Friday, September 14, 2012

Cornel West and Systemic Orientation

One thing I was very sad to hear upon arriving in Princeton was that Cornel West, one of the great political and theological thinkers of our time, had just recently left Princeton to go to Union Theological Seminary (where I had also considered going). I was sad because I was greatly looking forward to opportunity of taking a class under him. Somehow, in the chaos of life, I missed that he was leaving.

Well, today my mom (yes, my mom) posted this conversation on my Facebook... so I thought I'd share it...


I've been saying for a long time that our system is oriented away from the poor and the marginalized. Our system is designed to reward the wealthy and concede to the "majority." I've often wondered what it would be like if the system reflected the values of Jesus. Jesus was pointedly oriented toward "the least of these," so much so that he actually shared his identity with them. We are obviously not so concerned with the poor... it's hardly a part of our political language anymore. We mask the terminology with discussions about "the economy" and "national debt." But what if?...

As followers of Jesus, the poor and marginalized man from Nazareth, our ears should be acutely sensitive to the language of our political dialogue. We should be oriented, with distinct precision, in the direction of the poorest of the poor. And however we choose to direct our political energies, they should pour out of our solidarity with those on the under side of society.

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