The cover of Father Daniel Berrigan’s book, NO GODS BUT ONE, depicts a photograph of the New York Stock Exchange.  The monolithic columns and naked statues are tilted, inordinately so.  In his introduction to this study of the Book of Deuteronomy, Berrigan writes, (page 5), “The era of prophets arrives.  It introduces different royalties – – towering eminencies, severe of mind and speech, unexamined figures of holiness, of frowning brows and fulminations.  Kings, beware!  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel  – –  they point minatory fingers.  You, self-declared immune ones, you stand under judgment.


The prophets define sin and sinner anew: ‘You, king, are the one.’  Sin, darkly flourishing on high, must be confronted: injustice, tribalism, slaughter in war, meaningless worship.  Announce, denounce, no matter the risk!  


Note:  English butcher Henry VIII could not be tried for the murders of two of his wives.  It’s called sovereign immunity.  The City of Atlanta according to a ruling by a federal judge cannot be tried for its crimes against homeless Black men.  It’s called sovereign immunity.  True prophets will point menacing fingers at the self-declared immune ones.


James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

July 10, 2013