Thursday, May 17, 2012
In a world of fear ...
It may be the cynic in me, but I'm increasingly becoming aware of the prevasive fear that has touched just about every aspect of our society ... our politics are RIPE with fear. Here in Canada the mantra of 'justice' has driven the agenda of our Federal ruling party to expand our jails, tighten up sentencing and impose draconian measures for a wide range of crimes despite the statistics that tell us that crime rates are dropping and we are a safer society.
Meanwhile, poverty - perhaps the most incideous violence of all - is on the rise and the demand placed upon shelters, food banks and soup kitchens is growing exponentially while our talking heads tell us the economy is rebounding and things are fine ... FINE??? The Canadian Banks quietly took Government hand outs that grossly exceeded thier total cumulative value while thier executives continued to be paid extraordinary salaries and bonuses while the banks were utterly bankrupt, and we're to accept the premise that things are fine?!? I think NOT!
Fear has permeated EVERY aspect of our society ... from kids who live in anxious fear of strangers, through to politicians who fear immigrants, terrorists and same sex marriage ... over and over our media, our leaders and sadly, even our Churches engage in this perpetuation of fear by lamenting the state of our world, while trying to impose simple solutions that offer only the illusion of security.
How can I be secure when basic rights are being denied to another? Whether it be the right to food, the right to shelter, the right to marry, or even the right to speak up?
Somehow, our leaders have convinced us that this ongoing erosion of freedoms and rights, all in the name of security - whether that security is economic, political, military, or otherwise - is the only option.
Then, most appalling of all, they distract us by having us debate some minor little thing, while they continue to widen the abyss between the have's and the have-nots, and lessen our ability to have a say much less any input into the day to day workings of our world ...
EVERYTHING IS FINE, they offer in reassuring tones, while they suggest we turn on the 500 channel universe, explore the internet, or continue shopping ... meanwhile, our world crumbles ...
Today, like perhaps never before, we need Prophetic Voices to speak up and speak out about the reality unfolding around us, and those voices - in the Churches and faith communities of our world, and beyond - need to boldly and courageously offer a message that is not about pouring a balm over the hurts and alienation, but that proclaims the Holy Message of Transformation and Hope that is promised.
In a world of fear, the prophets speak of Hope ... dare we listen??