I inadvertently stumbled on to this the other day while listening to Hans Zimmer on YouTube. The more I looked into this speech, the more fascinated I became with the film and the circumstances around it, take this from IMDB,
Gallup polls revealed that 96% of Americans opposed U.S. involvement in the war in Europe, and threatening letters from Nazi sympathizers poured into the studio. At one point, he even asked a friend with the Longshoreman’s Union in New York if they could have some union members present at the opening, to prevent a pro-Nazi demonstration.
In the 1940 movie, The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin gives the following climatic speech, now mixed with a little Hanz Zimmer (from every awesome soundtrack ever).
Words worth listening to, timeless & poignant.
Evangelicalism, you have made your people defend a book, but not the marginalized in front of them. You have blinded them with your judgements. You have made them so hungry for power, that they want nothing to do with the powerless. You have turned them into the oppressors. You have made it all about the next life, while ignoring this one. Your people pray, sing, maintain their holiness, but what they don’t see is that this is turning them into white-washed tombs. They don’t realize that righteousness is justice. Holiness is defending the powerless and taking care of the least of these. You have made it all about themselves.
You still have some honest, good people within your religion, but you must release them from your bondage. You must give them the freedom to be messy, to question, to love, to do justice, to give mercy, to be kind and gentle. You must step aside and let them see Jesus, and to be Jesus.
Evangelicalism, you have traumatized us enough. Maybe you are the one who is traumatized. It is time to examine your fruit. It is time to heal, so that you may bring healing.
The opposition parties have generally opposed the flag change… it wasn’t their idea. But not wanting to miss out on the change-bandwagon they have proposed we change the anthem calling it a “dirge”. The only dirge I hear is the sound of our politicians, and I lament the loss of politics that matter.
Caeser had the Colosseum and we have our referendums.
Be it thoughts on flag changes, comities, TPPA, process, politics of distraction, or how to deliver a punchline that leaves you thinking. Toby Morris, consider me a fan.
behind a tranquil monastery is a boundary of forestry hiding a barbed-wire monstrosity
a church safe cursed by a razor-wire crown of thorns
we must protect our truth, sanctified and clean
like we set the standard for what clean is
hide your light under a bushel
unless it’s sanitized and superficial
The airstrikes happen everywhere, anytime, day and night. At night is the most difficult time. The bombing intensifies and I can feel it getting closer and closer. I’m exhausted but I try and force myself not to fall asleep… the explosions are even scarier when they wake you up. I prefer to be awake when they strike.
I prefer to be awake when they strike.
Wow… that line blows my mind.
Think about that for a second.
How fucked up would my world have to be for me to utter a sentence like that…
the bombs are going to happen, I prefer them in the daylight.
It blows my mind that strikes are so inevitable as to have a preference.
It blows my mind that this is someones reality.
It blows my mind that for some, throwing rocks is the last little bit of resistance they can offer.
It blows my mind that we can label a whole people group as terrorists… the grandparents, the sons and daughters… the parents that hope for their kids just like parents all around the world do.
A people group whose hopes & dreams aren’t that different from yours or mine.
It blows my mind how indifferent or dismissive we can be…
Because acknowledging their reality would force us to confront our own.
The quote from the beginning is from Arwa Mhanna’s article for Oxfam, the full article can be read here.
Donations to Oxfam’s Gaza effort can be made here.
Spent the day walking around San Francisco, from the Wharfs to Mission District up to the twin peaks to catch the sunset.
In my travels I noticed that a lot of the doorway entrances have a caged door as well…
and then I noticed some churches do too…
and then I noticed not just doorways but little enclaves & places of shelter were caged off…
and then I found this man in an alleyway…
and right across the road was this church…
it had a large sheltered area that would be perfect for alley-man to sleep & shelter in.
It may even make a difference in whether he lives or dies tonight.
I want to ask a question, so I find an entrance. On the way I see the churches slogan on a big sign,
Relationship. Not Religion.
