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, September 30, 2006

Other People's Blood

"So you have this ability to detain anyone anywhere in the world. You deny them the writ of habeas corpus. And when they're in detention, you have a right to do all kinds of coercive techniques on them: hooding, stripping, anything really the president says goes, short of what he defines as torture. And then, if you are lucky enough to be tried, and I say “lucky enough,” because, for example, the 460 people the Center represents at Guantanamo may never get trials. In fact, only ten have even been charged. Those people, they’ve been stripped of their right to go to court and test their detention by habeas corpus. They’re just -- they’ve been there five years. Right now, under this legislation, they could be there forever." - Michael Ratner, Democracy Now, Sept. 29, 2006.

When we Xians (I can no longer bear to use the name "Christian" to refer to those who look on the torture of the innocent with indifference) look in the mirror of our world, we see our incompetence and failure reflected back. Torture is indeed "another thorn in this entire crown America has fashioned for itself, crucifying its own values and humanity yet again." Why do we not see Jesus' bloody face in the brown faces of those we have decided to revenge ourselves on? And why do we so easily decide to drive the nails into our own values? The surest proof of barbarism is that we are no longer capable of seeing the barbarian in ourselves.

"We have already devolved into barbarism, by attempting to define boundaries within barbarism that are good and bad, that are moderately barbaric vs. too barbaric, and calling all of it moderation, and praising it in our press, and praising it in our politicians. We are already a broken country, made more broken by men looking for any distraction, any shred of bloody color to help hide the deeper truths of their incompetence and failure." - Hunter, Daily Kos, Sept. 27, 2006.

"The knowledge of the cross is the knowledge of God in the suffering caused to him by dehumanized man, that is, in the contrary of everything which dehumanized man seeks and tried to attain as the deity in him. Consequently, this knowledge does not confirm him as what he is, but destroys him. It destroys the god, miserable in his pride, which we would like to be, and restores to us our abandoned and despised humanity...It destroys the destruction of man. It alienates alienated man. And in this way it restores the humanity of dehumanized man." - Jurgen Moltmann, The Crucified God.

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