Tag Archives: revolution

RESISTERE, latin for resist: the meaning of resistance

GEORGE YANCY & EVERYDAY FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN RESISTANCE

“”To resist (resistere or “to take astand”) suggests the capacity “to stand back,” to acquire an oppositional perspective vis-a-vis a given set of objects. And while every act of agential behavior is not an act of resistance, every act
of resistance is an agential form of behavior. And while
cows might be said to ‘”resist,” they do not “take a
stand.” Deborah White (1999) notes, “While some
Southern whites called such behavior ‘rascality’
[breaking tools, for example], slaves [or to be enslaved]
understood it to be an effective form of resistance” (p.
77). As we shall see, some Black steamboat workers
consciously inverted the meaning of “rascality” as a
term of self-activity to describe their informal work
endeavors. Consider Alcey. an enslaved woman,”- George Yancey, “Historical Varieties of African American Labor: Sites of Agency and Resistance,” Page 345

 

The past few months, the topic of resistance when it comes to theology has dwelled on my mind for some reason. As a Protestant, I know we are ever living in PROTEST of authority, and that Protest Tradition in and of itself becomes a norm, and therefore, authoritative. As an African-American, our community’s religious and political life has been defined by our PROTEST of White Supremacy.  When I read books on black religion and/or black theology, there is an assumed oppositional, we are poised against this or that, it’s us versus the world attitude.  As part of Christianity’s institutional racism, portraying  people of color as perpetually angry and destructive has been part of the norm, and as far as arguments against liberation  theologies play out, this is exactly the case. Scholars from POC communities have critique liberation theologies etc., for not standing FOR anything (other than survival) and standing against/being defined by suffering and sin.

Resistance means “taking a stand,” and this stand can be for standing against racism, because we are standing FOR the Kingdom of God, standing FOR racial justice and reconciliation, standing FOR love. All stands are political, and so really, that standing doesn’t have to be “oppositional” as if the lives of Persons of Color are all just about struggle. It  could be standing back in admiration, looking at a work of art, or standing in pride after reading a book, or making a sports accomplishment, or perhaps even stand up comedy! God’s very own grace is the source of all true, legitimate resistance; [ the act of resisting] is everyday, it is liberating, and it is peaceable. 

For the next couple of days, I will explore a few biblical passages, using the Vulgate, to describe the type of everyday faithful Christian resistance I am talking about.

Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property

The Confessions of Nat Turner

The Confessions of Nat Turner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I had the chance to watch Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, and let me just say, this “documentary” is very problematic. It’s nice that we keep talking about the history of slave revolts and remember the legacy of the horrors of African enslavement on North American shores. The whole debate over the historical Nat Turner and whether or not he was insane is so filled with racial hypocrisy that it makes me sick. How come revolutionaries who just happen to be men of color such as Che Guevara, Malcolm x, Nat Turner, and Toussaint L’Ouverture are demonized or deemed crazy or too violent/murderous, while white geniuses like Christopher Columbus, John Calvin, and others have their sins surpassed only by their supposed “greatness.” The insanity plea is a luxury for the recent white domestic terrorists making the news, but it is placed as an insult for men of color who took up arms in self-defense. Why is the case?

Just something to think about.

Enhanced by Zemanta

James on The Tory Preacher John MacArthur

(en) Libya Location (he) מיקום לוב

Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned earlier that a group of bloggers have pointed out John MacArthur’s stance against the Libyan, Egyptian, and Tunisian rebellions as sinful. But as I have argued on Brian’s post, I think placing one’s rules (subjective and quite suspicious interpretation of Romans 13, for example) over that of the sanctity of life is the very defition of legalism that Jesus protested in such gospel passages as Mark 7.

James Bradford Pate shared on facebook, and now I would like to share it too, his post from 2008 when MacArthur said that the Revolutionary War was a bad thing. See here: John MacArthur on Voting, American Revolution.

He is well within his right to interpret Scripture in such a way, and in American history class, we know that the majority of American colonists were against the Revolution. There were reverends who preached that the colonists should submit to Tory rule. So, again, no argument that the history is not there. But is it necessary to call revolution and voting a sin?  I question such definition of sinfulness. If participation in democratic republic is such a sin, then participating in that nation’s economy is sinful as well, and by that I mean, having even the coinage which that government provides, let alone joining in the consumption of goods by selling and marketing  a study bible name after yourself.  As many political theorists keep pointing out, neo-liberal economics and democracy/representative government go hand and hand. You cannot just accept one without embracing the other, and that is what we are seeing in the Middle East (of Europe and the West) right now. So before Tory preachers say they are sinless by avoiding partaking in this democracy, let them re-consider  by first glancing at their wallets.  😉

Enhanced by Zemanta