This quote sticks out:
“People who are in early stage religion …. seem to be drawn toward anything that's punitive, shame-based, exclusionary of "wrong" people, or anything that justifies the status quo, which just happens to be keeping them on top socially, economically, and religiously. They start by thinking that's what religion is about--maintaining order and social control. They see God as a glorified Miss Manners.
“Once you idealize power and being at the top, you tend to emphasize the almighty, all-powerful nature of God, who is made into the Great Policeman in the sky to keep us all under control (or at least everybody else under control!). Frankly, you are totally unprepared for Jesus. He is a scandal and a disappointment.”*
Which is why, at this time of Easter, a man of peace was murdered.
Last time I counted, there were several thousand politically-inspired murders of journalists around the world over the past decade. These brave souls were pointing out uncomfortable truths to the powers that be. Rather than use this information for repentance, the powerful simply silenced these voices.
In Greek, to “repent” actually means to “change your mind.” But changing one’s mind isn’t all that easy, because it first involves changing one’s heart. That is, moral sentiments guide our openness to transformation. This is a hard lesson.
*Adapted from Richard Rohr, Gospel Call for Compassionate Action (Bias from the Bottom) in CAC Foundation Set (CAC: 2007).