I ask, “why do I see so many areas caged off?”. The answer it seems is because homeless people would take up residence there. “Is this why you guys have a caged area too?”, He looks awkward, a lady pipes up, “You have to remember we have to keep it clean for Sunday”.
I ask her if she knows a homeless guy died from the cold the other night, that he is the 5th in the last 2 weeks. She tells me if they let a few homeless stay (in the courtyard) soon there would be lots & they have families that come on Sunday.
He tells me they’re busy & I have to go now, I thank them for their time, I’m just trying to make sense of it all…
Wouldn’t God be appalled if our courtyards were dirty.
Heaven forbid we became known as a church where the least & disadvantaged seek shelter, or where faith was raw & real for our families, rather than disinfected-white-washed-sanitised-sunday-school-lives.
Lets do some simple math. There are easily a 120+ people there, that would mean committing 1 day every 2 months where you & another person cleaned up & served the homeless that gathered in your courtyard…
who knows, maybe then the words of your slogan would come to life…
maybe then it would stop being religion,
and start being relationship.
Last night we had a new roommate arrive, he promptly left & spent all night in a strip club before returning in the morning. He’s a mid 50’s American who has to travel for business, he tells his wife he stays in Hotels & will call her from one the 1st night & then spends the rest of the time staying at hostels. Why hostels you ask? I didn’t but he’d enlighten me anyway, the extra money is for strippers & chasing tail (I opted for a different choice of words), oh & hostels are full of lots of young drunk *****
… Ladies & Gentlemen I present to you the nomination for the trips most seediest individual.
I’ve been asked a bit lately about the safety of hanging out & talking to houseless people, 90% of the time I’ve felt safe. There was one instance I didn’t & I left & that wasn’t due to houseless people but a group of others in that area.
What’s felt more unsafe to me is the random dude selling coke, or sitting at a bar having dinner & the business woman whose next to you slips you her hotel key-card… that’s felt more unsafe than hanging-out with people without houses.
Anyway it’s my last day & I’ve found out about two places I should get to, one is just out of Chinatown, the other is a “tent city” in Waianae. Waianae proves to be too far away for me as I don’t have the coin for a cab ($80-100 each way) or car hire, or the time to bus… finding out about this place too late & not being able to make it, would prove to be my greatest disappointment of my time in Hawaii.
So I manage a quick visit to Chinatown & some of the surrounding areas. It’s strange to see empty basketball courts & abandoned playgrounds… & streets lined with tents.
I say goodbye to the “Houseless crew”, the group closest to me, where it all started I guess. A couple are drunk & don’t know who I am. Mark, who has never said much to me, thanks me & gives me a Hawaii bracelet (I’m not “convinced” it was purchased) I’ll wear it all the same.
…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped
and these guys certainly live in the shadows. Mark was assaulted last night and his face is cut, bruised & swollen, he was asleep when it started, he had no possessions, money, or drugs…
he had no one.
We can’t blame our government for not looking after those in the ‘shadows’. When we can walk by without making eye contact, offering a hello or a smile…
Is life really too busy to take 2 seconds to acknowledge someone else’s humanity?
Someone once said,
Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest
We have a way to go.
Hawaii Looking Back: Hawaii didn’t workout as planed…
but it couldn’t have worked out better. Sure I spent a whole lot less time on the beach & in the water than I would have liked but I got to meet some amazing people, I’ve met some from different walks of life, who I could live a million lifetimes & not rub shoulders with. My life is richer for it.
I wish I could have had another day here & made it to Waianae.
It’s been cool to see God at work, it’s been cool to see the difference a little love & kindness can make in someones life. Walking back to the Hostel one last time, I run into a guy I’d spent a bit of time with, he proudly tells me he’s been sober for a day.
It’s the first time in 15yrs.
We never had conversations about it…we barely had conversations, I just sat & listened.
Of all the things we have to give others, I think ‘time’ is the hardest to give.
I’m off to the airport, see you in San Francisco.