Richard Rohr on Left and Right

The terms “right” and “left” came from the Estates General in France. It’s interesting that now we use them as our basic political terms. On the left sat the ordinary people, on the right sat the nobility and the clergy! (What were the clergy doing over there?!) I think you see the pattern.

In history you will have these two movements, because we didn’t have the phenomenon of the middle class until very recently. The vast majority of people have been poor, even in Jesus’ time. The people who wrote the books and controlled the institutions, however, have almost always been on the right. Much of history has been read and interpreted from the side of the “winners,” or the right, except for the unique revelation called the Bible, which is an alternative history from the side of the enslaved, the dominated, the oppressed, and the poor, leading up to the totally scapegoated Jesus.

Adapted from CAC Foundation Set: Gospel Call to Compassionate Action
(Bias from the Bottom) and Contemplative Prayer

(CD, DVD, MP3)

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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