Saturday, April 07, 2007


Holy Saturday, the day in which we recall Christ in the tomb. [Sidebar: I'm agnostic on whether or not there actually was a tomb, but mythically and mystically I think it is profound.]

To hang on the Cross with Christ today, in my life, means more and more to not be pulled to either political wing.

I'm reading a book called Liberating Paul. It's a liberation theology that argues that Paul was in fact quite a proto-liberationist. It's a good book, although I think the author goes too far at times, confusing probably what Paul should have said by what he did say.

The subtitle of the book is The Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle. The author, Neil Elliott, correctly points out that the notion of the Justice of God (justitia) has been especially since Luther wrapped up in a theory of salvation: i.e. justification by grace through faith. And not the Justice of God as in the apocalyptic denial of Caesar as Son of God.

When Elliott makes contemporary this reading of Paul he always references anti-American left wing issues. [The book was written in the mid 90s]. A constant theme, given his liberation background, is Reagan's funding of death squads in Latin America, the first Iraqi War and George HW Bush's famous line about a New World Order.

Then I was listening to a conservative radio show and they were discussing the horrors of the gulags, the evils of communism (in order to argue that Islamism is the new communism), and Reagan was of course extolled for his great Christian defense of the peoples of Eastern Europe.

Reagan did love and care for the peoples of Eastern Europe. He had no such degree of love and care for the peoples of Latin America. He never entered their world. He could only see that world through the the European lens. Not that there weren't evil communists in Latin America, there were. It was not the same situation however.

Reagan did support far right-wing latifundia systems and their goons. They supported Christianities in Latin America rightly criticized by Elliott and crew--a Christianity that separated the individual's salvation (justification) so profoundly from the social realm (justice of God) that for example a Rios could be perfectly convinced of his own individual salvation on Sunday and murder Monday through Saturday. A failed Christianity in other words.

Christ is not on a side.

The tomb in other words hold the bodies of those killed by the Soviets, by the evils of communism as well as of America and capitalism. Just as today it carries the innocents murdered by Salafi and Shia jihadists as well as American occupiers of Iraq, civilians killed by antiseptic bombs from above.

Both have done great evil and many others have done similarly besides. The kingdom recall is not of this world. It is from below this world. It is from feeding the hungry, healing the sick, breaking down the Gentile/Jew barrier.

When freed from Christ being right or left things change. Recall the great hymn, "In Christ there is no East or West, in him no North or South." Then one is freed to make sane relative judgments on the political world. There is better or worse relatively, but ultimately all is tragic.

Today is the day to remember the tragic. As Virgil said everything has tears in it. Including Christ's dead body, including the tomb where he lay and the birds that sang a song of life over the grave.

No one wants to mourn in a world where so much is politicized. Either the politics trumps or one retreats to an a-political New Ageism spiritualism, where religion is entirely about awakening/not, inner states, etc.

It is the freedom from ignorance and socio-political freedom that is the true Nondual Christian path. Those two freedoms are part of the same spectrum.


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