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, February 16, 2008
The Act of Trusting God Rejects All Forms of Violence.
The very act of trust in God is the end of violence. Conversely, all violence arises from a lack of trust in God.
The silence now pervading Iraq is the silence of catastrophe for Iraqis and for us. It is the eerie silence that broods over the scene of death, death of liberty, death of human rights, the death of hope. It defines the Roman version of peace, "They made a desert and called it peace." - such is the holocaust of all that once defined America.
Yet even though there are fewer to kill because so many lay buried under the bridge, still the killing continues. "Hundreds died in a series of explosions in Baghdad last month. This was despite the strongest ever security measures taken by the U.S. military, riding the "surge" in security forces and their activities." - "In Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims", Inter Press Service, Feb. 22, 2008.
"'Two car bombs exploded in Jadriya, killing so many people, the day the American Secretary of Defence (Robert Gates) was visiting Baghdad last week,' a captain from the Karrada district police in Baghdad, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS." - "In Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims", Inter Press Service, Feb. 22, 2008. "The surge is working!" proclaims the Democratic candidate for President.
"Unidentified bodies of Iraqis killed by militias continue to appear in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. The Iraqi government has issued instructions to all security and health offices not to give out the body count to the media. Dozens of bodies are found every day across Baghdad, residents say. Morgue officials confirm this." - "In Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims", Inter Press Service, Feb. 22, 2008.
And the destruction is not limited to humanity - the natural creation is falling along with our fallenness: "Antarctica’s massive coastal glaciers are quickly melting into the sea as the oceans around the continent grow warmer - and the pace of ice loss is speeding up." - "Antarctic Glaciers Melting More Quickly', Jan. 26, 2008.
Yet the harmony of God still stands within our reach, "In the event of creation, each and every creature and each and every aspect of the totality of creation receives life integrity and relationship, in harmony and fulfillment within the scope of God's sovereignty. Persons and principalities, all the creatures, all realities or elements of creation are named by the Word of God." - William Stringfellow, "Conscience and Obedience"
But the honor of God is not what the U.S. has brought to Baghdad: "Some of the eerie calm in areas of Baghdad comes because togetherness has ended. Sunnis and Shias who lived together for generations are now partitioned. This is not the peace many Iraqis were looking for, surge or no surge." - "In Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims", Interpress Service, Feb. 22, 2008
In the end, the empire understands only death: "In the fall, the reign of death is pervasive and militant, it spares no life whatever: every relationship is broken or corrupted or diminished to violence, antiworship is endemic for institutions and nations as much as persons, time means confinement to the power of death, instead of possessing dominion over creation human life is enslaved to and dominated by the rest of creation. In fallen creation, the power of death appears triumphant over the existence of this world." - William Stringfellow, "Conscience and Obedience"
But the Word of hope will reign at last over all those over whom the empire has surged:
'Never again in you, America
will be heard the song of bankers and generals,
the music of drum and bugle marching abroad;
never again will technicians of every skill be found
or the sound of great industries be heard;
never again will shine the light of the frontier,
never again will be heard
the voices of explorer and traders.
Your corporate heads were the princes of the earth,
all the nations were under your spell.
In America you will find the blood of prophets and saints."
- Revelation 18: 21 - 24.