You are probably waiting for me to move on from these painful monologues about ignorance, cultural chauvinism, settler colonialism, and the ultra-nationalistic tendencies of Western Universalism, which wraps its bombs in the values of the Enlightenment—in precisely the same manner that Constantine cloaked his war chariots in the sign of the precious and life-sustaining teaching of the Cross.
Well, keep waiting…because I am a Palestinian…I, too, am waiting. But I am not waiting for you.
My hope is in the teaching of the Lord.
In my life, I have seen immigrants of many backgrounds deny, suppress, distort, or turn from their history, language, culture, and identity. I have seen the vapidity of Western Universalism in all its forms—personal, institutional, religious, and systemic—colonize people’s personal and collective lives: their marriages, their children, their extended families, their churches, and their neighborhoods.
It ridicules, shames, invalidates, patronizes, ignores, slanders, co-opts, condemns, and ultimately disappears their connection to the past and to each other to facilitate human commoditization.
“Beauty, grief, death, the struggle with our own mortality,” Chris Hedges explains, and “the search for a life of meaning, love, the capacity for transformation—those forces are ones that make us stop and become introspective and think and look within ourselves to see who we are and where we’re going and that’s what any totalitarian state seeks to crush, and yet we kind of blissfully have checked out…the cult of the self is, in biblical terms, a form of idolatry. Everything is about you. Whether it’s the worship of power or money, it all goes back to the self; it all goes back to creating little monuments to yourself.”
“All investment into a particular goal of self-aggrandizement is a kind of pathetic attempt at self-exaltation in a kind of—maybe even a subconscious way at immortality. We have replicated the patterns that past civilizations in collapse underwent: An elite that is no longer connected with the real.”Hedges, Chris, “American Psychosis.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp3gCeAI0ds
Thanks be to God, dear American; everything is not about you. You are not God. You are but a sheep in his flock, on his land. What Fr. Paul taught us years ago, in his book Land and Covenant, is now being shouted from the rooftops by Palestinian clergy and scholars: The land belongs to God, not to any nation or religion.
It is you in the United States who have much to learn from the Palestinian people, not the other way around.
Not only the Native Americans. Not only the African slaves. But each and every immigrant who steps on these shores undergoes a process of being colonized: of a systematic erasure of history that disconnects all of us from the answer to what ills us. Everyone knows it, beginning with your children, whom you cynically label “Gen Z” so that you can exploit them in your marketing plans.
But I have news for you. Rejoice with me. Your children are no longer Gen Z, for what was lost has been found by God:
Your children are Generation Palestine.
“Because as long as you don’t talk about it,” Hedges continues, “you’ll believe that you’re the only one. Your friends are doing okay. There is something wrong with you—not something wrong with the system.”Hedges, Chris, “American Psychosis.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp3gCeAI0ds
Something is definitely wrong with the system.
I am a Palestinian Christian. No one may tell me otherwise. I exist to resist, and Scripture is my shield and my buckler.
Richard and I discuss Luke 5:12-14. (Episode 511)
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