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, July 24, 2009
Breaking the Border of Humanity
Until we feel the humanity of other peoples of the world, for instance Afghanis and Pakistanis and Hondurans, with the same intensity that we demand respect for our own, so far will our humanity be degraded and ultimately destroyed.
But a larger vision needs to be invoked. Our denial of our duties to humanity works in both directions. We have refused our duty to help create a world where everyone has adequate nourishment and health care while the rest of the world has desperately pleaded for our help. The fact that for a fraction of the cost of our luxuries this could be accomplished imposes the absolute moral obligation to do so. If our churches actually followed the teachings of Jesus, this would be beyond doubt - and would be the central moral imperative of a genuine Christianity. The tragic flaw of the American personality is complete blindness to our inherent relationship to other peoples and the natural environment, all of which have been transformed into objects to be consumed for profit. This denial of responsibility on a global scale will ultimately destroy us.
The Church of Benedict XVI continues to subsist in a world of Platonic forms untouched by history, untouched by the misery inherent in the capitalist world order that is determined to extract the last dribble of profit until the planet is reduced to a scalding desert. Regarding this system of economic idolatry, the Church is silent even as it proclaims eternal verities to the starving.
In contrast to God's attempt to share our humanity in Jesus' life and death, the Church worships an objectified God, a God who underwrites the ruling economic order, a God who can't be bothered with the massacre of Gazans, as Pope Benedict recently demonstrated in his visit to Israel.
In this regard, the Nonviolent Jesus calls out to the Honduran people to ignore the lies of the U.S. government and joyously to affirm the model of Hugo Chavez' Bolivarian Revolution as the authentic model for liberation from the dictatorship currently being imposed by U.S. corporate interests. How ironic that the U.S. State Department is currently publishing long discredited lies about Venezuela drug trafficking in Columbia. Colombian military cohorts in Honduras now want a share of the profits as well and Washington is doing everything it can to enable them to open new drug trafficking routes through Honduras.
The Honduran president has the opportunity at this moment to go beyond words, as we all do, and to march toward his capital holding the spirit force, the "truth force", the satyagraha of his people, in his heart. It could mean his death, but it would acquire a force that would place a permanent mark on the spirit of American. Or in the words of Eva Gollinger, "Personally, I think he needs to just continue inside Honduras, despite all risks, and fight to reunite with his family and his people, who have been risking their lives now for almost one month, struggling to defeat the coup regime." - Postcards from the Revolution, July 24, 2009.