Monday, July 10, 2006

America the Invulnerable

I am finally getting around to reading God’s Politics by Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine. I started it a year or so ago, but only managed to read the first few chapters. It’s a great read. Here’s a paragraph from Chapter 7 “Be Not Afraid”

September 11 shattered the American sense of invulnerability. But instead of accepting the vulnerability that most of the rest of the world already lives with, and even learning from it, we seem to want something nobody can give us – to erase our invulnerability. We want it to just go away. If the government says more wars can do that, many people will say fine. If they say suspending civil liberties can do that, many will say fine. If they claim spending more and more of our tax dollars on the military and homeland security will do it – at the expense of everything else – many will say fine. But we simply can't erase our vulnerability, not in this world and not with the human condition being as it is. To be prudent and vigilant in the face of danger is good. But when a government offers to take away our vulnerability, it borders on idolatry.
Amen. We are continuing to allow immoral deeds (torture, locking up prisoners without trial, etc) to be done on our behalf so that we can feel safe. Ironically, if we didn't engage in these tactics, we might feel less safe, but our long term prospects for safety would be better, since we wouldn’t be fomenting hatred against us at quite the rate we are now accomplishing.

5 comments:

the_Trainee said...

Hey- found your site in a random search... I am also Mennonite, though conservative, and I am also reading God's Politics... love it! Brilliant man! Anyway- thought I'd say hello!

Brownie said...

Shouldn't we work to lessen our vulnerability to the bitter, apostate, blood-thirsty, virgin-hungry, self-righteous, hypocritical murderers who want only to slaughter more innocents (in the name of God)? Is that not what our constitution demands of our government ("provide for the common defense")?

I don't think that our government, working to protect its citizens to the best of its ability, is anything even approaching idolatry.

If there is idolatry, it is in the hearts of those worship the United States as some king of vague entity embodied by the idea: "My Country right or wrong!" (as they say), or in those hearts that believe the survival of this nation (at any cost) is more important than: brotherhood, righteousness, justice, or adherance to (either US or international) laws.

Peace...

Dan S said...

Hey trainee, thanks for stopping by. It is great to hear from new folks.

Brownie, I think what you are saying is what Wallis is getting at. We definitely should work to lessen our vulnerability and provide for the common defense. But we can never get to the point of being invulnerable to evil. People are willing to give up basic freedom in order to feel safe, because politicians tell us we will be safer if we go along with it.

See this post for some of the freedoms we are willing to give up to feel safer. :)

Brownie said...

Nice link. I got a good laugh.


Who was that crazy liberal anyway?

Anonymous said...

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