What is Liberation Theology?

With all the upset over Jeremiah Wright and his so-called Liberation Theology, many have been asking what Liberation Theology is … Continued

With all the upset over Jeremiah Wright and his so-called Liberation Theology, many have been asking what Liberation Theology is all about. Well, it is not very complicated! It is the simple belief that in the struggles of poor and oppressed people against their powerful and rich oppressors, God sides with the oppressed against the oppressors.

Those who adhere to Liberation Theology point out that all through the Bible we find that God always champions the cause of those who are poor and beaten down as they struggle for dignity, freedom and economic justice. When the children of Israel cry out for help as they suffer the agonies of their enslavement under Pharaoh, God hears their cry and joins them in their fight for freedom. God sides with the Jews as they seek deliverance from Egyptian domination.

Later on, when the Israelites are settled in the Holy Land, there emerge rich and powerful Jews who live lives of affluence without regard for the sufferings of the poor. In response to their indifference, God raises up prophets to decry the plight of the poor and call the rich to repent. The prophets of ancient Israel challenged, in the name of God, what was happening to those who were victimized in an unjustly stratified society.

When we come to the New Testament, we find that Jesus also comes as a liberator. Mary, the mother of Jesus, responds to the annunciation that she will give birth to the Messiah by claiming that it will one day be said of her soon-to-be-born son:
…He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent away empty.—Luke 1:51-53
Jesus himself, in his initial sermon, declares that He has come to bring “good news for the poor” and to “preach deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18-19).

The social implications of this biblical theme of liberation have been taken up by a variety of oppressed groups over the past fifty years. Christian feminists have claimed that Jesus came to liberate women from oppression—especially as oppression of women manifests itself in certain Islamic countries, as well as in the male domination encouraged by some forms of Christianity.
Gays who are Christians also have made Jesus their liberator as they have fought for dignity and acceptance in what they believe to be a homophobic society.

And of course, Jeremiah Wright has declared for the African-American community that, in their struggle to overcome the oppression they have had to endure at the hands of what he believes is a racist society, the God revealed in scripture will fight for them.

There will be those who will claim that Liberation Theology is nothing more than a baptized version of a Marxist revolutionary ideology. There is good reason for this because some prominent Latin American theologians have integrated Marxism with a theology of liberation and offered it up as justification for the violent overthrow of what they considered to be evil dictatorships. But it must be noted that most forms of Liberation Theology have nothing to do with Marxism and violent revolutions.

Certainly, Jeremiah Wright is advocating neither Marxism nor violent revolution. What Rev. Wright does say is that, as the African-American community endeavors to establish itself as a people who are both equal with whites and deserving of the dignity that God wills for all human beings, they have God on their side.

Rev. Wright’s words may seem harsh and his style may be strident, but that just may be the way that those of us in the white establishment react. For his African-American brothers and sisters, there may be a different reaction. Many of them will hear him as an angry prophet in the tradition of ancient Israel.

To we white folks, Jeremiah Wright sounds threatening. But we might ask ourselves if we deserve to be threatened.

Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern University, is the founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that develops schools and social programs in various third world countries and in cities across North America. He is the author of 35 books, his latest three being, “Letters to a Young Evangelical,” “The God of Intimacy and Action” and his most recently release is “Red Letter Christians, A Citizen’s Guide to Faith and Politics.”

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  • Ray Hollenbach

    Tony Campalo has served the public with a brief and simple explanation of liberation theology. His summary is, I believe, accurate. However there is still room for legitimate concern over the proper application of the “prophetic voice.” Does Rev. Wright speak for God regarding the liberation of ethnic inequality in the U.S.? Or does Rev. Wright merely represent black anger clothed in religious language. I think reasonable people can differ regarding that answer.

  • Lynn E

    Liberation Theology is very much like Marxist theology and has been used as such in Latin America. Because the last two popes experienced facism and communism, they have been very hard on priests who practice liberation theology. It has led to communist insurgencies in several countries. Many of the people I have spoken to speak of college educated Marxists who influence poor people who eventually become caught between insurgents and anti-insurgent governments. It is costly for everybody. In Black Liberation Theology, there is a concern about Blacks always identifying with the poor and see others as the enemy. It emphasizes differences and looks past similarities. Obama for instance was always upper middle class if not in the elite. His mother came from a more working class family but received a Ph.D. Obama’s father was an elite from Kenya who went to Harvard and and his step-father was an elite from Indonesia. Obama himself went to the best private schools and was a legacy admission to Harvard. He was not disadvantaged by class but would have experienced some problems being identified as Black by many Americans.

  • cecilia

    Thank you for this simple and clear explanation of what liberation theology is and isn’t. I sort of knew this already, but your commentary helped clarify my thinking.

  • Marianne Bahmann

    Rev. Campolo’s good general description of liberation theology does not get to the root of our present problem — James Cone’s Black Liberation Theology. The belief that all white people are by nature racist obliges black pastors following this line to stick with a theology of victimization, not liberation. Jeremiah Wright has preached this angry message for thirty years. If Barack Obama did not get the point in twenty years of attending Wright’s church, he must have either slept through the sermons or tuned them out. I suspect the latter.One more comment. The shouted sermons and “Amen!” responses awaken memories of the rants that aroused the German people to yell “Heil!” seventy years ago. Obama was right to denounce Wright’s self-serving reverse racism and a theology that has nothing to do with the biblical message of liberation.

  • theology 101

    Tony Campolo puts a greater practical emphasis on social justice than the News of Salvation.He has forgotten or never knew that Yeshua was a Jew born into poverty who is ALSO King of all kings and Lord of all lords- the Savior of ALL the world.”For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. For it is the Power of God unto Salvation to every one who believes: to the Jew first and to the Gentiles.”

