In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Thursday, January 05, 2006

White People Suck

I'm resonating today with Jason's post about sometimes feeling bad for being white. Last night, I watched a movie entitled The Mission. The film follows the work of missionaries in South America, and their run-ins with the European powers wanting to expand their empires.

The Europeans would like to take over the people's lands and make the Natives their slaves. Their plan only has one little snag, the small Missions that have converted whole tribes and communities. In one scene, you see the European army force a Native-born priest strip, so he can be sold into slavery.

Two priests (Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons) argue whether fighting resistance or a passive presence would be more effective. In the end, neither approach works. Everything is for naught.

I was very moved by the movie. It makes me ashamed to know that my ancestors have been a part of this activity since they got here (the same thing has happened across time and geography). I am saddened that I can still see the same thing happening today around the world. You would think that we would have learned by now that killing and oppressing people does no good for the world at large. In the end, it makes all of our lives more difficult.

This is all swirling together with the upcoming Martin Luther King weekend. I also was invited to return to El Salvador to study liberation theology. I declined (no money, plus a very last minute invitation...we would depart tomorrow). These things are all converging in my head.

Just another depressing thought, inspired by a tragic movie, on a very grey day.


Blogger Michael Dodd said...

That is one powerful movie. I saw it when it first came out, and after it ended, people just sat in the theater in total silence for a while.
There is an implied hope, I think, in the scene where the bishop is told by the Europeans, "The world is thus." He replies, "No, we have made it thus." Perhaps we can make it different, too.
Starting where we are and with who we are.

12:48 PM  

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