Tag Archives: culture

Why Christ’s Color Matters

Picture of Jesus with American flag

Picture of Jesus with American flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Radicalized Jesus always has a problem with Americanized Jesus. It reminds me of a speech given by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper where she made a distinction between the Christ of Calvary versus the Christ of Culture. Radicalized Jesus could speak to the economic situation and address the class issues as well. Radicalized Jesus would challenge the status quo and invite others to see how people on the margins and all working class peoples live. Americanized Jesus, on the other hand, stands with the status quo and protects the interest of the wealthy. We have visions and portrayals of Radicalized Jesus, but since many of them come to us in brown and black skin or with tattoos and locks, we tend not to take them seriously.

– Andre E. Johnson, professor of rhetoric, religion, and African American Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary, in a discussion of the book, The Color of Christ, by Ed Blum and Paul Harvey.

How has picturing Jesus as a white man shaped religious awareness in America? How has it been conscious or unconscious? And what difference does this history make in our supposedly “post-racial” times? You can find the full conversation “Mitt’s Jesus, Barack’s Jesus, and Why Christ’s Color Matters” over at Religion Dispatches.

How do you imagine Jesus? How does that shape the way you see the world? What does your image of Jesus say about what you value? What you overlook?


Where do you get your financial advice?

Kim Kardashian Fragrance Launch, Glendale, CA ...

Kim Kardashian Fragrance Launch, Glendale, CA on February 22, 2011 - Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kim Kardashian, The Donald trump Bible for money advice. So goes the headline on a story at Faith and Reason. According to writer Cathy Lynn Grossman, a recent poll by the American Bible Society discovered that Americans are far more likely to look to figures in popular culture for guidance on money and what to do with it than to the Bible.

Maybe that’s not surprising, given the counter-(American)cultural way that the Bible deals with wealth (see the Between the Lines entry for this coming Sunday).

What’s amusing, though, besides the thought of theoretically faithful people taking financial advice from the Kardashians, is that the American Bible Society presents the results of its survey as part of an advertisement for a new product: The Financial Stewardship Bible. I guess instead of selling all and laying it at the feet of the apostles, you’re just supposed to send it to ABS.