“Consider how death is reported in the news. Those that produce the news seem to know that we have a morbid desire to know how someone died—in an automobile accident—because, as Tolstoy observed, a passion for finding the “cause” of someone else’s death can be a way of satisfying ourselves that they died accidentally or fortuitously by virtue of special circumstances affecting the one who died (but not me). It seems that we are at once obsessed by death while striving in every way possible to conceal its power over our lives. Accordingly, we ask those charged to care for us when we are ill to do everything they can to get us out of life alive. This is yet another form of self-protection, as it means we then get to blame health-care providers for any miseries related to keeping us alive at all costs.”
This is the fifteenth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas edited by Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
“Unless Jesus is the only way to the Father, the martyr cannot exist. For the martyr’s death is her confession that Jesus is Lord, the Messiah of God. The martyrs are those who have died in a manner that make the cross of Christ unmistakable as God’s victory over death. Therefore just as the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies those who suffer for his sake. That is why it is so important that we remember the martyrs, that we remember Stephen. Continue reading The Politics of All Saints’ Day (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“Shockingly there remain to this day Christians who support Trump’s anti-migration policies because they believe his policies will “keep us safe.” Surely one could not wish for a more misleading understanding of what it means to be Christian. Christians worship at the church of martyrs; they seek fellowship with the crucified Lord. Being a Christian is not about being safe, but about challenging the status quo in ways that cannot help but put you in danger. Continue reading The Siren of Safety (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“Christian participation in politics starts with Christians first appraising the world in which they find themselves. This appraisal involves examining political situations as if God mattered for those situations. This is why for us ethics is a matter of seeing the world in such a way that one can accurately survey one’s available options. Those options, moreover, depend on the existence of a people who make options available because of the kind of people they are. Continue reading The Failure of Political Imagination (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“For unless a people exist who have a narrative more determinative than the story shaped by the politics of the day, I fear we will continue to produce politicians like Donald Trump, people who not only seem to be dangerous but are dangerous. They are, moreover, all the more dangerous because no people seem to exist who are capable of telling them the truth. Continue reading Losing the Plot in a Time Called Trump (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“The substitution of technique for wisdom is one of the main reasons that we have no place for understanding the responsibilities and status of the elderly. In wisdom cultures the elderly are expected to remember the judgments made in the past about matters that can be other. Once a social order no longer depends on memory the old have no responsibility to younger generations. Continue reading On Growing Old in the United States (Series on “Minding the Web”)