The Good Friday Victory Snake Dance
The Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who died in a Nazi concentration camp, said, “The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.” Indeed, the Crucified Christ seems the most un-American of images, for it proclaims that God prefers defeat to victory and is able to work more good from failure than from success.
The Victory Snake Dance of Calvary celebrates the victory of:
Evil over Good
War over Peace
Violence over Nonviolence
Hate over Love
Injustice over Justice
Greed over Charity
The Powerful over the Weak
Whenever the vulnerable are suppressed and exploited, even in the name of the common good, or a just cause, or the bottom line, or orthodox theological correctness, the Snake Dance Victory of Good Friday is repeated.
Whenever great rejoicing follows military victories in which multitudes of the innocent are slaughtered, or financial victories in which employees and stockholders are left penniless, the Snake Dance Victory of Good Friday is repeated.
Whenever Religion is victorious because heretics are burned at the stake, or those who speak truth about science or theology are silenced “to protect the simple beliefs of the faithful,” the Snake Dance Victory of Good Friday is repeated.
Whenever politicians and governments have defeated the opposition by creating anxiety about criminals, or have catered to greed with inappropriate tax cuts, or appeal to flag-waving nationalism instead of justice and peace, the Snake Dance Victory of Good Friday is repeated again.
Illustration by Edward Hays