Thursday, April 10, 2008

Violence is our Currency

Violence is our currency. We as a species thrive on violence and while we laud prophets of non-violence and peace we also revile them as well.

I keep thinking about this China Olympics thing and the amount of money these protests are causing major sponsors. The Tibetian cause has been dubbed a "wine and cheese" protest but I think it is something bigger.

China has become the enabler of violence in our world, while the USA is the actor of violence. Not all violence is military. The destruction of industries and the loss of jobs in many parts of the world to China's near slave labor conditions is a insidious as any military war. We have chosen to prefer violence to non-violence in the way we buy and in the way we live.

Our societies have always loved and reviled non-violent prophets. Martin Luther King was murdered as was Gandhi. Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day in my own tradition are ignored or attacked because they refused to agree that violence of war or economic injustice were acceptable and of course Jesus was Crucified.

When I see uniformed Chinese policemen fighting with protestors in the US or Europe I have to ask the question? Why can't we say the truth about injustice and violence? The reason is because we do not have the moral authority to do so- we are complicit in violence. Violence makes our lives easier- violence is our currency.

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