Months after Israel’s initial declaration that they would never attack a hospital, the Israeli military has assaulted several medical facilities in Gaza, rendering them inoperable and leaving the people of Gaza to die slow and painful deaths. On Sunday morning, Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis went out of service following a brutal military raid that lasted several days over the course of last week. In addition to several Palestinians who were killed by Israeli snipers near the entrance to the hospital, eight people in the hospital later died due to the siege of the facility, which prevented electricity and medical supplies from entering the hospital, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
We are here today to call out the Pharisees that run this seminary, the ones who speak about loving the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized, in the abstract, but who really love the rich, including the rich who make their fortunes by exploiting the families of the students I teach in the Rutgers college degree program in New Jersey prisons, students, many of whom should have never been imprisoned, who are victims of our system of neo-slavery. We are here today to call out the liberal church, so quick to wrap itself in the cloak of virtue and so quick to sell virtue out when it conflicts with monetary interests and requires self-sacrifice.
“We are not typical Catholics,” explains Yamil Ríos of the Saint Paul the Apostle Christian Base Community in Managua. “Because we don’t have a priest here, thanks be to God.” Around the room parishioners chuckle on their folding chairs which are set up in a half circle. At the front of the room, musicians shift their instruments, gearing up for another upbeat number. In today’s Nicaragua, there is a rupture between the Catholic hierarchy and its abandoned base. The politicized official church has long collaborated with U.S. imperialism and, as a consequence, is losing the community of faith comprised of the poor and working people of Nicaragua.
As a young man, Roy Bourgeois enlisted to fight in the Vietnam War. After being injured, he became a volunteer at a local orphanage and was inspired to become a priest upon his return to the US. Bourgeois became a priest in Bolivia during the dictatorship of General Hugo Banzer. He decided he could not be an apolitical priest. He spoke out against Banzer’s political repression, leading to his arrest and expulsion from Bolivia. Back in the US, Bourgeois organized protests outside Fort Benning, Georgia where the US was training Salvadorian soldiers to fight the leftist insurgency. He was imprisoned twice for illegally entering the base during planned direct actions against the war. In 2012, Bourgeois was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for supporting the ordination of women.v
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday offered "another example" of the court's "conservative supermajority continuing its politicized agenda," said the head of one of the nation's largest teachers unions as the decision overturned decades of precedent which prohibited educators from leading students in religious displays. In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which concerned a coach who led prayers on the 50-yard line of a Washington state high school's football field, the court's right-wing majority ruled that the coach's prayers were protected under the First Amendment and that school officials who asked him to stop were not acting in the interest of the nation's bedrock laws separating church and state.
Washington, DC - Yesterday Gabe Galanda, Chairman of the Huy Board of Advisors, delivered an intervention in Washington, DC to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, regarding obstacles Indigenous prisoners in the United States face to enjoying and exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief. Shaheed held a consultation with Indigeneous peoples from the United States regarding obstacles they face in exercising traditional religious freedoms. In October 2022, he will issue a report at the United Nations General Assembly regarding impediments to Indigenous religious rights worldwide. The Native American Rights Fund also delivered an intervention to the Special Rapporteur.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to journalist and author, Ariel Sabar, about his new book Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Sabar’s book exposes much about the bankruptcy of contemporary theology and the yearning by academics to be lionized by the mass media and popular culture, even at the expense of truth. In 1945 a collection of early Christian codices, or books, in fourth century A.D. script, were discovered at Nag Hammadi near the Nile, about 300 miles south of Cairo. The 52 works were translated from earlier Greek texts, many of them written by Gnostic sectarians. The Gnostics were condemned as heretics by the early church and their writings were banned.
Occupied Jerusalem - The Red Crescent said that the number of injuries among Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque has increased to reach more than 215, including 135 cases that were hospitalized and 4 in critical condition. Most of the injuries were to the face and eyes, as the occupation forces have been firing rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades at the worshipers, the Red Crescent said. Several worshipers are also trapped in the Qibali prayer room at Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Israeli forces prevented them from going to the courtyards of the mosque, and attacked them with tear gas canisters.
“They will run and not grow weary,” is a quote from the Bible (Isaiah, 40:41) that adorns the homepage of Kairos Palestine. This important document, which parallels a similar initiative emanating from South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle years, has come to represent the unified voice of the Palestinian Christian community everywhere. One of the main advocates of Kairos Palestine is Archbishop Atallah Hanna.
The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power.
Every day and in every part of India, hundreds of thousands of people – mainly young people – gather on the streets to express their anger at the government. Their protests, like those of the protests in Chile, emerged out of one particular grievance but then have cascaded outward. They are angry at the government’s attempt to define citizenship in a narrow and bigoted way; but they are also angry at the arrogance of the government and at the disastrous way in which the government has managed the economy.
There are not enough intellectual tools to analyze the religious war used by the United States to support its coup d’états in Latin American countries. This is how historian and theologist Enrique Dussel comments about the ousting of Evo Morales in Bolivia and the region’s current political scenario. Interviewed by Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, Dussel recalled that in the region, “Bolivia, together with Haiti, were the poorest countries and while its wealth increased as no other. No one would have expected a reaction there.
In which country did a senior, state-salaried cleric urge his followers last month to become “warriors”, emulating a group of young men who had murdered a woman of another faith? The cleric did so with impunity. In fact, he was only echoing other highly placed colleagues who have endorsed a book – again without penalty – urging their disciples to murder babies belonging to other religions. Where can the head of the clergy call black people “monkeys” and urge the expulsion of other religious communities?
There are, as Cornel West has pointed out, only two African-Americans who rose from dirt-poor poverty to the highest levels of American intellectual life—the writer Richard Wright and the radical theologian James H. Cone. Cone, who died in April, grew up in segregated Bearden, Ark., the impoverished son of a woodcutter who had only a sixth-grade education. With an almost superhuman will, Cone clawed his way up from the Arkansas cotton fields to implode theological studies in the United States with his withering critique of the white supremacy and racism inherent within the white, liberal Christian church.
“The Cross and the Lynching Tree are separated by nearly two thousand years,” James Cone writes in his new book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” “One is the universal symbol of the Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on the cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from the black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections. Yet, I believe this is the challenge we must face.