capitalism, Oscar Romero, political theology, violence

Carlin, Control, and Conscription

Edit: I had already published this post, but after looking a bit around the theoblogosphere, it finds some friends in Ben’s, Halden’s, and Michael’s posts for the 4th of July.

Conscription is an interesting term. I’ve made theological turns before that employ words like coercive and co-opting. There are also other important words like commodifing and control. But I’ve since begun to think of loyalty and support — in monetary terms, as well as the rest of our lifestyle — in terms of conscription. And George Carlin does a decent job of identifying and explaining to a certain degree, this concept of conscription:

Carlin on the Draft and Choice

Carlin on Control and the American Dream

Carlin makes a great point on choice. Choice in the country doesn’t really exist; it is an illusion of choice. Well, we could choose, but the choice for a Christian then is to choose to die, after all, this society is rather eager to kill. If we do not choose to die, we are conscripted from birth into a society that says this on bumper stickers:

Right. So Archbishop Romero said stop the killing and was shot. He wrote to our President to stop selling arms to the oppressive government, and Carter, Carter the evangelical President, responded with sending more arms and labeling the Archbishop a subversive. Do not tell me that such intention in the bumper sticker doesn’t exist. I think with such a statement, it is easy to see where the church should be — on the business end of a rifle. We ought not be conscripted, or at least we ought to fight it.


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