Blog Watch: Wendell Berry cited on technology in farming
Blog Watch: Selling Wendell Berry with enthusiasm

Blog Watch: Wendell Berry and "a politics of Jesus"

A politics of Jesus in our time would must recall Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, and remember that Luke includes woes along with his blessings, and thus inspires, perhaps, other odd and poetic voices deeply disturbed by the facts on the ground.
Wendell Berry wrote this poem in January, 1991, during the first Gulf War. Hardly a day has passed during the ensuing 21 years – the entire lifetime of my eldest child – when the words of this poem did not ring sadly true. Berry’s remains a singularly prophetic voice, and one that anyone pretending to articulate a politics of Jesus ought to study with care.
The year begins with war.
Our bombs fall day and night,
Hour after hour, by death
Abroad appeasing wrath,
Folly, and greed at home.
Upon our giddy tower
We’doversway the world.
Our hate comes down to kill
Those whom we do not see,
For we have given up
Our sight to those in power
And to machines, and now
Are blind to all the world.
This is a nation where
No lovely thing can last.
We trample, gouge, and blast;
The people leave the land;
The land flows to the sea.
Fine men and women die, the fine old houses fall,
The fine old trees come down:
Highway and shopping mall
Still guarantee the right
And liberty to be
A peaceful murderer,
A murderous worshipper,
A slender glutton, or
A healthy whore. Forgiving
No enemy, forgiven
By none, we live the death
Of liberty, become
What we have feared to be.



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