Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images
A pilgrim prays after lighting a candle prior to an open-air mass conducted by Pope Benedict XVI in Aparecida do Norte, some 180km north of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 May 2007. Pope Benedict XVI told a crowd of 150,000 pilgrims that the Christian faith is 'not a political ideology,' in a warning to proponents of Latin America's liberation theology.
According to Glenn Beck, President Obama is a “liberation theologist.” What exactly is liberation theology? Strictly defined it’s a movement in Christian theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of liberation from poverty and unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It began as a movement within the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s - 1960s as a moral response to the poverty and social injustice in that region. But what does that have to do with President Obama’s political and religious ideology and how does liberation theology fit into the American political and religious landscape?
Monica Coleman, Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions, Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont School of Theology