There is also work to be done in study. Every revolutionary movement needs people who think and study and write and analyze. A revolution is not sustainable if there are only people on the street.
Somewhere in this mention I find myself, or wish to locate myself. I went to Ferguson in mid-August on a day after I had made a business trip to the St. Lois area. I took my video stuff, and went to see what I could, and hoped to talk to some people.
I arrived home to discover that there had been a delegation of ministers there, meeting at a local church very involved in helping the protesters and hosting ministers from around the country who came to show their solidarity with the black community of Ferguson. I had been disappointed with what I had not gotten. I had hope to find some theological conversation about this tragedy, and the ongoing reactions of the authorities in the coverup and handling of the protests. And when I found that I had missed out on being with all those ministers, including Brian Merritt who is a friend of mine and also had been tweeting his trip to Ferguson, I fell into a state of discouragement about my failure to be attentive enough to my own Twitter stream that could have hooked me up to that group. I had even heard of the church at which they were meeting because of a police raid that confiscated the church’s supply of aids for victims of tear gas.
So out of my sense of disappointment over what I did NOT get, I posted none of the video I did get. I told myself I’d regroup and return again. I have yet to do so. With the news of “no indictment” on any of the charges, and reading a bit this morning from reactions, I ran across this interview with Walter Brueggemann, where he mentioned how movements need people who “think and study and write and analyze.” I thought about how I want to help in this effort, and do some video story telling. I’m still not at all over how I missed out on a gold mine of people showing up to offer their presence and their encouragement and bring the good news of the gospel to bear on this situation. Now it seems we have only the beginning of a longer effort. In other words, a movement that elicits many actions and protests and conversations in multiple channels of media.
A devastating neglect of nature and its requirements, matched to unprecedented wealth , are the “strongest” marks of modernity as the triumph of free-market magic. Here an irony surfaces: “Free riders” are scorned by capitalist industrial orders, yet these same orders are saddled with a free-rider problem they barely recognize. “Free riders” are those who consume more than their share of a public resource, or who shoulder less than their fair share of its costs. Because market logic treats nature as essentially worthless apart from human interest, human labor, human demand, and human use, citizens living the industrial-technological paradigm all freeload off the ecosphere. They do not pay the full costs of either its goods or its services.
–Rasmussen, Larry L. (2012-10-02). Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (p. 174). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
But the obvious problem here is that these global elite do not consider the ecosystem as a finite resource. For them, it is INFINITE; and therefore belongs to them, the captors; the “victors” in this global economy.
This really is a great ECOtheology book. I recommend it as a worthy textbook for seminaries to start (if they haven’t already), an ecotheology curriculum as a way of raising our prophetic voice. We are already at least 30 years behind on this, since the global eco-scientists have been warning of this for at least that long.
Creation justice is not bereft of antecedents. Indigenous peoples across the globe have tried their best since the onset of colonization, conquest, and the Industrial Revolution to say that the community of life’s own integral functioning was being violated by foreign notions of justice and human organization that did not recognize that peoples and their lands were inextricably linked together. Mother Earth and Father Sky were under assault by forces alien to their ways, but in the end Mother Earth and Father Sky would prevail. They would “bat last,” so to speak. Yet had the creation justice of these communities been acknowledged, and had their own Earth-honoring faiths been given their due, damage of apocalyptic proportion to both peoples and their lands might have been avoided.
-Rasmussen, Larry L. (2012-10-02). Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (p. 156). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
The indigenous populations worldwide tend to know what we have lost due to blindness visited upon us by our economic paradigm. The utilitarian, extractive habits of “civilized” people who reason that these poor ignorant and under-developed folks aren’t using so we might as well show them (and either enslave them physically or economically, employing them to help us to do so, thus creating a dependence upon us for their livelihood which helps us destroy theirs.)