Political Engagement: A New Article Of Lived Faith – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-05-08 08:14:55 –

Editor’s Note: This article was originally University of Hawaii Press And Biographical Research Center University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2020 “Hawaii Value 3: Turning, Frihia” Edited by NoelaniGoodyear-Ka’ōpua, Craig Howes, Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo’ole Osorio and Aiko Yamashiro.

Civil Beat, which previously published an essay excerpted from the first two volumes of “The Value of Hawaii” (“Knowing the Past, Facing the Future” and “Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions”), now features excerpts from Volume 3. I have.You can see the whole Click here..

As UH Press describes the first two books, they “ignited public conversation, testimony, advocacy, and art for political and social change. These books ignited. , Discussing the value of connecting our different expertise and experiences to talk about who we are and where we are heading. ”Volume 3 continues in much the same way.

Political Engagement: A New Article on Living Faith

So where is the hope?
Instead of hitting a nail
It’s not without the Joist company.
Can’t even maintain the roof
In the air, the bones on the ceiling are dry
When driving in the rain, like spreading wings
More than fledgling; grace
Beyond stupid obligations.Fire fare
Faced with cold; someone was called
Someone breathes instead.
— Daniel Berrigan, “Block Island”

COVID-19 forced us all to hunt us home. But for almost half of all Hawaiian men, women, and children living in or on the edge of poverty, especially for the thousands of people living on sidewalks and beaches, homes have no joists, often no roofs, and too There is also often hopeless. Does a literally breathtaking illness teach us to breathe new life into our faith? Will it go beyond ardent prayers and beyond the beautiful hymns sung by Zoom? Is faith expressed in the same clear and serious manner in the Civic Plaza?

It will challenge the leaders of the faith who helped those in the pew, and those who left, advance the political agenda that hurt them. As directed by the Prophet Isaiah, we must declare our votes, testimony, and vigilance as observers to ensure that public policy is useful to the people (Isaiah 21). .. Some talked about the need to feed hungry people, protect homeless people, take care of prisoners, and be prone to illness. Such advocacy can define how the faith lives here if the people of the faith claim themselves to be “church” and accept their involvement in political life.

The modern history of the church was too often about supporting those in power. Cardinal Timothy Doran recently defended by claiming that he was engaged in “the sacred business of accompaniment, engagement and dialogue”, saying he praised Trump’s leadership to “salute” (Olavlin). ). However, people in the pew feel less and less associated, involved, or dialogued with church leaders, and young people are attracted to commercialized churches that violate their instincts for justice. not.

Caring for each other is the most basic expression of faith. Love god Love your neighbor like yourself. Luxurious vestments and cathedrals came with the institutionalization of what began as a fundamental call for justice and compassion.

It’s hard to break old habits, but we can try. Host Akiko Masuda offers this prayer at a Zen hideout on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.

We live a humble and simple life.
Put your palms together, bow your head with gratitude,
Thank you for every inhalation
And each exhales.
We calm down deeply and give up our bones
And our existence on Earth,
Deeply rooted in our precious Hawaii.
So that we can live in complete peace
And service to others.

It’s time to look inward and outward. A few weeks after the forced withdrawal of COVID-19, I heard a podcast of Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners, spoke with Rev. Eugene Cho, President-elect of Bread for the World, and legislated Hawaii. I was briefed by staff about federal assistance. Addresses the economic fallout of COVID-19. The ministers talked about the contractual relationship with their neighbors. What Bishop Desmond Tutu calls ubuntu about shared humanity. About hunger of children who depend on school lunch, lack of living wages, and racism fueled by references to the “Chinese virus”. They talked about going from the preaching platform to the public square.

Running through the legislative briefing was a sense of power and bureaucracy infected with a purse clutch. Proponents felt pressured not to make lawmakers look bad, even though they could not meet the urgent needs of the people. Even before the pandemic, nearly half were alive from salary to salary, and thousands were on the sidewalk. However, business voices have largely drowned nonprofits that urge them to prioritize dealing with family hunger and shelter.

