Tag Archives: powerful

there’s a difference (part 2)

With no one watching, and no one reporting, the powerful can get away with whatever they desire. A free press is there to protect our freedoms that many would take away from us one piece at a time.

The GOP attacks on the press, led by the #BLOTUS is not surprising. Those that slither in the dark never want the light of truth to reveal their actions.

All of us need to do whatever we can to support journalists and reporters, and all the investigative digging that is done to keep us free.

a special kind of courage

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What would our world look like if more of us had the special kind of courage lifted up by Queen Elizabeth? My fear is that far too many of us refuse to stand up for our convictions. We refuse to speak out for what we know is right, for what we know is the decent alternative.

We make the choice to be quiet, to remain silent in the face of immorality and evil. We allow those with power and riches to make choices and take actions that cause harm to millions of our human family and to rape our planet for greed and profit.

That could change if we had the special kind of courage spoken of by the queen. If we all stood up and made our voices heard we could have a world with justice for all and not just for the rich and powerful. But, that takes a special kind of courage.

“defense for the indefensible”

An enormous amount of modern ingenuity is expended on finding defenses for the indefensible conduct of the powerful.  — G. K. Chesterton

Chesterton was a brilliant English journalist, essayist novelist and poet. He died in June of 1936. He was a man of enormous wit, great size and even greater faith. It was also famously observed that he was, at heart, a jester and it was in this role that Chesterton was able to have the most impact.  He was able to be funny because he was serious. And he was able to use jokes, paradoxes and his often rhetorical switchbacks because of his confidence in his truth.

The quote above is a good example of Chesterton’s style. When reading him I find myself continuously nodding in agreement and reaching for my highlighter. It’s a shame he isn’t read more widely.

Chesterton is absolutely spot on in the above quote. Who would dare deny it? I am especially drawn to that last word. We all know who the powerful are, or we assume we do. But, what if we put Chesterton’s quote in a larger context? What if we look at it from a slightly different perspective?

Who are the powerful in a world where hunger stalks the majority of our human family? Who are the powerful that always have more than enough food when most know only lack and hunger? Who are the powerful that have the resources to share but refuse? Who are the powerful that have the freedom to speak out for justice on behalf of the hungry yet keep silent?

Chesterton is right. An enormous amount of modern ingenuity is expended on finding defense for our indefensible conduct.

 

 

 

 

 

at the feet of the Church

We live in a world blessed by a loving Creator, a world well able to supply all the needs of the human family. That any should lack daily bread is nothing less than sinful. Every malnourished child in our world bears eloquent testimony to the complete lack of Christian values held by our society. I lay this at the feet of the Church.

Why? We have failed to give ourselves on behalf of the poor and hungry, We have failed in our basic purpose of testifying to the Kingdom. We have failed to care.

To be honest (always difficult in the Church), we have actually served to legitimize world views, political and economic systems diametrically opposed to the central message of the Gospel. The Church has closely identified with worldly and cultural power and then has consistently rationalized our position. Our fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been completely overshadowed by our desire to be respectable and to fit into society.  Every time a child cries from hunger is a witness to the Church’s lack of faithfulness.

Ending hunger in our world requires leadership. No other organization should be in a better position to provide that leadership than the Church. But until we regain a desire to provide true “good news” for the poor and hungry this will never happen. We have to again come to the place where we understand our role in transforming society.

And even though that is exactly what the Gospel calls us to do, at the moment the Church is far too comfortable to attempt it. We are at peace with the present world systems that hold two-thirds of our family hostage to hunger.  We continue to take our ease and hide behind our stained glass while 25,000 die every day from hunger.  We are far too enamored with the “good life” to care.

We identify with the rich, the powerful, the elite. They are our heroes and role models. We don’t have time for the oppressed, the outcasts, the refugees, the poor, the hungry. Until that changes the Church will continue to wither, totally deserving the lack of respect and interest it receives.  Until that changes we will never end hunger. We will never achieve justice. And there will never be peace in the world.