There’s such a depth and breadth to what Jesus did and called forth in his teaching that it’s almost overwhelming. He addresses all the aspects of culture and provides his disturbing perspectives.
Again, it’s much easier to fall into the culture’s definitions – what is family? What is religion? What are piety and purity? What is economics? So much more comfortable to do that than to raise the kind of questions that Jesus raised 2000 years ago and that we need to be raising today.
Consider, for example, in our lifetime, the martyrs of the Americas. I’ve been to Rome more than once – maybe more than I should have. And you go to the catacombs and hear these docents talking about our martyrs, and all this, and that’s fine. But no one has been martyred in Rome for religion’s sake in 1700 years!
And meanwhile there’s been a lot of martyring going on in our hemisphere, in South and Central America, in our lifetime. You know the famous ones, the Oscar Romeros and so forth, but there were thousands of others who were doing what Oscar Romero was doing, which was standing up for justice, standing up for the poor, taking on the powerful forces including – tell it like it is – the CIA and our government. You know, it was our government, under Nixon and Kissinger, who overthrew the properly elected government of Chile, Allende, and replaced him with Pinochet, a horrible tyrant and dictator who tortured and murdered thousands – and there we were with our hands all over that.
In Brazil, under the military dictatorship for 13 years, our gunships were off the coast protecting the military as they were abusing the peasants and so many others. And then – I didn’t know this until this Argentinian Pope was elected; I never put two and two together – but the truth is that the Argentinian government was overthrown, and the military junta that came in and tortured and murdered, they say, about 30,000 people, many of them young adults, throwing them off airplanes and all the rest – they were put in by Kissinger and Nixon, and David Rockefeller. Wall Street was deeply involved. And it wasn’t just about overthrowing the previous government; they wanted this military junta there to impose law and order.
So this has happened in our lifetime; we don’t have to go back to the first-century Roman Empire to see what Jesus saw and taste what Jesus tasted.
One of my students, Sister Dorothy Stang – a wonderful book was just written about her recently called The Greatest Gift: The Courageous Life and Martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang– she was a Catholic Sister from Ohio, a graduate of our master’s degree in creation spirituality, and she worked in the Amazon with the peasants and those defending the rainforest, and she would write to us every month, saying that she could not abandon her people and be true to the principles she learned among us. And she was assassinated five years ago. When the peasants buried her, they said, “We aren’t burying Sister Dorothy; we are planting her.” A beautiful thing. A movie is actually being made about her now.
So this hits close to home….you’ve heard of Ohio? And she was my student just a few years ago. So you know, this is real, folks, the struggle still goes on.
And this isn’t about making enemies or seeing the world in terms of black and white. Evil is something we swim in every day, and the question is whether we are waking up about it and doing what we can do.
Next time I’ll take a look at some of the issues that I believe Jesus would interfere with if he were here in the body in this time. Any one of these is worth our complete attention and commitment, and it’s important to know about the prophetic actions that groups and individuals are doing in these areas today…activity in which we can take a part.
To register for the “Cosmic Christ and Youth: The Occupy Generation,” the next Christ Path Seminar weekend taking place 10/11-13, featuring Adam Bucko as guest speaker, and based on Matthew Fox’s and Adam Bucko’s groundbreaking book, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation, see http://www.christpathseminar.org/ai1ec_event/cosmic-christ-and-youth-the-occupy-generation/?instance_id=99
To order the complete 12-DVD set of recordings from the first Christ Path Seminar weekend, “Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity”– including Dr. Fox’s delivery of the Saturday afternoon lecture from which this post is clipped, see http://www.christpathseminar.org/participate-by-dvd/
Be sure to sign up on the Christ Path Seminar mailing list to receive word when the DVDs from the second weekend, “Cosmic Christ and the Historical Jesus,” are released!