Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Been a lot happening

Well hello friends, it has been a very busy month or so. Just thought I would give you a very brief synopsis:

Ciaron O'Reilly was great, I really enjoyed his time with us. I was quite impressed with his ability to make complex theories very simple, and his working class personality and ethic really was enjoyable. He said a few things that really challenged me, thought I would share them

1. The nature of war now days requires that we show our dissent in different ways. In the very recent past war took an entire nation, with the requirement of large numbers of troops, and therefore a huge base of support also needed back at home. Industry was rejigged, women knitted socks, the population went on rations ect. So if we simply refused to take part in the war, it was actually a very strong dissent. But the way war is waged now a days, the government doesn't need us to help, they just need us to keep living our lives and stay silent. If we just continue to spend and earn, our tax dollars will support the war that is waged with fewer and fewer people, and most horrifically effects a higher and higher percentage of non combatants.

2. The political ethics of the early church were pacifism and anarchy. These are both expressed negatively, one as refusal to use violence, and the other as refusal to oppress or have power over others. Since these are both negatives, rather than positives, they can only be understood practically as questions. In other words, "how do we live non violently, and how do we live without oppressing others?"

I really like that. What I loved the most about Ciaron was his humour and down to earth nature. He did not seem so caught up in the "issues" that he was not in touch with his humanity. We truly enjoyed hanging out, telling stories, and unfortunately mourning a friends passing. Was great to have him with us.

We have also started meeting regularly on Wednesday mornings to network with other radicals in Footscray about ways we can help each other live out this kingdom of God stuff. We also put out a newsletter each week to let people know whats going on. This can be giving away food, organizing for political protest, or finding housing for homeless people. We have had studies on ethical shopping, bible studies on the book of acts and studies on activism and anarchy. This has been a huge source of encouragement for me, and it is great to see so many wonderful people in Footscray trying to live out a world redeemed, and doing it together.

I have been struggling with some health issues, and could use your prayers on that.

Hopefully I will post a bit more, and if any of these subjects particularly interest you, let me know.

rev

12 comments:

Rebecca said...

Hey Rev,
Ciaron's cool, eh? Have you read his book, 'Remembering Forgetting'? It's several years since I read it, but if my memory serves me correctly, it's really good - I remember being really inspired by the creativity of the ways in which people protested against Australia's involvement in East Timor.

I'm not sure I like seeing pacifism and anarchy just in terms of 'negatives'...I don't want to just ask how I can avoid violence, and how I can avoid oppression...I want to know how I can combat violence and combat oppression, how I can build a better world...I didn't hear Ciaron talk so I'm just engaging in your version of what he said here, obviously. Your thoughts??

I hope there's nothing too serious happening with your health.

The Rev said...

no nothing too heave with my health just getting used to some new medication, and some not to fun side effects, and typical injuries that happen when you are 41 and wrestling three times a week with twenty year olds.

What Ciaron ment by the negative is that it isn't prescriptive, it always asks the question, so how can we extend God's non violent kingdom, and how can we stand against systemic oppression. Where a positive would be more prescriptive, like communism, different styles but a very specific response. With the anarchy and pacifism, we wind up with questions, how can we live together in more sustainable ways? Maybe a common purse, maybe a collective farm, maybe doing urban gardens, and found object art sales, and squatting.


rev

Rebecca said...

oh, ok - that was what I thought would be the case.

Yeah, I like that. Except that even the way we ask the questions can be prescriptive (because it reveals our biases etc)...I do think that asking questions is usually the best way to go though.

Good to hear your health is ok. I hope the meds get sorted out soon.

David said...

Missed any appointments lately, Rev?

The Rev said...

Yeah, I sorta missed one today, but my appointment was able to come meet me where I was at. But I am getting better at being organized, it doesn't come naturally to me. Insulted someone for no reason lately?

rev

David said...

Yeah, I sort of insulted a few people yesterday, ok over the last week, look lets be honest for about the last 20 years.

I like to think I have a reason. Well, don't I?

When are we having that coffee?

David said...

I thought maybe before you die, given your state of health and all.

The Rev said...

my health is much better thank you. I would love to have a coffee David, I will be in the city for a chiro appt on Friday will be finished around 1:15 if that works.

rev

Joe said...

Ciaron is a good guy, I liked having a chat with him. I was in this seminar about Northern Ireland and he asked a question which stunned everyone into silence.

David said...

OK, nominate a city address where I can meet you at 1:15pm on Friday.

The Rev said...

How about 1:15 at De Graves on De Graves st.

rev

David said...

Alright, around 1:15 Friday 21 Sep at Degraves on Degraves St. Somehow seems an apppropriate location.