Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Answer To The Stupid Statement Made At Salon That The Black Church Supports White Supremacy

I would love to hear the entire sermon because this is the first time that the meaning of the horrific Psalm 137, the entire thing after the first, often quoted verses, where the crime of infanticide seems to be reveled in, made real in the context of American responses to 9-11.

1  By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.

2  There on the poplars
we hung our harps,

3  for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4  How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?

5  If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.

6  May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7  Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”

8  Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.

9  Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

I heard nothing, nothing whatsoever, in the secular left that was as powerful or as meaningful, it is entirely bereft of this kind of prophetic testimony because it rejects the enormous record of examination contained in The Bible.  Coates' journalism doesn't match it.


  1. Psalm 137 is one of the reasons I enjoy the Bible. It's a series of books and a collection of writings from many hands, and it's also a very human document. Pain and joy, sorrow and elation, celebration and despair, live cheek by jowl. It is ugly and beautiful, admirable and reprehensible.

    And the people looking for "contradictions" in it are stuck with a literalist view that says it is the "Word of God" which means nothing in it can be error or even investigated. Wright makes excellent use of that Psalm here; I'm jealous of him. One can learn from Scripture without ever using it as an absolute whose every word must be read through an exegetical lens that makes the words acceptable to the reader.

    1. I find that a literal reading blocks understanding more than it aids it, it keeps it from being alive and relevant to life, today.

  2. As an Atheist Quaker, I find a great deal of beauty and inspiration in the Bible (as well as the Qur'an, Talmudic traditions, etc).

    But my taste in all things is generally questionable.