Happy Easter from Cornel West

Every religious tradition has been tied into various forms of domination and subjugation. Every religious tradition has been manipulated and bastardized by elites to try to control believers. At the same time, there are always prophetic elements, dimensions, and slices of religious tradition that stand in opposition to the powers that be.

Christianity itself came out of prophetic Judaism. Persecuted early on, Jesus ended up on the cross. This unarmed truth and unconditional love in the face of catastrophic circumstances was seemingly crushed, but the love bounced back. That story is what attracted black folks–and others.

When we feel like we are being crucifed every day like that first century Palestinian Jew crucified at Calvary, we hold on to that unarmed truth and unconditional love. It looked as though Jesus wouldn’t bounce back. Black folks have been locked into that long Saturday after Good Friday. We ain’t had Easter yet. All we have is each other, and the promise of Easter, the promise of freedom.

–Cornel West, Hope on a Tightrope (2008)

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).