  • RetCombatVet

    The article makes Black Liberation Theology as some sort of innocuous theory. But prior to the TUCC taking it down their mission as written was to adhere to the Black Value System.THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEMTrinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System, written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee, chaired by the late Vallmer Jordan in 1981.Dr. Manford Byrd, our brother in Christ, withstood the ravage of being denied his earned ascension to the number one position in the Chicago School System. His dedication to the pursuit of excellence, despite systematic denials, has inspired the congregation of Trinity United Church of Christ. Prayerfully, we have called upon the wisdom of all past generations of suffering Blacks for guidance in fashioning an instrument of Black self-determination, the Black Value System.Beginning in 1982, an annual Black Value System – Educational Scholarship in the name of Dr. Byrd was instituted. The first recipient of the Dr. Manford Byrd Award, which is given annually to the man or woman who best exemplifies the Black Value System, was our brother, Dr. Manford Byrd.These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They consist of the following concepts: 1. Commitment to God. “The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activists, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind. 2. Commitment to the Black Community. The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of strength and continuity of the Black Community. Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate. 4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education. We must forswear anti-intellectualism. Continued survival demands that each Black person be developed to the utmost of his/her mental potential despite the inadequacies of the formal education process. “Real education” fosters understanding of ourselves as well as every aspect of our environment. Also, it develops within us the ability to fashion concepts and tools for better utilization of our resources, and more effective solutions to our problems. Since the majority of Blacks have been denied such learning, Black Education must include elements that produce high school graduates with marketable skills, a trade or qualifications for apprenticeships, or proper preparation for college. Basic education for all Blacks should include Mathematics, Science, Logic, General Semantics, Participative Politics, Economics and Finance, and the Care and Nurture of Black minds. 5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence. To the extent that we individually reach for, even strain for excellence, we increase, geometrically, the value and resourcefulness of the Black Community. We must recognize the relativity of one’s best; this year’s best can be bettered next year. Such is the language of growth and development. We must seek to excel in every endeavor. Those so identified are separated from the rest of the people by: 1. Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another. 9. Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black Community. 11. Pledge Allegiance to All Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace the Black Value System. 12. Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System. To measure the worth and validity of all activity in terms of positive contributions to the general welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards freedom.Perhaps this seems ok to you. I would suggest however that place the word white for black. I am not sure what the reaction would be to a document edited in this way but I have my doubts.

  • randempennsylvanian

    Wright is a student and practitioner of BLACK Liberation Theology as reasoned and understood by James Cone. That is different than what you have presented above. Cone’s book “A Black Theology of Liberation” 1990 ISBN-10: 0883446855 Page 27 states his theology thus “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.”

  • Sharon J.

    I want to thank Sally for the comments she made regarding the Wright/Obama story on the BBC. You were able to look at it from the human side of the issue. A vital relationship between to men has been destroyed. I think it’s very tragic. Both men must be hurting right now. Each probably feels some sense of betrayal by the other. I pray that their differences can be resolved and their friendship will be renewed.

  • poweme

    I’d never heard of liberation theology until this issue arose; however, I grew up on and still attend churches where it is delivered. For those not familiar with the powerful delivery of Black preachers, I guess the combination of the actions, voice,and message can be threatening.Don’t be threatened; understand that many of us worship in a different (not deficient) manner. What is important is that we, as a people, continue to worship and praise. Our method of praise may not appeal to Caucasians but it should not be dissected, decried, dismissed, ridiculed, or denigrated. Our spiritual leaders are not fanatics, bigots, maniacal, as has been suggested in the case of Rev. Wright, but men who speak the truth as they, and many others, see it. To do so, is insulting and does appear to be an assault on the Black church. And Rev. Wright spoke the truth on many fronts: America is STILL racist (although covertly so) and Sen. Obama IS a politician.

  • Robert

    Nice white wash on what Liberation Theology is.

  • Don

    Tony Campalo said it correctly… BLACK Liberation Theology is rooted in MARXISM, Not Christianity. Racism is racism, even if you call it “BLACK Liberation Theology”.

  • Ken Burnside

    As a white Christian, I think Rev Wright is right on target with what he has to say.If you listen to all of what Wright has to say (a novel idea), he rejects the notion that he is preaching Black Liberation theology. He says he is preaching prophetic, biblical liberation theology. He’s right.He’s a bible-believing preacher speaking the Word of Truth to largely deaf America.

  • Eggy

    To most white folks, he doesn’t sound threatening, just fatuous.

  • Anonymous

    To we white folks, Jeremiah Wright sounds threatening. But we might ask ourselves if we deserve to be threatened. — Sure, white folks deserve to be threatened. White folks of the mid-1800s. Fie on them!

  • ZZim

    Tony: It seems to me that you think that – in at least some circumstances – it is OK to go around threatening people for the color of their skin. I disagree.Racism is wrong bad and stupid. Period. Reverend Wright is a racist. He is wrong bad and stupid. Period. Black Liberation Theology is a racist creed. It is wrong bad and stupid. Period. This is a moral absolute.Racism is not OK when practiced by certain groups against selected other groups. It is wrong when it is practiced by any group against any other group. PS – You don’t want white people to feel threatened. Racism by people like Wright is tolerated because it is harmless, he has no power. Everyone understands it’s just a bunch of hot air that isn’t supposed to lead to any concrete actions whatsoever. If white people really felt threatened by the likes of him they would organize and do something about that. We had that once, it was called the Klan. We don’t want it again.

  • Montjoie

    Robert’s correct, this is a whitewash (love that term) of liberation “theology.” Liberation theology is a set of political beliefs that dares to require God to conform to its tenets and rules, rather then the other way around.

  • Don Hughes

    HelloAmerica may become the first nation in history where the oppressed are the upper income people. I don’t have a six figure income, and I am upset over the fact that I work for what I have and pay high taxes so that there can be a few elite people who sit at home to enjoy life at my expense. Bascially the Democratic Party is trying to join together 51% of the population to vote money out of the pockets of the other 49% of the population.Don

  • ZZim

    Tony: It seems to me that you think that – in at least some circumstances – it is OK to go around threatening people for the color of their skin. I disagree.Racism is wrong bad and stupid. Period. Reverend Wright is a racist. He is wrong bad and stupid. Period. Black Liberation Theology is a racist creed. It is wrong bad and stupid. Period. This is a moral absolute.Racism is not OK when practiced by certain groups against selected other groups. It is wrong when it is practiced by any group against any other group. PS – You don’t want white people to feel threatened. Racism by people like Wright is tolerated because it is harmless, he has no power. Everyone understands it’s just a bunch of rhetorical flourish and hot air that isn’t supposed to lead to any concrete actions whatsoever. If white people really felt threatened by the likes of him they would organize and do something about that. We had that once, it was called the Klan. We don’t want it again.

  • Teresa

    To Tony Campolo: Thanks for writing this, which I think is a very good and balanced article. See also Martin E. Marty’s article, “Pastor and Prophet: Jeremiah Wright,” in the April 11 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

  • robert peterson

    AMEN!!!!Theology of Hope, Theologoy of Liberation has been preached in and out of seminaries, white and black for nearly 40 years ….. fear the oppressors not the oppressed…..a cadre of white privates serving in the black army to liberate us all…..

  • say what?

    What you described and what Wright says are two different things.Its all in the delivery… Like a bad comedian, he is getting booed off the stage and forcing Obama to exit with him.its too late to try and change our minds after all the hoopla. 20 years ago fine…. even maybe 10 years ago.but NOW?!

  • Sharon J.

    In addition, thank you Tony for providing background on liberation theology. “God sides with the oppressed against the oppressors.” That is the most concise definition that I have heard.

  • Dumbfounded

    Liberation theology isn’t a theology at all if implies that the theologist is at liberty to lie, as Jeremiah Wright has done, when, for example, he says that the AIDs epidemic was started by the government to eliminate black people. The use of lies to promote a cause or point of view is merely propaganda.

