Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Cross and The Lynching Tree

Bill Moyers Journal again cemented its place in my world as Must See TV this week when he had on Dr. James Cone who talked about the parallels between the Christian cross and the lynching tree as a way to begin a new conversation about race in America. You really need to program this show into your DVR.

Dr. Cone is a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York and wants to challenge America to re-open this important dialogue. He notes that crucifixion was how the Romans enforced their power, similar to how white America used lynching in post-Civil War America. Pretty powerful to think of it that way.

Moyers asked Dr. Cone to recommend one book for President Bush to read and he suggested The Irony of American History by Reinhold Niebuhr. What a phenomenal title! I'm intrigued.

Recently there have been several instances of nooses being hung in America and it is disturbing to think of where we are as a nation. For 400 years whites have been looking down on blacks in this country. Really, how far ahead of the rest of the world are we? It's easy to look down on racial and religious tensions elsewhere, but maybe we're not so different.

No comments: