Parihaka- the epitomy of colonial injustice that took place in the shadow of the mighty maunga Taranaki. The perfect picture of peaceful resistance by faithful and God loving Maori. A time of heartbreaking rape and destruction filled with the stories of stoic heroism.
It is depressing that we neglect one of Aotearoas most poignant moments in history for the celebration of something most New Zealanders couldn't really careless about, they just like the twinkley sky explosives.
Come on, Kiwis. Claim 5th November for your own.
The plunder of parihaka
Historic Magazine Feature
*(Thats the opening sentence of an article I have written on Parihaka- you can read it on Firezone, on the left under features.)
Check the Oct 22nd post about a new bible translation bought out in the Netherlands that eliminates passages about economic and social justice, affluence etc.
Apparently "Jesus was very inspiring for our inner health, but we don't need to take his naïve remarks about money seriously. He didn't study economics, obviously."
It makes me want to vomit. But the guy raises a good point- implying says Christians don’t take these verses serious anyway because if we did the world would be a very different place. It is a challenge ay? For Christians to to actually follow Jesus in these areas, not just know him, for sure, the world would be a much different place.
More recently posted was this. Which I love.
A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world.
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You blow like the wind in a thousand paddocks,
Inside and Outside the fences,
You blow where you wish to blow.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the sun who shines on the little plant,
You warm him gently, you give him life,
You riase him up to become like a tree with many leaves.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the mother eagle with her young,
Holding them in peace under your feathers.
On the highest mountain you have built your nest,
Above the valley, above the storms of the world,
Where no unter ever comes.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the bright cloud in whom we hide,
In whom we know already that the battle has been won.
You bring us to our brother Jesus
To rest our head upon his shoulder.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the kind fire who does not cease to burn,
Consuming us with the flames of love and peace,
Driving us out like sparks to set the world on fire.
Lord, Holy Spirit,
In the love of friends you are building a new house,
Heaven is with us when you are with us.
You are singing your song in the hearts of the poor.
Guide us, wound us, heal us. Bring us to the Father.
This is an atrocity!
My feelings on this were confirmed in a conversation with a friend in policy for Problem Gambling Foundation whose key role is to persuade organisations not to accept pokie money because it entrenches pokie machines deeper into communities, and validates their reason for existing.
Part of the tension between those who think it is cool to accept money from corrupt sources and those who think it is absolutley not is probably fuelled by that William Booth quote "I'll even take money from the devil himself, wash it in the blood of the lamb and use it for the glory of God" (or along those lines) I think this is definatly one line of Billy's that needs to be banished from Army history!
I simply can not see how we can justify using dirty money from dirty sources in order to clean up the dirt!
This international organisation was founded after the Second World War to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights....
Shivers. It doesn't seem that the UN is doing too well really. Although... maybe we should ask ourselves what state the world would be in so far as extreme poverty and war go if the UN weren't around.
(And maybe it goes for Jesus followers too.)
So hurray for the UN.
I think they are a pretty great Org, you know. I love the Millenium Development Goals, their mission, their reason. But then... they are also pretty naff in so many ways too. I believe the movies when they portray those corrupt aspects of the UN. There is this bit in No Mans Land, where the UN workers want to go into the battlefield to collect a wounded soldier lying on a mine, but they just can't get the OK from the big cheifs (too dangerous)... Then a News Reporter puts the pressure on and they go in anyway... but they can't dismantle the mine... so they just pretend that they have saved him and but really leave the poor thing there by himself. Give up on him cos it's too hard and dodgy. Its a bit poignant, all right. It really highlights the madness, inflexibility and impersonality of bureaucracy.
So... Here's to the UN. Yet another organisation with a fantastic heart, necesarily functioning on an enormous scale, yet crippled by this very amplitude.
But it got Tim and I to thinking.... why is it that these prophets, with no-doubt God words to speak into society, are so messy... corruptable.... morally compromised? (Think Martin Luther King)
For a few moments I was a bit pertubed that the Cleaners had performed a coup on a day set out to create awareness of global poverty, 1 child dying every 3 seconds, you know. And then I remembered Martin Luther King's saying "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" and yelled "Union Power" with more gusto.
Here' a pic of Brenton and my incredibly eloquent and articulate sign.
After the March we went and saw "An inconveniant truth". A really good watch. It highlights very well the idea of environmental action being a moral decision. What sort of destruction do we want to leave for others? You can calculate your carbon footprint here.
Drum Roll...... My sister sent it to me. (Jo is the best).......more drumming
Change the World - Nine to Five
Its the sequel to Change the World for a Fiver. A project by this community group in East London who tackle social exclusion. The books are filled with 50 ways to change the world- environmentally and socially mostly . But the ideas really, really rock. And are roll around on the floor funny!
Like: Number 67
Share your lunch with someone- That's it really. A simple, good idea. As they say in the ads, it does exactly what t says on the tin.
Although if you are eating your lunch out of a tin, you may find a limited number of people willing to share it with you.
Cats, yes. People, less so.
Check it: http://wearewhatwedo.org/
Yesterday, at our Wellington Planning meeting a coup was performed and we Stood Up against poverty, the pledge was read amongst hearty Amens and there was a totally spontaneous Army Salute by everyone as we pledged to do our bit to give poverty the big goodbye. I was glad I made it - I missed my flight to Wellington- I have only done this once before, when I was coming out to New Zealand, thought I was flying from Gatwick, but it was Heathrow. Yesterday, I thought i was flying Air NZ, but it was Qantas. I am truly ridiculous. But anyway, made it in the end. Hurrah.
Beneath is a photo of the mighty White Band wrapped around Wellingtons Territorial Headquarters last night. It is absolutley ginormous. (That word is well hard to spell)
Got up really early this morning to hang up Tims Fantastic White Band he made yesterday. We went on a 5:30 mission this morning to hang it off a bridge on Dominion road. I wonder if blogging this will get us in trouble. Kind of seems silly to put it up undercover and then post about it on the internet. Oh well. If i dont blog for a while you will know where I'll be.
Then when I got to work I popped one over the door of DHQ on Queen Street. I feared for my life as I clambered up the door and on to the roof (it is really rather high you know) and I was so proud that I managed to get it up.... until the moment I hopped down to cast my eyes over my risky achievement. Then I realised that it just looks like a few scraggy bedsheets with scrawley felt tip pen on it, hanging on for dear life with brown sticky tape, not fitting the whole roof, decidedly lop sided. And. It doesn't just look like that. It is that. Wah. Poor Old Sign.
Anyway. If you didn't pick up on it..... We can eradicate poverty! Today is one particular day to make a bit of noise about it!!!
Well. Here are two synopsises of two books. On first glance they offer opposing options for us- us being the ones exasperated with some bits of the Army- but I've tried to mix n match.
Prophetic Imagination, Walter Bruggemann
Bruggmanne describes the process of Moses setting up his alternative community with an idea of a free God and politics of liberation, justice and democracy. This was opposed to the dominant consciousness/ empire of Egypt with their oppressive politics. Moses and his community’s role was to “act as a prophetic voice to the nations, and that the task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us."
As the alternative community became not so alternative and itself (after many many years) became an oppressive empire, the prophets then took over this role. And then, Jesus did.
An important concept is numbness- people are numb to the idea that the dominant consciousness is wrong, we need to pierce this consciousness, through pointing out the coming death of it all (why the prophets talk so destructively) and through allowing people to grieve the passing of the empire. Then we need to imagine with God the new way of things, the community that emphasises justice, liberation etc etc. We need to paint a true and genuine picture of hope. But this vision does need to replace the dominant culture. It is forming a distinct alternative community.
Under the Unpredictable Plant, Eugene Peterson
Here Eugene first describes his own denominational corruption (so he knows the sort of rubbish that goes on in big d.’s) but then goes on to talk about Jonah and Ninevah and Tarshish:
We will all have a Tarshish. A place that looks like the most exciting, right, just place to base our ministry even when God has called us to serve in stinky old Ninevah! The aim is vocational holiness not vocational idolatry - the idolatry of a career that we can take charge of and manage, perhaps. It is about sticking with where God calls.
Without copping out and compromising on either of the options, surely they can be united. The first option says we are not to be passive when the dominant consciousness is a wrong one, create anew! But the second says don’t forsake the place God has placed you to serve, even if you don’t like the idea of it.
If we are able to best serve God through the Army than this is where we need to stay, right? But we need to keep the vision up of a just, free organisational structure. We need to, in our own places, create something that reflects biblical, prophetic values all the while attempting to speak this into the dominant consciousness. I realise some people have been quietly doing this for years. But I think hand in hand with the living comes the talking, the writing, the appealing, the debating. We must have faith that God can transform Ninevah.
The territorial youth/ Kaivata team have got a meeting in Wellington on Monday, so we are going to whip one up across the front of THQ. Yeyah. (Firezone are having White Band Awards)
Gonna put one up somewhere momentus in Auckland. Any suggestions? (DHQ doesn’t have windows)
What are your plans for a White Band, eh?
Also- AUCKLAND POVERTY SOLIDARITY MARCH 5 pm, Britomart.
"You and your brothers have lost the fire of God. You come seeking wisdom from me. I will tell you a secret, but you can only repeat it once. After that, no one must say it aloud again." The hermit looked deep into the eyes of the abbot and said "The Messiah is among you". They were both silent as the abbot considered the importance of this saying. "Now you must leave" said the hermit.
Returning to the monastry the abbot called all the monks together and told them he had a teaching that had been given by God. He added that it was never to be said aloud again. The the abbot looked at each of his brothers, and said, "The hermit says that one of us is the Messiah."
The monks were startled. "Is John with the big nose the Messiah? Or Father Matthew who falls asleep at prayer? Am I the Messiah?" But puzzled as they were they never repeated the saying again.
As time went by the monks began to treat one another with a special love and reverence. There was a gentle, whole hearted, human quality about them now which was hard to describe but easy to see. They lived with each other as those who had finally found something of significance. The words were carefully considered. Who could tell when they were speaking to the Messiah?
Before long, the vitality of the monastry attracted many visitors and young men began asking to join the community. The old hermit died without revealing anymore, and the abbot sometimes wondered if he had understood correctly.
From Mike Riddells "Godzone". He precedes this story with this paragraph:
In the world relationships are based on common interests. IN Godzone the only basis is belonging, and so the traveller has to accept all whom God accepts. It's sometimes easier to love God than to love Gods mates. The problem is you cat do one without the other.
The claim to love has to be tested against the reality of people with body odour and strange habits, if it is to be any more than a warm gooey feeling. The road we follow is a journey into community. If we are to reach the final destination we must learn to see the God-light in the most unlikely of characters. We must discover that differences are enriching rather than threatening. This only comes after the hard nut of self has been cracked.
"Any theology of the church must ultimatley be rooted in the being and acts of God: the Church is first and foremost the people of God, brought into being by god, bound to God, for the glory of God"
"It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a Church in the world"
"The mission of the church is the gift of particiapting through the Holy Spirit in the Son's mission from ther Father to the world"
"In a world of ever increasing social complexity the church cannot simply adhere to fixed traditional forms. It must reach more and more deeply into its own realities and dynamics within the purposes of God for the world, and invite the Holy Spirit to stir its heart, mind, soul and strength. If it does so, it will learnt o participate more fully in the energy of the Spirit of Christ by which God, through his church, is drawing all human society to its fulfillment in the kingdom of God"
(Taken from "Mission-shaped church"- sorry dont have individual references)
Loadsa brilliant clips to use- and quotes.
My favourite was: “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having”. It kind of goes with a current theme in my head about people needing to not take themselves too seriously. Not being frivolous, but recognising the Humour of God in things, and not trying to cover up our own bumbling nature or whatever.
But I also liked this one as an analogy- [about Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up Parliament] "We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love... And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man... A man that made me remember the fifth of November… a man that I will never forget."
I can’t imagine that happening in my own setting one bit!
I bothered blogging about it because I saw over at Chris Footers nice blog a link to an article entitled “Church declares calling God a He leads to Wife Bashing” and it prompted me to put my thoughts down a bit.
My Womens Studies classes at uni first got me thinking academically about a whole lot of issues, and I have always got fired up about the ludicrous male exclusiveness experienced in my own and others church/home life/ mission. And don’t get me started on misinterpretations of verses in Corinthians etc. But most women – and lots of men- would think along these lines too, eh?
Its an altogether different matter though to pray to Mother God, isn’t it? A conversation a year ago with the female officer I most admire really challenged my thoughts on this, describing the detirmental impact of single gender God language. We would all admit that our theology is (should be) the source of our values, actions, attitudes, behaviours. But if we have an exclusively male view of God, how can we expect gender equality to be long lasting and genuine in the church, our lives? And there is not reason to see God as exclusively Male- the majority of Biblical scholars would admit that. Eg, Moltmann specifically sees the Holy Spirit as female.
So… why limit our language of God like this eh? Is it verging on oppressive/ discriminative talk? Does it restrict our ability to truly live on gender equal terms?
I challenge you- whether you agree or not (just as a social experiment)- to slip in a Her/She in your next God chat!
It is brilliant to have dialogue going on, comments at a previous post of mine, and over at stevewiseman.blogspot.com and also over at Tim’s. I think it does take courage to put your honest feelings up and I think it is important that spaces for the conversation to occur are created. I also would agree with Tim that Blogs are the proles way to have their voice heard- a vital process missing in the organisation of the Army.
My feelings definitely see this latest issue of Chick Yuil’s resignation as a product of systematic wrong. I think our Army needs a total reform of structure and culture. So my letter writing is going to focus on that. But some of you won’t agree eh? Some of you would see a different issue at hand – Injustice? Reconciliation? Power? However you have interpreted the issues- Write about it. Tell some one. Whatever the angle add your voice to the noise! That’s all I implore.
(There is currently going around the UK territory a letter you can add your voice to it. Tim has posted it. Copy and paste and send it to your TC/ the Chief/ The General if you agree)
Was alarmed once again by Don Brash’s unabashed racism- questioning the existence of Maori as an indigenous group! What the?! And some would have him as the next Prime Minster!
There is also a Bill at select committee calling for all reference to “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” in all government doco’s- legislation etc- to be removed. What the?! Of course the motives for it are complex but the fact is that to delete this term not only sends a terrible message to Maori, but will have very practical –and detrimental- implications for our fragile bicultural sprig.
Kiwi’s: write a submission! Email me if you want to join in a public demo on 20th October. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Greens View
Maori MP View