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#1791: Rogers replies to further evidence of fault lying with Haitians/ another option (fwd)
From: Jeff J Rogers <email@example.com>
the problem on this list is that too many are not willing to look at
>whole picture......too many find it easy to simply blame the US or
>capitalism or globalization of something else........
Your line of reasoning boils down to this classic question...
Does the responsibility for the mess we've all observed primarily lie A.
within some faulty character of Haitians who continually create, support
and maintain oppressive systems, or B. with a conglomeration of
oppressive systems who damage the character of the Haitians, individually
Plenty of evidence could be sited to support either side of this
argument, and people on either side of this fence become exasperated with
hearing each other. In the end however to fall on one side of this or
the other simplistically reduces the world to good guys and bad guys.
This is the sort of thinking that is so self defeating and polarizes
people into ridiculous camps who can only promote more allienation.
At the risk of over simplifying myself (and of censorship from
Uncle Bob) may I submit that it is my belief in the work of Christ that
gives me what I believe to be a broader framework for getting out of this
destructive theoretical box. I am reminded of the operative principle
demonstrated in Mathew 5 with the man who sat at the pool of Bethesda
waiting to be healed. Every day he sat there in his debilitated
condition hoping for the opportunity to be healed. When Jesus came up on
Him He asked, "Do you want to be made well?" The man's condition had so
damaged him that he couldn't even understand or answer the question. He
whined in response, "Every time I try to get in the pool someone jumps in
front of me." Jesus' response is to point out that he couldn't
understand the question. The man's healing involved the ability to pick
up his mat and walk (development). This principle can be applied to the
poor in Haiti or anywhere. Yes, oppression and poverty damage people.
One of the greatest powers at work among the poor is the spirit of
despair. Damaged people maintain a culture of poverty, which maintains
oppressive institutions who maintain a culture of poverty which create
damaged individuals. Whose fault is it? On a human level WHO CARES? I
think much of liberation theology is right on in suggesting that these
forces are ultimately held in suspension by supernatural forces and that
in order to overcome them ultimately, without just altering their forms,
a greater supernatural intervention is necessary. God responds as we
recognize His preferential option for the poor, stand with Christ in His
identification with the poor and act on together in such a way that
charity leads to development, and development to transformation...
transformation of systems which maintain oppression... If this
progression is not in effect we are having NO real effect. Obviously
this progression looks sloppy and can feel like shit as it demands all
that we are on either side of the fence and a real identification with
one anothers needs with a full embrace of our own forms of poverty. I
believe that we are left naked before a holy God, and that the
reconciling work of Christ remains the greatest and most real hope
against all poverty, oppression, paternalism, etc. (in spite of a history
in which the horrific death dealing effects of Christianityism frequently
outshine the life giving power of a risen Christ).
On a practical side, I believe we are much more effective when we
challenge our own. A Haitian is much more effective at challenging
character flaws of Haitians. I, a white, middle class American am much
more effective at condemning the oppressive system of which I am a part
and from which I both benefit, and lose my humanity. We need one another
in this process of reconciliation and redistribution. Just as much, we
need divine intervention.
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