Monday, August 29, 2011

Flying Leap

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who want to lose their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25

After the torrential floods in Pakistan last year, the famished and thirsty refugees nearly overwhelmed the first aid helicopters to arrive. Hang enough hungry bodies on the landing gear or the basket for carrying litter patients, and you could probably pull it right out of the sky.

One of my favorite collections of music is by Canadian poet/sing/songwriter/social conscience Bruce Cockburn. On one of his songs from many years ago, he is taking the International Monetary Fund to task for lending money to nations as a stop-gap measure, not enough to turn things around without massive outside planning and management, but keeping them on the hook for the debt:

"IMF, dirty MF, takes everything it can get; always making sure that there's one thing left: keep them on the hook with insupportable debt..."

Mild. Cockburn's harshest words are in the song "And They Call it Democracy". I won't print 'em here. Go look 'em up. Take a listen. Cockburn says we don't give a "flying leap" about the people in misery. Except he dosen't call it a flying leap. Another word with four letters.

And think about how our country has partnered with the most bloodthirsty tyrants in the past to forward our "national interest" and "national security" and "economic growth" (aka cheap oil). These include Manuel Noeiga, the Shah of Iran, Pervez Musharraf and Saddam Hussein, among others.

This past weekend they were supposed to dedicate the memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm glad we were forced to wait. Maybe give us some time to think about what he stood for, what he was able to think, and what he had the guts and the divine call to say out loud: We don't really give a flying leap about the people in misery.

And we think we have democracy.....

And we think the church we see around us isn't part of the scam...

Only if WE keep it from being so. Only if WE drag it, kicking and screaming in another direction.

More on the Matthew passage in the next post.

There are some new developments in that cross Jesus calls us to take up as we follow.

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