Believing man is political man

A propos of  my piece on ‘activist’ Anglican bishop  Dennis Drainville yesterday, Chris Hedges wrote about 92 year old Dan Berrigan speaking to the Occupy Movement in NYC. Dan has always believed that “believing man is political man”, as in polis, (Greek) engaged in the city.Today’s bishops seem to be dis-engaged from life as we know it. They seem  to be obsessed with church and not the kingdom,They seem absolutely trapped in the pelvic area. Their absence from the real issuers of the POLIs  borders on scandal.They do not seem to “get” that there is something wrong about male celibates pontificating about female bodies is staggeringly sexist—particularly when you condemn the use of condoms. We need a OCCUPY church movement so that the church can move ahead as a real player in history.For this to happen there must be other spokespeople for a clerically dominated institution. Hats off to Dan’ fidelity. Chris Hedges writes:

This is the only way to bring faith to the public and the public to the faith,” Berrigan said softly as we spoke before the demonstration in the park that was once the epicenter of Occupy Wall Street. “If faith does not touch the lives of others it has no point. Faith always starts with oneself. It means an overriding sense of responsibility for the universe, making sure that universe is left in good hands and the belief that things will finally turn out right if we remain faithful. But I underscore the word ‘faithful.’ This faith was embodied in the Occupy movement from the first day. The official churches remained slow. It is up to us to take the initiative and hope the churches catch up.”

There is one place, Berrigan says, where those who care about justice need to be—in the streets. The folly of electoral politics, the colossal waste of energy invested in the charade of the Wisconsin recall, which once again funneled hopes and passion back into a dead political system and a bankrupt Democratic Party, the failure by large numbers of citizens to carry out mass acts of civil disobedience, will only ensure that we remain hostages to corporate power.

Berrigan believes, as did Martin Luther King, that “the evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and the evils of racism.” And he has dedicated his life to fighting these evils. It is a life worth emulating.



  1. 1

    Daniel Berrigan has been one person who has had a profound effect not only on my life but the lives of countless others. I first met him when I was a graduate student at St. Louis University in the mid 60’s and several times thereafter. Because of him I became a draft counsellor at the Quaker’s St. Louis Peace Centre where I helped many young men who had been served with a draft notice because their appeals to the draft boards as conscientious objectors had been rejected, find their way to Canada. My wife and I named our son Ian Daniel with the middle name honouring Daniel Berrigan. In 1974 my wife, 3 year old son and I immigrated to Canada and have never looked back. I wish I could get in touch with Daniel Berrigan now and tell him how much I owe him.

    John Gaither
    Toronto, ON

  2. 2
    Paul Says:

    Well said John…. Daniel lives out his Jesuit vocation to the utmost. Magis!

  3. 3
    wmgrace Says:

    A measuring of enlightened political activism of the kind Jesus practiced,could be the only reliable litmus test for authentic Christianity.

RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: