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"To paraphrase a well-known text of Pascal, we can say that all the political theologies, the theologies of hope, of revolution, and of liberation, are not worth one act of genuine solidarity with exploited social classes. They are not worth one act of faith, love, and hope, committed—in one way or another—in active participation to liberate humankind from everthing that dehumanizes it and prevents it from living according to the will of the Father."    - Gustavo Gutiérrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


"You have been waiting for God, he said, while God has been waiting for you. No wonder nothing is happening. You want God’s intervention, he said, while God wants your collaboration. God’s kingdom is here, but only insofar as you accept it, enter it, live it, and thereby establish it."    - John Dominic Crossan ; The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer


“It’s about how we show up in this world in the limited time we have.”    - Michelle Alexander ; Spirit of Justice with Michelle Alexander & Angela Davis


"We seem to have picked up the idea that holiness is a trance-like sense of peace and well-being in relation to those all around, an experience of floating on a magic carpet of tranquility. Wherever that picture of holiness came from, it certainly wasn't Mark's Gospel. Jesus is constantly having heated debates with everyone who held Israel in check. The one thing everyone seems to agree on today is that there's plenty wrong with the world. There are only two responses to this—either go and put it right yourself, or, if you can't, make life pretty uncomfortable for those who can until they do. When we take stock of our relationship with the powerful, we ask ourselves, 'Does the shape of my life reflect my longing to see God set people free, and do I challenge those who keep others in slavery?"    - Sam Wells ; Introuction to Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus by Ched Myers


"As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."    - Jesus ; Luke 6.47-48


“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.”    - Frederick Douglass ; If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress, 1857


"It is when compassion is linked to positive action that we at last start to get somewhere."    - Steven Greenebaum ; The Interfaith Alternative: Embracing Spiritual Diversity


“Well of course I get depressed sometimes, yes I do. But at the same time these changes never take place overnight. They always require protracted struggles and I can look back at my life and add all of the struggles I’ve been involved in, and I can see that we made a difference. We really did make a difference.”    - Angela Y. Davis ; Interview with Jennifer Byrne, 1999


"But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."    - James ; James 2.18


"'Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.' 'And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that make one circle.' In our quest to make sense of the miracle of our lives we, at some point, consciously or otherwise, make a choice . . .  To say that we believe in compassionate action is to say that we define our meaning in terms not of what we can accomplish for ourselves, but of what we can accomplish with and for others. And we welcome all, all whose spiritual paths have brought them here, to strive for a life built on compassionate action."    - Steven Greenebaum ; The Interfaith Alternative: Embracing Spiritual Diversity


"First you must commit yourself to the ethical life; then disciplined and habitual benevolence, not metaphysical conviction, would give you intimations of the transcendence you sought."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, Which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No program accomplishes the church's mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, An opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference Between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, Ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen."    - Archbishop Oscar Romero ; Taking the Long View


"Alternately, revolutionary strategies usual repudiate the dominant symbolic system altogether, either fundamentally redefining the old terms or appealing to entirely different ones. Such an ideological project must simultaneously introduce and legitimate the new symbol even as it is 'delegitimating' the old ones. Sometimes there is no desire to transform or overthrow the dominant order, the strategy being one of withdrawal and establishment of a 'counter-culture', as in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses or Hutterites. In an atmosphere of tolerance or pluralism, such efforts represent only an incidental threat to the dominant order."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"The traditional way of understanding discipleship as one of taking people out of the world because it is a hostile place, promising them a better place in God's heavenly kingdom, has been radically transformed by this insight. Jesus call us rather to change the world in such a way that it will cease to be the hostile place it is, as we construct the way for God's reign on earth."    - Sam Wells ; Introduction to Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus by Ched Myers


"I believe scholarship that does not start and end in praxis is not worth engaging in."    - Osvaldo Vena ; Quoted by Ched Myers in Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"As for the first chasm, this book stands apart from academic commentaries in its fundamental commitment to contemporary practice of radical discipleship, and the place of Mark's Gospel vis-à-vis that practice.  I accept the axiom of liberation theology that practice must lie on either side of reflection."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man


"When we take [Jesus's] sayings and distill from them our doctrines, what we have really done is manipulate his sayings for our own purposes, first of all, for the purpose of avoiding his personal address to us. Without realizing it, we reclassify his sayings as objective teachings to which we can give intellectual assent, rather than letting them strike home as the personal challenge he intended them to be. The issue is not what we think about them, but rather what we do about them."    - James Robison ; The Gospel of Jesus: A Historical Search for the Original Good News


"What mattered was not what you believed but how you behaved. Religion was about doing things that changed you at a profound level."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."    - James ; James 2.16-17


"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress . . ."    - James ; James 1.27


"The issue is not what we think about [Jesus' sayings], but rather what we do about them."    - James M. Robinson ; The Gospel of Jesus


"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”    - Rabbi Tarfon ; The Talmud


"You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right. You died when you refused to stand up for truth. You died when you refused to stand up for justice."    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Ebenezer Baptist Church; 11/5/67; Atlanta, Ga


"There is a line that separates discrimination from affirmation. We can talk and progress while on the discrimination side until the cows come home. We can nudge up as close as possible to that line, but we will still be on the side of injustice. Justice doesn’t begin until that line is crossed. Period."

   - David Hayward ; NakedPastor.com


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