By: Rev. Seth Wispelwey, Minister for Economic Justice, UCC National
In the United States, our tax dollars fund the atrocities of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and settler-colonial apartheid. Amidst the thousands brown-skinned people killed with our money and votes are many more thousands still living, yet irreparably disabled by missiles, bullets, tear gas and other weapons branded “Made in the U.S.A.” This has been true for years, but probably never as nakedly clear as the past few months. Given our multi-billion dollar and arms-dealing patronage, our elected leaders could have stopped the clear genocidal atrocities and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank as soon as it began. Instead, they blessed those actions, with the gift of billions more of our taxes and weapons. Untold scores of thousands maimed, dismembered, mutilated, and disabled – yet still breathing with tears to shed.
Will those tears – shed so close to the Negeb – sow the promise of the Psalmist? (What will it take for the tears sowed by US sponsored weapons to become the harvest of joy promised by the Psalmist?) It comes down to whether we empathize with Palestinian pain, are convicted by our complicity in it, and ultimately choose solidarity with their liberation struggle. It comes down to whether we have tears to shed alongside them. Grief is important for transformation, same as water to a garden. Shame and denial are weeds that choke growth. Shouts of joy come with shining sunlight clearly, until all are free.
Same as it was over 2000 years ago, Bethlehem is located in occupied Palestinian territory, being choked by the racist forces of empire. Our empire. The joyful promises of the Psalmist – of Christmas – come to those who drive a spoke into the wheels of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and the disabling violence of empire.
Inhale: In the midst of empire’s violence,
Exhale: make us like those who dream.
Artwork: “Solidarity with Palestine” by Roger Peet.
Used with permission CC BY-NC-ND
Find more at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
SHARE THIS NEWS ARTICLE
Sign up to receive alerts about new stories and resources. You’ll also enjoy our Join the Movement newsletter, featuring changemaker profiles, reflections on current events in the movement toward racial justice, and more. Get sneak previews and information about upcoming events, workshops and webinars.