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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Second Meeting of CCJM

Tonight we had the second meeting of Chalice Christian Justice Ministries. We developed five criteria for evaluating issues that we may venture into. We want to address an issue that Chalice is not currently addressing. It should be an issue about which we have a passion. Although there can be an outreach/charity component of the issue, it should be primarily about justice rather than charity. It should be an issue about which we can have a deep understanding of why we are speaking to the issue and how it connects to the gospel. Finally, it should be something on which we can have an impact; something we can have measurable success.

Below is my representation of the various issues we are considering and the categories we put those issues into. Another major theme of the evening was the recognition that participation in this process will change us. That such adventures are not just about helping some other. We talked about the deep connection to spirituality that we can find in working for justice in any of these areas.

NOTE: You can click on the image if you can't read the diagram.

7 comments:

Matt Dick said...

Not that you asked, but doesn't immigration belong in the intersection of all three? It certainly has an economic impact.

JimII said...

Yeah, I was thinking that this morning when I went back to look at this. Frankly, many of them could be viewed that way, but immigration is probably the best example.

Lin said...

good observation -- It's been interesting to discover that lots of people feel passionately about immigration issues and yet don't choose to put it on the table for discussion. I suggested that we make it the focus of the AZ region's Anti-Racism Pro-Reconciliation Team's work in the coming year & my suggestion fell flat. What do you suppose that is about?

JimII said...

I hate to think that it is because it is too hot to handle, but obviously that could be it. I wonder if it has to do with the economic component of immigration.

There are also highly technical components to the issue. For example, the right mix of granting legal status to those already here, preventing others from entering dangeroulsy and illegally, and allowing new legal immigrants is a highly fact intensive question. Surely ideology plays a part is such decision but so does the need for labor, etc.

Matt Dick said...

For me, it's because I don't believe in reform.

I don't know, aside from a knee-jerk reaction about "fairness" notions, that there is a huge wrong here that needs righting. Our economy needs cheap labor, we seem to have been mighty prosperous for the last few hundred years while illegal immigration was going on. I don't feel particularly threatened, and I don't know who (rationally) does feel threatened by illegal workers.

What I *do* feel a little threatened by is the size of the expenditures of actually doing something about the "problem". How much would it cost? What good would it do? Are we thinking about spending $100 Billion in order to rob our economy of vital agriculture labor? That seems at best unwise.

JimII said...

So, my thoughts about illegal immigration is making sure that those who perform work in this country do so lawfully and with the protection of our labor laws. Thus, addressing the low wages and the humanitarian crisis of hundreds of people dying every year while crossing the desert.

That's why I see it as a human rights and a civil rights issue more than an economic issue.

Matt Dick said...

I am not for worrying over much about protecting our work force against a friendly, economy-boosting invasion. But neither would I worry over much about the risks that invasion force takes on its way here. It's too complicated an issue to centrally direct, it must be managed at the transaction points.