The Hypocrisy of Treating Jesus with “Tough Love”: Here’s a Riddle for You . . . (Sunday Homily)

Sherry:

Because I can’t say it any better.

Originally posted on Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog: ". . .about things that matter":

the least

Readings for Third Sunday of Advent: IS 35: 1-6A, 10; PS 146: 6-10; JAS 5: 7-10; MT 11: 2-11 http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121513.cfm

Recently, Mary Shaw contributed a well-received article to the pages if OpEdNews (my favorite online news source). The article was called “American Hunger and the Christian Right.” There Ms. Shaw pointed to the irony of predominant elements within the GOP adopting as their two main goals cutting social services such as Food Stamps and eliminating labor unions while at the same time calling themselves “Christian.” In Ms, Shaw’s analysis, such inconsistency does not jibe with the personal poverty of Jesus himself, or his concern for the poor manifested in mass feedings on more than one occasion.

In the light of today’s liturgy of the word, I would go even further and argue that the GOP position flies in the face of the entire Judeo-Christian tradition expressing (as it does) God’s…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 17:51:31

    Sherry, this is terrific! The “little detail” that goes missing in the Right’s Christian claim is that Jesus’s prophetic bona fides were rooted in siding with the poor, the outsider, the dispossessed, and the unnamed. Although we like to view the Gospel as “revolutionary”–and in many ways, it was–it was the culmination of the longstanding tradition of the Hebrew prophets who always sided with the poor and disadvantaged. A quick glance at Isaiah 1–not even a “close” reading of it–establishes this as the overriding moral imperative of what we now call “Judeo-Christian values.”

    What the Right has done is perform a very clever act of sleight-of-hand, redefining morality in terms of what one does with her/his body, rather than how one behaves and shows compassion toward others, which is what the prophets (including Jesus) emphasized. By biblical definition, moral agency aims to serve others, not to conform to a standard of personal performance–which is why Jesus was unimpressed when the Pharisees charged His disciples with personal behaviors contradictory to legal tradition.

    “Morality” has no meaning if it doesn’t strengthen the community by fighting oppression and poverty. The Right seems to have confused The Stepford Wives with Scripture. And there’s a reason (with no little appeal) why this is. It’s always easier to point the finger at individuals than to open one’s hand to entire segments of society that suffer from neglect and unconcern. If one attends closely to the lists of oppressed peoples in the Prophets and Gospels, they all share a physical dimension that causes suffering, whether that’s ethnicity, physical challenge, or boundary that denies them access to or recognition in community. The rationale for the injustices levied against them are “they’re not our kind” in very literal, embodied senses. The prophets, Jesus, and the apostles–all speaking under divine aegis–despised this rationale and confronted it from every side. To explain away the Gospel’s moral mandate by turning morality into a physical issue–as that Duck man just did to such alarm–is to evidence total ignorance of the Gospel. But how convenient that strategy is, as it always points to “the other” rather than one’s self!

    Thanks for sharing this. We cannot be reminded enough that not everyone who cries “Lord! Lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Much love,
    Tim

    Reply

    • Sherry
      Dec 23, 2013 @ 08:27:12

      Funny, I was thinking of Pope Francis and he seems that messenger to his own Church….along the lines of “woe to him who keeps these little ones from me…” We are all the little ones, and the church that turns it’s back to us in judgment, is woeful indeed. To harm (by rejection) any of God’s children by neglect or other means, is to interfere with God, and to supplant oneself as the judge. I may give my church one last chance, but I intend to pay a visit to the Monsignor here and we shall see how he responds…Or then I may not…I’m fairly pleased with my life in God as it is…lol…I’m in a joyful mood today…well every day it seems…I’m not worrying much about orthodoxy these days…Love Sherry

      Reply

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