Blood and Bananas

Column by Dr. Carl Krieg on 11 May 2023 0 Comments

We live in a world defined by the cheapness of human life, indeed, all life. Migrants and refugees are treated no better than the Amazon rainforest. And yet, as entanglement shows us and as the tolling bell reminds us, all is One.

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With the co-opting of the term Christianity by those who act very un-Christian like, is it time to rethink the name Progressive Christianity?


Dear Joseph,

I hear you loud and clear. I have struggled with this very issue for years now. Frankly, because of what the word has come to represent to many folks, there are times I don't even like the way it feels in my mouth, “Christian.” Seeing the hateful ways some of the loudest Christians treat others even make it feel like a curse word to me at times. Because of it, I spent many years being reluctant to call myself a “Christian” in public.

I tried coming up with other terms that might work, “People of the Way,” “Originist” (as in following the original meaning of Jesus' teachings), ”Jesus Followers,” and many others. They were all too wordy or just a bit unclear without an explanation. I realized that the concept I was trying to relay, “follower of Jesus” or even “little Jesus,” already had a word  – Christian.

After even more thought and consideration, I am inclined to take our cues from the LGBTQAI+ community. Their work to take back the words “gay” and “queer” that were so frequently used as a pejorative is nothing short of inspiring! I believe we need to do the same for “Christianity.” WE need to reclaim the name from those who are using it to manipulate, marginalize, and maltreat others for the sake of their own power, profit, and prestige.

Sure, we still might need to add “not that kind of Christian” from time to time as we reclaim the moniker, but I for one believe that it is time to reclaim the name until it becomes most clearly defined by its love, inclusivity, and tireless work for justice.

~ Rev. Dr. Mark Sandlin




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