Saturday, May 06, 2006
How does an outsider live in the face of Genocide?
* Genocide in Darfur? I’ve not been there. I don’t know for sure. Samantha Powers, Pulitzer Prize winning Genocide author comes to mind (I attempt to summarize): the central reason that the US, with all its power, has never stopped [or Healed] genocide, is its bias toward [the anesthesia of] disbelief.
* What needs to happen in the face of Genocide? Genocide is the ultimate wound on all humanity, and on specific people. The wound must be fully and completely healed, the victims mercifully and generously rehabilitated, and a rich environment completely restored, or our humanity will further sicken and die alltogether. Victims of Genocide are the “least of these, my family.” “Do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you.”
* How does one live in the face of genocide? I have no hope of ever answering this. But I find that I cannot avoid, and, I don’t want to avoid answering a different question, “How does Jay live in the face of genocide?”
* Who is Jay in the face of genocide? Hmm. Single, mid-50’s businessperson; has a small, loving “family;” negative net worth (small debt from alturistic campaigns); no “dependants;” no business obligations; gobs of skills/expertise/talent/vision/energy/compassion/bodymass;” no visibility to, or connection yet with anyone putting their life on the line to Restore Darfur; lifelong Love of Jesus, Gandhi, King, Teresa. Newfound gratitude to Bonhoeffer; for years now in the embrace of the pain and suffering of his Darfur family (thanks Kristoff), and the agonizing tragedy of his comatose US / Christian family.
* How does Jay live in the face of genocide? Hmmm. Normally? Probably not; little desire to do so. My Darfur “family” lives in unimaginable torture, in agony, abandoned. Jay wants to stand with them, for them, in the most meaningful, helpful way possible. Jay sees no way to be helpful. What is clear? Little or nothing. “The golden rule is to steadfastly refuse to have what millions cannot," (Gandhi) comes to mind. “If at first the idea is not absurd, it has no hope,” (Einstein) comes to mind.
Deitrich Bonhoeffer who I first read 2 days ago AFTER realizing it was time to stand with Darfur (Monday May 1 after the DC demonstration), comes to mind:
“One may ask whether there have ever before in human history been people with so little ground under their feet – people to whom every available alternative seemed equally intolerable, repugnant, and futile….”
“The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts….”
“Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God – the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.”
“Civil courage?... it depends on a God who demands responsible action in a bold venture of faith, and who promises forgiveness and consolation to the man who becomes a sinner in that venture.”
“We will not and must not be either outraged critics or opportunists, but must take our share of responsibility for the course of history in every situation and at every moment, whether we are the victors or the vanquished. One who will not allow any occurrence whatever to deprive him of his responsibility for the course of history – because he knows that it has been laid on him by God – will thereafter achieve a more fruitful relation to the events of history than that of barren criticism and equally barren opportunism.”
“But at this point it is quite clear, too, that folly can be overcome, not by instruction, but only by an act of liberation; and so we have come to terms with the fact that in the great majority of cases inward liberation must be preceded by outward liberation, and that until that has taken place, we may as well abandon all attempts to convince the fool. In this state of affairs we have to realize why it is no use trying to find out what “ the people” really think, and why the question is so superfluous for the man who thinks and acts responsibly – but always given these particular circumstances. The Bible’s words that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Ps. 111.10) tell us that a person’s inward liberation to live a responsible life before God is the only real cure for folly.”
“The only profitable relationship to others – and especially to our weaker brethren – is one of love, and that means the will to hold fellowship with them. God himself did not despise humanity, but became man for men’s sake.”
“I believe that God can and will bring good out of evil, and even out of the greatest evil. For that purpose he needs men who make the best use of everything.”
“I believe that God is not timeless fate, but that he waits for and answers sincere prayers and responsible actions.”
“…from a Christian point of view… the most important factor, large-heartedness, is lacking.”
“…there remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as if it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future;…Thinking and acting for the sake of the coming generation, but being ready to go any day without fear or anxiety – that, in practice, is the spirit in which we are forced to live. It is not easy to be brave and keep that spirit alive, but it is imperative.”
“…the optimism that is will for the future should never be despised, even if it is proved wrong a hundred times; it is health and vitality….”
“What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough…?
* How does Jay know what to do? I don’t. But I will act in some way. I’ll do the best that I can, from moment, to moment. In Washington, the seat of my part of God’s family? “The golden rule, steadfastly refuse to have what millions cannot.” At the Whitehouse, our (we in the US) home? A hunger strike? Hmmmm. Of necessity? :-) No resources! Living in the elements? Like Darfur. To die? NOT THE PURPOSE! THE PURPOSE IS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No idea what the outcome for us will be. Not rosy. SOON. NOW. 15,000 people at the Capitol last Sunday need encouragement, before their passion fully dies!!!!!!!!! Leaders, at, and watching the Capitol last Sunday NEED ENCOURAGMENT! With the “peace agreement” signed, PRESSURE COMES OFF OF - RESTORE DARFUR. Pressure WAS NEVER, NEVER ON – RESTORE DARFUR!!!!!!! Must cause focus, energy, courage, RESTORATION.
* What about friends and “family”? Immediate friends and family? I suspect that I’ll cause them to suffer, again. I am so deeply sorry. :-( I hope for their sakes they can see me as a soldier. Soldiers go to war. Soldiers MUST go to war. Their family and friends must be brave, and continue life. Darfur family? Must be with them. Must fight for them. They need miracles. Must take a shot in the direction of miracles. Don’t know how. Act anyway. Must commit everything – attempt proportional response - absolute commitment.
* What about debts? Sell everything to pay down. The remainder will be small, and will not damage the creditor (ATT). Repay if the future allows.
* What about resources, survival? “The golden rule is to steadfastly refuse to have what millions cannot,” Gandhi. I have no resources. My Darfur family has no resources. Except our Spirit and our humanity. I have courage, Love, body mass, vision. I’ll spend these. I’ll join Darfur. If anyone wants to support us, their Darfur family fighting for Life, that will be fine.
* How do you fund the fight? Most soldiers don’t fund themselves. I am not in a position to fund myself. Oh well. Bodymass. Spirit. If we have family, Immediate Family (non-biologically related, like Jesus) they will support us.
* What about the rest of the world’s ills? “As you do unto the LEAST OF THESE MY FAMILY….” I think Jesus was specific. For Jay, Darfur is the “least of these” right now. When our Father gives me others? Well, that is not now. Not yet.