Soul/self care: Responses to Moral Injury Post 4/1/20
Responses to yesterdays post about a US military suicide in Iraq war were varied.
One person said, inventing a probably useful verb, “to me there remains no violencing that is essential, in any way, shape or form. If I were given to fear, our societal assumptions would scare me.”
Indeed, what is essential? This led me to wonder whether one in a hundred, or thousand, Americans asked themselves whether war production was essential.
Another response, “do these two paragraphs (taken from the 3/28/2020 “What a Plague Reveals” article at https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/62098-focus-what-a-plague-reveals) feed into the discussion of “nationalism” that you’ve initiated?”
“. . . overall, the pandemic has revealed in particularly stark terms that the extreme economic inequalities unmasked by the 2008 economic collapse remain unaddressed. There’s a titanic dynamic playing out now in real time. Celebrities and the wealthy are first in line for the lifeboats of coronavirus tests. Rupert Murdoch and his familyhttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/business/media/fox-news-coronavirus-rupert-murdoch.html while profiting from a news empire that downplayed and outright disputed the threat of the coronavirus. The permanent residents of resort towns on the Eastern seaboard are being shoved aside https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/nyregion/coronavirus-leaving-nyc-vacation-homes.html who are stripping shelves of food and flooding the limited local health facilities.
Another said: “I haven’t thought specifically of less arms production and the reason is probably that the arms industry is kept out of sight, spread around the country, out of mind. Actually, that doesn’t seem like a good answer. We could watch the stocks of the arms producers.”
And this question came: “I support you and your efforts but …
I have said earlier that I think violence, torture , war etc are like scabs in the infection of “FEAR” . Unless we address Fear we will only deal with the superficial symptoms of the Fears that we all deal with . This fear of “survival” in the broadest sense is not some excuse I offer but the cause of these terrible “Fight reactions” . Why is this not included in your concepts. What am I missing?? To begin the relationship with “Mutual fears” rather than You are evil for your violence and I am good because I am for peace will make a difference in resolution efforts. Such efforts requires greater effort to “understand” the person or nation etc and work to deepen resolution than just stopping the violence.
But what am I missing. ? I deeply applaud your writing and conversation stimulus.”
I hope I may be forgiven for trying to help us avoid national suicide by letting our fears of one thing blind us to the deadly plague of another thing.
John K. Stoner
This and earlier Soul Care reflections can be seen on the website of https://1040forpeace.org, in the right column blog. To respond, use the “contact” function, top right.
José María VIGIL (editor)
M. Amaladoss, M. Barros, A. Brighenti,
E.K-F. Chia, A. Egea, P.F. Knitter, D.R. Loy,
L. Magesa, J. Neusner, I.A. Omar, T. Okure,
R. Panikkar, P.C. Phan, A. Pieris, R. Renshaw,
J.A. Robles, K.L. Seshagiri, A.M.L. Soares,
International Theological Commission of
ECUMENICAL ASSOCIATION OF THIRD WORLD THEOLOGIANS
Download free PDF file (198 pages)
This book is written for all those who are preoccupied by the future of theology: Where is it headed? How far can it go? Where does it seem to be going?
The result of the investigation that this book presents, directed as it is to people devoted to theology throughout the world and in different world religions, draws a conclusion that is not only positive but a source of enthusiasm: In spite of what many believe, theology is moving, is evolving, is taking risks, is questioning itself, is asking about the transformations that have to be brought about so that it can be a theology for today and a theology for the future. As the religious discipline that it is, it has always been tinged with a halo of eternity, of unquestionability, of immutibility. It seemed that theology—that sacred science!—could not change its classical figure as patrimony of religions and Churches. Continue reading
An editorial addressed to his fellow U.S. citizens by Dennis Rivers
January 6, 2020
In the name of Jesus, who said “love your enemies,” and from the Inner Light of my own heart, I mourn the death of every person killed in war, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani of Iran included. May his children find consolation on the loss of their father.
To all those American politicians and commentators who have just said loudly, “No American will mourn the death of this man,” I ask this question: Is this the best that America can do? Is this all that America can do? How can we ask God to bless America if all America can do is kill people, assassinate leaders of other countries, and then threaten to kill even more people after that?
There MUST be a better way. We cannot possibly be so smart that we can put rovers on Mars, and then be so dumb that we can’t work out our disagreements with other countries. Continue reading
LATEST ADDITION TO OUR LIBRARY OF FREE BOOKS:
Social Ecology, Ecojustice and the New Testament
Carlos Alberto Sintado
Our planet Earth is going through an unprecedented crisis. The current ecological predicament is such that has the potential to annihilate life as we know it today. It is a global phenomenon that concerns every human being and even the whole creation itself. The international community and many organizations have issued persistent calls to change habits and behaviors as well as the basic organizational pattern of societies to make this world sustainable for future generations.
The Spirituality of Liberation (PDF)
By Pedro Casaldáliga and José Maria Vigil
(released in free PDF format by authors)
From the Prologue:
The theology of liberation had to produce a spirituality of liberation. In effect it has done so. This is the subject of this book.
