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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why?

There were several things that I had running through my mind today that I thought when I finally got to this page I might write about but along the way a read a blog post that I on occasion gravitate to.  Upon doing so, I was reminded that this was the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero 31 years ago. Thirty-one years? It seems like in many respects it was only yesterday.  This takes us back to what many like to think of as Morning in America a phrase coined by Ronald Reagan.  If you are one who thinks this was a simpler time, remember the turbulence in Central America. Remember Reagan Administration selling arms to Iran and the proceeds from covert arms sales to fund the Contras in Nicaragua in blatant violation of an act of Congress. Yes, and all you hear today is praise for Ronald Reagan, and Republicans push and shove each other out of the way in their quest to be the quintessential Reagan Republican. But I digress.

In her blog post Kristin Berkey-Abbott said she could think of "few other people who lived during the second half of the 20the century who more deserve sainthood" then Archbishop Romero. She argues that Romero, like Jesus must have known what wrath he was bringing down upon himself, but he did not back down. Until the end of his life, he called upon us to reform our earthly systems, systems that enrich a few on the backs of the many. Romero and Christ both show us that the forces of empire do not take kindly to being criticized.  The the death squads that roamed the country, the social-economic inequity, the human rights abuses by the government and the murder of a personal friend who dared to intercede on behalf of these issues for the people were too big a burden to shrug off and Archbishop Romero would not be the quiet complacent caretaker of the Church that the Vatican wanted him to be.  The result was essentially the same as his murdered friend. The Archbishop was gunned down as he celebrated Mass.

I think of President Obama's trip to South America and how many divides remain between the America's to this day. I think of the uprisings throughout the Middle East and the clamoring for democracy by those who know so little of it, yet do know the pain of repressive rule.  I think of people in this country who pray to God and find fault in everyone else. With all the problems in many countries, we who have so much seem to have a way of looking past the plank stuck in our own eyes and are so certain everyone else must see things as we do. 

If our theology is not a liberation theology, then why was Christ so given to the blind, the poor, the sick, the weary?  Why was he so angered by the money interests in the temple? Why did he love those who are often the least loved among us?  Why?  And why do we not?
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