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“Your hands are full of blood.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008

“…even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.”
-Isaiah 1:15

While searching through picture’s from Ed Kashi’s book Curse of the Black Gold I came across this:

I couldn’t think of a more damning portrait of Christianity than this pic right here.

None shall be barren

Empowering families and generational leaders for global impact

To the left it says:

It’s a session of…

  • Salvation
  • Deliverance
  • Healing miracles with God

This is the bullshit that makes me absolutely sick to my fucking stomach.  This is the type of shit I used to encounter at my ex-girlfriends church, Shiloh Christian Fellowship (in Oakland); talk of “outpouring encounters,” “generational movements,” “no longer being [spiritually] barren.”  There will no doubt be a special place in hell for people like “Bishop” Sam Amaga and Mrs. “Dr.” Sam Amaga and “Bishop” Jolomi.

One thing that is routinely brought up in the Nevi’im (book of prophets in the Hebrew Bible) and in the Christian New Testament is essentially God’s siding with the poor and oppressed.

I remember my Hebrew Bible professor once saying, “Wanna read some of the most ‘anti-Semitic’ stuff in the world? Read the Tanakh [Hebrew Bible]! That has some of the most anti-Israeli stuff ever created!”

And indeed it does, there is nothing more damning to religious and political leaders whom bring up the Bible and “Biblical values” than the actual fucking Bible itself.  As we can see in the quote I opened up God is essentially saying he will no longer answer Israel’s prayers because the leaders and priests of that country have the blood of the poor and oppressed on their hands.

As we can see with the picture here we have the contrasts and contradictions of reality here on earth and a fucking billboard proclaiming “None shall be barren!” while the people in front of the billboard more than likely have had barren stomachs and empty pockets quite a few times in their life while the two bishops have so much money overflowing from their pockets they can afford nice suits to showcase on their own private billboards.

To give an example of what happens in these “outpouring encounters” one of the pastors described what had happened when he was in Nigeria during a “revival.” He described the church being packed with poor and working class folks experiencing miracles at the hands of pastors and elders (church folk, a step bellow a pastor or priests) and during this whole event the people where actually stuffing trash cans filled to the brim with money from donations.  The pastor was describing money being piled up on the fucking stage and being shoveled into large bags and bins.

Why, you ask, would poor folks do this?  Well, it’s not that surprising as when people are desperate and on their last rope they will do anything to attain any kind of salvation.  As Marx stated:

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless circumstances. It is the opium of the people. [Emphasis mine]

Marx is not knocking religion per se nor is he knocking poor people for taking to religion like a drug.  The lives of people are so fucking miserable that they need something to take their mind off the pain; this comes in form of drugs, alcohol, religion, etc.

I myself am not knocking Christianity or the concept of God either (for one, I’m getting my masters in theology and studying to be a priest for the Episcopal Church) but what I am upset about is the fact that people whom claim to be followers of Jesus are actually the ones exploiting the poor they are so intent to “save.”

Religion has become a selling point, like the capitalist who exploits the worker the priest exploits the follower.  The worker creates commodities and gives the capitalist wealth while the capitalist (whom can’t create anything without the worker) hoards most of the profits (to further turn into capital); the parishioner goes to church for spiritual salvation and forks over money to the priest while the priest does nothing to actually organize and help uplift the poor and working class from their oppressive chains.  The priest in this form is nothing more than a drug dealer making his customer sink further into obliteration because she or he is trying to forget his or her problems in the material world.

These priests and modern day pharisees would rather spend money on fancy suits and billboards than rather actually take up the Bible literally and speak truth to power and help working class and poor communities organize for the distribution of power and wealth.

I ain’t sittin in your pews less you helpin’ me resist and refuse
Show me a list of your views
If you really love me
Help me tear this muthafucka up
Consider this my tithe for the offer cup

-Boots Riley, The Coup

[Hat Tip: Hossam]

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