Meeting Notes December 6 2010

Need in the movement to end poverty for Romero Scholarship:
Entering very tough times
4 Cs of leadership: Committed, Clear, Competent, and Connected

Full Commitment/Call to Martyrdom:

Commitment = what live for, prepared to die for
Call to martyrdom: level of commitment; willingness to give ones life for the struggle changes the way that walk/live
Study Romero, etc in that capacity
Poverty Initiative too: Elements of religion that have to do with commitment and belief system
What is the relationship of religion to our mortality and death?
What have to say about life/death questions?
Ending poverty requires a life commitment; this type of leadership development that need and Romero is good example

Romero's Context: Why was Romero a threat?

Appreciate Romero, is to appreciate his context
Who were forces that needed to kill him? Why did they think they needed to kill him? Why a threat?
Reason that they killed Romero is the same reason that we are (still) fighting today
Romero posed threat
The geopolitical situation of El Salvador was/is such that the struggle/issues go beyond El Salvador

Bonhoeffer, MLK, JC, Romero; people had to put faith on the line
In Church and society, people being killed
Have to take sides when there are forces that hurting people
Give up theologies that allows you to be on the sidelines

Courses at Union that emphasize the context in which they fighting:
Cone: MLK and Malcolm
Morse: Bonhoeffer

Many Martins" approach to Leadership Development:

Who are the Romeros that are emerging right now?
MLK was Isolated and killed
Catch up with Romero and MLK, but stand on their shoulders
What are other Romeros emerging that demonstrating characteristics?
Mass media not bring attention to other Romeros

Shift from just morality/ethics to strategy/tactics:

More than ethical/moral denouncement of what unjust; what are the strategy and tactics?
Gotta be more than just" right", gotta do it
Why we still just talking about injustice? Move to strategy
Ex. Jenn's trip to SOA Watch: Have changed the name of SOA to WHIN-SEC, but vigil continues as if the name change doesn't matter; Fact that opposition not responding to the changes in the SOA shows the sophistication of the SOA's tactics
Commitment/Struggle is not just ethics/morality but also strategy
We're right. But to win have to be not just right, but also effective

Base Christian Communities

Re-thinking What is role of religion in social movements?
First emerged b/c of absence of church to respond to needs of people
Base Christian Communities actually is the movement, rather than supporting the movement
Challenged the idea of what is role of church?
Not distinction: econ, soc, polit; all the same
Church is 24-7: Church means something 24-7

Inter-Religious:

Concerns about inter-religious dialogue
Willie had talked to Knitter who is trying to introduce people to religious diversity
In Christian base communities, how articulate without imposing Christian perspective?
Interfaith not resolved in Scripture-based disputes, but rather "what are you doing?" should the point of departure
Did they oppose Romero because Catholic or because doing something?

Problem is interfaith, intercolor, international
Limit of empire study: only as conquering of other nations, ex. Rome vs. other empires, like blacks vs. whites, El Salvador vs. US
Ex. British went into Nigeria and wanted oil; united with one ethnic group against other two; created tribal distrust and unrest; in this way, British manipulated and got the oil
In same way, US pits Salvadorans against other Salvadorans
The 1% that is in power maintain and claim more power by emphasize differences between parts of the movement
Ex. Non-profit funding founded on differences; say one reason for one group's poverty is diff from other groups
Must appreciate poverty/predicament not at "other"

Economic analysis of Times of Romero:

Economic Analysis: Times of Romero (1970s-early1980s) is same time period that gross inequalities started
Spiritual death for each other; value things more than each other
Status quo: Commercialism and Prosperity gospel
Romero: Was conservative stick in the mud but turned against status quo
In marketplace of religion, how put out something that authentic?
See Romero in his context but opposed to global capital; same people that we oppose
Learn up with him just to stand on his shoulders

"Saint is just a sinner that fell down and got up"

This R and B song that reminds us not to romanticize
Romero: What was light that saw, transformation experience?
Leader is just that; done stuff and made transformation; process of leadership: become Paul from Saul; we were complicit; point of leadership is how get past accepting this stuff; build communities that challenge the status quo

"How do we start the love affair?": How do we do this Christian base community in the here and now?

Commitment to movement is like love affair; before falling in love not have time for anything but get reoriented
Church should be love affair
How do you start the love affair? People committed in an ideological way to a strategically/tactical way? How find coherency? Pedagogy?
When someone gets committed to agape love (for justice, society), willing to die for that kind of love: that is a threat
How this love begin to penetrate our sermon and speeches?
Our salvation is inextricably bound with salvation of our communities
Injustice anywhere is threat to justice anywhere.
Atlas shrugged: hold up world vs. Jesus holding cross

Romero Scholarship:

How do we move forward? What trying to accomplish?
Start with Reconisscence and Sharing
Discussions
As develops, areas of investigation to pursue

Resources:

Networks of Pov Scholars
Alumni Network
"Life and Times of Romero" Archive
Vanessa: posted site that has Romero's Homilies in English
Willie: Movies and readings of Geopolitics, "Maria", "Romero, Romero", building library
Jenn: Movie "Life in El Salvador", Carlos
Intentional about amassing body of work in this in Spanish
Charon says that Drew has a Foreign Immersion in El Salvador in January
Oto Maduro (Drew)
Chris Boesel (Charon independent study with him)
Others: Desi, Erica (Paraguay), Carmen (Philadelphia), Miguel, Juan, Sam Cruz, Carlos Gutierrez, Luiz
MMP, CIW, UW
Different studies moving forward
Radio Programs: prepare program on anniversary
Machado's trip to Nicaragua?

Other ideas:
SOA Watch; strategy
Romero and the Border
Interviews as well, with Cruz, Machado, Charon
Show we're serious about this, keep his values alive; part of developing Poverty Scholarship
Can't have pov scholarship without appreciation of life and times of Romero

Identify Poverty Scholars from Activist immigrant communities

DC, Maryland, Boston, NYC
share stories; perhaps even those that see Romero as role model
Aspect of Pov Scholars program that must see pov as a global struggle; immigrant question makes visual
Having Immigrant struggles in Pov Scholars
Cities attract immigrants: allows us to build the global movement, families going back and forth; full scale and scope of poverty

Next Steps:

Next meeting: January 24
Charon: Materials from Drew's January EL Salvador immersion
Jenn: Google translator, putting materials up, post SOA blog to wiki
Willie: movie, other materials
Vanessa: Protestant Liberation Theology

Romero anniversary, March 24
Reading the Bible with the poor pedagogy; outreaching to Union alums