From the desk of Chris Barbera at Jesus the Liberator

April 20, 2021

As of this writing, I am awaiting the decision of the trial of the killer of George Floyd.  I am thinking through the thought of Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse and Angela Davis as it relates to the hegemony of police, race and capital as it is manifested by the American Pontius Pilate Centurion Guard Prison-Industrial Complex.   The echoes of pain and history, contemporary circumstance, progressive thought, spiritual essence, prayer life and sacrificial, compassionate action on behalf of primarily poor and oppressed people are key tenets of Prison Theology.  

This trial is technically about one man.  The Roman Centurion guards who killed Christ were not named, so I will not name the American Centurion guard who killed George Floyd.  The trial of Jesus was about more than one man, so too is the present moment.  Race, police violence and militarized society protecting capital are some of what is on trial. 

April 13, 2021

I read that the state of Maryland just passed a police reform bill.  In addition to limiting the use of force and no knock warrants by police, it also repeals the “bill of rights for police officers.”  I knew that the centurion guard could legally arrest and kill people, so why did they need extra rights?  Do other professions have a special bill of rights?  Does the police bill of rights overrule the United States Bill of Rights that protects black people killed by police?   Why are the centurion guard more honored than the 12 disciples?

Prison Theology, following a major tenet of Liberation Theology, gives “preferential option to the poor.”’  We love all but “prefer” or give attention to inmates before guards.  Both Jesus and Barabbas were arrested by the centurion guard, presumably under the auspices of “law and order” and protected by a “bill of rights.”  What other secrets, protections and rights hide behind the “thin blue line” of police?

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