Archive | March 2017

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Memoir in Poetry by G. Leibholz

← Out of the Silent Planet, the comic book. By AaronTP 6 Surprising Celebrity Audiobook Narrators → Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Memoir in Poetry by G. Leibholz Posted on April 15, 2014 by Brenton Dickieson Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains such an intriguing figure. A pastor who stayed in Germany in WWII so that he might resist Hitler and Nazism, he is one of the more original and evocative 20th century theologians. The 70th anniversary of his assassination has led me back to his work.Bonhoeffer wrote The Cost of Discipleship in 1937; by 1945 he demonstrated that he really knew what that cost was. He stayed firm against isolation, prison, torture, and threat to his family and friends. Instead of giving in to a holocaust of hope, he chose to to be an encouragement to his own captors, whom he felt suffered also under the inhumanity of National Socialism. Even when the Western world would not listen to his warning against the real threat of Naziism–the Jewish Shoah and a threat to global freedom–Bonhoeffer continued to speak.When picking up Discipleship, I read the memoir of Bonhoeffer by Leibholz. He begins fairly typically, sketching out what is an unusually provocative family history. But as he moves through Bonhoeffer’s timeline, Leibholz is really writing a primer on Christian humanism. And he does it not only through biographical details, or even through sermons, letters, and books. Instead, Leibholz focusses on some of Bonhoeffer’s prison poetry, set with important life moments. I was so taken by this approach, and the impact of Bonhoeffer’s life, I thought I might share from the memoir. If you are tempted, pick up the book. I am still reeling over its first chapters.Memoir by G. Leibholz1Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau on February 4th, 1906, the son of a university professor and leading authority on psychiatry and neurology. His more remote ancestors were theologians, professors, lawyers, artists. From his mother’s side there was also some aristocratic blood in his veins.His parents were quite outstanding in character and general outlook. They were very clear-sighted, cultured people and uncompromising in all things which matter in life. From his father, Dietrich Bonhoeffer inherited goodness, fairness, self-control and ability; from his mother, his great human understanding and sympathy, his devotion to the cause of the oppressed, and his unshakable steadfastness.Both his father and mother brought up their son Dietrich with his three brothers, his twin sister and three other sisters, in Breslau and (from 1912) in Berlin, in that Christian, humanitarian and liberal tradition which to the Bonhoeffers was as native as the air they breathed. It was that spirit which determined Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life from the beginning.Bonhoeffer was as open as any man

Source: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Memoir in Poetry by G. Leibholz

International Womens Day, 2017

During the Iraqi Occupation, I saw something happen that got me very stirred up with inspiration.

On this occasion, there was a protest, led by the Iraq Vets Against the War, and other anti-war organizations; a group of Afghan women, were in New York City to stand in solidarity for all females, soldiers & civilians who are living in the war in Afghanistan.

These women have all been impacted the war there; in fact, going back to the Russian presence there, this nation has been fighting wars for a lot of years.  But, think about it: every woman is someone else’s mother, cousin, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother.

Mothers and children are extremely vulnerable, when it comes to being a collateral damage victim.  These are the “innocents.”

Whenever you see groups mourning the death of a friend or family member, women generally play prominent roles in the mourning & grieving process within the community.

However, many women & young girls-in many parts on the planet-become harmed & traumatized by clitoral mutilation, suffering the medical and the trauma through this bizarre, ancient custom.

For example, in Indian culture, some women are burned on funeral pyres, because they had an affair, or broke the laws & customs around legal & religious codes.

A large percentage of American women get paid at a far less rate than males who’re doing the same jobs.  How is this equable & fair for all concerned?  Doing the same work should give you the same pay as a male doing a comparative kind of work!

Abortion is again receiving the onslaughts of the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right; the same “same old” threats are made against Planned Parenthood, apparently, the Devil in liberal clothes.

When women & families are targeted for deportation in the immigration process, this also effects women, due to their own familial responsibilities-who will care for children who must be left with a caregiver while mom goes out and works.  What if mom is deported?  And what about children who’ve been born in this country, so that now they’re citizens, while their parents & family may not be?

What’s needed?  A bearing witness by men, for thousands of years under Patriarchy’s boot, for the pain we’ve caused women.  All genders are members of our human race.  Men and women should commit to one other man or woman for support, compassion, justice, empathy and understanding.

Should a difference between females & males preclude that others in her group are discriminating against, and kept back from promotion, as she grows into the position.  Not right!

©Christopher Bear-Beam March 8, 2017