Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Black Liberation Theology and the Gay Community

This NPR interview helps the listener to understand more about Black Liberation Theology by interviewing James Cone, the main theologian. Cone was writing largely in the 60s. He striked a respectable balance between all that was going on. There is a little Malcolm, MLK Jr. and a little panther (but not too much).

The interview begins by defining Black Liberation Theology. This theology sees God as concerned with the poor and the weak in society. The thology comes from the black community so it is called Black Theology, however, it is not just for blacks. It represents concern for every one who is poor, weak and oppressed. It sees justice for the poor and weak and believes that we were not meant to be slaves or to be exploited. Cone believes that God takes the side with the poor and the weak

The interview discusses the origins of the theology. This denomination of Christianity was inspired by MLK Jr. and Malcolm X. Malcolm contributed the black identity aspect of the religion and King represented the Christian aspect. Cone simplifies this by explaining that king taught us to love our enemies, but Malcolm taught us to love ourselves first.

Leaving the argument of whether being gay is a sin or not behind, it seems that Black Liberation Theology would relate to the gay community the same way it does to the back or any other oppressed people group. There are many similarities between the black struggle and the gay struggle and I realize that , the GBLTQ community hasn’t experienced the same struggles that the black community has, I still believe that God is their God and he wants them to be a part of the same body of Christ (Rom 12).

Versus or stories that Cone references
Exodus out of Egypt – deliverance from bondage is a central theme
The prophets (Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, Hosea Malachi) – all spoke for the poor/weak
ex. Let Justice roll down like water and righteous like an ever-flowing stream (Amos)

Verses Against Segregation
In Christ there is not male or female, no slave or free we are all one in Christ Jesus (Paul in 1 Corinthians). 
Out of one blood God has created all people (Acts 17)

Cone Quotes
“The Gospel is not about what happens when you die.” James Cone
“We are God’s children and not someone else’s maid…or janitor.”

My Suggested Readings
Strength to Love – MLK Jr Sermons, I am currently reading this - Maybe I will post on some of the sermons some day.  If you have never read theology or black theology this is a good start for both.  Simple, true, intelligent and bold.
Black Theology and Black Power – Cone, I read this one about 4 years ago. This book influenced many of my social justice beliefs.  That is a whole different topic.

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