Class warfare

…the Lord is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.
Isaiah 26: 4-6 

 One of the critiques of liberation theology, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, was that it promoted class warfare.

I don’t think the critique was valid for all forms of liberation theology.

But today’s lectionary reading from Isaiah might lead one to think that Isaiah also promoted a type of class warfare: “The lofty city is trampled underfoot… by the footsteps of the poor.”

Class is real; inequalities and discrimination based on class are real.

That is apparent here in Honduras, where a few extended families control much of the wealth – in terms of land, businesses, and economic power. They also control most of the media. The poor are discriminated against in many ways, looked down upon by some of those with power and wealth.

I think this is not just the case here and in other countries of the two-thirds world. There are class differences in the US, often combined with racism.

What does the Lord require here?

Those of us with privileges of class should learn to listen to the poor. I should try to accompany them in their struggles for justice and equality.

That means a real conversion of our hearts.

Will I let the poor, by their continuing presence in our world, critique my affluence, my failure to open my heart and my wallet to them?

Will I amass treasures and build walls to secure my possessions?

Or will I open my heart, so that the footsteps of the poor will lead me to live as a sign of the Kingdom of God – a kingdom of justice, solidarity, and peace?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s