Andrew and I went to see Hotel Rwanda last night (trailer here). It’s movies like these that make me so proud to be an American (read = sarcasm…bitter sarcasm). It’s also movies like these that make me wonder, “How accurate was the film? Were the facts there? Did they exaggerate things just to make it a moving, emotional film…?” And I think these questions are valid questions, I think it’s fair to ask them. But at the same time, it really doesn’t matter.
I was moved. I was told a people’s story; a story of discrimination, hatred, suffering, survival, courage, and sorrow. The story of the Hutus and the Tutsis. The story of a rebellion and a genocide. The story of UN decisions (primarily bad) and USA ignorance (read = knowing what was happening and simply turning away). Movies like these make me realize that it’s hard to be an American and someone who cares about the atrocities across the world. I don’t think the US needs to be the worldwide police to intervene in everything, but it seems that if people are being killed for absolutely no reason, there needs to be a response. Should we be in Iraq trying to force them into a democracy? Maybe not. Should we seek to make the entire world democratic? Probably not. Should we intervene to try and make multiple mini-USAs? No. Should we intervene when human-rights violations are taking place? People dying? Mass-killings? Yes, I think that’s a no brainer.
After leaving the theatre in downtown Princeton, I was just mad at myself. I was frustrated. While I was only 14 years old while this horrible genocide in Rwanda took place, that’s really no excuse for not being aware of horrible atrocities taking place in the world today. [Wikipedia on the Rwandan genocide]
So what does this mean for today…what does this mean for bloggers?
I think it means we need to get our heads out of the dirt (or our asses) and listen to the world; listen to the cries of the oppressed. We need to be reading a lot more liberation theology. We need to be blogging about social issues. We need to stop talking about “what is Emergent” and decide that whatever the hell “Emergent” is, it needs to be about something; about “doing” something that will make the world more like the kingdom of God. Not just for the people in our congregations, but for the people in Sudan; for the people in Latin America; for the people in Rwanda…let us be about that task in 2005, and maybe that will help our critics see that Emergent is not some heretical movement, or a bunch of people who just don’t want to deal with the institutional church: rather, that we are attempting to live our lives faithfully into the gospel, and seeing how that gospel can change the world today for all peoples.
[friend and fellow blogger Tony Biasell calls for the same…let us heed the call]