  • L.Kurt Engelhart

    We need to distinguish Liberation Theology from liberation theology. Mirceau Eliade saw liberation from oppression as a theme in religion through the ages. It should not be surprising to find it in Christianity today. The source of the oppression is going to vary based on one’s world view. I believe it is safe to say that everyone is going to feel oppression from some direction, and, when one turns their attention to that direction, many interpretations of the source may come from a single community. A function of the church is to define the source sufficiently that the community may come together as a group to resist it. You might say this is also a function of government, but government tends toward the secular while the church tends toward the spiritual. Blacks in the US, for a long period of their history, have not had a government, or at least did not perceive the existing government to be theirs. Their church tended, and may still tend, to fill this role for them. Hence the secular slant to Liberation Theology. The Black experience in the US will have to change significantly over generations for this perspective to be dissolved in a new world view.

  • Jack

    My goodness, Mr. Campolo is sadly mistaken if he believes liberation theology simply means that Jesus sides with the oppressed like some teary spiritual Oprah show. Like most intellectual elites he dismisses the Marxist core of its true nature with a patently false sentence, “But it must be noted that most forms of Liberation Theology have nothing to do with Marxism and violent revolutions.” This is much like apologists for Islam do today when they proclaim that Islamic murderers simply don’t understand real Islam. Who can forget the picture of Pope John Paul II shaking his finger in the face of some mislead priest who was a proponent of liberation theology. When Mr. Campolo says that Mr. Wright only believes that the God revealed in scripture will fight for Black folks he neglects the extension of his point – The God of liberation theology fights alongside the oppressed as they overthrow the existing social order. Do you doubt this as the logical end of liberation theology? Then quote me the scripture where a biblical society presented as oppressing the Jews was voted out of office. Liberation theology ends in blood with a new face on the ageless cry, “God is on our side.”

  • Patty Smtih

    The gospel, to those of us who believe it, is bad news to both the left and right. For those of us who believe it, it transcends the emphemeral and localized dramatics of the 21st century geolpolitical landscape. Grace is a two-edged gift: we Christians are forgiven and empowered so that we may obey a higher law – a law which contantly addresses the needs of the least of these in every milieu every moment every place.The gospel is bad news to the liberals because God has A WILL which does not at all sanction solipsism (re: Oprah’s “It’s all good.” pablum). Jesus admonished the woman caught in the act of adultery, whose life he saved, to “Go and sin no more.”The gospel is bad news to the conservatives because it is does not sanction neglect and exploitation. The “Freedom” espoused by the right wing is not the gospel right to be predatory. In the U.S.A., 47 million people lack health care in its marketed system. In this context, Jesus words in Matthew 25:41-45, “Depart from Me, you cursed . . . Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it unto Me.” are chilling.Reverend Wright’s mistake is that he twists the gospel to make it “Me” oriented. Wright asks, “What’s in the gospel for me, for my race, for my interest group, for my comrades-in-victimhood?”The gospel is “Other” oriented. It searches out the despised, the outcaste, the jeopardized – regardless of group membership.The inner injunction of the gospel is that we learn to give; not take. In the early 70s college campuses were stew pots of disparate separatists groups: the feminists. the La Raza, Black Panthers, Gay Lib. Many movements were co-opted by members who used the interest group as vehicle from which to launch his or her own career. Again, “Me” focusing.The gospel is shamelessly plebian. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is special. Everyone gets the privilege of giving of himself to the least of these. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ bids a man comes, He bids him come and die.” (to self)

  • Patty Smtih

    The gospel, to those of us who believe it, is bad news to both the left and right. For those of us who believe it, it transcends the emphemeral and localized dramatics of the 21st century geolpolitical landscape. Grace is a two-edged gift: we Christians are forgiven and empowered so that we may obey a higher law – a law which contantly addresses the needs of the least of these in every milieu every moment every place.The gospel is bad news to the liberals because God has A WILL which does not at all sanction solipsism (re: Oprah’s “It’s all good.” pablum). Jesus admonished the woman caught in the act of adultery, whose life he saved, to “Go and sin no more.”The gospel is bad news to the conservatives because it is does not sanction neglect and exploitation. The “Freedom” espoused by the right wing is not the gospel right to be predatory. In the U.S.A., 47 million people lack health care in its marketed system. In this context, Jesus words in Matthew 25:41-45, “Depart from Me, you cursed . . . Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it unto Me.” are chilling.Reverend Wright’s mistake is that he twists the gospel to make it “Me” oriented. Wright asks, “What’s in the gospel for me, for my race, for my interest group, for my comrades-in-victimhood?”The gospel is “Other” oriented. It searches out the despised, the outcaste, the jeopardized – regardless of group membership.The inner injunction of the gospel is that we learn to give; not take. In the early 70s college campuses were stew pots of disparate separatists groups: the feminists. the La Raza, Black Panthers, Gay Lib. Many movements were co-opted by members who used the interest group as vehicle from which to launch his or her own career. Again, “Me” focusing.The gospel is shamelessly plebian. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is special. Everyone gets the privilege of giving of himself to the least of these. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ bids a man comes, He bids him come and die.” (to self)

  • Patty Smtih

    The gospel, to those of us who believe it, is bad news to both the left and right. For those of us who believe it, it transcends the emphemeral and localized dramatics of the 21st century geolpolitical landscape. Grace is a two-edged gift: we Christians are forgiven and empowered so that we may obey a higher law – a law which contantly addresses the needs of the least of these in every milieu every moment every place.The gospel is bad news to the liberals because God has A WILL which does not at all sanction solipsism (re: Oprah’s “It’s all good.” pablum). Jesus admonished the woman caught in the act of adultery, whose life he saved, to “Go and sin no more.”The gospel is bad news to the conservatives because it is does not sanction neglect and exploitation. The “Freedom” espoused by the right wing is not the gospel right to be predatory. In the U.S.A., 47 million people lack health care in its marketed system. In this context, Jesus words in Matthew 25:41-45, “Depart from Me, you cursed . . . Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it unto Me.” are chilling.Reverend Wright’s mistake is that he twists the gospel to make it “Me” oriented. Wright asks, “What’s in the gospel for me, for my race, for my interest group, for my comrades-in-victimhood?”The gospel is “Other” oriented. It searches out the despised, the outcaste, the jeopardized – regardless of group membership.The inner injunction of the gospel is that we learn to give; not take. In the early 70s college campuses were stew pots of disparate separatists groups: the feminists. the La Raza, Black Panthers, Gay Lib. Many movements were co-opted by members who used the interest group as vehicle from which to launch his or her own career. Again, “Me” focusing.The gospel is shamelessly plebian. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is special. Everyone gets the privilege of giving of himself to the least of these. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ bids a man comes, He bids him come and die.” (to self)

