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The Prophetic Challenge.cwk (WP)

The Prophetic Challenge.cwk (WP)

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Published by Michael Drew Prior
Reprinted with permission of the author.
Reprinted with permission of the author.

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Published by: Michael Drew Prior on Aug 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Prophetic Challenge: “Feware guilty, but all areresponsible” by Robert Jensen[A version of this essay wasdelivered as a sermon to theHenry David Thoreau UnitarianUniversalist Congregation of FortBend County, Texas, August 3,2008.]One of the common refrains Iheard from progressive people inPakistan and India during mymonth there this summer was,“We love the American people --
it’s the policies of yourgovernment we don’t like.”That sentiment is not unusual inthe developing world, and suchstatements can reduce thetension with some Americanswhen people criticize U.S.policy, which is more commonthan ever after the illegalinvasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.I used to smile and nod when Iheard it, but this summer Istopped agreeing.“You shouldn’t love theAmerican people,” I started
saying. “You should hate us --we’re the enemy.”By that I don’t mean that mostAmericans are trying to come upwith new ways to attack peoplein the Global South. Instead, Iwant to challenge the notion thatin a relatively open society suchas the United States -- wheremost people can claim extensiveguarantees of freedom of expression and politicalassociation -- that the problem isleaders and not ordinary citizens.Whatever the reason people inother countries repeat this

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