"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.

Monday, January 29, 2007

God Weeps

"God weeps," Archbishop Tutu told participants in the ecumenical gathering near the conclusion of the World Social Forum in Nairobi, "and says, 'Who will help me so we can have a different kind of world, one in which the rich know they have been given much so they can share and help others?'"

"Bush and his inner circle," Floyd concluded, "believe that a bigger dose of blood and iron in Iraq will produce a sufficient level of stability to allow the oil majors to cash in the PSA chips that more than 3,000 American soldiers have purchased for them with their lives."

The "PSA chips" journalist Chris Floyd is referring to are the production-sharing agreements devised here in the U.S. by the oil majors that now sit as proposed legislation before the Iraqi parliament. They would give U.S. oil companies virtual control over the second-largest proven reserves of oil in the world. Don't expect to see this spotlighted on CNN anytime soon.

And so 655,000 people had to die. While we Christians sat in our pews and a tiny minority wrote emails to Congresspeople that went straight to the spam filters. What is this impotence that acts as a shadow over all our outrage? "We are at once overeducated and underpowered. We have knowledge that has no consequences for action and makes us helpless. Knowledge is not power, as the classical workers movement believed, but impotence. We do not use our education sensibly in the sense of turning back from the way we have found out to be wrong, namely the way of industrial society. We use it toward even greater hopelessness. In the rich world we still have to learn resistance." Dorothee Soelle.

We must learn the strength of the weak at the feet of our Lord. This is the resistance, the rebellion of the heart, that will end the paralysis of knowledge. "It is costly, and it disunites and unites anew. It is an irreversible step that we can forget or undo only at the price of self-betrayal. This step is a break with the bourgeois half-measure that ponders endlessly whether the other side might not be right as well; it is a break with the violence that so lives in me that I submit myself to it without a fight." Dorothee Soelle.

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