lundi, septembre 24, 2007

The Monks of Myanmar (Burma)

As our country recoils from the pride of those on the religious right who believed they could make America a "Christian" country by using the politics of piety, there seems to be a widespread skepticism about the role of religion in general among the so-called elite.

It's no wonder we've seen books decrying the horrors of a crusading theism skip to the top of the bestsller list...and stay there.

I thought about this when I heard about the monks of Burma. As they walk through the streets of Yangon and Mandalay, these holy men peacefully witness to the power of faith to change the world. They may be crushed by the military, but their nonviolent power will eventually threaten the underpinnings of the junta that rules by fear.

What is is about certain believers, Christian or not, that allows them to light our world with their conviction and bravery?

Their protest brings to mind the activity of laypeople and priests in so many places in South and Central America in the days when many of those nations shook under the mailed fist of illegimate rulers.

The Civil Rights movement in this country in the 60's, the abolitionist move,ent 100 years before, was fueled by the ardent belief on the part of faithful Christians that the there was no room in the Good News for bigotry.

There have been many times when violence has been justified by perverting the Gospel. But surely we know the difference between the ugliness of sin disguised as holiness and witness driven by God's spirit?

One imprisons us-the other opens our eyes, and impels us to hope, and newfound faith, and action.

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