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Cross-as-Injustice

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."    - Albert Einstein ; The World As I See It


"The threat to punish by death is the bottom line of the power of the state; fear of this threat keeps the dominant order intact. By resisting this fear and pursuing kingdom practice even at the cost of death, the disciple contributes to shattering the powers' reign of death in history. To concede the state's sovereignty in death is to refuse its authority in life."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Raped, despised, and rejected by a man, Tamar is a woman of sorrows rows and acquainted with grief. She is cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the sins of her brother; yet she herself has done no violence and there is no deceit in her mouth."
   - Phyllis Trible ; Texts of Terror


"Precisely because of this singularly political connotation, some have argued that Mark may have been borrowing a recruiting phrase [take up your cross] from the Jewish insurgents, who were regularly crucified for their guerilla activities. Whether or not this is the case, the turn of phrase could have no other meaning except as an invitation to share the consequences facing those who dared challenge the ultimate hegemony of imperial Rome."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Crucifixion was and remains a political and military punishment . . . Among the Romans it was inflicted above all on the lower classes, i.e., slaves, violent criminals, and the unruly elements in rebellious provinces, not least Judea . . . These were primarily people who on the whole had no rights, in other words, groups whose development had to be suppressed by all possible means to safeguard law and order in the state."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"The cross has been transformed into a harmless, non-offensive ornament that Christians wear around their necks. Rather than reminding us of the 'cost of discipleship,' it has become a form of 'cheap grace,' an easy way to salvation that doesn’t force us to confront the power of Christ’s message and mission."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"The cross is a paradoxical religious symbol because it inverts the world’s value system with the news that hope comes by way of defeat, that suffering and death do not have the last word, that the last shall be first and the first last."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"I offer my reflections because I believe that the cross placed alongside the lynching tree can help us to see Jesus in America in a new light, and thereby empower people who claim to follow him to take a stand against white supremacy and every kind of injustice."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"In first-century Christianity, the cross had a twofold meaning. On the one hand, it represented execution by the empire; only the empire crucified, and then for only one crime: denial of imperial authority. The cross had not yet become a generalized symbol for suffering as it sometimes is today, when one’s illness or other hardship can be spoken of as “the cross I’ve been given to bear.” Rather, it meant risking imperial retribution."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The Last Week


"If the God of Jesus’ cross is found among the least, the crucified people of the world, then God is also found among those lynched in American history."
   - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"Under the power of the vow, the daughter [of Jephthah] has breathed her last. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken her?"
   - Phyllis Trible ; Texts of Terror


"Her [Unnamed Concubine from Bethlehem] body has been broken and given to many. Lesser power has no woman than this, that her life is laid down by a man."
   - Phyllis Trible ; Texts of Terror


"This Egyptian slave woman is stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted for the transgressions of Israel. She is bruised for the iniquities of Sarah and Abraham; upon her is the chastisement that makes them whole."
   - Phyllis Trible ; Texts of Terror


"The cross helped me to deal with the brutal legacy of the lynching tree, and the lynching tree helped me to understand the tragic meaning of the cross."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"They put him to death by hanging him on a tree."    - Peter ; Acts 10.39


"The cross places God in the midst of crucified people, in the midst of people who are hung, shot, burned, and tortured."
   - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"Both the cross and the lynching tree represented the worst in human beings and at the same time 'an unquenchable ontological thirst' for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"The cross was God’s critique of power—white power—with powerless love, snatching victory out of defeat."    - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


"Is it necessary to refuse this mimetic anthropology in the name of a given theology? Is it necessary to see in the gathering against Jesus the work of God the Father, who like the divinities of the Iliad would move humankind to act against his Son in order to exact from him the ransom that they themselves could not provide? To me this interpretation appears contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Gospels. There is nothing in the Gospels to suggest that God causes the mob to come together against Jesus. Violent contagion is enough. Those responsible for the Passion are the human participants themselves, incapable of resisting the violent contagion that affects them all when a mimetic snowballing . . ."    - Rene Girard ; I See Satan Fall Like Lightning


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