Culture, Justice, Religion

"God is not here to validate your status quo"

Dan Wanders, pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Juneau, Alaska:

The religion that Karl Marx knew was indeed embodied in institutions that maintained oppression of the people, and it is cause for anguish to see how forms of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are oppressive. It is painful to see how much religion is little more than an approval of narrow ethnocentrism and dreaming of the good old days when ignorance is remembered as bliss.
But all of the spiritual movements I have mentioned above – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Baha’i – really are intended to be transformational rather than conformational. No expression of any of them should be a confirmation of the status quo or a cultural buttress. All of them are intended radically to move our world toward greater mercy, kindness and justice. All of them are true to themselves only when challenging societal values and practices.
Though some might be uncomfortable with the language, many of us see that it is from God that come the calls to a greater sense of kinship among the world’s peoples; concern and compassion for the downtrodden, oppressed, and outcast; wariness with institutions and systems of power; and opposition to appeals to the baser human predilections.

Amen, selah.

9 thoughts on “"God is not here to validate your status quo"

  1. Is it possible to take the ill advised opinions of a “pastor” whose opening line in the above column reads: I’m not particularly religious, nor am I appreciative of religion in general.
    Yet this non religious “pastor” sits and tells use the true meaning of 5 o 6 other religions! Maybe if he believed in his own he wouldn’t be so deluded about the others.

  2. And speaking of religious oddballs, how come no one has commented on the death of “Rabbi” Wine (his gay gentile sigother survived the crash that killed him); Wine’s claim to fame was Jews without Judaism, a kind of cult movement that worshipped the bagel (and on high holidays creamcheese was particularly vernerated).

  3. re: wine. it’s probably because none of the contributors to this site are associated with humanistic judaism and therefore don’t have anything particularly meaningful to add to the topic.
    re: pastor wanders. why do you say he’s deluding himself? because judaism is against social justice, and islam exists solely to murder infidels?

  4. I’m surprised to see something positive regarding a Christian on this site. Every single post I’ve seen here is cliche – it’s all negative stuff about fanatical American Bapists and their hijacked, skewed version of Christianity that gets through here.

  5. Joey– seeing as this is a jewish blog, most posts about christianity are going be to about things that also affect Jews.
    “Hey, lots of Jews and Christians get along well in America and treat each other with respect” is generally not considered news.

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