Tuesday, January 5, 2016

From Charity to Advocacy to Deep Solidarity - Joerg Rieger in Patheos

Deep solidarity puts us in mutual relationship, helping us realize how much we share in common.

Charity, though widely appreciated, is neither the only nor the most faithful response to the problems of the world.

Jesus preached good news to the poor. What is good news to the poor? Is it that they can expect to be the recipients of handouts and donations? Or is it that they will no longer need to be poor?

Charity, however, is a place where we can start addressing the problems of the world when the eyes of those who engage in charity are opened to the causes of the problems they are trying to address.

Charity that is tied to a deeper understanding of the problems of the world often leads to advocacy, which means speaking out against the injustices at the root of our problems.  Such advocacy is solidly grounded in many religious traditions, including Hebrew prophets and Mary's Magnificat.

Jesus preached and embodied the good news to the poor by engaging in what I have been calling "deep solidarity."  It is a matter of understanding that nothing will change for the better unless we are addressing the problems of the world together.  Deep solidarity is the recognition that we are all in the same boat.

The ever-growing need for charity should make us aware of the extent of the problem of injustice and that there is no easy fix.  Those of us who still enjoy positions of privilege should begin putting them to use for the community and those who are struggling rather than solely for our own personal benefit.

The full article is available here