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Chris Hedges - Where were you when they crucified my Lord?

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Sal316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:01 PM
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Chris Hedges - Where were you when they crucified my Lord?
Edited on Mon Dec-05-11 09:04 PM by Sal316
A great piece from Chris Hedges on OWS and the Church over at Truthdig


Let me tell you on this first Sunday in Advent, when we celebrate hope, when we remember in the church how Mary and Joseph left Nazareth for Bethlehem, why I am in Liberty Square. I am here because I have tried, however imperfectly, to live by the radical message of the Gospel. I am here because I know that it is not what we say or profess but what we do. I am here because I have seen in my many years overseas as a foreign correspondent that great men and women of moral probity arise in all cultures and all religions to fight the oppressor on behalf of the oppressed. I am here because I have seen that it is possible to be a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu or an atheist and carry the cross. The words are different but the self-sacrifice and thirst for justice are the same. And these men and women, who may not profess what I profess or believe what I believe, are my brothers and sisters. And I stand with them honoring and respecting our differences and finding hope and strength and love in our common commitment.

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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:53 PM
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1. Great article by Hedges - I added a link.
Edited on Mon Dec-05-11 10:11 PM by Jim__
And a bit more from Hedges (the whole essay):

... The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. And the great 19th century populist Mary Elizabeth Lease, who thundered: Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master. And Gen. Smedley Butler, who said that after 33 years and four months in the Marine Corps he had come to understand that he had been nothing more than a gangster for capitalism, making Mexico safe for American oil interests, making Haiti and Cuba safe for banks and pacifying the Dominican Republic for sugar companies. War, he said, is a racket in which newly dominated countries are exploited by the financial elites and Wall Street while the citizens foot the bill and sacrifice their young men and women on the battlefield for corporate greed. Or Eugene V. Debs, the socialist presidential candidate, who in 1912 pulled almost a million votes, or 6 percent, and who was sent to prison by Woodrow Wilson for opposing the First World War, and who told the world: While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. And Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who when he was criticized for walking with Martin Luther King on the Sabbath in Selma answered: I pray with my feet and who quoted Samuel Johnson, who said: The opposite of good is not evil. The opposite of good is indifference. And Rosa Parks, who defied the segregated bus system and said the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. And Philip Berrigan, who said: If enough Christians follow the Gospel, they can bring any state to its knees.

And the poet Langston Hughes, who wrote:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.


Or does it explode?


Hedges repeated refrain, "Where were you ...", reminds me of a Phil Ochs song Oh Where were you in Chigago about the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago - the link is only to the lyrics - I couldn't find a performance.

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Hedges (and others) need to read "Salvation" by Hughes
to get a little perspective on Langston's view of religion (which would cross-apply to the Santa-dispelling teacher, too).
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. +1 n/t
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Hedges citation of Hughes has nothing to do with Hughes religious beliefs.
He quotes Hughes with respect to a dream deferred, not with respect to religion. He also cites Henry David Thoreau, Gen Smedley Butler, and Mary Elizabeth Lease who are known as resistors of government tyranny, not religious figures.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Come on, that's BS.
It is prefaced by:
And Philip Berrigan, who said: If enough Christians follow the Gospel, they can bring any state to its knees.

He's pulling in the ethos of Hughes (and uses the most damn obvious Hughes piece to do so...why not act like you've read more than they give you as a freshman in high school) to add to his message about religion and change and he is pulling in someone who would NOT agree with his religious views. Just because most people don't know that, doesn't make it any more right.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The preface that you cite is from the previous paragraph, the same paragraph that cites: ...
... Henry David Thoreau, Gen Smedley Butler, and Mary Elizabeth Lease; saints of resistance movements; but not of any church. In the paragraph previous to that he said:

... I am here because I have seen that it is possible to be a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu or an atheist and carry the cross. The words are different but the self-sacrifice and thirst for justice are the same. ...


In the essay, he also stated prior to Hughes poem:

... If this nonviolent movement fails, it will eventually be replaced by one that will employ violence. ...


A sentiment echoed in the Hughes' poem.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. So it's OK to twist words to support your own view if you do it to a lot of writers at once?
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