  • Patty Smtih

    The gospel, to those of us who believe it, is bad news to both the left and right. For those of us who believe it, it transcends the emphemeral and localized dramatics of the 21st century geolpolitical landscape. Grace is a two-edged gift: we Christians are forgiven and empowered so that we may obey a higher law – a law which contantly addresses the needs of the least of these in every milieu every moment every place.The gospel is bad news to the liberals because God has A WILL which does not at all sanction solipsism (re: Oprah’s “It’s all good.” pablum). Jesus admonished the woman caught in the act of adultery, whose life he saved, to “Go and sin no more.”The gospel is bad news to the conservatives because it is does not sanction neglect and exploitation. The “Freedom” espoused by the right wing is not the gospel right to be predatory. In the U.S.A., 47 million people lack health care in its marketed system. In this context, Jesus words in Matthew 25:41-45, “Depart from Me, you cursed . . . Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it unto Me.” are chilling.Reverend Wright’s mistake is that he twists the gospel to make it “Me” oriented. Wright asks, “What’s in the gospel for me, for my race, for my interest group, for my comrades-in-victimhood?”The gospel is “Other” oriented. It searches out the despised, the outcaste, the jeopardized – regardless of group membership.The inner injunction of the gospel is that we learn to give; not take. In the early 70s college campuses were stew pots of disparate separatists groups: the feminists. the La Raza, Black Panthers, Gay Lib. Many movements were co-opted by members who used the interest group as vehicle from which to launch his or her own career. Again, “Me” focusing.The gospel is shamelessly plebian. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is special. Everyone gets the privilege of giving of himself to the least of these. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ bids a man comes, He bids him come and die.” (to self)

  • Mike

    Why is it that when religious liberals act like intolerant angry jerks, they are just misunderstood prophets, but when religious conservatives act like angry jerks, they are a threat to tolerance and unity? Tony Compolo has a lot of white guilt to deal with, apparently. Have fun with that, whitey.

  • Bill

    Liberation theology is an abberation of the Christian Faith, something old Baby Boomers in America like to play with when they get bored with the Bible. Why is it that when religious liberals act like intolerant angry jerks, they are just misunderstood prophets, but when religious conservatives act like angry jerks, they are a threat to tolerance and unity? Tony Compolo has a lot of white guilt to deal with, apparently. Have fun with that, whitey.

  • Jason

    Jeremiah Wright is not threatening, he’s a bigoted buffoon deserving only of our ridicule. Anyone who could listen to his drivel for 20 years is not fit to be elected dogcatcher. As for we white folks deserving to be threatened, why? Have I ever oppressed an African American? Have I ever discriminated against someone due to his or her race? No and no. Those who have deserve censure and punishment, but there is no such thing as group guilt, any more than group rights. I alone am responsible for my actions, and should be held accountable for them. Don’t hold me accountable for anyone else’s, especially if they’ve been dead for a long time.

  • san christopher

    Tony! Right on brother. Right on!!!!

  • joyce

    What Rev. Wright said is not about liberation theology. From the pulpit, a place of spiritual authority, he pronounced the words, “God Damn America.” He lives in a million dollar house in a gated community and attended a very prosperous high school (the same one Bill Cosby attended). When you go to church, usually at some point the pastor gives a “benediction,” not a “malediction.” Falsehoods are not liberating. With a darkened mind, he proclaimed conspiracy theories that AIDS was a plan against the black man. He needs liberation alright — from his dark imaginations of soul and spirit, and you, Mr. Campolo, are covering for him rather than speaking truth and commonsense. What ever happened to the prohibition of politics and religion “mixing?” I haven’t heard a peep about THAT! This is a political church. Hmmnnn, I mean LEFT-WING political church. Gosh, what happened to the blessed ACLU? Deafening silence and a deep, putrid double standard in this country! He whom Jesus set free is free indeed! People don’t need false messiah liberators with an agenda (and throw in the profiteers who make their livings selling book after book).

  • Bill

    Right Tony: we all misunderstand the poor guy. Barak Obama, who actually knows him for 20 years and is ripping him apart, throwing him under tha bus now, misunderstands him. All the liberal commentators who are tearing into Wright and urging Barak to do more to seperate himself from him: they are deluded white folk.

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone looking at who God really is? God=Love, point blank. When I read the bible, I see nothing but scriptures of people before our time, though during a different era, suffered some of the same setbacks and mistakes that we make today. The bible is nothing more than a guide through life and shows humanity’s downfalls, how they overcame them and who helped them overcome those obstacles. Announcement: We are the new people of the bible! Look at some of the situations in the bible and replace the names that are there with yours, and it will be talking to you. God never meant for there to be prejudice in the world. Prejudice, injustice, inequality are all man-made. God meant for everyone to be the same and to love the same. That’s why the scriptures say “treat others as you would like to be treated.” That is a strong statement which many of us overlook because we are so caught up in ourselves. Get over yourself!! It took civil rights activists and humanitarians to speak out along the way to get to this point and it is going to take more people like that, as well as individuals in general to change this prejudiced way of thinking. Those are the types of people that God put in place to try to diffuse indifferences in the world. I feel that people opress others so that the opressed will not dominate the people who are not opressed. It’s like having the upperhand. It all boils down to power. None of it is right, so how can anyone sit and try to justify it? God already has his plan mapped out for this world. No one knows his total complete plan. We all think we are here to achieve some type of goal in this lifetime, and we were, but for God’s glory. Think about it, when we leave this earth, we can’t take none of our accomplishments with us. We were made in the image of God. Why do you think religious beliefs is such an issue and has been such an issue since I don’t know when? Because we already have this on the inside of us. I get sick and tired of humanbeings always feeling like they have the answer to every problem in the world, whether white, black, asian, hispanic or whatever race you are. Face it, you don’t have all the answers. The answers are in the bible. God wants you to recognize him. He wants you to recognize Jesus Christ as your saviour because he is. If it wasn’t for Jesus, none of us would have a second chance with God. He wants us to love eachother. Why wouldn’t you want to abide by a teaching that teaches nothing but love? That teaches not to hate, but to love your enemy. It’s hard for us to grasp because we are human and have our own ways of thinking. Think about it, it’s easy for us to say, man I’m not fooling with this person because we are enemy’s. This is what the world expects of us. Then we look at the scripture and say, it’s no way in the world I can love my enemy…they did something to me that I didn’t like and they are going to pay for it, not even understanding that God never meant for us to be enemy’s towards each other in the first place. God did give us the power of choice. I’m not perfect myself and often wish I can be exactly how the bible prescribes people should be, but because of this wicked world we live in, our human side get the best of us. We let people get the best of us. If you look at everything around you in the world today, you will see that it boils down to good v. evil. We know what is right and wrong in our hearts, but wrong is so much easier to do than good. Mainly because we are born into a world of sin, so sinning comes naturally. It’s turning away from those sins that the world have taught us that is the obstacle.

  • Rory

    Translation: kill all the honkeys and take their stuff.

