Search This Blog

CCE in brief

My photo
Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Pushing Daisies in Partisan Politics: WWJD?

Chasten Bowen of Anaheim, a former U.S. flier who was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp after his bomber was shot down over France during World War II, would be eligible for reparations in a deal being negotiated by France's national railroad and the U.S. State Department, but says he does not need them.

Over the past week I was in Germany, commemorating the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp with survivors, their family and various state officials.  Among the group was Chat Bowen, a former World War II pilot in the US Airforce who is one of The Lost Airmen of Buchenwald.

Chat tells a great tale of this one time when he was separated from his fellows in Buchenwald by the SS and placed before a firing squad.  The SS figured the 168 Allied Airmen they'd thrown into the Camp against the conditions of the Geneva Convention would have valuable insight to help them turn around a war that increasingly wasn't going in their favour.

You have to have met Chat to really understand what comes next but let me assure you, I believe the story exactly as Chat relays it.

According to Chat, his first comment was "what, it takes 20 of you for just little old me?"

The SS shouted at him stamped their feet and shouted their questions, threatening to shoot him at any second.  The more they aggressively pushed him, the more he found himself laughing.

"I found this complete calm come over me," Chat said in conversation over the weekend. "I flat-lined, I figured I was already dead.  So I said to them 'Go ahead - I know where I'm going and I know where you're going, and you've got a long road ahead of ya.'"

Chat is a practicing Christian who believes the Bible as literal truth.  I disagree with him on that, but you simply cannot argue with the philosophy he has developed concerning life.

So long as he's on the right side of the green grass, he says, there's not much that can upset him.  Cribbing the Dalai Lama he likes to say "if you've got a problem, solve it, and if you can't solve it then how's it a problem?"

Chat defeated the SS who lined him up for execution that day.  They smacked him and sent him back to the others, but he survived.  Even if they had killed him, the seed he planted that day would have come back to haunt them.  

He has continued in the same vane since that day, sharing his story and the lessons it tells, encouraging others to laugh, remember what truly matters and enjoy every minute that you're "vertical and on the green side of the grass."  He has a great deal to say against hate, too.  Hate, he says, is such a waste of energy.  It makes you sick.  He cannot do that to himself, much less to others.  He laughs instead.

None of what we see in modern politics is anywhere near as bad as what the Nazis did - but it's getting worse.  We've always used attacks, but they're becoming more deeply personal.  Hate, political advisers will tell us, is a purifying force.

Partisans are increasingly carving the population into ethnic blocks and targeting them for specific purposes.  All Parties are focusing on propaganda under the term of "attack ads."  

They're all portraying their leaders as the only one who can save everyone else from, well, each other.  Divide and conquer, etc.

It's almost like they don't know how to do anything else.  So engrossed in the game they have become that they are blind to any other alternative.

More than a few partisans on either side of the divide are practicing Christians yet, when it comes to politics, seem more willing to act like Caiaphas.  Instead of seeking to heal troubles within our faltering, power-centric political system, they would fight against anyone who seeks to break the silos that have fed them well for so long.

Why?  What's their end goal?  Is it absolute power?  To what end?

Stephen Harper and many of his Cabinet wolves are practicing Christians that supposedly believe the tenets of their faith - one that, notably, has this fella called Christ at its centre.

Would Jesus Christ have supported the Fair Elections Act?  Would he be as focused on throwing disenfranchised Canadians into the deep end and see how they swim on their own?  Would he have been proactively seeking ways to belittle his opponents so as to force them to cooperate with him world view?  Would he have been pushing the masses to put coin into his PR machine to fight back with more ads?

Where would Jesus have placed himself if he'd been in Buchenwald with Chat - with the SS, or in the line of fire?

Too many of our Political People have lost their faith and don't even realize it.  The cognitive dissonance must be terrible, given the amount of self-serving confabulation they put out.

Spin it as they may, though, the truth would be thus - if Jesus were around today, it would be them he'd be standing against.

It's time these political people stop asking whose on their side now and spend some time thinking about whose side they'll be on when they're horizontal on the brown side of the grass.

No comments:

Post a Comment