Sunday, November 15, 2009

The End of Poverty?


Most American Constantinian Christians are unaware of their imperialistic identity because they do not see the parallel between the Roman empire that put Jesus to death and the American empire that they celebrate. As long as they can worship freely and pursue the American dream, they see the American government as a force for good and American imperialism as a desirable force for spreading that good. They proudly profess their allegiance to the flag and the cross not realizing that just as the cross was a bloody indictment of the Roman empire, it is a powerful critique of the American empire, and they fail to acknowledge that the cozy relation between their Christian leaders and imperial American rulers may mirror the intimate ties between the religious leaders and imperial Roman rulers who crucified their Savior.
Cornel West, Democracy Matters [2004]

EasyYolk believes in the importance of filtering out the difference between what Cornel West calls prophetic and Constantinian Christian strands on the American political landscape. In regards to evil, corruption and greed in the world today, Constantinian Christians believe the problem is deficient leadership and/or immoral choices of citizens of Third World countries. The solution for Constintinians is to mobilize 'charity' or 'philanthropy'--through American individuals or churches--and a focus on spiritual and moral salvation of individuals abroad.

However, those Christians bold enough to take on the 'easy yolk' of Jesus are rooted in the prophetic strand--the minority report--of the American Body of Christ. Evil, corruption and greed is systemic and the imperialist and authoritarian policies of the United States directly lead to the impoverishment of the Third World, while those in the middle and upper classes in the States live in comfort and convenience. Christians must fight for justice by unveiling the dire consequences of these policies. The problem is partially 'over there' (the corruption of Third World governments and bad choices of Third World citizens), but the foundation of this wealth-and-poverty gap is right here in the States...and we must respond.

This 'inconvenient truth' about Third World poverty is the reason why EasyYolk is so excited about the release of the upcoming film The End of Poverty?, reviewed here by Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. On Saturday, November 28th, we are going to caravan up to L.A. to watch the film and attend a Q&A with the French-American director of The End of Poverty?. This will be a film characterized by some Constantinian Christians as having a 'Marxist' or 'Socialist' agenda and by other Constantinian Christians as being 'too political.' We would characterize it as having a dynamic prophetic Christian agenda, confronting the powers-that-be in a manner that the first-century Jew named Jesus would be quite fond of. After your Thanksgiving holiday, won't you join us on a journey of discovering how we might more faithfully pass the feast on to the rest of the world?

--Theological Autopilot

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