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Complicity

"When Christianity worked its way from the lower to the higher classes, its social sympathies became less democratic and fraternal, its language less simple, and its ideas more speculative, elaborate and remote. Origen felt he had to apologize for the homely Greek and the simple arguments of Jesus. Theology became an affair of experts. The first duty of the laymen was to believe with all their hearts what they could not possibly understand with all their heads."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 15-16


“Bringing an end to racism requires dismantling the social structures that enforce the racism of nice, politically correct white people.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 14)


“The difference between the saved and the damned is what they did or failed to do for the least of these.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 12)


“Committed to Christian libertarianism, they became patrons of Fifield’s work by the mid-1940s, outsourcing the task of persuading citizens to embrace capitalist ideology to the church. Later, they would back an obscure tent-revivalist preacher and fiercely pro-capitalist named Billy Graham. Called by Pew, not God, Graham railed against all liberal social programs—the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society—during his crusades. Social ills such as racism would not be remedied by government, Graham preached. Their solution could be manifested only with the second coming of Christ.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 21)


"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."    - Matthew ; Matthew 5.13


"Meeting Ched and reading Binding the Strong Man opened my eyes to the way in which the Gospels have been so completely domesticated for almost 2000 years by the culture of domination. Rather, they embody the radical word of God's liberation that comforts the poor, emboldens the prophets and causes 'the tyrants to tremble sick with fear.'"    - Jeff Dietrich ; Introuction to Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus by Ched Myers


“We focus on the Trump presidency because probably no other president has wrapped himself so fervently in both the flag and the cross, merging the two with himself and the Republican Party.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 15)


“Regrettably, the salvation preached from pulpits in white Christian churches all too often ignores white Christians’ complicity with the social and political structures responsible for so much of the social division over race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 97)


“Only 43 percent of adult Americans identify as white Christians, and only 30 percent as white Protestants—numbers that continue to decline rapidly. Maybe it’s time to let the dead bury the dead.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 14)


"Basically, white conservative Christians began to flex their political muscles to ensure the phrase “under God” referred only to them.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 23)


“White Christianity is now and has historically been an apologist for white nationalism.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 17)


“Racism is an institutionalized ideology that creates and justifies unearned power, privilege, and profit for one group of people due to their race or ethnicity at the expense of others while systematically protecting, maintaining, and advancing said power, privilege, and profit.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 14)


“White Christianity refers to a worldview that embraces the supremacy of whiteness and believes in the manifest destiny of white bodies to occupy the highest echelons of power, profits, and privilege due solely to a light skin hue.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 13)


“White Christian goats reject Jesus by the political policies they embrace and by voting for politicians who refuse to support or even acknowledge the least of these.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 12)


“What is lacking, what has always been lacking, is will—the will to stop egregious cruelties that profit the exceptional few.”

   - Miguel A. De La Torre ; Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers (p. 8)


"I refer the reader again to W. Wink's brilliant tract on biblical interpretation for a systematic critique of the academic ideology of objectivism. To make matters worse, professional exegetes have rarely been able or willing to address the text to their own historical situation. Because of this, the academic theological establishment has become deeply complicity, however unwittingly, in the ideological maintenance of the locus imperium.  The truth is, the 'battle for the Bible' today has increasingly less to do with theological divisions and allegiances and more to do with political and economic allegiances."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Systems of privilege use public violence to maintain themselves, and they benefit from those who teach that selfless love acquiesces to violence."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 404


"You are not following God when you allow your profit motive to silence your prophet motive."    - The Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock ; Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA


"The church, then, is made an agency of continuity rather than of change, conformity rather than transformation becomes the reigning ideology of the day, and the church that is comfortable with the powers-that-be is no threat to them."    - Peter J. Gomes ; The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus


"When piety is used to go against creatureliness, religion becomes an oppressive mechanism. 'The creator who comes in to conflict with the creatures is a false God and false gods make even the pious inhuman.'"    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"When Christianity worked its way from the lower to the higher classes, its social sympathies became less democratic and fraternal, its language less simple, and its ideas more speculative, elaborate and remote. Origen felt he had to apologize for the homely Greek and the simple arguments of Jesus. Theology became an affair of experts. The first duty of the laymen was to believe with all their hearts what they could not possibly understand with all their heads."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15-16


“In actual life such titanic rebellion against the Almighty is rare . . . We do not rebel: we dodge and evade. We kneel in lowly submission and kick our duty under the bed while God is not looking.”    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 48


"Foucault argues that unjust social relationality is not effectively sustained solely, if at all, through the use of brutal force. He stresses that power, particularly inequitable power, is not coercive or even repressive. Rather, it is productive. Power's productive character begins with a 'will to knowledge.' That is, power itself generates the kind of knowledge it needs to be sustained. It enlists various communities of authority, such as the scientific and religious communities, to provide the knowledge base to legitimize the social, political, and institutional constructs of power itself."    - Kelly Brown Douglas ; Stand Your Ground; Black Bodies and the Justice of God (pp. 72-73)


“To be sure, the church has greatly assisted the colonialist; backing his ventures, helping his conscience, contributing to the acceptance of colonization even by the colonized.”    - Albert Memmi ; The Colonizer and the Colonized


"The Bible may be put to the purposes of the comfortable, and perhaps never more so than in these early days of the twenty-first century, when the preaching of the comfortable by the comfortable, to and for the comfortable, floods every inspirational television and radio station in the world. The gospel, however, the radical words of Jesus properly understood in their full transformative power, is another story. If we understand the gospel aright, we too might be prepared to take violent action against Jesus and any who are bold enough to translate what he says into practice."    - Peter J. Gomes ; The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus


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