A word to bourgeois Christians

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Critics of Christianity, especially from the Marxist perspective, have used the word bourgeois a lot.  It means "middle class," but in addition, it connotes a self-centered, effete, materialistic lifestyle which is oblivious to the needs of lower socio-economic classes. 

Bourgeois Christianity is the term used by these same critics to castigate middle class religion which lives in gated spiritual communities and is mainly involved in justifying its own individualistic, exploiting way of life.

Below is a long quote from Sophie Scholl who was executed by the Nazis for opposing what they were doing.  What she said hits hard at those of us who are "comfortable Christians or Jews or. . . ."

Sophie Scholl

"The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don't want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won't take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don't like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It's the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you'll keep it under control. If you don't make any noise, the bogeyman won't find you. But it's all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn."

 

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