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"Because we understand the present crisis of empire to have everything to do with the ordering of power, the distribution of wealth, and the global plague of militarism, radical discipleship necessarily approaches the Bible with social, political and economic questions in mind."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"We begin with the simple historical fact that Jesus was a Jew . . . The second important fact for our consideration is that Jesus was a poor Jew . . . The third fact is that Jesus was a member of a minority group in the midst of a larger dominant and controlling group."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"People read the gospel in accordance with the space they occupy in the dominant social order, and respond accordingly. If we 'listen but do not hear' it is not because of the obscurity of the word, but because of our loyalty to the prevailing ideology."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Mark's Gospel originally was written to help imperial subjects learn the hard truth about their world and themselves. He does not pretend to represent the word of God dispassionately or impartially, as if the word were innocuously universal in its appeal to rich and poor alike. His is a story by, about, and for those committed to Gods' work of justice, compassion, and liberation in the world."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


I have come to believe that creative nonviolence has to be a constitutive element of evangelization and of the proclamation of the gospel. But in Nicaragua nonviolence was never included in the process of evangelization. The cancer of oppression and injustice and crime and exploitation was allowed to grow and finally the people had to fight with the means available to them, the only means that people have found from of old: armed struggle. Then (some) arrogantly said violence was bad, nonviolence was the correct way . . . But that spirituality and prayer and work with people’s consciences has never been done. We have no right to hope to harvest what we have not sown.
   - Miguel D’Escoto ; An Unfinished Canvas: Building a New Nicaragua; Sojourners Magazine, March, 1983


A theology of love cannot afford to be sentimental. It cannot afford to preach edifying generalities about charity, while identifying ‘peace’ with mere established power and legalized violence against the oppressed. A theology of love cannot be allowed merely to serve the interests of the rich and powerful, justifying their wars, their violence and their bombs, while exhorting the poor and underprivileged to practice patience, meekness, longsuffering, and to solve their problems, if at all, nonviolently. A theology of love may also conceivably turn out to be a theology of revolution. In any case, it is a theology of resistance, a refusal of the evil that reduces a brother or sister to homicidal desperation . . .  Instead of preaching the Cross for others and advising them to suffer patiently the violence which we sweetly impose on them, with the aid of armies and police, we might conceivably recognize the right of the less fortunate to use force, and study more seriously the practice of nonviolence and humane methods on our own part when, as it happens, we possess the most stupendous arsenal of power the world has ever known.
   - Thomas Merton ; Toward a Theology of Resistance


Gandhi was not blind to the realities of conflict often involved in wars, and to the fact that one side might well have much more right on its side than the other. In such cases, ‘neutrality’ or ‘impartiality’ played no role in Gandhi’s thinking. Gandhi wrote, ‘Whilst all violence is bad and must be condemned in the abstract, it is permissible for, it is even the duty of, a believer in ahimsa (nonviolence) to distinguish between the aggressor and the defender. Having done so, he will side with the defender in a nonviolent manner, i.e., give his life in saving him.’ Even if the defender continued to struggle by violent means in such an instance, Gandhi believed that such nonviolent intervention and assistance would contribute to a quicker and less vindictive peace.
   - Gene Sharp ; Gandhi As A Political Strategist


"The prophets have dirty hands (and mouths too sometimes), because you’ll find them wading without apology through the mess of life. Their target audience begins with the church and its religious leaders but extends to nations and heads of state and to corporations with their economic power brokers. They have unabashed social agendas and are not afraid of being perceived as political. Their concern is for the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the enslaved. The mature prophets call for both personal righteousness and social justice. They retreat inward in contemplation then explode onto the public scene as spokespersons for God’s heart and as advocates for the downtrodden."    - Brad Jersak ; Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who Speaks.


"The Nicene Fathers showed little interest in the christological significance of Jesus' deeds for the humiliated, because most of the discussion took place in the social context of the Church's position as the favored religion of the Roman State."      - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed.


"Our American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hellfire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians."    - Ida B. Wells ; Crusade for Justice


"Theology is subjective speech about God, a speech that tells us far more about the hopes and dreams of certain God-talkers than about the Maker and Creator of heaven and earth."
   - James Cone  ; The God of the Oppressed


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