Friday, October 09, 2009

liberal justice

"It's tragic, to see how we've built our country into the wealthiest country on the planet — there is so much abundance here — and yet we have such a disparity between the haves and have-nots in this society."
- Michael Moore, director of Captalism: A Love Story

I know he pisses off a lot of people, but how can anyone dispute this statement from Michael Moore? Why is it so hard to recognize or see the have-nots? Who or what is perpetrating this massive delusion that we're going to be fine, everything is okay? The story may be fed to us from other sources, but aren't we, the ones in the burbs, buying into it? As the authors point out in chapter 3 of Justice in the Burbs, it certainly feels safer living in the burbs where we can "avoid facing the bigger issues of life." Even when we are jolted awake by a justice issue that we can no longer ignore, it is so difficult to unravel ourselves, our stuff and our life in the burbs from the delusion.

I read following quote this week from Inward/Outward - maybe this defending against the Bible is part of the delusion?
The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you?
- Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, ed. Charles Moore

my Justice in the Burbs book study notes
chapter 3: justice in the burbs
- why did you choose to live where you do? beautiful, private, convenient & part of our American dream
- how does your view of America shape your understanding of what it means to live justly? living justly when we bought the house wasn't really on the radar, now that it is, I vacillate between guilt and gratitude.
- is it possible to have a government that is concerned with justice? it better be. the mission of the county where I live is "To enhance the well-being and quality of life for all citizens through the provision of the highest level of public service consistent with the prudent use of public funds." that sounds like being concerned with justice to me, but it is far from being pursued.
- what concerns, such as being labeled a "liberal", do you have when thinking about living justly? my main concern is that I don't do enough and that the liberal & conservative labels cause all sorts of translation issues

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