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, March 08, 2008

A Litany of Contrition




"Buried deep in the hills overlooking the blue waters of Subic Bay are ammunition bunkers used by the U.S. military to supply its various U.S. bases abroad — to facilitate interventions in all parts of the world. These quonset type bunkers are now empty except for bats' nests and spider webs that hang on the corners of the solid concrete.

Occasionally, huge pythons find their way into these bunkers, fittingly symbolic of the activity here at the height of the Vietnam war. Huge bombs for the U.S. Air Force and shells for U.S. warships and artillery and small arms ammunitions for M14 were stored in these bunkers. They destroyed millions of lives and caused destruction all over the world in the 100 years of the U.S. American military presence in the Philippines...On 19 February, 2008, together with 8 members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), several members of the People's Bases Clean-up, and former U.S. base workers who are now dying from exposure to asbestos and other toxic waste in the former U.S. military bases, performed purifying rites at the bunkers — exorcising the bunkers of their sinful use by the American government in its imperial wars of aggression." - Christian Peacemaker Teams

Pythons also glide through the hearts of those administering the current horror in Iraq. The more we uncover the strategic objectives of empire, the more we understand that the traditional concept of war between sovereign states constitutes a historic holdover that mystifies the true objective: the elimination of civil society. Their profits flourish when cities become Hobbesian jungles of each against all. Baghdad is the experimental prototype for the city of the future where the bonds that make for peace will have been utterly dissolved.

Near Baghdad is another ancient city called Babylon, now largely desecrated by U.S. troops. But there is another Babylon that is flourishing more than ever and the worship and prayer of Christians brings manna for our resistance to its seductive power. Yet, in the words of Web Howard-Brook, "The downfall of Babylon is not brought about by a passive waiting on God. Rather, it is won by joining forces with God and the Lamb in active resistance to empire and creative participation in New Jerusalem." Wes Howard-Brook, "Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now".

"The problem that we face in Iraq is that policymakers in leadership have set a precedent of lawlessness where we don't abide by the rule of law, we don't respect international treaties, so when that atmosphere exists it lends itself to criminal activity," argues former U.S. Army Sergeant Logan Laituri, who served a tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 before being discharged as a conscientious objector." - Logan Laituri, Iraq War Veteran.

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way." 2 Thessalonians 2: 7.

Perhaps we can take courage from our fellow Christians in the Philippines and exorcise the snakes and bats that run Washington during the actions to come on March 19.

"One: From the arrogance of power
All: Deliver us
One: From the poverty of violence
All: Deliver us
One: From the tyranny of greed
All: Deliver us
One: From the ugliness of racism
All: Deliver us
One: From the politics of hypocrisy
All: Deliver us
One: From the hysteria of nationalism
All: Deliver us
One: From the cancer of hatred
All: Deliver us
One: From the seduction of wealth
All: Deliver us
One: From the addiction of control
All: Deliver us
One: From the avarice of imperialism
All: Deliver us
One: From the idolatry of national security
All: Deliver us
One: From the despair of fatalism
All: Deliver us
One: From the violence of apathy
All: Deliver us
One: From the filth of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the profanity of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the necessity of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the madness of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the blasphemy of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the brutality of war
All: Deliver us
One: From the demonic waste of war and of preparation for war
All: Deliver us
One: Deliver us, O God
All: Guide our feet into the ways of peace
One: In humility, we ask
All: Hear our prayer. Grant us peace." - Litany of Resistance, Jim Loney

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