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Charity-vs-Justice

"These new ideas of martyrdom shifted the view of humanity from that of the oppressed and marginalized who refuse to see themselves as powerless to that of those in power. When goodness is no longer wisdom but is innocence, the powerful can be deemed good if they identify themselves with helpless victims and protect them. Benevolent paternalism requires inequality: powerful, kindly helpers and powerless, grateful victims. Denying the agency and power of victims enhances the potency and importance of the powerful and makes dismantling the hierarchical power of paternalism unnecessary. In effect, when weakness and innocence are valorized as holy, communities are absolved of the necessity to create the social conditions for all people to gain power and exercise it with freedom and dignity. In Christianity’s second millennium, Jesus as an abused and innocent victim, hanging dead on the cross, would become the image of holiness. But for a time—for nearly a thousand years—Christianity offered a different image of sanctity: the glory of God was humanity fully alive."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 200


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