Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Hospitality is the right of all and the duty of all" -- a view from the South


This week U.S. politicians have bravely declared our country a nation of cowards, too frightened of people fleeing war and terror to recognize the shared humanity of the desperate.

Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian theologian and academician whose conflicts with the Roman Catholic hierarchy led him out of that church in 1992. He has referred to the Church, Western leaders, and Middle Eastern fanatics as all representing a "fundamentalism" that oppresses the poor.

Boff doesn't think much of the response of rich countries to the anguish of migrants. In the present circumstances, his hope in the humanity of ordinary people, not the generosity of rulers.

As always, the global refugee problem presents an ethical imperative of hospitality at both the national and international levels. We are witnessing a human migration much as occurred during the decay of the Roman Empire. Millions of people seek new homelands so as to survive, or simply to escape the wars and to find a modicum of peace. Hospitality is the right of all and the duty of all.

...If we want a lasting peace, and not just a truce or a momentary pacification, we must live universal hospitality and respect for universal rights.

... If we do not undertake good will in earnest, we will not find a way out of the desperate social crises that tear up the societies on the periphery, and causes the millions of refugees that are headed for Europe.

Good will is the last life boat that is left. The world situation is a disaster. We are living in a permanent state of siege or global civil war. No one, not even the two Holy Men, Pope Francis and the Dali Lama; not the intellectual or moral elites, nor techno-science, offers any clues for a global path. In fact, we depend solely on our good will. ...

America Latino en movimiento

As has often been the case, people whose countries have been torn apart by global elites have a clearer view of reality than those of us protected, but isolated in our bubble, within Top Nation. This week the focus was on Syrians, but imperial firepower, fundamentalisms, civil wars and the disasters of climate change will set populations on the move across the globe in our time. We better get ready to deal as humanly as we can; we all might need help one day.

2 comments:

Hattie said...

Our problem as liberals is that we assume that if people only understood the true situation they would do the right thing. Our "shoulds" and "oughts" don't have much of an impact. Defending our own turf and demanding equality seems to be the most effective way to fight injustice.

Hattie said...

To be clear, I mean that as we defend our own interests we are living by our stated values, justice in particular.

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