“The Pulpit Had Become One More Source of Violence”

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Listening to a talk by Francisco Flores* at the Acton Institute about El Salvador, I was struck by the parallels between Liberation Theology and the Neoconnized Religious Right. I would ask my pro-war fellow Christians to answer this question: What exactly was wrong with the teaching of the Liberation theologians that saw the Bible as a recipe for armed revolt? And how is it different than what is now being taught by so many Evangelical leaders? In both cases there is real tyranny, real injustice to which the pro-violent are responding. In both cases, Jesus is being conscripted into the violent response to these injustices.

My own belief is that “The Way” (as Christians were originally called) to respond to the sin and injustice of this world is the way of Jesus. The way of service, sacrifice, martyrdom and the liberating spiritual message of Christ’s work at the Cross. I think both “smashing Fallujah” and “shooting the Capitalists” are not part of the Way and my pro-war Christian friends need to check their orthodoxy now that they find themselves kissing cousins to the Liberation theologians.

*Flores was the President of El Salvador from 1999-2004. Being that he was a politician I don’t want to be taken as endorsing what he says in the rest of this speech, nor taken as condemning it, I just don’t know enough either way.

9:53 am on November 1, 2005