May 28, 2008
Obama, Black Liberation Theology, and Karl MarxBy Kyle-Anne Shiver
Not having a theology degree, nor even a Ph.D., and being, too, a bit naïve regarding matters of high-brow philosophical currents throughout the ages, I have to admit that when I first read Karl Marx' essay, The Jewish Question, I was actually stunned by its contents.
First off, my rather cursory education in various philosophies and in Marxism, particularly, did not prepare me for the bitter thrust of old Karl's potent anti-Semitism. In fact, until reading this particular essay, I would have never, in a million years, connected much of anything whatsoever Marxian with Jew hate.
After all, Karl Marx, himself, was a Jew. Hitler and many others blamed the Jews for Communism, thanks to the number of Jews who played prominent roles in the Russian Revolution. I naturally associated twentieth century Anti-Semitism with Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.
Ironically, if Karl Marx had still been alive and residing in Germany or any of the Nazi-occupied countries during WWII, he would have perished along with his brethren, despite his own "self-loathing-Jew" status.
Marx envisioned a society "which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and therefore the possibility of huckstering," because this classless society "would make the Jew impossible."
Personally, I find the opinion of some that Marx was a genius, to be downright laughable. Regarding his opinions on the Jews, one is left to ponderously consider which ones were dumb, and which were dumber.
Evidently Karl Marx was as utterly ignorant of the true tenets of Judaism (Self-sufficiency does not equate to "huckstering.") as he was of the diabolical possibilities inherent in his own words, once they were in the hands of one Adolph Hitler.
This atrocious irony might be merely a historical oddity if old Karl's words were not still bouncing around in the heads of those who wish to lead new revolutions based upon them. But Marx' words still dominate much of what happens on the world stage today, even in our own republic.
The word emphasis has changed a bit. The industrial proletariat is no longer the focus. But as a newly prominent American politician is wont to remind us: words do matter.
Yes, of course, words matter, as many leaders of ambitious movements have mightily declared.
The Oppressed Vs. the Oppressors
But where do they come from, and what do they mean in America today?
I might never have delved into the subject of the oppressed vs. the oppressors if I had not gone to Chicago in January seeking answers about a man who would be president.
When I visited Obama's church, still under the directorship of Jeremiah Wright, I came away with far more questions than answers, and one thing leading to another, have spent the last several months trying to fathom how Marxist political philosophy wound up emblazoned with a cross and a pulpit, and pretending to rely on the Bible for its authority.
It is somewhat difficult to imagine a more contorted blasphemy, with the single possible exception of Hitler himself claiming to be acting by divine decree in the interests of Christianity. Which is precisely what Hitler did do, while hoodwinking the German people into electing him Chancellor.
Hitler sprinkled Mein Kampf with Christian language, most likely to fit with the predominantly Christian German population, and appealed to voters on the strength of his Christian "calling":
As most junior-high Sunday schoolers know, however, a Christian is judged on actions, not words, and Hitler was no Christian. He was a bamboozler of the lowest imaginable order.
Jeremiah Wright is the tiny tip of Obama's spiritual iceberg
The phenomenon that raised so many questions for me in January, when I visited Trinity United Church of Christ, was not Jeremiah Wright's sermon, which turned out to be just a call for all good congregants to support Barack Obama for President. It wasn't the sermon that caught me off guard; I was prepared for that. I had watched video of Wright, giving five of his fiery sermons.
The thing that really got me to thinking, reading and searching for answers was the church bookstore.
Having been a practicing Christian for more than 40 years now, and a practicing Catholic for 26 of those years, I have visited perhaps 100 various Christian bookstores, both Protestant and Catholic. In all of those places, one thing tied together the books for sale: Christianity.
Not so in Obama's church bookstore.
I spent more than an hour perusing available books, and found as many claiming to represent Muslim thought as those representing Christian thought. Black Muslim thought, to be specific.
And the books claiming to support Christianity were surprisingly of a more political than religious nature. The books by James H. Cone, Wright's own mentor, were prominent and numerous.
Now that I have read a number of the books that presumably Wright's congregants (including Barack Obama) have also read, I can only conclude that the thing tying these volumes together is not Christianity, nor any real religion, but the political philosophy of Karl Marx.
If Marxism can be summed up in only a couple of phrases, now familiar to nearly every modern person, they would be "class struggle" and "oppressed vs. oppressors."
