Voice in the void - My usual means of expressing myself has long been the written word, whether during my quarter of a century in newspaper journalism or in my [...]
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However, if the historical conjunction between Christian nationalism and Enlightenment liberalism, which has sustained American political life for generations, is breaking down, there is always the possibility that those who are alienated from both the theocratic tendencies of the Right and the secular impotencies of the Left can find a new political impulse in the (surprisingly natural) alignment of Christianity and the anarchist critique. To give just one example of this natural alignment, both Christians and anarchists believe that ultimate authority is not to be found in any human system and that human organizations have a Babel-like tendency to become anxiously invested in their own perpetuation and to react violently toward those who threaten them. Therefore, both Christians and anarchists should never foreclose the possibility of fundamentally changing those systems if they threaten important values. From a Christian perspective, systems based on greed and fear are faithless; from the anarchist perspective, such systems are inegalitarian and a threat to individual liberties. A Christian anarchism that combines the two perspectives would thus act politically in ways that would resist and undermine systems of control based on anxiety, greed, and fear rather than on faith, hope, and love.
Christian anarchists would resist military-state-industrial complexes that pursue the chimerical goal of absolute security and the all-too-enticing goal of market (and profit) expansion. They would undermine financial systems that are fundamentally abstracted from the responsibilities of personal giving-and-receiving so that they are oriented toward the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. Economic systems of this sort have severed the term economic from its root, the Greek word oikos, which means living place and suggests an emphasis on caring about the ordering of households. And they would speak out against education systems that depend for their own existence on fulfilling market and institutional systematic demands for a certain type of student-product, thereby transforming education into a transition period for students into these systems of control.
But on a more fundamental level, the revival of Christian anarchism would open up the realm of politics to a public examination of a much wider range of issues than are possible in our current environment, an environment where the existence of certain systems have been naturalized and thus placed outside the realm of the political. A Christian anarchist perspective would explore the deeper reasons for our calamities, and it would be discontent with just managing the systems better, especially because the systems are starting to seem both unjust and unmanageable.
vrijdag 28 november 2008
Chavez duld geen gedeelde macht
Free opinionVenezuela heeft nu wel een award gewonnen, maar er ligt een nog grotere beloning in het verschiet. Althans dat hoop ik en het is mijn wens dat de democratie terug komt in Venezuela. En dat met de democratie een einde aan komt aan de negatieve en lands-vernietigende spiraal waar Venezuela nu in zit.
We zien wederom allerlei berichten waaruit blijkt dat H. Chavez geen macht wilt delen met de oppositie en er alleen maar op uit is om de oppositie de nek om te draaien.
De tijden op de dísplee zijn aangepast.
The 'After Christendom' series will explore the implications of the demise of Christendom and the challenges facing a church now living on the margins of western society. The various authors all write from within the Anabaptist tradition and draw on this long-marginalised movement for inspiration and insights. They see the current challenges facing the church not as the loss of a golden age but as opportunities to recover a more biblical and more Christian way of being God’s people in God’s world.
Waarom zijn wij mensen eigenlijk naar de aarde gekomen? En wat komen we hier doen? Waar komt de baby, die in mama's buik groeit, vandaan? Komen we van een andere wereld, een Lichtwereld? Wat gebeurt er met opa als hij sterft? Gaat hij weer terug naar de wereld waar wij vandaan komen? Wat zijn Engelen? Hebben wij een eigen Beschermengel? Vragen, vragen en nog eens vragen. In dit boek geeft Hans Stolp antwoorden, in eenvoudige taal. Hij schrijft over onze reis naar de aarde, onze Beschermengel...
A Subversive Gospel
Christians from various traditions met together in Bradford in September
2007 to explore what a subversive gospel might look like. In this the second annual Christianity and anarchism conference delegates discussed the politics of food, peace studies, direct action and much more.
The weekend started with a shared meal, which in Bradford had to be a curry, followed by an open-mic session at Soul Space, the city's new fresh expression of Church. It was great to see friends from the conference at Leeds in June 2006 but also to meet new people and discover again how broad and diverse Christian activism can be.
There were present those who believe that activism should be aggressive and confrontational while others sought a more fun approach to challenging the principalities and powers. People shared stories of their experiences of corporate living, taking a stand against oppression, being arrested or standing alongside those who are oppressed in Palestine while trying to reconcile the settlers with their Muslim brothers.
Annie Heppenstall led some of the delegates in a discussion about the politics of food drawing from Old and New Testament texts, a version of which will feature in the free Christian anarchist magazine “A Pinch of Salt” in December. Keith Hebden led a small group in comparing and contrasting the ways Jesus and Gandhi challenged the strength of empire, a discussion which raised issues as to how and why we lobby government.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was a tour of Radical Bradford, led by Chris Howson. For those of us new to the city it was great to see how much subversion is going on just below the surface of the cityscape: an anarchist club run on principles of consensus with a fantastic anarchist library; community driven concerns about the gentrification of the city-centre; links to the formation of the Labour party back when it was a socialist affair and more. It was encouraging that so many Christians could walk into an anarchist club and be warmly welcomed.
I think we all left feeling we have had met some inspiring people and had new horizons opened up. Not surprisingly we are already looking forward to next years conference in Autumn 2008.
Aitken's first career choice was as a journalist. But he became unsettled by his brush with the law over what was called the "Scott scoop".
He was shown the Scott Report by General Henry Alexander, who was a British representative on the International Military Observer team in Nigeria at the time of the Biafran civil war. The report appeared to prove that Britain had been providing the Nigerian government with many more arms than they had admitted.
Aitken photocopied the document and made two copies. One went to Hugh Fraser, a pro-Biafran Tory MP and the other went to the Sunday Telegraph, who used it as a basis for an attack on the government of the day.
In the ensuing uproar Aitken was charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act - but was cleared at the Old Bailey. However, the incident took its toll on his political aspirations when he was dropped as the candidate for the Thirsk and Malton seat.