Faith, Love, Politics, and Social Justice

Archive for December, 2013

Christmas rant

Having been told today that it is “not Christ-like” (and actually worse, but I won’t get into that) to be talking about “race and politics” during this holiday season, let me say this to “whomever it may concern”  : I really don’t care if you say “happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and I am not at all impressed by your Defense of the Faith that consists of making sure everyone uses the Christian greeting in this “Christian” nation. I am more interested in who you think Jesus was. Is he the one who “just IS white” just like Santa, according to a certain “news” caster? Is he the “just IS white” Jesus who sort of goes along with the “just IS white” Santa to the point where you can hardly tell the two apart? Is he the one who came to save us from our purely individual so  called sins (most of which are sexual and committed by somebody else)  to make sure we too have been “washed white as Just is white snow?” Is he the one who gets offended when people talk about oppression or poverty or, white heaven forbid, racism because it’s “just not holy” to do that? Because, if so, you can have him. Let his birthday be celebrated by malls full of people buying crap for each other that they don’t even need. Let his birthday be the time when people need to be extra careful of their belongings because theft goes up at this time. Let this be a time when so much expectations are heaped on to families and friends and lovers to have picture perfect relationships instead of letting people be who they are  that depression, suicide and violence all increases. Let this be a time when one might, at best, volunteer a few hours in a soup kitchen to experience the “real meaning” of Christmas before heading back to a materialistic orgy. I think “just IS white” Jesus would like that because it keeps us all distracted from dealing with a much more difficult reality, like the fact that Jesus of Nazareth just wasn’t white. He was a Jew, not a Roman. His people were oppressed. He was born in a manger, among poor people who were exiles in their own land. He was persecuted all his life for daring to preach “good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and freedom for the oppressed” and saying bad things like “the last shall be first” and for claiming that what we do to the least among you, you do to God. He didn’t end up in the mall. He ended up on a cross, executed as a revolutionary enemy of the state. That’s my Jesus. He “just is” black and brown and queer and poor and, yes, sometimes female and all sorts of other things that get him thrown out of lots of “nice” places and he doesn’t give a shit if you say “Merry Christmas” or not and I love him and I am glad he was born into this, yes POLITICAL world because it gives a whole lot of us a whole lot of hope.


From The Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman

From The Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman