Monday, April 9, 2012
Blessed Are The Poor
Ah, Easter. Holy Week. I do like it.
Our little church was about to go under a few years ago. It had been run by one of those homophobic priests who wanted to affiliate with the Anglican Diocese of Uganda, so he was stripped of his parish. Since then, it was a long, sparsely attended road back. Yet yesterday, the church was almost literally full. An Easter miracle.
The sermon we heard focused on the difference between "belief" and "faith". Belief is certain, but faith struggles with doubt. I don't believe the resurrection happened. I know I'm supposed to, but I can't help but think it was just clever PR. There is so much in the New Testament that seems designed to force Jesus into the messianic frame. But I have faith that it might have happened. Faith that living by the still radical precepts that Jesus laid down will bring me a peace here on earth that is very elusive. And if it leads to a place called "heaven" so much the better.
And then I hear this codswallop. Or reflect on this.
Pierce makes the most sense here. Jesus was an anti-authoritarian, anti-materialist. And yet they have hammered his plowshare into a sword to cleave the poor from those who are not. To justify their own great wealth and power. To be a "Christian" apparently means to look down on the poor, abuse those who lack the power to defend themselves and exploit it all for a slot on the Sunday talk shows on Easter.