GOD WILL NOT HOLD US GUILTLESS
'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.' - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Not to act is to act.' - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I would like to introduce you to the Bonhoeffer Conundrum which set the tone of political resistance Bonhoeffer would adopt in regards to Hitler and the Third Reich:
"If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver."
Wrestling with the driver could well result in his death or disability, or indeed yours. My question, before we move on: Would you wrestle with the driver? A simple Yes or No are the only answers appropriate to this conundrum. Before you decide, let me get you to look through a window to view the historical context in which the conundrum arose.
On the 9/10 November 1938 across Germany Jewish shops and homes had their windows smashed and their contents trashed and thrown into the street. There was violence, rape and murder. This horrific event called Kristallnacht in German (in English: "Crystal Night"), is also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass because the streets were filled with the shards of glass from the broken windows. This was the first public display of the holocaust that had begun against Jewish people, gypsies, homosexuals, disabled, dissidents and any other people deemed disposable by the Aryan master race philosophy.
Following Kristallnacht Bonhoeffer committed himself to the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. In doing so he risked losing everything which he loved and cherished; his family, his fiancé, his friends, his profession, his reputation, his citizenship, his pacifism, his religious beliefs, his ethics, his freedom, and possibly his life.
Pope Issues Blistering Statement Against Christians' of Support Muslim Ban
Addressing a gathering of a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany on Saturday, Pope Francis condemned the hypocrisy from Christians who are merciless to refugees and people of other faiths, the Catholic News Service reported.
According to the report, Francis rebuked “the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions.”
“This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day,” Pope Francis said,”
“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” he said.
Referencing the Parable of the Judgment or the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Pope Francis added:
“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.” (to read more of this article click here)
A Theology of Indifference:
From the editor...
It wasn't a picture book winter here in the midwest, nor was it the winter haven of stories told, in Arizona.
During one of the cold rainy days at Trinity Station, I was blessed to sit down with a climate scholar, and lifelong friend , Glenn.
As is usually the case, when he and I get together, we floated from subject to subject, and reminisced about the storied past we shared.
He reminded me that climate and weather are not interchangeable terms, and spoke about America's inability to meaningfully transition from dirty energy to clean.
Obviously, the conversation moved directly to the Dakota pipeline, and the brave resolve of the Native American resistance movement to stop big oil and their cronies they have bought in Washington.
"Resistance Movement", old familiar words for those of us that were part of "counter-culture" some forty-five to fifty years ago...
And when we started talking beltway politics, it became impossible to not acknowledge the two-thousand pound gorilla, with a spray-on tan, in the room. How did this happen?! How did we end up with an ultra-rightwing reality show con man as President of the United States?
I know how it happened: We let it.
Beat down and battle-weary, from the Kent State shootings and other hard line reactionary responses, any sense of progressive coalition building seemed to dissolve. After the Saigon retreat, and the resignation of both Spirpo Agnew and Richard Nixon, most of the crowd seemed to "just want to get on with their lives". A soft-spoken Baptist peanut farmer was elected, and we all got our degrees, jobs, mortgages, and retreated to start our families. Mindless dance music, cable television, and the new drug of choice cocaine, harkened in the Reagan years, and the eve of the deconstruction of the social net. Cynical resignation saw us elect a Democratic President that was barely more liberal than the Republican money-and-bombs Nixon that we had so stridently apposed twenty years earlier. After a feeding frenzy on salacious scandals in the media, we decided we needed a disastrous eight years of a senseless war that killed thousands, torture, and a thorough strip mining of our institutions through deregulation, we elected a president that looked good on the surface. The first African-American president, who managed to do little more that shore up Wall Street bankers, and big industry, received the Nobel Peace Prize and promptly started killing foreign folks with robot planes (drones), while any meaningful grassroots social programs were stymied by the ultra-right that had gained power in congress by pandering to the people's worst fears.
The Anti-War movement turned out to be a one-trick pony. The coalition dissolved. But, we must never let this happen again. Mere liberalism in not enough, and never was. The wolves will always be waiting in the darkness just past edge of town. We are to be the vanguard of all that it is good and right, fair and yes, unconditional.
As Christians? Well, Jesus was pretty clear about that.
We are to have good news for poor people. I mean, beyond "It's suppose to be warmer next week, so old Bud that sleeps under the bridge won't freeze."
Offer a vision to those who are blind to the glaring truth right before them.
Work toward fair sentencing, and freedom for prisoners of non-violent crime who have made reparation.
And actively, lift up the oppressed. That means everyone who is put down, held down, or beaten down, by socio-economics and disabilities, for racial identity, religion, and sexual orientation.
We are to do these things because we are principled. After all, we are Christians.
Government Should be Afraid of Christians: