Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Parable of the Death Angel
Parable of the Death Angel
The suicide bomber is the phenomena of the times. He (and she) is outside Western psychology, and not totally within Eastern psychology, although Eastern spirituality places the bomber within Islamic martyrdom, granting him instant paradise for resisting oppression. But when we consider the aspect of killing innocent people in his martyrdom, it becomes most difficult to comprehend, unless we conclude there are no longer innocents in the global struggle for justice--either one is part of the problem or part of the solution!
One is guilty of doing something or guilty of doing nothing--there is no escape or non-involvement, for it appears the time has arrived for everyone to get involved. Soul singer ancestor James Brown has a rousing song shouting the line, "Get involved, get involved, get involved." This is the mantra of the times, for apparently lack of involvement by the global community has given rise to the suicide bomber.
In occupied Palestine, the bomber had little choice in face of the heavily armed Israelis with their citizen soldiers. But the bomber has become an essential element in the asymmetrical warfare waged throughout the Middle East, not only is he utilized in Palestine, but Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
An American radio talk show host speculated that perhaps God was using the suicide bomber to awaken the West to its moral bankruptcy and degeneracy. He asked why should the West and those moderates in the Muslim world, not be shaken to their bones for their hypocrisy. He said the bombers were thus agents sent by God to address the world of its sins.
We must ask would God send death angels to kill the innocent? According to the Bible, God used the devil to torment Job, although the devil was not allowed to kill him. Have times changed to the extent man has become so wicked his very life must be taken to awaken him to spiritual realities--that there must be justice for all or justice for none?
Yes, even the innocent are not beyond the wrath of God's death angels, who spare none, man, woman nor child, even the sick and elderly, even funeral goers are not exempt! The death angels are thus non-discriminatory, equal opportunity agents of terror! But it is terror in response to terror, state terror in the case of Israel, American state terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Was not 9/11 a response to decades of American exploitation in the Middle East, its greed for oil, disrespecting the plight of the bleeding Arab masses, stunted, ignorant, diseased and impoverished? Even the talented and educated see no future except in martyrdom with its imaginary Paradise full of unlimited virgins.
The suicide bomber represents the most desperate moment in the human spirit, when the spirit is pressed against the wall with no other choice but to strike the pose and don the persona of the death angel. There must be a better way for humanity for suicide is the ultimate mark of hopelessness.
And yet the death angel is not so different from children in the American ghettos. In Washington, DC, the children were asked what they imagined for their future--they could only imagine what kind of funeral they wanted, for they knew death was all that awaited them in the hood.
Perhaps half the homicides in the hood are suicides because the victims were too cowardly to take their own lives, forcing someone else to kill them. Thus, they were passive death angels, but death angels none the less.
Injustice is the cause of death angels, thus justice the solution, economic and political justice, cultural justice free of imperialism, and lastly, spiritual justice that is free of reactionary religiosity, making them slaves of the past rather than free men and women striving for a progressive future.
from Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007. Revised 5/5/10
Marvin X's latest book is The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, 309 pages, $100.00. Order from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702. There will be a people's reading from the book on Saturday, May 15, 2pm, at the African American Museum Library, 14th and Martin Luther King, Jr., downtown Oakland. The book party/read-in/teach-in is a benefit for Black Bird Press. Admission is free but donation requested. Seating limited. RSVP 510-637-0200.