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.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Madness and Shame




"Without struggle, there is no progress." - Frederick Douglass

"Shamed, dishonoured, wading in blood and dripping in filth, this capitalist society stands. Not as we usually see it, playing the roles of peace and righteousness, of order, of philosophy, of ethics — as a roaring beast, as an orgy of anarchy, as pestilential breath, devastating culture and humanity — so it appears in all its hideous nakedness. A look around us at this moment shows what the regression of bourgeois society into barbarism means. This world war is a regression into barbarism." Rosa Luxembourg, The Junius Pamphlet

The legacy of capitalism for the 21st century consists of:

The breakdown of agricultural systems as a result of increased exposure to drought, rising temperatures, and more erratic rainfall, leaving up to 600 million more people facing malnutrition as a direct result of fossil fuel propaganda.

An additional 1.8 billion people facing water stress by 2080, with large areas of South Asia and northern China facing a grave ecological crisis as a result of glacial retreat and changed rainfall patterns.

Displacement through flooding and tropical storm activity of up to 332 million people in coastal and low-lying areas. Over 70 million Bangladeshis, 22 million Vietnamese, and six million Egyptians could be affected by global warming-related flooding.

Expanding health risks, including up to 400 million more people facing the risk of malaria.

Such is the legacy of 21st century capitalism, to name the beast. My tolerance has grown thin for a system that has destroyed the lives of 2 billion people in order to ensure the endless multiplication of Bill Gates' wealth. Christians, blinded by a mental myopia that cannot see beyond personal serenity, are deaf to the cries that multiply in compassion's void. Religion has failed to carry out the only task it has ever been truly charged with - to relieve the hunger, the despair, the grief of those without power.

These are the cries of Jesus Christ. Not for more religion, more illustrious liturgies, more consoling theologies - what does He care for these while his people lay starving on the garbage heaps of the planet of slums?

Each of us can hear His cries, but our will is frozen, we cannot respond.

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