Bias From the Bottom
by Father Richard Rohr
Meditation 36 of 57
We see in the Gospels that it’s the lame, the poor, the blind, the prostitutes, the drunkards, the tax collectors, the sinners, the outsiders, and the foreigners who tend to follow Jesus. It is those on the inside and the top who crucify him (elders, chief priests, teachers of the Law, scribes, and Roman occupiers). Shouldn’t that tell us something really important about perspective? Every viewpoint is a view from a point, and we need to critique our own perspective if we are to see and do the full truth.
We fail to appreciate liberation theology because of 1,700 years of interpreting the Scriptures from the perspective of the empowered clergy class, rather than from the perspective of the marginalized who first received the message with such excitement. Once Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire (after 313 AD), we largely stopped reading the Bible from the side of the poor and the oppressed. We read it from the side of the political establishment and, I am sorry to say, from the priesthood side which was often eager to keep us codependent on their ministrations, instead of from the side of people hungry for justice and truth. No wonder Jesus said, “I did not come for the healthy but for the sick” (Mark 2:17). This priority has the power to constantly detach religion from its common marriage to power, money, and self-importance.
Adapted from CAC Foundation Set: Gospel Call to Compassionate Action
(Bias from the Bottom) and Contemplative Prayer (CD, DVD, MP3)
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