  • Adrasteia

    Poweme is right. People are threatened by the delivery and style. As Rev. Wright said, he comes from a background where people raise their voices in Church and protest loudly. Why are we such a fearful society? I’ve listened to Rev. Wright and as a white Christian female I found nothing threatening. It was a treat to listen to such a well educated and enthusiastic man! I found conciliation in his words and joy in his message.Those who are afraid of his message are frightened people. Those who hate what he said didn’t listen to his entire speech. Rev. Wright spent a great deal of time talking about how the white church reached out to black slaves, how they hired lawyers for those from the Amistad and how they set up the underground railroad. Rev. Wright talked about the social programs his church has established, how many of his parish have served in the military including his God-daughter who is in Iraq. Rev. Wright served in the Marine Corps.I am disappointed in those who can’t be bothered to LISTEN but have no problem passing judgement.

  • Adrasteia

    To Joyce;”What ever happened to the prohibition of politics and religion “mixing?” I haven’t heard a peep about THAT!” And you won’t. Know why? Because the right brought the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, prayers in the White House, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, the Rapture Watch, and all the rest into the Government. It was the right that made Christianity a political issue. As they say, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Apparently your memory is a bit hazy about the last eight years. As such, your thoughts on Rev. Wright are invalid.

  • george

    THIS HAS BEEN THE ONLY HONEST OPINION I HAVE READ IN THE INTENET OVER THE WRIGHT ISSUE.

  • patrick

    the reverend wright does a disservice to liberation theology. he turns it into a black versus white group conflict. LT was not primarily a class struggle in latin america though some liberation theology activists saw it as such, witness the spread of democracy since the 1970′s and jimmy carter’s human rights policies. what pope jp2 objected to was not that we should take the perspective of the poor, witness his Pueblo thesis and Pope Benedict’s affirmation of charity (for the poor you shall always have with you…thanks very much say the billions). What they wanted was that the church should be reformed from the perspective of the poor first, and then this new church would see the world in a different manner! this is what both jp2 and benedict both suppressed, and what the media suppressed by identifying the theology of liberation with Marxism, a swiftboating if you will. the suppression of the perspective of the poor is precisely what leads to a pope benedict embracing a president that has legalized torture and killed and impoverished millions of Iraqis, and embracing the victims of pedophile priests while promoting the bishops who condoned it. liberation theology called for a more humble church. the rev. wright prancing about the stage like an idiot to the applause of his cultic “followers” was not representing the liberation theology that obama would endorse when he calls for change. neither would wright’s focus on HIS parish work and HIS perfection as preacher reflect a theology of liberation that would call for the transformation of Wright’s own church of rich pastors, poor subjects plus a transformation of a black american world that needs to look at the works of its own leaderhip before looking to the evils practiced historically by whites and which continually need to be addressed. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  • D. Rodriguez

    Liberation Theology? An excuse to be a racist or a communist.

  • Mike

    “Rev. Wright’s words may seem harsh and his style may be strident, but that just may be the way that those of us in the white establishment react.”YeLet me get this straight. Rev Wright isn’t spreading ignorance with his claim that our government created the AIDS virus to kill “brown people”. Instead, I am somehow to blame because I am white?Are you kidding?This is the kind of absurd moral relativism that makes America disgusted with liberals. Not only is Rev Wright poison to Obama because of their relationship, it is poison because it bring liberal pundits out of the woodwork to defend this blatant racist and liar, reminding the average American that liberals are nuts and we need to keep them out of the White House.

  • AM

    Mike said: “YeLet me get this straight. Rev Wright isn’t spreading ignorance with his claim that our government created the AIDS virus to kill “brown people”. Instead, I am somehow to blame because I am white?”You haven’t listened to him have you?Have you heard of the syphillus experiments on the Tuskegee Airman? Look it up. Our government did do immoral things to black men.Rev. Wright wants you to think. He wants you to realize that a government cannot act immorally and expect the world or even its own citizens to trust and respect it. A government that would experiment on black men is certainly capable of doing anything to anyone. And so his words are supposed to point out hypocrisy and immorality and how “chickens come home to roost” when a government mistreats its citizens. Rev. Wright’s words can’t harm you. Only your closed mind and fears can.

  • seahawkdad

    If Revered Wright has a world view of calling God to help his oppressed brethren against the oppressors, then what does the election of a black man as president do to that world view?If, however, the right Reverend Wright behaves in such as way that a black candidate is not elected, then doesn’t it reinforce his world view?I believe this is currently in play.

  • lll

    “syphillus experiments on the Tuskegee Airman” ???are you really that ignorant?

  • Bill

    Thank you for a breathe of sanity.

  • deja vu

    Wright’s comments have absolutely nothing to do with Obama or his campaign. Now the media and the nation are challenged to forget about and ignore Wright, rather than elevate him to the dubious pantheon of charlatans–including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the Minister Farrakhan–who are the media’s symbol of the “other”, a Black America supposedly about to burn down every city in the nation, when, in actual fact, Black America pays little or no attention to these preening phonies.Wright doesn’t want to go where Obama wants to go–to find common ground that unites people around common problems that effect poor and working people of all genders, races, religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. By giving such play to Wright’s comments, the media seem to want to go Wright’s way, rather than Obama’s, to play the old politics rather than try to transcend them. It’s only too sad.

  • Yes it is!

    Liberation Theology is Marxist to its core, because while some of it has shorn itself of economic analysis, it always looks at the world as oppressors vs. oppressed. It harps constantly on past and current grievances and has to invent oppressions when none are around (U.S. of KKK A., AIDs invented by the government to kill blacks, inner city drugs get there by the government, three-strikes-you’re-out-laws comparable to slavery and segregation, etc.) This is what happens when you abandon the Christian notion that EVERYONE is oppressed ultimately by THEIR OWN sin.The problem with Wright in not that he believes that because “the African-American community endeavors to establish itself as a people who are both equal with whites and deserving of the dignity that God wills for all human beings, they have God on their side.” Rather, it is the fact he labels everything as evil oppressors versus completely victimized blacks, thereby robbing blacks of the one thing most important in improving their lot: a sense of moral agency and responsibility. His attempts at up-lift at his church are undermined by his poisonous fantasies.

  • Bill

    “Rev.” Wright and “Rev.” Campolo (with their obsessions with politics and influence) aptly illustrate the Apostle Paul’s criticism of the Corinthian church, “ye are yet carnal.”

  • Ralph

    These are the words of James Cone:Who is James Cone? Your readers wouldn’t know would they? Great reporting there. James Cone is the founder of BLT. Any article about the subject should have at least mentioned him. He’s still alive. He might like credit for it.Informing the public and giving credit to the founder obviouslly wasn’t your ‘journalistic’ goal.How is your circulation doing by the way?

  • dougls

    Thanks for your understnding and wisdom.

