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Monday, 21 September 2009

The War on Terrorism ...rethinking its significance

Revisiting Lee Griffith's eerily prescient book The War on Terrorism and the Terror of God, written before the attacks on Washington and New York on 11 September 2001 I keep being struck by the power of many of his insights. This is a fine piece of theology weaving together social sciences, history and reflection on scripture.

Massacre on a massive scale is not a sign of age-old hatreds that have prevented community formation; it is a sign of new hatreds that have been generated to disrupt and destroy communities that have already existed. Why? Because stron, pluralistic communities constitute a threat to the unhindered exercise of political and military power. Terror can be both reflective of community disintegration and a means of fostering further disintegration by leaving people feeling unsafe, suspicious and disconnected. Grotesque acts of terrorism that entail the dismemberment of human bodies are sometimes used to communicate the message that the community itself is being dismembered. (pp 46-7)

We must remember Jesus. Wherever and whenever Jesus is not remembered , those who claim the name of Christian have shown a special proclivity to give allegiance to race or ethnicity, wealth or weaponry, empire or liberation army ... When there is failure to remember the one who died on the cross, crucifixion follows. ... To remember Jesus, bread is broken, cup is shared, community is formed. All violence is an attack on community. All violence by Christians is also an attack upon the memory of Jesus. (p 48)

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

How can American society tolerate 39,252 deaths associated with automobile collisions in 2005, or 438,000 smoking related deaths in 2008, both instances where we "killed ourselves," and yet devote more resources and political energy to fighting terrorists, who have killed far fewer US citizens? There is a reason which reflects much about us.