The blunt fact is that scriptures Old and New pronounce a fulsome God damn not on foreign nations but on the prophets’ own land. Stiff-necked Bible-thumpers prefer Micah mounted in museum glass to the real thing. But if we do not take scissors to our scriptures, then those blunt words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright exactly match the purpose of the prophets: to that land which perverts equity through greed and force the word is, God damn!
When Bill Moyers was interviewing Joseph Campbell, the great scholar of religions and mythic literature, he asked Campbell whether he had ever adhered to any of the traditions he studied. In a word, Have you been a believer? Campbell said he had not. Moyers pressed. Then could he say he fully knew the religions? Campbell acknowledged the void in his manner of knowing religions.
Jesus always demanded the discipline of diversity from his disciples. More than words, his teaching aid was a table of food and fellowship. His invitation was to any and to all to come together at table and eat. He got specific. Do not invite your friends and family to your feasts. Instead, he said, Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Two questions, now: Why them? And, now that we’re about 100,000 Sundays into the game, How are we doing?