An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Laughing Monsters

Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
"Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!"

Future generations will look back on us and think of most of us as monsters in human form, though laughing monsters. Cyclops's who judged each other according to how responsively they reacted to each other's cynicism, justifying their existence by the amount of distraction they could produce. While God's creation was dying around us, we hid our bodies in amusement parks, tried to believe in self-made paradises as tawdry, as full of empty parodies of what once might have been great as our hearts have become when the chattering pauses. The one absolute taboo in our culture is to not be amusing - to be serious and, therefore, BORING. Unfortunately, to care about something is to be serious about your relationship with that thing - to be heavy is to be connected. Those who feel no connection laugh easily - there's always another situation to keep them distracted. To laugh is to be detached, to view life at an ironic distance, from which it can be violated.

Our descent into hell has begun: "A US lawmaker and former Marine colonel accused US Marines of killing innocent Iraqi civilians after a Marine comrade had been killed by a roadside bomb.

"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," John Murtha told reporters. The November 19 incident occurred in Haditha, Iraq.

"There was no firefight" that led to the shootings at close range, the Vietnam war veteran said, denying early official accounts, which said that a roadside bomb had killed the Iraqis.

"There were no (roadside bombs) that killed these innocent people," he said.

Time magazine reported the shootings on March 27, based on an Iraqi human rights group and locals, who said that 15 unarmed Iraqis died, including women and children, when Marines barged into their home throwing grenades and shooting.

"It's much worse than reported in Time magazine," Murtha said.

At least three Marine officers are under official investigation, and no report has been released, Army Times said Tuesday."

"The fact that U.S. Marines -- the few, the proud, etc. -- were capable of such bestiality says something ominous about the psychological state of the American military after three years of being stretched to the limit. These weren't draftees or Guardsmen or pathetic losers like Calley. These were professionals, supposedly the best of the best, and yet they threw away their training, their code and their honor, and drenched themselves and their flag in the blood of innocents. They simply snapped, in other words, and it makes me wonder how many more like them are out there -- one IED or ambush away from going beserk."

They threw it away. Honor, professionalism (the Holy Grail of our age), their code... And we "Christians" throw it away when we stew in our impotent mope, waiting for God knows what to begin to act, to speak for the living Christ, living in the women and children whom our silence has killed, to scream out the window if we can't think of anything better. "If we wish to resist the cynical annihilation of what is alive in the world of human beings and nature, we must first of all resist in ourselves the tendency to grow accustomed to this annihilation. It is not merely mass death that is so frightful. It is even more the fact that people have gradually got used to it, and have become callous toward the suffering of the victims." Jurgen Moltmann, The Spirit of Life.

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