Lost In Translation?

Of all the things that you don’t want to have lost in translation, this has to make the Top 10 list: “a declaration to end the Korean War just now”. Are you listening, Letterman?

For those who are keeping score, the Korean War (1950-1953) never actually ended, it was merely declared a truce with the cease-fire zone at the 38th degree parallel. Technically, that’s still a war with a long intermission.

U.S. President Bush and and South Korean President Roh seem to be missing each other in terms of what it takes to end a war. Bush says it all depends on Kim Jong Il’s desire to lay down his hopes of nuclear weapons. And it seems that North Korea is willing to let the inspectors in the door. Perhaps Kim is not as crazy as he used to be. Or maybe he just needs the aid that bad.

How does my Christian faith influence my views of politics, war, and nation-state? I know that the modern world would like to separate my faith from the equation, but I have to ask the questions: what is spiritually going on here? What is God’s will in this? and subsequently as we answer those questions, what can we do?

Is it possible that Walter Wink has a point when he talks about The Myth of Redemptive Violence?

In short, the Myth of Redemptive Violence is the story of the victory of order over chaos by means of violence. It is the ideology of conquest, the original religion of the status quo. The gods favour those who conquer. Conversely, whoever conquers must have the favour of the gods. The common people exist to perpetuate the advantage that the gods have conferred upon the king, the aristocracy, and the priesthood.

Religion exists to legitimate power and privilege. Life is combat. Any form of order is preferable to chaos, according to this myth. Ours is neither a perfect nor perfectible world; it is theatre of perpetual conflict in which the prize goes to the strong. Peace through war, security through strength: these are the core convictions that arise from this ancient historical religion, and they form the solid bedrock on which the Domination System is founded in every society.

When will Asian/Asian American Christians begin to engage in the politics of war and peace? Do we have some notion that if we simply let these things come to pass that we usher in the Apocalypse ourselves? Are we somehow collectively, yet subconsciously, waiting for the end of the world to come so we can hurry up and gain our reward? What’s wrong with this mentality?

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  1. […] of the myth of redemptive violence, which David over at Next Gener.Asian has been exploring lately [read Lost In Translation? here]. The way up is the way down; if we want to be great, we must become small; the first shall be last […]

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