Monday, April 01, 2013

Yesterday's Doodle

Last Sunday, Google unveiled a doodle honoring Cesar Chavez. It was his birthday, after all, but this apparently was unknown to the millions of Christians celebrating Easter on the same day. While honoring Chavez aligns with Google's mission of "don't be evil" doing so over and against the context of Easter (unintentionally) came across as an anti-Christian statement.

Who is a greater liberator than Jesus? Cesar Chavez! Can't you just hear the crowds chanting? "We have no king but Caesar!"

Someone posted in the comments of the RedLetterChristians blog... "What if Google had posted colored eggs and bunnies instead?"

It's a good question, but not the best question. Google has a long history of ignoring religious holidays, no problem there, but they also have a history of (purposely) honoring personas in lieu of religious holidays, which does raise the question of why, to Google, is religion off-limits? At best they are being all-inclusive (Google: "Kangaroo Christmas Doodle"). But I wonder if underlying the fact that they have refused (since 2000) to acknowledge Easter, Ramadan, or Passover, they aren't also relegating religion and religious interaction right out of the public arena. "We find all other and eclectic celebrations acceptable, but holy-days we specifically do not."

The RedLetter article referenced takes some well placed jabs at the evangelical knee-jerk (the author obviously doesn't like Al Mohler), but it doesn't move the parties any closer together. It simply tells evangelicals to shut up and chill. Now that I've chilled, tell me then, when is it appropriate to talk about Jesus in public? To paraphrase the article, "How dare you to ask me, once again, NOT talk about Jesus."

What's really missing in the piece is a healthier understanding of Jesus. To say that Jesus, "took the focus off of God and put it on the people who were being ignored and left out," is not only not true, it's idolatry and the blasphemy Jesus was being accused of.

Both the withered-hand healing the article references and the Sabbath healing of the lame man are exactly the opposite of focusing on someone other than God. Both headings are about who has lordship over the Sabbath. The miracles clearly answer, Jesus, the Son of Man is Lord over all He has created. Access to the Father, and the liberation he brings the captives and oppressed comes only through his resurrection life.

Liberation doesn't always bring freedom, it often only substitutes one oppression for another. Or it leaves the blind, lame, and imprisoned still captive in their sins. Like Jesus, Chavez was a liberator, and a socialist in the best terms… a socialist that poignantly attempted to keep political power socialized. Neither Chavez nor Christians need the Googles of the earth to represent the meek. Chavez like Jesus teaches us that the Google's Earth belongs to the meek. But to be continuously ignorant of such a huge segment of the public shows poor taste and smacks of the oppression Chavez fought against. It's irony.


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