This is, as one might have expected, a new spirituality, different from the traditional spirituality in which we older people were brought up. It is also a specifically Latin-Ameri- can spirituality. Like the church itself, it is no less universal for being local. And it is a realist and not a theoretical spirituality.
This spirituality is radically different from that of those who close their eyes to society and politics: that is, to the poor, to the ever-widening abyss betwen rich and poor. This means that it is different from the bourgeois spirituality of the rich and the ‘ ruling classes—though these also contain poor, blind led by blind guides, poor people who also shut their eyes, to poverty, and to themselves.
This spirituality says radical things, and the reader will find them in this book: such as that the poor are the only sacrament for salvation. And that people are divided not into believers and unbelievers, but according to their attitude to the poor.
Also from these authors, in multiple languages, The Latin American Agenda, an index of twenty-seven years of writing, collecting, editing and publishing scholarly materials on social and religious challenges, visions, progress and problems in Latin America.
July 15, 2019
Here is a quote from the neoconservative writer Michael Gerson, from a recent article in the Washington Post:
“The problem, however, is not merely a matter of management. The deeper scandal is this: Trump is trying to make desperate, suffering people the villains of our national story. He compares refugees fleeing repression and violence to snakes. He smears them as rapists and invaders . In his warped moral vision, mercy is a form of national weakness. Kindness and respect are crimes against the state. His approach to nationalism involves slander against the voiceless. It demands further oppression of the oppressed. Trump wants to change not just the policy of our government, but also the character of our country, into something hard, and dark, and dishonorable, and pitiless.
This is surely the kind of thing that people of faith exist to oppose. Christians in particular worship a God who put on the cloak of human need and weakness. A refugee God. A scarred God. A God sacrificed to political necessity, in front of a crowd claiming to serve justice and law.
What does “God is love” mean if it does not mean love for refugees? What does the “image of God” indicate if we refuse to see it in the wandering poor?”
A clear and heartfelt speech given on the steps of
Santa Barbara City Hall in July of 2019.
Click image above to view Facebook video recorded by Sarah Maiani
at Santa Barbara’s #LightsForLiberty event.
A PENDLE HILL VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
We will explore developing a contemporary Jewish Theology of Liberation that takes into account our biblical tradition and yet cannot be limited by it. Some issues we will look at are the balance of particularism and universalism, inclusivity, balancing the Divine Nature of “I Shall Be What I Shall Be” with the Divine Nature of “This Is What Is”, or differently, “There shall be no poor among you” with “There will always be poor.” This will all be in the context of addressing the fierce urgency of now and will be informed by other traditions. There will be a significant experiential component.
Published by Pendle Hill. Pendle Hill is a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center welcoming all for Spirit-led learning and community, located in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Located on 24 tranquil acres in the heart of a Quaker community, Pendle Hill offers a relaxing “world apart,” yet is within easy reach by car, plane, bus, or train. Our vision, “to create peace with justice in the world by transforming lives,” is moved forward in worship, presentations, weekend workshops and retreats, short courses, and remarkable conversations.
Alberta Tar Sands — Photo from EricWalberg.com
Dennis Rivers, November 2016
This week I’ve been thinking about the struggles going on to protect water supplies on the Standing Rock Reservation, and about the Alberta tar sands projects only a few hundred miles to the north. For native peoples around the world, the Earth Herself is sacred, and Her waters as well. So poisoning the Earth, or building industrial projects that create an ongoing unknown risk of poisoning the land and water, are not just material or political issues. They are spiritual and religious issues as well. This is not a theoretical risk at all. Large amounts of Dine (Navajo) land and water have been permanently poisoned with radioactive waste from uranium mining, causing a giant spike in cancer rates. And the Alberta Tar Sands photos speak for themselves. So native peoples have little reason to trust the assurances that they, their land, and their water, are not in danger from the white man’s projects.
Reflecting on the corporations willing to endanger someone else’s water supply in order to get rich building oil pipelines, I think it is time that we gave a proper name to the psychological illness that has been haunting us for several centuries: PIDM: profit-induced-destructive-mania. I intend to rally my friends within the counseling profession to have PIDM added to the DSM-5 as a recognized mental illness. Continue reading
A Theology of Liberation
History, Politics, and Salvation
By Gustavo Gutiérrez
This is the credo and seminal text of the movement which was later characterized as liberation theology. The book burst upon the scene in the early seventies, and was swiftly acknowledged as a pioneering and prophetic approach to theology which famously made an option for the poor, placing the exploited, the alienated, and the economically wretched at the centre of a programme where “the oppressed and maimed and blind and lame” were prioritized at the expense of those who either maintained the status quo or who abused the structures of power for their own ends. This powerful, compassionate and radical book attracted criticism for daring to mix politics and religion in so explicit a manner, but was also welcomed by those who had the capacity to see that its agenda was nothing more nor less than to give “good news to the poor”, and redeem God’s people from bondage. [Description from Fishpond Books Australia].