Saturday, October 15, 2011

jesus does not belong to the oppressors

"as long as the religious leaders and scholars of the dominant culture continue to construct ethical perspectives from within their culural space of wealth and power, the marginalized will need an alternate format by which to deliberate and, more importantly, do ethics. through critical social analysis, it is possible to uncover the connection existing between the prevailing ideologies (namely, the ethics of the dominant culture) that support the present power arrangement, with the political, economic, and cultural components of the mechanisms of oppression that protect their power and wealth. anchoring ethics on the everyday experience of the marginalized challenges the validity, or lack thereof, of prevailing ideologies that inform eurocentric ethics.

"for example, the fact that once upon a time in US history the 'peculiar' institution of slavery was biblically supported, religiously justified, spiritually legitimized, and ethically normalized raises serious questions concerning the objectivity of any particular code of ethics originating from that dominant white culture. at the very least, the marginalized are suspicious of the ethics of those who benefit from what society deems to be xian or moral--then, as well as today. although hindsight facilitates our understanding of how unxian and unethical previous generations may have been, we are left wondering whether perspectives considered by some to be morally sound today might be defined as unxian and unethical by future generations."


"jesus can never belong to the oppressors of this world because he is one of the oppressed. the radicalness of the gospel message is that jesus is in solidarity with the very least of humanity. the last shall be first, the center shall be the periphery...the blessed and the cursed are separated by what they did or did not do to the least among us. specifically, did they or did they not feed the hungry, welcome the alien, clothe the naked, and visit those infirm or incarcerated? is the ethical lifestyle of individuals in solidarity with the marginalized demonstrated in liberative acts that led others toward an abundant life? so that there would be no confusion about god's preferential option, jesus clearly states, 'truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of these, the least of my people, you did it to me.'"

--from doing christian ethics from the margins by miguel de la torre

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