Update: WOW. This was not only a good analysis by these three men, but extremely profound. You simply must see this. What a great conversation! Christopher Hedges can not only write, he articulates the same way in speech, and he gets going toward the end of this discussion when talking about how he was disturbed by ”The Hurt Locker”. Micheal Moore also highly praised “The Green Zone”, which I saw, and agree, in that The Hurt Locker tried to tell us the truth and also portray the Iraqis as human and as hero.
As if this surprises us. Just something to file to trot out for the obligatory dismissal of Tom Ridge as part of the liberal conspiracy (even though he was a Bush administration apointee)
Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.
I have found very little to blog about lately, even though there are huge things happening. A Presidential campaign, a couple of wars, an economic crisis. But I find myself muted because I am in shut down mode, which happens when I don’t want to face the inevitable frustration that all three things will bring.
I certainly don’t feel any qualification to share any insight into the financial crisis. I think it is this that has me in a stunned silence, and I can only shake my head in dismay as I hear the Religious Right air and post and write blame pieces about every possible “them” which is responsible for this mess, and show that they are in total denial that Bush could have had anything to do with it, or seek to dismiss Bush’s role by obscuring it with a plethora of other “thems” to blame that relegate Bush’s role to just one among many.
The Presidential campaign holds very little interest for me, only the end result is what I await, and the only thing I find encouraging lately is that since the crisis broke, Obama’s lead in swing states has widened. I guess this partially explains why the right is so desperate to pin the blame on all “thems” which are not “us”.
I am not filled with confidence that Obama winning will bring stability, but that at the very least, show the door to the parties which stood by, and even jumped in and aided and abetted the bubble ride that is now crashing and burning. Bush brought all the corruption out of the woodwork and into government, inviting them in and appointing many of them to jobs (i.e. “favors”). Ken Lay, Jack Abramoff, Alberto Gonzalez, and the supreme snake and corrupter and cynical manipulator, Karl Rove (now a political commentator for Fox, apropos). These people have to be swept out, and subsequently investigated and prosecuted to show that such politics has no place if we are to advance as any kind of a self-governing republic.
Of course, to top all of this, my exile from the church continues, and I feel like I have long since slipped into a similar state of stunned silence about that. I am not confident in any way at an emotional level. This matter seems to have taken on an apocalyptic sense for me. It seems that it would take nothing less than a spiritual tsunami to break down some doors and barriers so that some enclaves of God’s people might call me in. I must find the place where the lived politic of the alternative city of God is seriously sought by people committed to the alternative community that must exist to allow such a vision to thrive.
#333333">Just a few choice morsels from Jesus For President (p. 228)
The church is a people called out of the world to embody a social alternative that the world cannot know on its own terms.
#333333">Ironic that so many people in the church adopt the categories and the “realism” of the world, and become skeptics of the relevance of Jesus by constructing elaborate systems of theological justifications for placing American values on a par with Christian values (of course, this is not what they say is happening. They just say that Jesus REALLY meant this or that, because he would recognize “real world” necessities.
The church is not simply suggesting political alternatives. The church is embodying one.
#333333">This is where the defenders of the the “American Way” values will jump up and question the motives of those who cast doubt on “free-enterprise”, and who “live in a fantasy world” that believes that non-violence is , in actuality, the way of Jesus.
#333333">Dan has a great first post in a series of posts (don’t know how many are kin the series, but this is part 1) on the “mythic discourse of protection”
The violence of our contemporary world is sustained by the mythic discourse of protection. That is to say, violence is routinely justified as a means of protecting the vulnerable, and, in particular, protecting those whom we love. Thus, troops are mobilized and forcefully cross international (and other) boundaries, not because said troops are “going to war” but because they now operate as international “police” forces. In contemporary discourse, a basic (shall we say “ontological”?) shift has occurred in the nature of armies. The armies of the dominant global powers are no longer aggressive forces trained for terrorism and conquest. Rather, they are defensive forces trained to implement, and police, “the peace.”
Of course, there is nothing new about this discourse. Empires have always waged wars for the sake of peace, and, in retrospect, we have been able to see that, time after time, it was these wars which were the greatest obstacles to peace. History has taught us that empires that promise peace through violence are, inevitable, the primary agents of the perpetuation of violence in the world.
The promise of the church is this: none of us alone are Christ (that’s blasphemy), but all of us together are Christ to the world (that’s ecclesiology)
But here is the stark reality: there is a security gap in this country – a gap between the rhetoric of those who claim to be tough on national security, and the reality of growing insecurity caused by their decisions. A gap between Washington experience, and the wisdom of Washington’s judgments. A gap between the rhetoric of those who tout their support for our troops, and the overburdened state of our military.