  • edward ost

    Communication is a two way street. To say that Wright’s words only seem strident to “those of us in the white establishment” misses the point. Take any issue, no matter how extreme, and I assure you there will be somebody who advocates it. If the only ground for argument is that some people react a certain way because of the color of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation then there is no objective basis for communication much less sharing of values. Such unmitigated relativism leaves faith nothing more than whim, morality self-righteous posturing, and preaching little more than pandering to the crowd. “Speaking truth to power” is one of the most tired cliches in existence. “Power” is always experienced locally and personally. The hardest thing in the world is not to tell those who have been victimized that their anger is justified, but to help them overcome their anger to achieve a better vision for themselves and others. This is the complete doctrine of Ghandi, King, and (if you believe in him) Jesus.It is a hard lesson to learn to listen to other people. It is especially difficult to listen to others when they are perceived to be oppressors. But the simple lesson that can be learned from the general reaction to Wright’s blathering is that white people, including those of good will, simply will not tolerate such stupidity. There is plenty of room in sermons for emotional, energetic denunciations of the sins of history and the sins of the present which do not cross into the realm of pandering. Those who have not suffered th pain of oppression are prone to be insensitive to the impact it has had on the victims of oppression. The victims of oppression are prone to the demagoguery of their own leaders in perpetuating dysfunctional half-truths which are not worthy of founding one’s identity on. The struggle to overcome oppression is truly heroic. It is understandable to identify with those who have suffered, and those who continue to suffer. But identification based on shared experience is not a basis for identity.Obama has done an outstanding job of handling this situation. His initial reaction identified the mistakes in Wright’s world view and communicated them clearly. He exercised his Christian values by attempting to maintain the relationship rather than simply renunciating his former pastor. This is the correct expression of hate the sin, love the sinner. He initially chose not to publicly separate himself from Wright. But after Wright’s continued folly he had no choice. I give Obama nothing but credit on his handling of the matter. He has shown himself to be a leader of outstanding character and compassion.

  • herzliebster

    Very nicely put, and an important message in the face of God-Bless-America civil religion.But if this is a defense of Jeremiah Wright, I would add that based on his last set of remarks he has crossed over from righteous prophet to egocentric ranter, more in love with the sound of his own voice and its capacity to shock and to make people squirm, than with the God of justice.

  • Lynn

    Campolo,Thank you for this piece! This is one of the most eloquent, well-reasoned explanations I have read about Liberation Theology in the press to date. More people need to read it, because people would have a much clearer understanding of Dr. Wright and his preaching style, and added with the Bill Moyers interview, a clearer understanding of the theological context from which he preaches and teaches his congregation. White people have heard his words, and out of fear and anger, called it racism and bigotry, when it is anything but that. Thank you again for doing such an excellent job. I wish more journalists these days wrote as competently about this matter as you.

  • Anonymous

    Joyce, why must you come on here spreading lies? What Wright says WAS indeed liberation theology. You have to quote the whole sentence, not just the first half, to know that. Wright said, and this is a paraphrase from memory “God damn America for as long as she continues to treat her citizens as less than human and acts like she is God!” That is pure liberation theology: a prophet of God condemning a corrupt government for its treatment of God’s children.If you just take the first half, the “God damn America” part, without finishing the sentence, then it just looks like an inflammatory, incendiary and hateful curse. When you take the whole sentence, then you see it squares directly with the tradition of the biblical prophets.

  • Lynn

    Joyce, why must you come on here spreading lies? What Wright says WAS indeed liberation theology. You have to quote the whole sentence, not just the first half, to know that. Wright said, and this is a paraphrase from memory “God damn America for as long as she continues to treat her citizens as less than human and acts like she is God!” That is pure liberation theology: a prophet of God condemning a corrupt government for its treatment of God’s children.If you just take the first half, the “God damn America” part, without finishing the sentence, then it just looks like an inflammatory, incendiary and hateful curse. When you take the whole sentence, then you see it squares directly with the tradition of the biblical prophets.

  • E. Gomez

    Mr. Campolo states, “Certainly Rev. Wright is advocating neither Marxism or violent revolution…well when he is shouting from the pulpit God *()& American and all this other filth about this Great country, and you have thousands of congregants shouting ‘Amen’ in agreement…that to me is the same as poisoning the minds of a great many to think something other of our great country. That to me is starting a quiet revolution. Many prominent influential African American men have said that Wright’s ideas are not reflective of the African American church atlarge.

  • E. Gomez

    Mr. Campolo states, “Certainly Rev. Wright is advocating neither Marxism or violent revolution…well when he is shouting from the pulpit God *()& American and all this other filth about this Great country, and you have thousands of congregants shouting ‘Amen’ in agreement…that to me is the same as poisoning the minds of a great many to think something other of our great country. That to me is starting a quiet revolution. Many prominent influential African American men have said that Wright’s ideas are not reflective of the African American church atlarge.

  • Rick

    Tony, you have given us the politically correct answer. How about being truthful about this. Reverend Wright is a disciple of Black Liberationist James Cone. Here is a quote from Cone. James Cone defines the theology thus:

  • the agitator

    A question:Why was Tony Campolo allowed to write a passage on Liberation Theology? He is a white pastor and is not an authority on this topic.The person who should have written a perspective on the origins, meaning and purpose of Black Liberation Theology is Dr. James Cone. I would much rather hear his commentary.

  • Silence Dogood

    Mr. Campolo,Equally valid is a Liberation Theology that recognizes how any man or woman can find themselves in Spiritual Bondage.Jesus indicates that this kind of affliction attacks all people and falls more heavily upon the wealthy.In all of these cases, those in bondage need to be set free.The bondage can be sex, gambling, food, wealth, our perceived position in life, our perceived level of relative deprivation; pick your affliction.It is individual, however, many refer to it as a class or group form of bondage.While it took three days to get the afflicted Israelites out of Egypt…it took 40 years to get Egypt out of the Israelites. The Bible says that the murmuring tribe “longed for the fleshpots of Egypt” as they collected and ate manna each day.If Liberation is from all forms of bondage, my concept of who has the greatest struggle is the one who needs to get a camel through the eye of a needle.

  • Hunky Santa

    Reminds me of the liberation theology movement invented by a Colombian priest-then-guerilla and that has only caused death and destruction.

  • vic2

    It’s “to US white folks” Tony.

  • vic2

    It’s “To US white folks” Tony

  • Jeff Wilson

    Typical liberal blindness. Wright blames white American and uplifts Black Africa. Look at the facts, the worst offences to the poor the worst modern slavery is carried on from Black dictators and elected leaders in Africa, not America. Wright is the racest, spewing hatred and condemnation never uttered from the lips of the Master.

  • EdSki

    That is complete and utter foolishness. Liberation theology is the appropriation of the concept of God for use in violent confrontations. In the 19060′s progressives rightly mocked conservatives who insisted God was on their side. Liberation theology is the exact same ideology only employed by the “other” side. Taken to it’s inevitable conclusion, it leads to two problems. First, religion enforced by the state. Second, state corruption of the freedom of religion. I would suggest anyone wanting to learn what liberation theology “really” is, I would direct them to the writings of Pope John Paul II. He clearly understood the inherent danger of this poisoned theology.

