"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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Cost of Silence

$170 billion is now spent each year on the wars in the Middle East, yet our bishops sit mute or denounce women’s ordination as ultimate sin. $170 billion could bring so much relief to those who suffer without hope, bring enlightenment to minds, soothe to bodies in pain, give light to eyes dulled by poverty and hunger, yet our bishops share meals with Pentagon officials and remain mute when a word from them to the incoming Obama administration could set consciences alight. They share meals with war lords while Fr. Roy Bourgeois faces excommunication for following his conscience. If I could I’d like to amplify your price tag by adding what the banker bailout funds could mean for creation’s groans. Just as the violence of war is a lie so is the violence that steals hope from the billions in order to pamper those suffering discomfort due to gambling losses.

A recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies called Skewed Priorities: How the Bailouts Dwarf Other Global Crisis Spending puts the bankster bailout in perspective. The following is from an article called, “Bailouts Dwarf Spending on Climate and Poverty Crises” from the IPS:

• RATIO OF FINANCIAL BAILOUTS TO DEVELOPMENT AID: U.S. and European governments have committed approximately $4.1 trillion to aid struggling banks and other financial institutions. That's more than 45 times the sums they spent on development aid last year.

• RATIO OF FINANCIAL BAILOUTS TO CLIMATE FINANCE: Although the climate crisis poses catastrophic risks to the global economy, U.S. and Western European governments have committed 313 times more to rescuing financial firms than the $13.1 billion in total new commitments made to help developing countries respond to the climate crisis over the next several years.

• U.S. CONTRIBUTIONS TO CLIMATE FINANCE = $0: The U.S. Congress hasn't approved any contributions to the developing world's climate change efforts, in part because the Bush administration insisted such financing be channeled through the World Bank, an institution with a poor environmental track record.
If Fr. Roy Bourgeois deserves excommunication for supporting women’s ordination, what do the bishops deserve for failing to speak out about $4.1 trillion spent to comfort the richest people on earth while hundreds of millions starve?

No salvation outside the poor.

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