Thursday, November 27, 2008

Should Students Of Jesuit Schools Be Protesting At An American Military Base

This is an excerpt from The Rock and The Sword blog regarding the latest protest against SOA. I understand why the protest, but is a coordinated Jesuit effort using students at protest march / vigil at S.O.A. a good idea? I would even say that S.O.A. has done a great deal of good for the world. I quick glance at the S.O.A. Watch website certainly does not leave you with warm fuzzies.

Nine Jesuits and I just got back from a six-day, 40 hour trip to attend the 19 th annual SOA vigil and ninth annual Ignatian Family Teach-In.
We were just 10 of thousands of students from Jesuit schools.
Along the way we stopped at three different high schools and met with thousands of students to talk about vocations, discernment, and life as Jesuit novices. It was kinda like being on a concert tour going from town to town but without the crazed fans and luxury tour bus. Since I focused a lot on vocation, discernment, and life as a Jesuit (in general and personally) during the trip, the next few blogs will be about some of my experiences.

Link (here) to the full post.

Further links on the subject.
The School of the Americas
SOA Watch
Jesuit Martyr's of El Salvador
Ignatian Solidarity Network

Questions to consider?
  • Should there not be the same effort put into the Pro-Life movement that has claimed 40 million people in this country?
  • And yet the repulsive and immoral play The Vagina Monologues will be produced on many Jesuit campuses on the feast of St. Valentine and across this country and a "howl" will be let out at the so-called persecution by the Cardinal Newman Society.
  • Is this what Liberation Theology is all about?
Notice the Catholic symbolism in the old insignia for The School of the Americas.
The design is based on the design of the USARCARIS shoulder sleeve insignia. The galleon is symbolic of the Caribbean area and bears a replica of the red cross insignia used by Columbus during his explorations in the Caribbean area. The motto is a Spanish translation of the well known quotation from Alexander Dumas' "Three Musketeers" which is well known ("All for one and one for all") and frequently used by democratic leaders in Latin America.
Link (here)


Anonymous said...

your obsession with the vagina monologue is funny.Any Shakespeare's tragedy is more immoral.

If you are so haunting by the liberation theology why don't you study or read about? begin with gustavo Guttierez.

Max said...

"Should there not be the same effort put into the Pro-Life movement that has claimed 40 million people in this country?"

If you take a look at the online archives of the National Jesuit News, you'll see that thousands of students from Jesuit schools take part in the March for Life every January. The US Jesuit Conference always sponsors a special Mass for them, at which the President of the Conference invariably speaks. Furthermore, Georgetown students annually hold a pro-life conference at the time of the March for Life, and Georgetown also provides housing for many of the students who come into town to participate for the March. It seems to me that the Jesuit commitment reflected in all of this is at least as great as - and perhaps greater than - the commitment made to the SOA Vigil.

Feel free to see for yourself:

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Anon,

The V.M. is pornography, not Shakespeare. In regards to your comment on Liberation Theology I read about it every day. Liberation Theology does not haunt me, it haunts the former Jesuits, who have lost their vocation because of it.

Dear Max,

I agree with you that Jesuits individually and collectively are advocates for the pro-life movement. But are 10,000 students shipped into Washington from all over the country to join in the event? I think that the life of Miguel Pro can help us better understand the events in El Salvador.

Thank you both for adding to the blog, please come back any time add your thoughts and comments.



Max said...

"But are 10,000 students shipped into Washington from all over the country to join in the event?"

Yes, though I'm not sure the blogger you referenced was speaking literally when he claimed that 10,000 students from Jesuit schools were at the SOA Vigil. One way or another, I think the coverage given both events in Jesuit publications (e.g. in NJN) suggests that students from Jesuit schools are just as committed to the March for Life as they are to the SOA Vigil.

I should also note that you'll find many of the same students at both events - many would see their commitment to fighting abortion and fighting to close the WHINSC as part of a larger commitment to a view of human rights based on the idea that all are created in God's image and likeness and should be protected from violence from conception until natural death.

