Christainity, Liberation Theology

prayer for a people in the throes of martyrdom

This prayer is from Fernando Bermúdez’ Death and Resurrection in Guatemala (1986, pgs 74-75). Its words resonate with my holy longing for social justice in America. I updated some of the language and emphasized where I thought was appropriate.

Lord, may your Gospel be for me not a book,
but Good News, lived and shared.
May I not be embittered by oppression.
May I speak more of hope than of calamities.

May my denunciation be first subjected to discernment,
in community,
brought before you in profound prayer,
and uttered without arrogance,
not as an instrument of aggression,
but neither with timidity and cowardice.

May I never resign myself to the exploitation of the poor,
in whatever form it may come.
   Help me to be subversive of any unjust order.
Help me to be free,
and to struggle for the freedom of the oppressed.

May I never become accustomed to the suffering of the martyrs
and the news that my brothers and sisters are enduring
but may their lives and witness ever move me to conversion
and to a greatest loyalty to the kin-dom.

May I accept my church with an ever growing love
and with Christian realism.

May I not reject it for its faults,
but feel myself committed to renew it,
and help it be what you, Lord, want it to be.

May I fear not death, but infidelity to hope and justice.

Oh God, hear our prayer.

Liberation Theology, Philosophy, Politics, Spiritual

snowden, leaks, and the us empire

Thank goodness for the recent discussions of surveillance in the US. I find them simultaneously encouraging and missing the point. The Powers-that-be are currently struggling to give answers for these recent leaks. The internet has become so dangerous that one Pentagon official said

“We have developed a full range of capabilities to operate in the cyber-domain, but we are not going to talk about it.” He emphasized the “same rules of engagement” apply in cyberattacks as with other targets the U.S. military might strike.

What was once held in secret is now free for all to see, which is exactly what Edward Snowden wanted to happen. In an interview, Snowden said “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.” His conscience was getting to him, unlike the US, which like all empires is numbed to the abuse, violence, and heartbreak across the land and the world.

Let us pray for Edward Snowden:

God of the Earth,

Thank you for prophets amongst us willing to challenge the status quo because of their compassionate hearts. Guide and Comfort Snowden as he is in Exile in China. He was led by your spirit to release these documents; help us to follow you in this truth.  Protect his family from government officials and the police,  and may they live productive lives. Help us as citizens of your kin-dom to follow you in all that we do, that we may further your kin-dom of love, truth, and justice. Let us not be numb to the world around us or to focus too much on ourselves, but on others.

In the name of our brother-prophet Jesus, Amen.

Lastly, Slavoj Zizek wrote an article Why Obama is more than Bush with a human face and it seems most appropriate this week.

banksy cctv

Justice, Liberation Theology, Politics, Theodicy

a reflection on the boston tragedy

I mourn over the horrific violent act in Boston and all those effected. This was a senseless act of aggression and terror. As they still have not found anyone to blame this act on, let us pray for the perpetrators that they repent, and change their ways toward justice and compassion.

Concerning theodicy (a good God in an evil world), theologian Jurgen Moltmann responds in this way found in his book The Trinity and the Kingdom:

“God and suffering belong together, just as in this life the cry for God and the suffering experienced in pain belong together. The question about God and the question about suffering are a joint, a common question. And they only find a common answer. Either that, or neither of them finds a satisfactory answer at all. No one can answer the theodicy question in this world, and no one can get rid of it. Life in this world mean living with this open question, and seeking the future in which the desire for God will be fulfilled, suffering will be overcome, and what has been lost will be restored.” (49)

Let us keep our questions and hearts open to God as we process this tragedy.  Let us also remember those who suffer this kind of reality on a daily basis.