Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten? by Darryl Worley.  I was singing this to some friends the other day and they didn’t believe me that it was a real song, or that it was a #1 hit in 2003.

official video here.

It feels almost indulgent to listen to it.  So rich with the ideology that we are so surrounded by that even people in the resistance don’t often know how to respond.  Here’s the first verse and chorus…

I hear people sayin’. We Don’t need this war.
I say there’s some things worth fightin’ for.
What about our freedom, and this piece of ground?
We didn’t get to keep ’em by backin’ down.
They say we don’t realize the mess we’re gettin’ in
Before you start preachin’ let me ask you this my friend.

if I were reading this for the first time I would have naturally assumed that it was written by Zulu in South Africa or Lakotah in the North American midwest.  So fighting in Afghanistan is actually about fighting for Tennessee?  If anyone questions us about the long-term ramifications about the proposed perpetual pre-emptive war in response to 911 we should then reply with the following?

Chorus
Have you forgotten, how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten, when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside goin through a livin hell
And you say we shouldn’t worry bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Wow.  Rest of lyrics here.  Wow.

State Theology

While finishing up my second book for my History of Southern Africa class, Jesus has been mentioned quite a bit.  Since the beginning of the class, there has been the all-too-familiar notions of those in power using their concepts of God to justify not only their superior social status, exploitation of others, but their ideology of “this is the way it is”.  Notably the Afrikaners using a military victory over the Zulu in the Battle of Blood River (the Ncome River) on Dec 16, 1838 as proof that God prefers the European newcomers over the African inhabitants.

It took some theological unraveling for people to get the idea out of their heads that the State (no matter which one) was ordained by God-to be obeyed and if you rebel against them you are rebelling against God.

A Christian Dirce by Henryk Siemiradzki

I have had hundreds of conversation in my day about how to work with this excerpt from Romans 13 (when Nero was likely emperor) and how to make sense of it-mostly in the modern USA context. Responding to the same rhetoric that we hear in the States about how we are to go along with the governments and how military victories perpetuate our freedom, The Kairos Document was drafted in 1985 by over 150 clergy of all races and denominations.  They helpfully outlined how crazy such arguments to justify the oppressor are.

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