Monday, October 01, 2007

question

When one is to some extent a member of the privileged part of society, but not at the upper echelons of influence, and one is consciously aware that ones society/government has descended to imperialistic behavior over the last century, how should one respond to motivate positive change?

God's Peace,
Jason+

1 comment:

Bob said...

IMHO, and then commentary.

First of all as Christians, we love your enemy! Love your enemy! Love your enemy! Love our neighbor as ourselves! (Of course, we can't truly do this until we love God with our whole being.)

Secondly, be present with the people you are trying to help - because without actually being with them and hearing them and seeing them one cannot truly understand them as they need to be understood. If possible, of course. We can't go to Iraq, but you can look for Iraqis to sit down and have a cup of coffee with and to ask a lot of questions and LISTEN. This has a tendency to help us understand their perspectives separate from our own enculturation and political ideologies.

Thirdly, protest, non-violently. Exercise your right and responsibility as a citizen in a representative-democracy, else those rights will be taken away from us by truly malevolent imperialistic forces.

You have to first consider that simply because one may be in a "privileged" class does not automatically make one an accomplice to what others in that same class do or say.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a "privileged" class. It is what that class does that is important.

There is a "privileged class" among African-Americans based on the tone of the skin. There are those who are in the "privileged class" of WASPs who give literally billions of dollars a year to help the poor. Without their "privileged class" membership, those billions may not be available.

Then, how are you defining "imperialism?" Military, cultural, economic, intellectual? Our fighting for the rights of woman in the majority world is a form of "imperialism."

As my associate rector said about my sponsoring parish's charity work in the Dominican Republic when self-satisfied Americans talk about the exploitation of Dominican workers in their own country, a Dominican told him, "That isn't how it is. I make a very good living in my country even though I make a lot less than the person in your country who does my job. I'm not exploited." Do we listen, or do we think we have superior understanding of what is really going on and are not brainwashed by the evil capitalists like this poor, ignorant Dominican? Isn't that an "imperialist" way of viewing the situation?

So, what do you do in cases where you vehemently disagree with what the government or culture is doing?