The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Is Jeremiah Wright mostly right?

with 4 comments

Jeremiah WrightDamn you rich! You already have your compensation.
Damn you who are well-fed! You will know hunger.
Damn you who laugh now! You will weep and grieve.
Damn you when everybody speaks well of you!

A rant from a radical preacher? Without a doubt. … That’s the Scholars Translation of Luke 6:24-26, and the speaker is Jesus of Nazareth. …

And it’s strikingly similar to:

God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human.
God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

That’s Jeremiah Wright.

And he’s got a point. I’m quoting here from a post on Daily Kos by the blogger known (appropriately, some will say) as Devilstower. He throws down the gauntlet about the Wright words, especially to we who preach.

Consider:

Jesus meant his words to be shocking. He meant them to strike against the status quo and shake up the comfortable.

Is the vision of a pastor standing in his pulpit shouting “God damn America” shocking? Yes. But don’t mistake Wright’s (or Jesus’) statement for what some … would mean … Wright isn’t saying “FU America!” he’s saying “these actions of America are worthy of God’s condemnation.” […]

Then, a “for instance:”

Do I think that 9/11 was the “chickens coming home to roost?” Yeah, I pretty much do. Of course the terrorists bear the personal responsibility for their actions … But to pretend that decades of actions overseas had nothing to do with that terrible morning is far more delusional than anything said by Rev. Wright. If you jab a stick into a hornet’s nest and shake it for fifty years, the hornets might do the stinging, but you can’t blame only the hornets. … the truth is that violence tends to generate violence in return. Or, as that radical I quoted above said “those who take up the sword, will die by the sword.”

I’m not sure it’s clear, listening to the Christian scuttlebutt, that those words of Jesus are still part of our faith. I wonder if our “God and Country” blend has so fused faith and patriotism that uncritical acceptance of the words of Caesar renders the words of Jesus Christ unfamiliar.

As the post concludes:

The purpose of a good sermon isn’t to placate, ease, and make people comfortable. … If you want to search for “traitors” in the pulpit, turn your eye toward those who never find anything wrong in the actions of this nation.

Whew. It’s a balancing act, isn’t it?


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Written by Monte

April 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

4 Responses

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  1. oh it’s not hard at all to imagine why Wright would say something of that nature about HIV…we have a history of sterilizing poor black people too and other “unfit’ poor people…the government has had it’s hand in all sorts of horrifying things against our own people…

    giannakali

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm

  2. Monte, thank you for your coverage and insight.

    ralfast

    April 14, 2008 at 9:18 am

  3. I will tackle this subject tonight/tomorrow morning. New podcast dealing with this subject. Guaranteed to tick a few people off, but I hope it makes a few more think.

    Monte Says: Thanks, friend – I’m no good at getting podcasts to fit into my life, but I’d love to hear it.

    ralfast

    April 14, 2008 at 9:17 am

  4. from the beginning I’ve been saying I that I basically agree with Wright…except for the HIV and AIDS stuff the rest is right on target.

    Monte Says: Amazing, isn’t it … that so many would see it as hate? And given the history of government-sponsored death of blacks with syphilis, it sure isn’t hard to see how the HIV idea would have credibility.

    giannakali

    April 13, 2008 at 8:26 pm


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