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
To Be Realistic One Demands the Impossible
"As Jesus Christ is God's comforting pronouncement of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, with equal seriousness, he is also God's vigorous announcement of his claim upon our whole life. Through him there comes to us joyful liberation from the godless ties of this world for free, grateful service to his creatures.
We reject the false doctrine that there could be areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ but to other lords, areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him." - Barmen Declaration against the "German Christians" in Nazi Germany.
Today, we need a new Barmen Declaration that would speak of prophetic action that makes for peace and mutual upbuilding in opposition to the despair encased in the bombs raining over Iraq and Palestine. There are no areas of life that are outside the justification and sanctification of Jesus Christ. Those Christians who will be participating in anti-war activity in the coming weeks should always remember that, despite the false doctrines proclaimed in the corporate media, we stand for law and justice, not anarchy or frivolous idealism, as they like to portray us. The man of lawlessness sits on the throne of this empire. The howling anti-logic which impels this administration into its brutal occupations and incarcerations expresses the demonic double-think which seeks ever to ignore the silent truth.
Against all that, we are sent into the world as agents of God's peace and order, bringing logic and fact where there is propaganda, bringing compassion where there is irrational hatred, bringing inner security where fear is deliberately inflicted, acting as beacons of justice where power is worshiped.
"Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest." - Martin Luther King
This is the song of freedom, the song of hope. Despite all that has happened in the last twenty years, we have not accepted the end of history or resigned ourselves to living in a hell of economic exploitation and political oppression forever, consoling ourselves with technological trinkets as a substitute for justice and love.
"I put my hand on her chest to stop the streaming blood. She told me that she could not breathe, her body trembled and she closed her eyes," said Ra'd Abu Saif of his 12-year-old daughter Safa's last moments after she was shot by an Israeli sniper last Saturday.
Safa was shot in the left side of her chest while she was inside her home in Jabaliya, northern Gaza. An ambulance tried to reach her but Israeli soldiers opened fire at it, wounding a paramedic and causing the tires to lose air, and so she bled to death three hours after she was wounded." - Sami Abu Salem, "Israeli sniper bullet takes 12-year-old girl's life", Mar. 10, 2008
"Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history." - Martin Luther King