The Context of Oppression

From James Cone in A Black Theology of Liberation (1970):

Persons who live in the real world have to encounter the concreteness of suffering without suburbs as places of retreat. To be oppressed is to encounter the overwhelming presence of human evil without any place to escape…

…Who can ‘pray’ when all hell has broken loose and human existence is being trampled underfoot by evil forces? Prayer takes on new meaning. It has nothing to do with those Bible verses that rulers utter before eating their steaks, in order to remind themselves that they are religious and have not mistreated anybody. Who can thank God for food when we know that our brothers and sisters are starving as we dine like kings? Prayer is not kneeling, morning, noon and evening. This is a tradition that is characteristic of whites; they use it to reinforce the rightness of their destruction of blacks. Prayer is the spirit that is evident in all oppressed communities when they know that they have a job to do.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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