AN “INTERVIEW” WITH A SOUTH AFRICAN PASTOR
Tags: religion, faith, new books, resistance, power of religion, faith to effect change, Henry Porter, New Zealand, craig lock
The title of the pastor Bruce McCauley’s sermon was
RELIGION CAN DICTATE TERMS OF RESISTANCE
“Organised religion is very often the only means people have of challenging a dictatorship and bringing about enlightened political values. The faith of so many ordinary people in the blood-soaked history of our beloved country gave them the courage to go into the streets. Together, faith and passive mass resistance create an inspired force that is more than the sum of its parts. Religion can be a platform of resistence, a point of ignition…and any history of liberty and modern civilisation must concede that. Many regimes around the globe make the mistake of allowing conditions where the people had nothing but their lives to lose (having “no stake in society”).
History penalises those who do not change with the times. Only by understanding the past can we push into the future. The fire has now been lit and may the resolve of the people prevail.
In Leipzig on Oct 9 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall a statement was read from the pulpits of every church in the city appealing for peace and self control. I am now uging you people to have the same self restraint. The voice of the pastors there gave the message authority and the people of Leipzig courage. Without them the most peaceful revolution ever seen would have been very different.
And pastor Bruce closed with the stirring words: “Only by understanding the past can we push into the future. May all of you here in this church, as well as in every other church in South Africa, serve the cause of freedom and our religion very well, as we move into the light of a bright new future in our country.”
(as adapted from the words of Henry Porter as writing in ‘The Observer’ from a report in The New Zealand Herald, Tuesday October 2. 2007).
Web site: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/buddhism/news/article.cfm?c_id=500820&objectid=10467088
“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogises Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1998.
“Those who say that religion is seperate to politics don’t know what religion is.”
– Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
“My religion is kindness.”
– Mohandas Gandhi