The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 14

sTorIes oF PeaCemakers

Women Rising
continued from page 13
one interviewee in the Nagaland morung express News, "men are
considered superior to women and that has to be taken very
seriously."
on the last day, we do two things. We spend the day doing
"biblical peacemaking," in which we poke into some of the
strangest and darkest corners of our scriptures: the rapes of
tamar and of dinah, the slaughter of the Amalekites, the
rules of "holy war" and booty, the Levite's concubine and
jephthah's daughter. We also revisit familiar passages such as
the ones about "turning the other cheek" and "going the extra
mile" and the "Good Samaritan." We plumb them for new
meaning.
In small groups, they read each text, casting and scripting
the drama and then playing it out for everyone. then we ask
questions-for example: Why did the levite and the priest
cross by on the other side? Wouldn't just walking by be equally
effective? Why make such a point about it?
there's an answer to that question that lies in a theme
that pervades the Bible, that of purity or holiness. the hebrew people believed themselves to be different and separate,
the unique people of god with a lifelong mandate to act out
their exceptionalism. long lists of rules about behaviour and
sacrifice and cultural norms, a total orientation of life-social,
cultural, political and religious-reminded them of their separateness.
Purity codes were violated if their priests allowed even so
much as their shadow to pass over a dead body. the clerics
of this familiar story are demonstrating loyalty to the kind of
rules that jesus criticised and routinely broke, a loyalty that
superseded another rule: compassion.
there's another part of the story, as well, that we talk
about, one that is easy to miss. one sector of the human
population for whom the hebrew people reserved a particular
hatred and, therefore, separateness, was the Samaritan. the
Samaritans, in a time of place-based religion, decided at some
point that god did not reside on mount zion in jerusalem
but on Mount Gerizim in Samaria. They packed up and left,
traitors to the one true religion, the worst.
I don't know how the man left to die could tell that the
man, who lifted his head to give him water and bathed his
wounds with oil, was a Samaritan-no more than I know how
someone in North East India can tell a garo from a Karbi, a
Rengma from a Kuki.
But I imagine that he did. that he opened his eyes and,
with a sharp intake of his breath, realised that he was being
cared for by a Samaritan. the very last person in front of
whom he would wish to be vulnerable or in need of care was
giving him drink, treating his wounds and lifting him ever so
gently onto his donkey.

14 Baptist Peacemaker

Oct-Dec 2017

"Go and do likewise," Jesus tells the utterly horrified lawyer.
jesus is saying, as he so often does, that no one, no one at all, is
to be "othered," fenced off as worthless, somehow less-someone we can insult, ignore, neglect, torture or kill. No one.
In my culture, I tell them, a "Good Samaritan" is someone
who stops to help me with my flat tire. To Jesus' first century,
Palestinian hearers, those words formed a provocative oxymoron, an outrage: there was no such thing as a good Samaritan. We domesticate our scriptures to make them palatable,
lowering the bar to behaviours we can manage or, as one writer
put it, "putting a 'Jesus' veneer on what we were going to do
anyways." We need to hear these passages with the ears of the
original hearers, recapture the outrage.

"Jesus is saying, as he so often does,
that no one, no one at all, is to be
'othered,' fenced off as worthless,
somehow less-someone we can insult,
ignore, neglect, torture or kill. No one."
the second thing we do on the last day of the training
turns the room into a rambunctious, woman-playful space.
We've been spending each day thinking of ourselves as butterflies. On Day One we're still cocooning, gestating who we are
going to be. on the second day, the soft pupa is now cracking
and drying, our wet wings unfolding through the cracks. on
Day Three, the graduation ceremony is brilliant with butterflies
they've created with coloured paper, symbolic of these Women
Rising. they will take them, home frame them and hang them
on living room walls as a reminder to both themselves and all
visitors: this Woman is an Agent of Peace!
-Lee mckenna, a former BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz board member
and staff member, is a Conflict Transformation specialist living on a farm
in ontario. She travels all over the globe, leading CT trainings and working
for peace. (For more information about Lee, go to www.partera.ca.)
endnotes
1. William Dalrymple, "The Great Divide," 29 June 2015, The
New Yorker; writing on Nisid hajari's book, Midnight's Furies (New
York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015).
2. Alex Von Tunzelmann, Indian Summer: The Secret history of
The end of an empire (toronto: Pocket Books, 2007), p. 396.


http://www.partera.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017

No label
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - No label
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 2
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 3
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 4
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 5
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 6
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 7
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 8
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 9
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 10
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 11
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 12
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 13
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 14
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 15
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 16
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 17
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 18
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 19
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 20
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 21
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 22
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 23
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 24
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 25
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 26
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 27
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 28
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 29
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 30
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 31
The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 32
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/38-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/35-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/35-3
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/35-2
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/35-1
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-4
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-3
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-2
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-1
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com