  • RKS

    “To we white folks, Jeremiah Wright sounds threatening. But we might ask ourselves if we deserve to be threatened.”I don’t understand why white folks would deserve to feel threatened. There is no country in the world that has changed as quickly and to as great an extent as America has with regards to its racist past. It deserves some credit. In fact its a tribute to America that a clown like reverent wright continues to be given a national forum despite the lack of any proof or documentation of his rediculous claims.

  • Fate

    Someone should tell Rev. Wright that the civil rights “Gettysburg” happened in 1964 and the war has been over for years. Its not an issue of communication, its not an issue of seeing that what was fought for in the civil rights movement has been won. Its like a soldier’s unwillingness to give up his gun and become a farmer. Rev. Wright cannot give up his firey sermons and teach his flock how to enjoy what they have won and to lead lives they only dreamed about before 1964, that Martin Luther King dreamed they would be leading.In spite of Wright many are doing it anyway. Not all blacks feel oppressed. You can find examples of successful black people everywhere. In fact, its probably harder to find one who has not succeeded in some way, and not succeeded due to oppression. What worries me is that telling people they are oppressed, that their reason for not succeeding is an outside oppression, can be self defeating. It gives those who fail for other reasons someone to blame, and worse, a reason not to try again to succeed. My girlfriend in college was poor as dirt, and worse, her parents thought college was a waste of money and time. They told her to marry me, a college student working part time as a clerk at a drug store counter. “He has a good job” they told her. She ignored them, sought out grants, got a part time job and worked nights, and got her degree. She is now the president of a company. Did she run into barriers? Certainly as any woman in the workforce can tell you, but it did not stop her. She just went around them and kept her eye on the prize, a degree. If she had listened week after week to someone like Rev. Wright telling her she is oppressed, that there are people actively working to keep her down, that only others have opportunities, then she might have given up. I can only hope that, over time, those who preach sermons like Wright does will just fade away and end up on the junk heap of history, and thankfully no longer needed.

  • Charles Grandmaison

    Jesus didn’t “side with the oppressed”, but rather reached out to those whom religious officals claimed were being punished for their sins by God through poverty and other afflictions. Christ reached out to let them know that salvation was theirs too.How does such a view and actions meld with Jerimiah Wright’s and others claims of “oppression” and God’s favor? It really doesn’t fit. Jerimiah Wright and many other African Americans are not suffering “oppression” today equal to this. To be “economically” oppressed is indeed socialist and communist rhetoric for it seems to demand a Goverment fix for something that is an issue of the free market. If someone is not being paid what he/she believes he/she should then get a different job. If one truely believes that someone is paying you less because of race, first PROVE IT then seek legal action to stop that employer from doing so, but please don’t treat it as some “conspiracy of oppression” as Jerimiah Wright has.Let’s also not forget that the Hebrews in the Old Testament suffered much because of their disobedience to God and by continually griping and complaining that God wasn’t providing even after all God did for them to bring them out of Egypt.If anything, a lesson could be learned that many people suffer “oppression” as a result of their own actions and attitudes against God.Repentance is what is needed. Not griping and complaining and screaming out loud as Rev. Wright continues to do.Also remember that Rev. Wright lives very well.

  • Mr Mark

    “When the children of Israel cry out for help as they suffer the agonies of their enslavement under Pharaoh, God hears their cry and joins them in their fight for freedom. God sides with the Jews as they seek deliverance from Egyptian domination.”A total myth that even the majority of contemporary Hebrew scholars now reject.There was no significant Jewish population in Egypt.The Jews who were there were not slaves. There was no oppression of the Jews by the Egyptians.There was no exodus.The entire Exodus story is an anti-Arab lie, positioned as a “mouse that roared” story with the sole intention of uniting a nomadic people into a cohesive nation, said led by an all-powerful god, (an being who – like the exodus story itself – is a pure fabrication) who chooses them as his favored people.For Rev Wright or anyone else to cite the a-historic story of the Egyptian “oppression” of the Jews as a basis for their liberation theology is to admit that said theology is based upon a lie.

  • Anthony Coleman

    I appreciate the emphasis on liberation, which all nationalities equally share a need of. That is the essence of the gospel, that all have fallen short and need the Lord Jesus. However, “Black” liberation theology has elements in it that certainly mirrors Marxist ideology. It responds to a valid injustice with the same spirit, and supremacy attitude. If J. Wright agrees with his friend Louis Fericon, then he would rather have black Americans establish their own nation and separate from white people. When they speak of a “black church,” it is counterproductive to the message of the Body of Christ. It’s my understanding that Jesus is the head of one church. This ethnocentric mentality that Christians want to carry over into the church has hurt us.

  • Walter

    I’m not black, nor white. I am *brown folk*, and Pastor Wright’s words (I hesistate to call him “Reverend”) sound just as threatening to me. His view of the gospel is too small, which leads me to believe his view of the Savior is also too small. Libertaion Theology is more about *the people* than it is about the Savior. No wonder Marxists and Feminists eat it up.

  • Joe Don Preston

    Deserve to be threatened? Deserved to be threatened? Sure, and everything in the world that is bad is the U.S.’s fault. Don’t try to hang this on the whites. Billions of dollars have been spent to lift people out of the slums of life. Those who opt not to walk out, but insist that they be carried out will always remain there.Kaz

  • Larry

    You may take the Mr. Wright’s side but I do not believe that damnnation should come from the pulpit. Hate is hate and I see hate in this mans so called sermans and I believe he will have to answer to God.Blacks working for a living and taking care of their familys I believe from what I have seen in OK.have the same advantage as anyone else. Mr. Wright makes a whole lot more money than me so does that make him one of the upity rich oppressors. Jesus died tha we would love one another not find fault in them.

  • Rob

    First God delivered Israel from Egypt because he made a promise to Abraham. This nation was blessed and God carried through with his promise. It had nothing to do with then being poor, but it had to do with them being slaves. Also Israel was sent into captivity for worshipping pagan gods. God gave Solomon riches. I guess God contradicted himself by blessing David’s son. Poverty is a curse. It isn’t great to be hungry. The Bible has been misinterpretted to keep the lowly low. As far as government goes Romans 13:1 says “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Understand….the government you have is based on your walk with Christ. If you obey and not revolt, seek the Lord with all your heart nad cry out to God He will deliver a nation. That is what bring deliverance, not running your mouth about how evil government is. Read the books of Judges, 1&2 Samuel, 1 &2 Kings and 1&2 Chronicles and realize why the evil kings reigned and why the good kings reigned. It had to do with the sins of the nation. The liberal agenda is a radical rebelion against the order of God. You want a government that is compassionate? Seek the face of God and be your brother’s keeper first, not he government.