House Speaker Scott Saiki said, “The future of our family and nation depends on a healthy and resilient economy” (“Governor”), so there is a need to “modernize our economy.” Was prioritized. Our family struggled to miss two months’ salary, but was asked to wait, with parliamentarians arguing over who was in control of federal aid.

Cover art: “Liko Honua” by Kapili’ula Naehu-Ramos.

The community of faith was missing from the team that was asked to plan a way out of this valley of suffering. Parliamentarians may believe that people will not wait and die, but the leaders of the faith, who are actually involved with problematic families every day, to help shape the response to the crisis. Not invited.

Rev. Sam Domingo, the last president of the Hawaii Church Council, which is now disbanded, is not surprised. “The church is less relevant to our political leaders,” he told me. They are looking to executives. “

Politicians still call for rituals in the church. The legislative session always begins with the red mass of the cathedral. And here, as in other places, the overworked offering of “thoughts and prayers” professes a shift to faith in the moment of despair, where pain is visible, raw and bloody.

However, much of this pandemic pain is hidden. It’s behind the door of a house without food. When underprivileged children struggle without a computer, broadband, or parents who can provide effective homeschooling. Where financial stress is causing domestic violence. The pandemic has also brought a visible burden on women as a primary caregiver and as a contributor to household income.

Faith must not be a prop. It should provide publicly moral clarity. Since the place of worship is also the place where people seek refuge, a rational approach will ensure that not only business leaders but also religious people plan the restoration of Hawaii. They bring the gift and grace of faith, and an understanding of community pain beyond the capabilities of most executives.

But the church itself has to change. As the early Church Fathers Irenaeus said, “God’s glory is a living person,” the church must speak much more strongly about getting people to work all day, but simply survive. I don’t have enough income. The Church must stop giving middle-class politicians and business leaders who serve on charitable committees, attend faithfully to the Church, and generously donate the comfort of thinking that their actions are sufficient. Hmm.

Faith must not be a prop. It should provide publicly moral clarity.

Churches that do not pay workers a living wage cannot speak of the dignity of labor. Schools and churches that fire people for being openly gay cannot preach about God, who welcomes everything. The repression of male clergy authority in the most intimate question of reproduction is the last gasping of patriarchy. Priests must accompany not only powerful people, but also those who have revealed that a pandemic is really essential: Steve Dolls, sanitary workers, bus drivers, janitor, nurses, home care. Workers, postal workers, farmers, grocery store clerks, and food preparers.

Faith must be seen by us and insist on tax fairness, living wages and the care of the vulnerable. That means publicly saying “no” to the ever-growing gap between executive compensation and hunger wages. As the psalmist said, “through fire and water,” we must be led by faith to “a rich place for all” (Ps 66). This concept is reflected in Hawaii’s own “Āina Momona” memory when the land actually provided everything.

The religious community that emerged from the hell of COVID-19 must become a living bread. We must inflate politics by advocating the dignity of all, not just appealing. A pandemic is an invitation to rebuild. Not only singing Hosana to heaven, but doing dirty work that is not always welcomed on earth for justice. Aloha. Ubuntu. People are people through others because we share the breath of life.

We must accompany you. We have to look and declare. Faith that is not involved in our political life is poverty that we can no longer afford.

Quoted work

Beligan, Daniel. “Brock Island.” And the Risen Bread: Selected Poems, 1957–1997, Fordham UP, 1998, pp. 245–58.

“Governor Ige appoints Alan M. Oshima to lead Hawaii’s economic and community recovery and resilience efforts.” Governor’s Office, April 8, 2020.

Olavlin, Michael J. “Cardinal Doran defends comments on Trump and claims he has critics on both sides.” USA: Jesuit Review, May 1, 2020, https: // www. americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/05/01/cardinal-dolan-defends-commentsabout-trump-argues-he-has-critics-both..

Wallis, Jim, Host. “Does Faith Need Political Advocacy? Conversation with Eugene Cho.” Sojourners, The Soul of the State with Jim Wallis, May 12, 2020, https://sojo.net/media/does-faithfulness-require-political-advocacy-conversationeugene-cho..

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