Monday, December 17, 2007

Sobrino on the West's only unquestioned dogma of the Christmas season

"The unquestioned dogma of profit...We are speaking of those fundamentalisms - individualism, comfort, or pleasure (so soft in appearance, but with grave consequences) - that are accepted without justification and unquestionably prized and promoted. We are speaking also of the simplistic and infantile attitudes that may express themselves in very pretentious language, sometimes in the political sphere and very frequently in the religious."

What will we do to uphold this orthodoxy?

"Accept as normal the arrogance and dominance of some human beings with respect to others. And it accepts obedience to the empire's directives as necessary, or at least comprehensible, if we want to be assured of a 'good living,' 'success,' and 'security,' or whatever passes for definitive salvific goods."

What is the practice of this gospel?

"We are dehumanized by our selfishness...Such dehumanization is assumed with an attitude of impotence and naturalness ("that's the way things are!), and it is hardly noticeable since, in contrast to the evils that produced physical death or move people toward it, the evils of the spirit are not so obviously calculable. But they are harmful."

- Jon Sobrino, No Salvation Outside the Poor: Prophetic-Utopian Essays (40-41)

This book just came out so you should get it while it's hot.


Jeff said...

Great post Tripp. I've been grinding the Christmas axe on my blog too.

Justin said...

I too enjoyed this post. I have copied and credited it to you on my blog!!! thanks buddy!

say hey to the kid for me!

Drew said...

Interesting set of quotes.

With respect to the dehumanization of selfishness I think of two totally unrelated things.

The first is Simone Weil's notion of affliction and how the truly afflicted no longer have the capacity to receive the good. Human selfishness only reinforces the state of affairs for the afflicted.

The other is that I was watching American Psycho this weekend. This is truly a disturbing satire on how selfishness and greed are normative and how any notion of the human is completely obliterated by it. What is more important is that this, as the last line of the movie states, "means nothing".

So on that note, Merry Christmas!