Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Words of wisdom from people smarter than me

From The Ekklesia Project
The church must be an ever-new, living incarnation of the nonviolent Christ in a world terrorized by the pain and suffering of its own making. Striving no longer to become masters of our own destiny, as ministers of reconciliation disciples must live and work to bring all people into union with God and one another-our Pax Christi.

"That's utterly naïve," my friends and students respond. "Forswearing coercion in an age of lethal competition is not only the surest way to get yourself killed, it is also stupid." In the light of reigning political philosophies they are right. But on Good Friday, Christ's ethic looked especially naïve, inept, and futile. It was no quick fix. Christ did not employ a plan of action that allowed him to control the Passion events and promote his own safety and security. Like Christ, we renounce the coercive tactics that might enable us to control events and force our desired outcomes. So, I cannot offer any guarantees that an imitation of Christ's agape love will immediately staunch the flow of blood. Yet, just as God triumphed by raising Jesus, the church's ethic for living in the 21st century is illuminated by the glorious light of Easter morning. The church must confess that although it will seldom control the course of events, that is alright. As Archbishop Romero noted, "The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own." (emphasis mine)

- Prof. Richard Goode, Lipscombe University

From In These Times
Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.

- Garrison Keillor



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