"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, October 12, 2006

Natural Hearts

"The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered
there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out 'stop!'

When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer." --Bertolt Brecht

3,590 people were killed in July '06; 3009 in August. Altogether, 655,000 of our fellow human beings have been murdered in Iraq and our Christian leaders have nothing to say, no word of admonishment for these laughing butchers. In the words of Arthur Silber, "It does not matter how immense the pile of corpses grows: we will not surrender or even question our delusion that we are right, and that nothing we do can be profoundly, unforgivably wrong."

Yet every one of those 655,000 corpses has a name, a family, and a God who loves him or her. And one day soon we will have to confront each face our contemptuous silence has deleted. "There is one final point to be made about all this -- and that has to do with the supreme value of a single human life. In our desensitized, dehumanized age, most people have almost no appreciation for what I'm talking about, and our political establishment and media only make this grievous failing worse. Each of us is unique; not one of us can be replaced. Each of us has a family, loved ones, friends and a life that is a web of caring, interdependence, and joy. When even one of us is killed or horribly injured for no justifiable reason, the damage affects countless people in addition to the primary victim. Sometimes, the survivors are irreparably damaged as well. Even the survivors' wounds can last a lifetime."

As Christians, we must feel the enormity of this sin as deeply as possible. We must make it our own and reach out to the victims of our silence. Make these victims as real to you as your brother, friend, teacher, or parent.

I will give you a new heart
and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.

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