Dick Gregory on American Christians

From an interview of Dick Gregory published in today’s Salon:

Let me tell you what I say about America. If that universal God up there don’t destroy America, then that God owes Sodom and Gomorrah a serious apology, hm? OK? Supposed to be the most Christian society in the history of the planet, they sing that hymn, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” I tell them, “You weren’t there then and you wouldn’t be there now.”

And if Jesus came here today and started bugging the wrong people again, they’d give him the electric chair. And then we’d have Christians with electric chairs around their necks singing, “Were you there when they electrified my Lord?”

The entire interview is worth reading.

Oddly enough, Jeopardy champion/villain Arthur Chu conducted the interview and begins by explaining how he had never heard of Dick Gregory before. I guess this is an example of post-modern journalism: uninformed and self-referential.

  1. Gregory’s point is both salient and apropos. America today is an egregious contradiction between fact and fiction. Its hypocrisy has become pathological, and not all that far removed from more obvious examples such as North Korea.

    However, I get quite disturbed when well-meaning people attempt to use religion as a teachable moment. Religion has no such redeeming quality. Christianity, for example, is rife with ethical contradiction and moral disagreement. If people do indeed require artificial constructs to perceive the difference between “right” and “wrong,” then something more simple like the “Golden Rule” should suffice.

  2. shut up

  3. Yes, God does owe sodom and Gomorrah a huge apology 😄😄

  4. Thank you for sharing information about the interview with Dick Gregory, DK. I learned to respect him deeply after reading his book, “Nigger,” And I find his humor really funny. Judging from the comments thus far, I guess it’s hard for some to appreciate humor from someone on the margins who can use the masters’ metaphors and beliefs to point out glaring discrepancies between their talk and actions…

    • Carol: I find the internet endlessly fascinating. It’s like a tropical fish tank with plants and fresh water fish. You can watch it for hours because its predictability is so soothing.

      If Gregory’s quip were in a sidebar in Harper’s or one of those throw away paragraphs in the New Yorker people would either find it amusing or not. They wouldn’t think it incumbent on themselves to explain why it was not amusing. Or show how upset it made them.

      On the other hand, if there is something that someone slaves over for dozens of hours that appears on the internet nobody bothers to read because it’s too long and doesn’t elicit an immediate “comment.”

      Ah, I miss the days of print!

      BTW, shouldn’t you be watching your granddaughter? I envy you that chore.

      • Your erudite pieces on so many topics do make it difficult to comment in thoughtful ways sometimes, DK. Your recent post about Carson McCullers is fascinating and made me wish I had more time to read her work. (My granddaughter is still sleeping. I need to find quiet activities until my day is busy with cooking and play.)

        • Don’t worry about commenting, Carol. These posts are mainly to allow me a vent for what I am thinking without boring those within talking distance.

          BTW, the concept of “play” is quite odd. The “play” that I was involved in with my children and others was among the only important “work” I ever did when I look back on it.

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