James H. Cone, the unquestioned modern-day mentor of all the black power preachers, claims to have created a new theology, uniting the Muslim black power tenets of Malcolm X and the Christian foundations of Martin Luther King, Jr.
All he has really done, in my opinion, is take original liberation theology from Latin America, developed in the early 1960s by Catholic priests, and painted it black.
Liberation Theology vs. Traditional Christianity
The teaching authorities of the Catholic Church, have for more than 20 years now, been attempting to stamp out these heretical liberation theologies, denouncing them as vehemently antithetical to the Catholic Christian faith, and have been strenuously combating this Marxist counterfeit Christianity on many fronts within the Church herself.
Of course, the Medieval, iron-fisted clamp of the Catholic Church's authority, even within the Church herself, is routinely overstated, and there are renegade priests all over the place (more on another of Obama's spiritual mentors, a liberation theology Catholic priest in Chicago, in Part Two next week).
Not to mention the fact that the Catholic Church has no authority whatsoever over those claiming to represent protestant interpretations of the Christian faith, such as Cone and Wright.
But it is important to note here that liberation theology, including black liberation theology, has not gone unnoticed by the learned biblical scholars within the Vatican, and liberation theology has been roundly denounced as both heretical and dangerous, not only to the authentic Christian faith, but even more so to the societies which come to embrace it.
Just one nugget from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Instruction on Certain Aspects of the ‘Theology of Liberation':
Understanding that black liberation theology is Marxism dressed up to look like Christianity helps explain why there is no conflict between Cone's "Christianity" and Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam." They are two prophets in the same philosophical (Marxist) pod, merely using different religions as backdrops for their black-power aims.
As Cone himself writes in his 1997 preface to a new edition of his 1969 book, Black Theology and Black Power:
And, to drive his Marxist emphasis even further, Cone again quotes Malcolm X:
(Ironically, considering the formal Church teaching regarding liberation theologies, this book of Cone's was published by Orbis, owned and managed by The Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, a Maryknoll religious entity. So much for the totalitarianism of the Catholic Church.)
It is this subjugation of genuine Christianity to the supremacy of the Marxist class struggle, which marks the true delineation between traditional Christianity and black liberation theology, as Pope Benedict XVI (writing in 1984 as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) sums up thusly:
Which is precisely why Cone and his disciples are able to boldly proclaim that if the Jesus of traditional Christianity is not united with them in the Marxist class struggle, then he is a "white Jesus," and they must "kill him." (Cone; A Black Theology of Liberation; p. 111)
And Cone brings it all the way home with this proclamation of liberation from traditional Christianity itself:
Move over Jesus and make way for Cone, Wright and Obama.
The revolution is at hand.
And presto-chango, once we've followed Marx, Cone, Wright and Obama down the yellow brick road to revolution, Christianity as we've known it for millennia ceases to exist.
Obama was raised by his mother, the agnostic anthropologist, to regard religion as "an expression of human culture...not its wellspring, just one of the many ways -- and not necessarily the best way -- that man attempted to control the unknowable and understand the deeper truths about our lives." (Audacity of Hope; p. 204)
However, when Barack Obama met Jeremiah Wright in the mid-eighties, between his years at Columbia and Harvard Law, he found a "faith" perfectly accommodating to his already well-formed worldview.
From The Audacity of Hope:
As Obama explains further, it was Wright's (and presumably Cone's, as required of new members at Trinity) peculiar form of Christianity that Obama found palatable:
Wright's vision of Christianity was perfectly appetizing to Barack Obama; he didn't need to change a thing.
Liberation Theology and the New Order of Things
James Cone devotes many words in all of his books to instructing his disciples to beware of those resistant to the necessary change in the power structure, warning that,
Pope Benedict XVI (writing as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) give an equally stringent message to Catholics about liberation theology regarding the perversion of the Christian understanding of the "poor":
According to Pope Benedict's instruction on liberation theology, our understanding of the virtues, faith, hope and charity are subjugated to the new Marxist order:
Faith becomes "fidelity to history."
We are the ones we've been waiting for, to bring about the final fruition of the class struggle.
Hope becomes "confidence in the future."
Yes, we can change the world; we don't need God. Our collective redemption comes when we engage in the Marxist class struggle.
Charity becomes "option for the poor."
All are not created equal. Special political privilege for the oppressed, socialism, will set us free.
It's the dawn of a new age.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at commonsenseregained.com/.