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Posts Tagged ‘after Trump

Opposition: realist or moralist?

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Masha Gessen, in “Trump: The Choice We Face“, describes two responses to injustice. One compromises, does it’s best to move power toward justice while praying to minimize complicity in its violence — this would be the realist. The other refuses to compromise, insists that it will not participate at any level in sustaining the life of injustice — this would be the moralist. On level days, I’m a realist and I think most people are. There’s just no way to navigate the many competing moral demands of one’s communities. The realist owns hypocrisy and does their best with it. On darker days and in my more indignant moments, I’m a moralist. (I have a long line of moralists in my family tree — so, perhaps it’s genetic.) As a moralist, I’m insufferable. But as a moralist, I am motivated. The realist feels a bit passive at times. The moralist may be less practical, but (from my experience) is more likely to get things done — though in fits and spurts and in so far as the fire burns. As for now — let it burn, let it burn.

Written by Jere

November 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Reading

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Kairos: such is the time

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Is it too late to really start a reading of liberation? The documents I knew of and did not attend to, whether by indifference or by ignorance. The forces these writers meant to oppose are unlikely to ever be banished. I know that. Surely, I knew that. And now, there are “demands” on one’s time … but (can I give myself an out) there always have been. What to read? What to do? And when to do it?

The God of the State: This god is an idol. It is as mischievous, sinister and evil as any of the idols that the prophets of Israel had to contend with. … It is the god of superior weapons who conquered those who were armed with nothing but spears. It is the god of … prison cells and death sentences. Here is a god who exalts the proud and humbles the poor–the very opposite of the God of the Bible who “scatters the proud of heart, pulls down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the humble” (Lk 1:51-52). From a theological point of view the opposite of the God of the Bible is the devil, Satan. The god of the … State is not merely an idol or false god, it is the devil disguised as Almighty God–the antichrist.

The Kairos Document, 1985. https://kairossouthernafrica.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/the-south-africa-kairos-document-1985

Written by Jere

November 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

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Where to begin after Trump?

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First, there’s no “after” Trump for readers of this bit of lament. Trump is “with us” now and has been for some time. As a person (he is a person) he is of no significance. A small mind, a bigot, an ego in need of the most shallow confirmations of greatness — the man is laughable. In most circumstances people like this should elicit pity — the emptiness, the vacuous wandering of an old man without a soul. But here a country, a time, finds itself appointing a fool as its administrator. And, so it is not Trump, but the people that have been “with us” all this time and the people want this evil, the people are and have been this evil. “We the people ….”

Yes, of course, far less than half the population of the United States voted for him. Yes, many voted against him. But this is how rulers are installed — democratically or not, without the will of at least some of the people, they cannot rule. Without the will of the many people that permitted, whether by cowardice or by kindness, a political discourse to give room to rises such as these, such rulers find no court of play.

There is no “after” Trump. Trump has been with us and will be with us. That he raises his hoary head now with no adornments, with no subterfuge, with no etiquette to blunt the edges, only makes the truth that much clearer. There’s no hiding now behind feigned principles. With rulers such as this, you are with him or you are the opposition.

Written by Jere

November 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm

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