this poor man cries out but who is listening

The God game. The politics of God. Santorum hs the potential to be a dangerous demagogue, but the left critique with its mixing of theology, religion and class economics is almost as nausea inducing by positioning the voice of god as a socialist of which there is no evidence of. Thats strictly interpretation. If I remember there was a line “this poor man cries out and god listens.” which is neither political party.

Rick Salutin:The Christianity on display in the race for Republican presidential nominee is, you should forgive the expression, a godsend to nouveau atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and, posthumously, Christopher Hitchens. They’re the kind of pious, pompous targets those guys would pray for, if they did….

---The cookie-cutter cunning of Warhol’s Brillo boxes, for example, is missing from Rivers’ more wistful takes on standardization and repetition. But these are flat things, atmospheres aside. The surface of the painting doubles as the surface of the image. There is more to say about this, but the basic point stands.---Read More:

…Their Christianity is arrogant and judgmental: Rick Santorum says Barack Obama saw his church as an “avenue for power” and has a “phoney theology.” In other words, he’s not a real Christian like me. They’re wilfully stupid in claiming Obama wages war on religion — in a nation that places In God We Trust on its money while schoolchildren pledge allegiance to God along with country. And they’re drunk with secular, imperial power: “If you were Satan,” says Santorum, “who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States.” Hey, we’re Number 1. Read More:–republican-candidates-take-narrow-approach-to-religion

Salutin is a smart guy, but throwing religion into politics muddies the waters and incorporates symbols extraneous to the subject. I don’t think Santorum would advocate lynching African Americans from trees; this is the kind of fear mongering on the left that saving the world is their unique destiny, a manifest destiny.The  implicit answer is that change is possible in human nature, but it takes considerable time: even on a large scale of centuries,and  even thousands of years. Sure the 1% have a lot of dough, but its almost unheard of to have something like Buffett’s pledge where they give it all away. This has never transpired before. Obviously, in terms of any value system,  the exercise of power by one person over another, without their consent, is a tangible assault against human dignity. Cone’s book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” dredges up this  between master and slave that does not appear valid anymore. We’ve moved on. And we have to find a new way to achieve social solidarity beyond a socialism that will increase the number of poor. Misery loves company but Americans are prickly about maintaining status-quo that fail to meet expectations.

---Can’t stop thinking of the Larry Rivers piece at Telfair today. That red Frank O’Hara is something wonderful…. painting is huge.--- Read More:

Not that Cone’s book is misleading, or manipulative ; it just does not accept that not everyone in slavery wants liberty. What Erich Fromm termed the fear of freedom. When the Israelites left Egypt, three quarters of them preferred to stay. So , slavery is to be abolished, but it seems a fundamental principle that we cannot be forced  to change faster than we are able to do of our own free will. There is nothing I know of in religion that does not abolish slavery,but, and importantly, they do set in motion a series of fundamental laws that lead individuals, at an indeterminant and inconsistent pace, to abolish it of their own accord, whether it is slavery of debt, indentured labor and so on. I can’t see the veracity of Salutin’s assertion that southern whites sometimes declared that lynching was part of their religion. But then I wasn’t there either. But Cone’s statement that lynching prefigured Auschwitz; Auschwitz was a culmination of a process lasting centuries, maybe since Bar Kochba and yids were lynched and burnt long before America was settled.

Chris Hedges: And he writes for us. He understands that until white Americans can see the cross and the lynching tree together, “until we can identify Christ with a ‘recrucified’ black-body hanging from a lynching tree, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy.”

“In the deepest sense, I’ve been writing this book all my life,” he said of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” when we spoke recently. “I put my whole being into it. And did not hold anything back. I didn’t choose to write it. It chose me. Read More:


The heart of liberation theology as espoused by the likes of Paul Tillich, Cornell West and Martin Buber. “religion without socia

is like a spirit without a body and socialism without god is like a body without a soul.” Religious socialism where god is liberated from theology, free to pursue a path to utopia, an idealized condition where god is not a matter of faith, but of living a genuine engagement, a dialogue in community where it is almost an imperative to embrace the world even if that same world remains incomprehensible:

Salutin: He says the point of the death of Christ is that the poor and weak are the most morally admirable among us since, lacking power, they aren’t corrupted by it. Christ joined them in their worldly defeat by suffering and dying too. But the point was also to rise up and transcend weakness and injustice — without betraying your basic decency by becoming like those who lorded it over you. For that reason, non-violence and “meekness” are necessary even as you act to overcome your status. So non-violence is the natural stance for those who take the crucifixion seriously, as Martin Luther King did. The core of this faith is that “God snatches victory out of defeat, life out of death and hope out of despair.” Read More:–republican-candidates-take-narrow-approach-to-religion

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