I'm serious... go listen to some India.Arie.
I am loving my time spent in Oscar Romero's The Violence of Love. I personally think it is a must read for every person of faith (whether or not you are a political activist) or political activist (whether or not you are a person of faith). This is not my first read through his book, and each time I find something new. His words are so expressive of his love for the El Salvadoran people that he was serving, but remain so powerful for every Christian even years after his death. This impresses me because so much of what he writes about is political, and the politics of his day came in the form of an oppressive government. Today, some may argue that we face the same problem. Whether that is true or not is up for debate (and I don't really care to engage that discussion), but in the aftermath of so much political tension caused by a historical election, I thought I would share some words of his that I recently read. Pay close attention if you (or better yet, someone who knows you) label yourself either "conservative" or "liberal." Moderates can just nod along...
"The church is a lamp that has to give light, and therefore it must involve itself in tangible reality and thus be able to enlighten the pilgrims who walk on this earth. This concern of the church does not mean that it leaves its own sphere but that it perseveres in its difficult duty of shedding light on concrete affairs.
"Out of this concern, the church defends the right of association, and it promotes a vigorous activity of raising consciousness and of organizing among the poor in order to bring about peace and justice. The church, from its commitment to the gospel, supports the just objectives that the organizations likewise seek, and it also points out the injustices and the instances of violence that the people's organizations may commit. Therefore, the church cannot be identified with any organization, even with those that call themselves and feel themselves Christian. The church is not the organization, and the organization is not the church.
"If both faith and political vocation have grown in a Christian, concerns of faith cannot simply be identified with a specific political concern. Still less can the church and the organization be identified. And no one can say that only within a certain organization can the Christian demands of the faith be developed. Not every Christian has a political vocation, and political activism is not the only activity that implies a concern for justice. There are also other ways to translate one's faith into work for justice and the common good.
"One cannot insist that the church or its ecclesial symbols become instruments of political activity. To be a good political activist one need not be a Christian, but Christians involved in political activity have an obligation to profess their faith in Christ and to use methods that are congruent with their faith. If a conflict arises in this area between loyalty to the faith and loyalty to the organization, genuine Christians must choose faith and demonstrate that their struggle for justice is for the justice of God's kingdom and no other."
Does anyone see where he is going with this? I, for one, love it. Thoughts, musings, notions anyone?
By the way, I finished Persepolis, and am presently resisting the urge to go buy all sorts of current affairs books regarding the United States' relationship with Iran. Not because I don't care, but because I am broke. Thank you very much Marjane Satrapi and Jared Cohen.