Monday, September 18, 2006

The Battle Within

A good friend of mine and pastor, Hans, wrote about Stanley Hauerwas in his blog. It is really cool because Hauerwas' views on pacifism completely echoed my last blog entry. Colman McCarthy quotes, "I say I'm a pacifist because I'm a violent son of a bitch. I'm a Texan." This very blunt statement shows that for him the battle is within. This is the case for me and the case, I believe, in general. Check out the Raskolnikov-effect given in my last post. Earlier he is quoted, "I would not be a pacifist if I were not a Christian, and I find it hard to understand how one can be a Christian without being a pacifist." This is remarkable again given the question on Israel in my last post for so many Christians are staunch Zionists.

A cool juxtoposition has taken place in my studies. I am translating (I'm hoping to be reading at some point) parts of the Iliad and all the Trojan Women by Euripides and parts of the Aenid. What is cool is that the Iliad deals with the war, the Trojan Women with the fallout and the Aenid with the founding of a new city once the baggage of the old is dealt with. In class we watched the Cacoyannis film (the soundtrack and filming is excellent by the way) The Trojan Women. Oh! the horrors of war. Check out this quote from the play:

"I do not commend the fear of one who fears but never yet has reasoned out the cause."

Astyanax, the child of Hector, had just been killed because Odysseus reasoned that one day he may be a threat to the Greeks. Check out how it lines up with Hauerwas says, "[I] recalled that Bush, after urging Americans to go shopping, immediately proclaimed, "We are at war." Hauerwas explained that peculiar juxtaposition this way: "We are frightened, and ironically war makes us feel safe. The way to go on in the face of 9/11 is to find someone to kill. Americans are, moreover, good at killing. We often fail to acknowledge how accomplished we are in the art of killing. We now conduct war in a manner that only the enemy has to die." This is exactly what Euripides was struggling with. The Athenians were adept at war and went campaigning every summer. Also, it is possible that the play was a response to the Athenian's slaughter of an entire city, very similar to Troy's situation. The point, though, is that Euripides definitely took his minerals, in other words, he had balls because he was sponsored by the state and still produced this play (a much harsher critique than Michael Moore's work). As my professor stated, "this play today could easily be set in Iraq, Afghanistan or Darfur".

1 comment:

Hans Anderssen said...

Ya, you and Hauerwas are alike: pacifist cussers.
Lovin' it.
btw - have you seen the bumper sticker: Who Would Jesus Bomb?
H

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