Beck

Virulent buffoon that he is...salacious and self-righteous...I owe him one for bringing the issue of Liberation Theology to my attention. I'm for it.

What is the book of Exodus but a story of liberation, out of bondage through idol worship to a new consciousness?

Is it any wonder that slaves found resonance in this narrative? They adapted Christianity for the message of deliverance waiting for that sweet chariot to swing low and carry them home. Today they are no longer willing to wait. The promise of the Judeo-Christian ethic has not been delivered.

Glenn Beck rails against this interpretation as does the Vatican. The message of the good books, of Moses and Jesus threatens the fundamentalist Bible-thumpers as well as the Vatican. The hierarchy is taking cover. With a resume like that count me in.

The modern day movement of Liberation Theology originated in Central America in the sixties around Father Gustavo Gutierrez with its roots in the Gospel. It has become a peasant movement which speaks directly to poverty and injustice as a daily fact of their existence. It addresses the contradiction between the teachings of the Church and need to liberate the people from degrading social conditions. It calls for a Christian response beyond charity. Glenn Beck to the contrary notwithstanding God has always sided with the oppressed.

It is no small irony that even as fundamentalist Christians and the Catholic hierarchy denounces them the Liberationists are the fastest growing sector in Christendom and perhaps the only one not exhausted and irrelevant.

Religion has been given new life outside the church walls. Communities have formed theological reflection groups and human rights organizations which have resulted in land-reform and peasant cooperatives. The Liberation Church played a role in overthrowing dictators like Samoza in Guatemala and the military regime in El Salvador.

For many African-Americans the church has too long been associated with segregation. The Southern Baptist Convention supported slavery until a formal repentance just fifteen years ago. They offered an apology to Blacks for condoning and perpetuating systemic racism.

Black Liberation Theology seeks neither reparations nor reward in an afterlife but a recognition and redress through changes in their social conditions today. It is a living religion and as such scares the hell out of the preachers whose notion of religion is part soporific through the utterance of arcane mumbles and part militant dispenser of fear, obedience and punitive measures against non-believers.

Before the 100,000 assembled at the Washington D.C. mall Beck called Obama a racist. He amended that nonsense the next day branding him a follower of Liberation Theology as if this were an equal sin. I suppose it is to a man on a mission to incite the ill-informed through repetitive lies.


  1. In the same way as Newt Ginigrich accused Obama of being an anti-colonialist... Apparently, he forgot about the Declaration of Independence. Norm--keep the blogs coming. I loved the film-noir piece. Jack