The Pastoral is Political: Short-Term Memory

RevGalBlogPals | 11/12/2018 | Staff
Matty123 (Posted by) Level 3
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In Flanders fields.

Sunday, November 11, 2018 was the one-hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War One in Europe. The festivities have been solemn, and rightly so. But sometimes, an ocean away in America, we somehow do not feel the connection to the destruction and loss of life that occurred in this war. Being so far removed both geographically and personally, our elected officials seem indifferent. Or unobservant. Or uneducated. Or perhaps, a combination of all three!

History - Memories - Photos - WW1 - Sense

What we forget becomes just history. It fades into our memories like the sepia-toned photos of WW1. It also becomes normalized. It blots out any sense of urgency or crisis. It removes any motivation to respond, to teach against it or try and change the status quo. The suffering of others does not affect us; it’s just one more sad story.

I recognize that the quick turn of the news cycle causes stories to quickly flow from our memories. The next big event is splashed across the screen with a sonorous announcement from the newscasters. But the crises of a year ago? A decade ago? A century ago? We are hard-pressed to recall them. We seem to flit from one headline to the next, not remembering that we’ve seen stories like this before.

Weeks - Shootings - US - A - Synagogue

In the last two weeks, we have had more mass shootings here in the US. A synagogue in Pittsburgh. A country bar in Thousand Oaks. A private home in Memphis. We are not immune to these tragic events, in fact, we all know that “it could have been me.” But how do we respond as people of faith? How can we retain our history so that we respond as instruments of healing, rather than hate? When events occur in an ever-increasing stream, how do we face them without becoming jaded or...
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