Much has been written about the ongoing assault by the male Catholic hierarchy on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, as well as individual women religious whose writings have been deemed “erroneous.” Non-Catholics might be inclined to dismiss this as merely an internal church issue. However, there are important implications for interfaith conversation between Jews and Christians that have not been as widely considered. In its most stark terms, the women religious have largely embodied what I call the “religion of creation” while the bishops speak from within the “religion of empire.” These labels point to what I’ve shown in my recent book, Come Out, My People!: God’s Call Out of Empire In the Bible and Beyond, to be the two, competing religions in the Hebrew Bible.
I urge us to consider, in the face of the banal predictability of the national election campaigning, to discern whether voting is an expression of civic duty or is a form of collaboration with a corporate scam. Our future and the future of our planet are at stake.
There is a deep pattern that runs through parts of the Bible and all of history, including our own as Americans. A brutal tyrant terrorizes a people, and a champion arises to challenge and violently defeat the tyrant. The champion is lauded as a hero. People flock to him seeking “justice” for their own causes.
Christianity was about the last place I expected to end up. I grew up knowing nothing at all about Jesus or the New Testament. All I “knew” were rumors and suggestions. Discovering Jesus was an exciting surprise. And, of course, he was Jewish, from the day of his birth until the day of his death.