Sunday, August 29, 2010
Rev. James Martin has a thoughtful statement on Glenn Beck and Liberation Theology in the Huffington Post. While there is much to say about this topic--much more than is appropriate here--a correction is sorely needed. Martin, despite his typical erudition, fails to draw the distinction between the liberation theologies of Sorbino and Gutierrez and the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone. The later was not an off-shoot of radical South American Marxism, but a development within African-American churches in response to the civil rights movement. Cone, the father of Black theology, was interviewed by NPR in 2008. In the accompanying article, NPR noted:
Cone explains that at the core of black liberation theology is an effort — in a white-dominated society, in which black has been defined as evil — to make the gospel relevant to the life and struggles of American blacks, and to help black people learn to love themselves. It's an attempt, he says "to teach people how to be both unapologetically black and Christian at the same time."