Friday, December 24, 2004

Shepards quake

And they're not the only ones.
...Jesus described his mission as being to "preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and to set at liberty those who are oppressed". He insisted that the social outcast be loved and cared for, and that the rich have less chance of getting into heaven than a camel has of getting through the eye of a needle. Jesus set out to destroy the imprisoning obligations of debt, speaking instead of forgiveness and the redistribution of wealth. He was accused of blasphemy for attacking the religious authorities as self-serving and hypocritical.

Giles Fraser has a great piece in the Guardian describing the Christ we were meant to follow: should be perfectly obvious to anyone who has actually read the Christmas stories that the gospel regards the incarnation as challenging the existing order. The pregnant Mary anticipates Christ's birth with some fiery political theology: God "has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly, he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty", she blazes. Born among farm labourers, yet worshipped by kings, Christ announces an astonishing reversal of political authority. The local imperial stooge, King Herod, is so threatened by rumours of his birth that he sends troops to Bethlehem to find the child and kill him. Herod recognised that to claim Jesus is lord and king is to say that Caesar isn't. Christ's birth is not a silent night - it's the beginning of a revolution that threatened to undermine the whole basis of Roman power.

Tender and mild my ass.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Just to put things into perspective...

As of 2004
• only 82 years have passed since women were finally granted the right to vote;
• 40 years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act that outlawed sexual discrimination;
• 31 years since women got the right to choose a legal abortion;
• 18 years since the Supreme Court declared sexual harassment a form of illegal job discrimination;
• 10 years since the Violence Against Women Act passed;
• and just 7 years since the Supreme Court ruled that college athletics programs must involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support.

This is from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner's new book, The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy

I came across it in the latest Utne.