Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity   by Roger Wolsey

published January, 11 2011

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Chapter 13


Creating Beloved Community: Peace & Justice 


Our goal is to create a beloved community and ?this will require a qualitative change in our souls ?as well as a quantitative change in our lives.?  Martin Luther King, Jr.

?Christianity is not called to conservation, but to change.  Jesus came ?into the world, not to conserve the system that was, but to change the ?world into what it ought to be.  Tony Campolo

A church that does not join the poor in order to speak out from the side of the poor against the injustices committed against them is not the true church of Jesus Christ.  Oscar Romero

It is impossible to have a man sit by you as your brother and let him go hungry while you feed. Therefore as a usual thing we do not let him sit by us or we deny that he is our brother.

Walter Raushenbush


The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.  Gandhi

 All life is interrelated - somehow we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality - tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.  Dom Helder Camara


"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”...”Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Jesus, Luke 4:18-21

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!   Jesus, Matthew 6:10


I write this chapter in the summer of 2010, a summer of discontent.   President Barack Obama’s honeymoon with the nation has long passed and his support is dwindling.  The past few months have seen a vehement backlash against progressive politics and a time of harsh criticism of social-justice oriented Christianity.  This started during the 2008 presidential campaign with criticism of the African American liberation theology[1] preached by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor in Chicago.  It has grown into a full fledged schism whereby Christians on both sides of the divide have been referring to each other as “heretics,” “Socialists,” “Marxists,” and “fascists.” 

Nowhere have these fireworks been more dramatic than in the highly covered interactions between Rev. Jim Wallis (a liberal, and arguably progressive, evangelical Christian and founder of the Sojourners Community) and Glenn Beck (a politi-tainment personality on FOX News and proponent of the “Tea Party” movement).  Earlier in the year, Glenn Beck told his viewers to leave their churches if their pastors preached about social justice.[2]  Wallis countered by asking Americans to stop watching Glenn Beck.

Later in the summer, on August 28, 2010, Beck hosted a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famed “I have a dream” civil rights speech in which he championed the uniquely American, hyper-individualistic and anti-social notion of salvation.  Beck later retracted his earlier remark that Obama is a racist by sidestepping the matter and introducing a new one - an attack upon Liberation theology and collective understandings of salvation. ........

[1] Liberation theology suggests that Christianity should focus upon liberating economically oppressed persons because of God’s “preferential option for the poor.”  Liberation theologians claim to be in sync with the Spirit of Jesus’ first sermon and they seek to see it manifested.  (Luke 4:16-20)

[2]  See: “Glenn Beck Urges Listeners to Leave Churches That Preach Social Justice,” David Sessions, March, 2010,  Moreover, “Social justice” is not code for Communism, Socialism, and whatever other “isms” Beck has fantasized about. It’s an established part of mainstream denominations like the United Methodist Church (the denomination that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney claim membership in).

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