Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tinted lenses

That's an overreaction. Although there's a sense in which biblical exegesis ought to be disinterested, the fact is that readers can bring vested interests to the sacred text which blind them to the message of Scripture when it cuts against the grain of their vested interests. For instance, under slavery and Jim Crow, black Americans were able to recognize some biblical themes about justice, oppression, and liberation which the ruling class turned a blind eye to. In general, Southern Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians had a filter that screened out those biblical themes, in their application to the contemporary situation. I expect Victorian Christians suffered from the same blinders in relation to British imperialism in India. 

And within the Bible itself, the Apocalypse reflects the outlook of persecuted Christians in relation to oppressive elites. The Book of Daniel is an analogous example. For that matter, the social status of the Jewish establishment had a prejudicial effect on how most elite Jews in Jerusalem viewed Jesus. Having a personal stake in the message if the message poses a threat to your dominance can distort the interpretive process.

So there's a grain of truth to what Mika says. The problem isn't with the general principle. Rather, the problem is due in part to self-anointed victim groups who've deluded themselves into believing that they are oppressed. Moreover, casting whites as the villains in their self-flattering psychodrama. Not only is this harmful to innocent white Americans, but harmful to some minority groups by conditioning them to believe they can't succeed. Ironically, Mika is oblivious to his own tinted lenses. He's the mirror image of what he decries. 

No comments:

Post a Comment