Thursday, July 25, 2013

Militant Evangelism and Commercial Pietism

What we as church have inherited from the culture of the last 500 years are militant evangelism and commercial pietism. These historical developments work in tandem, pietism to numb people and evangelism to take political advantage of them; these ploys characterize the dynamics of imperial Roman Catholicism from the 15th Century to the 20th. The challenge confronting global peoples is to expose and reverse the global terrors and havoc wreaked on the world by commercial pietism and evangelized colonialism. Underlying “pious” violence is idolatrous male self-elevation and politicized patriarchy. Today’s corporate capitalism, the outgrowth of commercial colonialism, is the controlling religious politic fiercely espoused by the Political Right and the Religious Right. Characteristic of Rightist theology and politics are the control and exploitation of people (most notably women and indigenous people) and nature.

Until the mitigating grace of femininity stands with equal authority against male overreach religions will enable the assaults of pretentious righteousness. Cultic dualism, centrism and sexism constitute an antithetical trinity rooted in ignorance, arrogance and obsession. The enlightenment of evolution can take us out of the hold of these and open the way of reconciliation and redemption from the night of self-desecration. The commercial ploy of selling indulgences still holds power over traumatized souls unsure of their own true self.

In our time we are experiencing the end of the imperial papacy, that is, of popes chosen from colonizing countries. For the first time we have a pope who has the lived experience of colonized people. He is in a position to witness the real life tragedy of colonial overreach to people and nature. Change is in the air. Maybe the “vox populi” will have church's ear for a change. Through history, Jesuits have been enablers of pietism and evangelical colonialism. Is the “Jesuit” pope in a position to expiate for the violent complicity of his Order in the past?

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