mardi, juillet 18, 2006

Chicken & Beer*

I don't know too much more about the current strife in the mideast other than it's horrid. It's disheartening to hear of so much blood shed and so many families splintered, not to mention the widespread infrastructural damage. My pastor, the distinguished progressive Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes (who has got a new show on Air America), offered wise ecumenical commentary this past Sunday morning by applying "The Parable of the Weeds" to the most recent American invasion and occupation of Iraq & Israel's disproportionate assault on Hezbollah and, by extension, the Lebanese people (To listen to the sermon in its entirety click here.)
"The Parable of the Weeds", Matthew 13: 24-29

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'" 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "
He explains that there is good and evil in every thing so when we seek to forcefully weed out the bad we inevitably obliterate everything, good and bad.** In turn, when nation-states launch bombs and embark on offensives to weed out "terrorists" the innocent suffer as well. There is no either or (God bless the day we extricate ourselves from binary thinking.) This isn't to say that we as individuals or maybe even collectively as nation-states can't intervene when we encounter evil (defined by the current administration as contrary to the interests of a sliver of the moneyed elite) but certainly not through forceful means whether that be the uprooting of seeded earth or the attack and invasion of a sovereign land. I would recommend that you listen to the sermon. Dr. Forbes is much more gifted with the word than I. The WMA stream will only be up until next Sunday.

So at work today I listenened to podcasts of Democracy Now! from Friday and Monday. As expected, recent mideast conflict dominates both programs. While much remains with me from both programs, I had to stop and blog about one particular parallel made by The Nation's Chris Hedges in response to serious criticism of The Nation's editiorial on the Lebanon/Israel conflict (war) by fellow guest Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil of The Angry Arab News Service and visiting professor at UC Berkeley.

Hedges says,
"On the other hand, this has been a long process of severe repression in Gaza and the West Bank: a kind of Africanization of the Palestinian people reducing them to subsistence level. Gaza has become virtually a walled prison for 1.1 million Palestinians."
Wow. It's not only interesting that the point of reference for repression is Africa but how casually it's invoked. I'm not comfortable with this language at all. That's too much baggage to carry for a continent and in turn its diaspora not to mention it's shoddy, heavy, and doesn't belong to us.

*hyperbolic dissonance
** i'm very uncomfortable with these ideas, good and bad, and of course they are subjective. i know that a conditional asbolute (not oxymoronic) exists i just think few of us have access to it. i'm inclined to say good is Godly but then we are all of God although our actions suggest otherwise. in this instance i mean 'good' in terms of the opposite of real simple 'bads': murder, deceit, exploitation, etc.