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.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Divine Disruption

Sometimes the simple act of returning home is the most revolutionary act that we can achieve. "As the Associated Press reported on August 14, immediately upon the start of the UN sponsored cease fire tens of thousands of Lebanese families defied orders from Israeli commanders, took to the roads, and returned to their villages in southern Lebanon. Their courageous action stifled any hope the Israeli government may have had for accomplishing its grand vision for southern Lebanon with this war." Ultimately, love of home, the land, and the people we were born among always defeats the schemes of the warmongers, who would like to see us on the move, anonymous, afraid to touch the neighbor sitting in the house next door. It is this love which makes nonsense of the well-laid plans of those who put their faith in cluster-bombs.

"The people who love, because they are freed through the truth of God, are the most revolutionary people on earth. They are the ones who upset all values; they are the explosives in human society. Such persons are the most dangerous. For they have recognized that people are untruthful in the extreme, and they are ready at any, and just for the sake of love, to permit the light of truth to fall on them. This disturbance of peace, which comes to the world through these people, provokes the world's hatred. Therefore, the knight of truth and love is not the hero whom people worship and honor, who is free of enemies, but the one whom they cast out, whom they want to get rid of, whome they declare an outlaw, whom they kill. The way, which God's truth in the world has gone, leads to the cross." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

"Between July 12 and August 14, the Israeli air force conducted more than 7,000 air attacks in Lebanon, supplemented by 2,500 naval bombardments and an unknown number of artillery barrages. An estimated 1,183 people were killed, about one third of whom were children, 4,054 were injured and 970,000 people, or 25 percent of the total population, were displaced. Half a million people sought shelter in Beirut, many in parks and public spaces without basic facilities...

The destruction of infrastructure was a deliberate policy designed to drive hundreds of thousands of civilians out of the south of the country and terrorise the Lebanese population as a whole. The aim was to make the entire southern region uninhabitable. The AI report explained: 'With the electricity cut off and food and other supplies not coming into the villages, the destruction of supermarkets and petrol stations played a crucial role in forcing local residents to leave. The lack of fuel also stopped residents from getting water, as water pumps require electricity or fuel-fed generators,' the report [of Amnesty International] stated."

Let us lift our voices in praise to the God of homes, of land lovingly tilled, and of the spirit that creates when all speak of the madness of love - it is madness to believe in Christ, to walk with him when he has "no power, only words; that they, the powers of reality, speak the language of facts and this language is more convincing than the language of Christ." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The facts which fell from the sky can only be countered by the neverending renewal of the life and love of community. May the Spirit of life be with the brave people of Lebanon and may those who would crush them into dust look into the emptiness of their hearts.

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