  • Leiam O’Grady

    There is no African American community, they are Americans. Many have descended from those brought to that land by the founding fathers of colonial settlement. Much as is the case with others, brought by force of circumstance, driven by oppression, persecution, or famine. The ethnic identifications are but a cynical tactic to divide all in favour of the exploiting classes. The same is true of each of the classifications listed in your article. Look at the insane outcomes of those divisive postures, a lunatic asylum run by and for the lunaticswreaking havoc on a global scale. America is a vast land, rich in almost all the natural resourses, fertile, free from threats of invasion, advanced in technology, yet obsessed with plundering others of all they have. If the Jews reached new hieghts in diaspora, isolationism is the better course for your land.

  • Dave

    Of course God sides with the oppressed and downtrodden in all the records from the Bible. At least He does when the downtrodden are successful in throwing off their oppressors. It’s all painfully self-fulfilling really, and when viewed critically tells us nothing. If the oppressed win, then of course God must have been on their side, or else how could they have won? And if the oppressed stay oppressed, well then they’re not really worth mentioning, as clearly they are not pious enough to warrant God’s intervention. As long as you look only to God to make things better when you’re feeling downtrodden, I’m sorry to say you’ll never get any better. The whole organized religion thing developed as a way of keeping people in line, after all. Look at all of the rantings of that wack-job Paul. Everything in the New Testament after book 5 (Acts of the Apostles) is deluded commentary by an ego-maniac searching for ways to control people’s hearts and minds.

  • Dave

    Of course God sides with the oppressed and downtrodden in all the records from the Bible. At least He does when the downtrodden are successful in throwing off their oppressors. It’s all painfully self-fulfilling really, and when viewed critically tells us nothing. If the oppressed win, then of course God must have been on their side, or else how could they have won? And if the oppressed stay oppressed, well then they’re not really worth mentioning, as clearly they are not pious enough to warrant God’s intervention. As long as you look only to God to make things better when you’re feeling downtrodden, I’m sorry to say you’ll never get any better. The whole organized religion thing developed as a way of keeping people in line, after all. Look at all of the rantings of that wack-job Paul. Everything in the New Testament after book 5 (Acts of the Apostles) is deluded commentary by an ego-maniac searching for ways to control people’s hearts and minds.

  • Dave

    Of course God sides with the oppressed and downtrodden in all the records from the Bible. At least He does when the downtrodden are successful in throwing off their oppressors. It’s all painfully self-fulfilling really, and when viewed critically tells us nothing. If the oppressed win, then of course God must have been on their side, or else how could they have won? And if the oppressed stay oppressed, well then they’re not really worth mentioning, as clearly they are not pious enough to warrant God’s intervention. As long as you look only to God to make things better when you’re feeling downtrodden, I’m sorry to say you’ll never get any better. The whole organized religion thing developed as a way of keeping people in line, after all. Look at all of the rantings of that wack-job Paul. Everything in the New Testament after book 5 (Acts of the Apostles) is deluded commentary by an ego-maniac searching for ways to control people’s hearts and minds.

  • Anonymous

    Before I say anything, let’s make this clear. RACISM has always existed and continues to exist. In this world we are always discriminated against our race, ethnicity, sexuality, political views, social views, gender, and the list goes on. Liberation theology is just as valid as all the other theologies that are out there that help us, humans, interpret the bible for ourselves. There is NO ONE WAY to look at the bible. According to the culture and current happenings for a group of people, the bible has been written and interpreted accordingly. I, personally, cannot take the bible and apply it word-for-word, or believe in it, word-for-word. YES, the bible speaks truth, but I also have to take into consideration that in the end, it was MAN-written, and so there are flaws in it as well. Liberation theology is definitely something I can relate to, and anyone who feels oppressed in society can relate to. Jesus came for the weak, the poor, the ones who were outcasted, in short, he came for the marginalized people, the people that are not with the dominant norm. AND YES, in that case, we do have to talk about race, because it is something that most people don’t want to talk about, but it plays a huge role in society. RACISM STILL EXISTS, no matter how subtle it can seem. There are systems in place that allow for racism to exist, INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM. Now, if you are a white, heterosexual male, you would not know what it is like to know racism, because you are the DOMINANTING POWER, THE DOMINATING VOICE, AND THE NORM. now, i am not saying this to make you feel bad, however, sometimes it has to be said that way, because then we can move on with restructuring the whole of society. We need to deal with the roots of the problem, and be able to reconcile with them. If you are a white person and you say that God is love and that’s what we should focus on, how we are similar in Christ, and how we need to love one another, then you REALLY NEED to talk about the differences, and how there are so many borders that separate people, EVEN IN THE CHURCH! Some of these comments I have read really made me angry, because it just shows the ignorance that we live in, or choose to live in. We never want to talk about the hard things like racism, homosexuality, economic injustice, because it’s like we either know it exists and ignore it or don’t want to understand it. WHY!!! These are the systems that Jesus came to break! The systems that allow the cyclical exploitation and oppression of people to exist so that people never get out of poverty. GENTRIFICATION =GENOCIDE. Human rights in third world societies, even in the U.S.! Racial profiling. Gang violence. The injustice of the education system. And yet, we go about preaching the gospel, thinking that we got it all together because Jesus loves you, and we’re so spiritual, and that’s all we need. NO! Jesus wants to go beyond just the me, or the church, he wants us to open our eyes and our ears, and our minds to see the injusices that exist within our own communities, and the larger world. WAKE UP PEOPLE! The kingdom of heaven is now! It’s building it now, here on earth, and it’s gonna take a lot more than just good Christian people. We need to deconstruct and reconstruct!

  • Charlie

    No one can deny that the condition of the poor is made worse by the involvement of governments. Change the heart and you will change the nations. The left and the right have both failed to understand this. Liberation theology see poverity/opression as the ultimate sin. Both Heaven and Hell will be filled with the rich and the poor. However the difference between the two places will be an issue of the heart.

  • gary

    More great insight from Tony Compolo. American christian right should take heed to his thought for Compolo is far closer to biblical import than those who claim Christ and then bomb the hell out of innocent people. My one dssent is a baptized Marxism sounds good to me for it compels us to remember the social implications of the gospels, it will be catalyst to balance ego-centric spiritual quest with the profound need of the poor.

  • Jerry Lemieux

    “To we white folks, Jeremiah Wright sounds threatening. But we might ask ourselves if we deserve to be threatened.”And what is the reaction to the same message from the Aryan crowd which also makes the claim of being Christian?”Rev. Wright’s words may seem harsh and his style may be strident, but that just may be the way that those of us in the white establishment react. For his African-American brothers and sisters, there may be a different reaction. Many of them will hear him as an angry prophet in the tradition of ancient Israel.”This same harsh language directed against blacks would be decried by Jesse Jackson and his ilk and universally condemned by the media as racist and incendiary. To defend this racist Marxism is nothing more than a reflection of the author’s sense of white guilt. As someone who grew up in poverty in Detroit, I don’t have white guilt so I can see the message of Reverend Wright for what it is. Nothing more than a racist, hate filled message.

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