Civilization Reconsidered

I love Mozart. I love Shakespeare. I love Michelangelo. But do arts and literature define civilization, or is it how people treat each other? I just returned from a demonstration outside the Wells Fargo building in Salt Lake City. It was in support of the protesters at Standing Rock and against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Given the potential environmental and cultural desecration the pipeline could create alone raises valid questions as to why Wells Fargo would invest millions of dollars into that project, rather than funneling it into renewable energy. But for me an even greater issue is why law enforcement has been brutalizing peaceful, mostly Native American protesters. Why they have reportedly locked people of all ages and genders into dog kennels and have stamped numbers on their arms. Why they have used Mace, Tasers, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. Why they have done all this when an occupying force of armed, right-wing militias in Oregon was treated with kid gloves and has walked away free. Could it be that in our contemporary society, might actually does make right?

Right now, not only in this country, but around the world, it seems that the barbarity with which this continent was colonized a half millennium ago casts our ability to call ourselves “civilized” into serious question. Perhaps, at Standing Rock, if we can find it within ourselves to consider and implement those values that are truly important, that truly define civilization, maybe, maybe we will begin to turn a corner.

Protest at Standing Rock

Standing Firm at Standing Rockscreen-shot-2016-10-31-at-11-20-07-am

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3 thoughts on “Civilization Reconsidered

  1. frances dearman

    Thank you for this, Gerald.

    As you have chosen to send it out, I am making the assumption that you would have no objection to my lifting it up in the context of prayer this coming Sunday, November 6th 2016, Remembrance Day in Canada– a day of observance, not celebration, a day of mindfulness, a day to recall that if there is to be peace in the nation there must be peace in all our hearts, and that there is no peace without justice……

    It has been said that a detective story is not so much about mystery as about returning moral order to a broken world……..

    Good luck, and Peace, Fran in Canada

    Interim Minister the Rev. Fran Dearman serving the Unitarian Universalist Church of Olinda, Essex County Ontario I read e-mail at random intervals; if your message is time sensitive, please telephone: home study land line: 519.398.8436 (home study and voice mail) dire emergency cell phone: 1.778.835.8616 (cell, no voice mail) ________________________________________

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