Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chick Diplomacy

The New Times reports that America has caught up with the Dixie Chicks. The article refers to the Incident. That's when Chick Natalie Maines proclaimed her disdain for George Bush in London on the eve of the third Gulf War. The right wing forced country radio stations to boycott the Chicks. When their songs got no air time, the album sold "only" six million times.

As Americans have come to agree with them, the Chicks feel validated. They dedicated their new album to the Incident. While one needs to remember that they have been working on the album for over a year, the President's low approval ratings can only help the Chicks' marketing. It'll be interesting to see if Americans embrace their leadership now that the Chicks turned out to be wiser than their president.

Speaking of which, not only do the Chicks and Americans agree about George Bush. So do Americans and the rest of the world. For the first time since 2003, Americans and their European cousins agree in their assessment of the Republican leader. While European conservatives have understood from the beginning the George Bush wasn't one of them, American conservatives are realizing belatedly that he has damaged their movement and their program.

Chick Natalie Maines wanted to send a message that Americans have more in common with Europeans than it appeared at the moment. Her judgment turned out to be on target. The confluence of public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic is an opportunity to reforge the alliance of Western democracies.

May be, Europeans will even be willing to listen to country music once again.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Faith and Responsibility

If we rely on God’s compensation to make things right then any Church can excuse anything. It does not matter when we abuse people in this life because in the end God will compensate the victims. Nothing would be out of bounds. Anything goes.

The upsite of such a theology is that it gives us comfort. On the downside, it empowers abuse instead of confronting it.

The martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught that in our age, Christians have to live as if there were no God. His co-conspirators had asked Bonhoeffer why they needed to assassinate Adolf Hitler. If Hitler was so evil then why couldn’t they just leave it to God to kill him?

Bonhoeffer got it right. Christians have to take responsibility for their world. That’s the difference between blind faith that faith that will make us free.