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.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It Never Goes Away

"He was an Iraq war veteran, age 21. The guards were kind to him, but the young man was very disturbed and ended up fracturing his hand and fist, pounding a wall. After falling asleep, he repeatedly woke up, shouting and cursing, 'You killed my friend, - I'm gonna' kill you,' and intermittently sobbing, 'It doesn't change. It never goes away.'"

"The following day, Ash Wednesday, 25 Chicagoans held an ecumenical prayer service and then attempted to deliver a letter to Senators Durbin and Obama. Many in the group were clergy, vested in their clerical garb. They had gathered to pray for forgiveness, as a nation, for the times we all had not spoken out against the war. They wanted to assure that the Senators of Illinois heard their remorse and understood their opposition to the war and its ongoing funding." - "Do Something Good", Kathy Kelly, CounterPunch, February 22, 2007.

Many wonder why the Democrats seem so unable to make the stand the vast majority of their constituents clearly want them to make. An analysis of a recent anonymous Democrat's statement about the ongoing negotiations provides a clue:
“People are unhappy with the war. We have to conduct oversight. We have to push the president in a new direction. We have to find a way to do that that makes the caucus comfortable, and I think we can.” First, note that the speaker said "People are unhappy", not "We are unhappy". Translated, this means: "Other people are unhappy with the war and we must find a way to appease their feelings." In fact, most Democrats in Congress do not seem to have strong anti-war feelings, or any anti-war feeling for that matter. They do not own the feeling in question - other people own it - but they have been given a reluctant custody over it and must somehow discharge their onerous obligation. "We have to conduct oversight" summarizes this obligation. "We have to push the president in a new direction" epitomizes their powerlessness. To push someone means to stand behind them and try to exert a surreptitous influence, at least initially. Once again, someone else owns the problem - in this case, the President. This statement acknowledges their powerlessness, reducing them to the level of children attempting to influence a stubborn father. Finally, they acknowledge their true goal: "We have to find a way to do that that makes the caucus comfortable" At the end of the day, they want comfort, not justice, much less peace. They fail to understand that God's peace is living justice, not comfort. Comfort is the reward given to slaves when their master is satisfied with their service. And I agree with the Democrats when they say, "I think we can." They can indeed please their master and will find a way to do so.

This is the justice which orders the universe: "Accordingly, justice, as such, excels among the other moral virtues, and is called the brightest, outshining the morning and evening star." - Thomas Aquinas.

Those who worship comfort will receive their reward, but they will not put an end to this war, nor will they aid the Lord to establish justice on this earth.

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