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Author Topic: Profiles in Courage  (Read 4091 times)

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AGelbert

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Profiles in Courage: Helder Camara
« on: December 17, 2013, 08:03:42 pm »

Helder Camara






BBC Radio Scotland - Thought for the Day

 Alastair McIntosh, 1 August 2006 – Spiral of Violence 


My youth was during the Vietnam era, and I have to confess that as a hawkish young man I found war rather exciting. I remember going to Aberdeen University and seeing a poster that said, “War is not good for children and other living things,” and it irritated me for its naivety. 

   

But there were rather a lot of posters like this, and, worked on by my valiant if few-and-far-between girlfriends, I gradually started to think in new ways that chipped away at the armour round my heart. 

One of the most influential poster voices was a Brazilian archbishop called Helder Camara. He’d come out with things like - why is it that “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. [But] when I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist”?

I wonder how many of today’s politicians realize that when talking about the “spiral of violence” in the Middle East, they’re drawing on Camara, who published a little book by that name in 1971? 

He observed that violence builds up at three levels in a society. Primary violence is the everyday effect of structurally ingrained social injustice. This generates secondary violence - the revolt of the oppressed. And that in turn provokes tertiary violence - repression by the powerful to secure their privileged position. And so the spiral of violence tightens. 

After years of being out of print, Archbishop Camara’s little book is now going on the web. It culminates with an “appeal to youth”, saying that wars happen because of the egotism of adults, and he urges the youth to, “provoke discussions [and] force people to think and take up a position: let it be uncomfortable, like truth, demanding, like justice.” 

Whether Lebanese or Israeli, war is not good for children and other living things, and the children are always innocent. Camara’s last word is for them: “With you I must remain young in my soul,” he said, “and keep the hope and love I need to help all humanity.”

 
Spiral of Violence by Dom Helder Camara

http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/general/spiral-of-violence-camara.pdf
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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