law-based activism

From a recent discussion:

I can definitely see the compassion-driven aspect in much of modern activists relations to those they see as oppressed. And I support people's attempts to help those in need through their purchases (though I don't see filtering our help through the economic system as a very good way to respond to people's needs).

What I'm objecting to is what I see from many activists in relation to those they perceive as oppressors. Because by the modern rationale of political and economic connectedness, pretty much everyone becomes an oppressor through their consumption or their citizenship in a democratic nation. For example, in the article the author seems glad that Jesus "removed the guilt" from the poor that have to eat meat to live. But why would they even be considered guilty in the first place?

This assumption of guilt by activists, both towards themselves (as I've seen among my friends and people who write on JR) and towards those they preach against, seems to me clearly law-based. It doesn't matter what our intent is, only that our actions can be somehow connected to oppression or suffering somewhere down the line. This allows activists to tell everyone that they are causing suffering in the world ("even Christ") and use that culpability as a motivator for change. The "good news" you speak of seems to be limited to "you can reduce somewhat the suffering you are causing in the world."

That falls far short of the good news Jesus preached, doesn't it? He said follow him and "sin no more." And he showed it could be done by God's grace. Leaning on his power, we can stop oppressing others and break free from cooperation with the destructive Powers of society. And, as he also demonstrated, we who are oppressed can be really set free from the economic and political Powers that control our lives. That's some real good news, if you believe it.

If, however, you think Jesus was an oppressor too, unavoidably causing the suffering of others through his economic and political connectedness, then it will probably be difficult to trust him to show a real way out.