One shouldn't assume that the March for Life and the SOA Vigil are somehow opposed to one another. On the same token, one should not assume that everyone who participates in the SOA Vigil is motivated by a commitment to liberation theology. Many faithful Catholics see no contradiction in protesting against abortion and protesting against human rights violations in Latin America.

Monica said...

Max, I agree wholeheartedly. As a student at a Jesuit university in the Midwest, I was unable to make the SOA trip our school sponsored but attended the prayer vigil for friends who did. I have also bought my plane ticket to DC for the March for Life. No one is denying that abortion is the most despicable evil our country is dealing with presently, but that does not negate the need for human rights in other places as well. It is a failure of the prolife movement and so damaging to our credibility when we are not prolife in every instance from conception to natural death. This goes for prolifers who support the death penalty, prolifers who support embryonic stem cell research, prolifers who support unjust wars, prolifers who support the SOA. We will fail if we are not a unified, consistent voice for Life.

At the vigil, one of our Jesuits talked about the need to think about "What would I die for?" which is very very different from "What would I kill for?" because that plagued mentality has led to such atrocities as abortion, the SOA, war, torture, any number of things. I like to think that in my life I would die so that others may live. Let us challenge ourselves to live lives worthy of the cause.

Anonymous said...

I think Ryan Duns, SJ has it right on liberation theology.

Joseph Fromm said...

I am not arguing with any of you. If I can ask a few rhetorical questions? Is not the primary definition of Liberation Theology "Serving Christ by serving the poor?" My follow up is? How is protesting at a military base serving the poor? Would it not be a more fitting tribute to the fallen Jesuits of El Salvador, that more poor El Salvadoran children would have access to a good Jesuit education?

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Anonymous,

What points of Ryan Duns, SJ do you agree with and why do agree with them?

Anonymous said...

Joseph, as usual you mix apples and oranges. Why do you think that protesting against SOA prevents jesuits from to give to poor Salvadoran children a good education? It's a non sequitur.

I'm not the previous anonymous that wrote about Ryan Dunn sj, but I want answer you question.

I agree with this Ryan's quote:

"But the impulse behind it - that it names the reality of oppression and the sinful structures that perpetuate violence against humans and creation - are certainly sound and fit in well with anyone who takes seriously the ramifications of the Incarnation. While I am critical of numerous strains of liberation theology, I am grateful that it brings to the fore the social situation of so many, that it calls us to conscience for ways in which we can participate in the systematic oppression of others, and that it takes seriously the corporal works of mercy."

Benedetto XVI too spoke eloquently in favour of these aspects of the liberation theology.

Lee Rials said...

I am a 'little-c catholic' but having dealt with protesters of all sorts for the past eight demonstrations in Columbus, I think I can add to your dialogue. The question is not whether you should be protesting at an American Military Base, it is whether there is any validity to the protest itself. There is no evidence whatsoever that the SOA that was here until the end of 2000 ever contributed to any illegal, immoral or unethical act. Saying so with no evidence is a moral libel of the people who taught there (I have become internet-famous for that phrase!). SOAW has used the mere association of those accused or convicted of crimes and the SOA as 'proof' that the school had something to do with their behavior. The Jesuit high schools and universities who send people here use the justification of the Ignatian Family Teach-In, not the protest itself. If the Jesuits choose to move the teach-in to some other location (and one of the presenters there told me once that it didn't have to be linked to the protest), then the protest would revert to 15-20 die-hards. Just some thoughts to move the conversation along. I welcome direct contact; use the WHINSEC web site to reach me by phone or email.

Lee A. Rials
Public Affairs Officer
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation

Joseph Fromm said...

Thank You Lee

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Anon,

In regards to apples and oranges. Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises talks about the spiritual dimension of choices, good verses bad, good and better and bad masquerading as good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joseph

a non sequitur again.
Didn't jesuits teach you any logic?

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Anon,

Regarding "non sequitur".
I am offering an example of another option other than hanging out with Anarchists and Marxists in front of Fort Benning. I disagree with your premise that the American military is a vehicle for immoral oppression.
Our country has defended the poor, the oppressed and the disadvantaged. We have 6 foot deep graves all over the world to prove the point.