Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, writes in The Huffington Post that she is sending Bibles to Glenn Beck, with the social justice passages marked for him.
Dear Mr. Beck,
Serene Jones here. I'm President of Union Theological Seminary in New York, home of James Cone, the scholar featured on your liberation theology program this week.
I write with exciting news. Bibles are en route to you, even as we speak! Kindly let me explain. On your show, you said that social justice is not in the Bible, anywhere. Oh my, Mr. Beck. At first we were so confused. We couldn't figure out how you could possibly miss this important theme. And then it hit us: maybe you don't have a Bible to read. Let me assure you, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people live Bible-less lives. But we want to help out. And so, as I write this, our students are collecting Bibles from across the nation, packing them in boxes, and sending them to your offices. Grandmothers, uncles, children, co-workers -- indeed, Bible-readers from all walks of life have eagerly contributed. They should be arriving early next week, hopefully just in time for your next show. Read them with zeal!
Oh, I almost forgot: we've marked a few of the social justice passages, just in case you can't find them.
Beck is also being offered a scholarship and reduced rate on housing at Union in thanks for his interest and the publicity generated by his show.
Bishop Alan Wilson, a Café must read blogger, also writes about social justice, the Bible and faith here.
One theme that has been jumping out of the psalter for me this week is “equity.” Some people talk as though justice and equality issues facing the Church were some kind of imposition from secular culture, to be treated with suspicion as a post-enlightenment racket.
The insistence of the psalter that God is a God of equity and justice, whose people should strive to reflect these qualities gazumps this whole illusion. If, quoting Michael Ramsey, “The Church exists that Christ may reign,” our life should be characterised not by weird exceptionalism, but intentional striving for equity and justice.
Religion Dispatches comments on the Bible, Beck and James Cone:
In his latest attack on the Social Justice, Glenn Beck slams the work of James H. Cone and Black Liberation Theology. On the surface, what Beck says may be appealing; Cone does make people uncomfortable. With a black man in the White House and talk of a “post-racial” America, who wants to hear about lynching, of all things? Yes, it was horrible, but haven’t we put that behind us? Aren’t people who still want to bring “that” up just trying to stir up trouble? If Beck can somehow prove that Cone is wrong about the gospel—and probably a communist as well—we can dismiss him and feel a whole lot better about ourselves, our country, and our faith. The problem is, the Bible itself sounds more like Cone than Beck.