Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

(Titus 1:1-9; Luke 17:11-19)

It is remarkable that the Letter to Titus has to remind the early Christians to obey state laws. We think of these men and women as so devout that they would never tell a lie much less steal a cow. Today we equate being Christian with being law-abiding although, unfortunately, aberrations abound. There are also a few issues that have moved some contemporary Christians to civil disobedience.

Each year for that last twenty-three mostly Catholic citizens have protested the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA) located at Fort Benning, Georgia. Although the Army claims SOA trains Latin America military to be more ethical as well as more effective soldiers, it is also true that a couple of the most notorious thugs in recent hemispheric history have graduated from SOA. Protesters believe that the school needs to be shut down. During the protests a contingent showing the earnestness of their cause crosses a line defying a federal law and are promptly jailed.

Actually the School of the Americas no longer exists. Through the efforts of protesters the Army changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and its curriculum. However, American militarism in Latin America has continued catalyzing the continuance of the dissent.