Sunday, September 6, 2009

Unity or Equality

Which would you Prefer? Give me Unity

I have pondered many things of late, due to my interest in the Human Rights conundrum that exists here in Canada. What is going on here is diametrically opposed to my own Christian beliefs, and I have been trying to reconcile the apparent good intentions of those working in this human rights business and the truth as I understand it, to see if I can make sense of it.

Yesterday, my wife and I traveled to Stratford for a day and night away from London. So, this morning we found ourselves with the opportunity to attend mass in St. Joseph's Parish, a beautiful and very old church that overlooks much of downtown Stratford. Fr. Tom Ferrera gave a beautiful homily about unity, and something clicked for me.

I realised that our government and our HRCs are all trying to get us to be equal with one another. We are not equal and will never be equal. Heck, even in my own home, my wife can't pee standing up, and I can't carry a baby. Our plumbing is different, so we can never be equal. But, as well, I know my wife well enough to know that no matter how hard I try, I cannot feel things as deeply as she can, though I have deep feelings, and she, on the other hand can never have managed our flood restoration project recently as well as I did, because she is not made that way either. We cannot be equal no matter how our governments mandate equality. Objectively it is not possible.

But Fr. Tom gave an example of unity from 1997, in the martyrdom of 40 Tutsi and Hutu seminarians in Burundi. On April 30, shortly after a wonderful Easter, soldiers came intent on killing the Tutsi's that were at the seminary. When they asked the seminarians to separate into their tribes, they would not do it. So, they slaughtered them all. They chose not to be equal, but to be united, in life and above all in death.

Equality says that what's yours is mine, and I don't have to earn it, I have a right to it, particularly if I am from a protected group, which in fact makes me more equal than you. So, in fact equality is not about being equal, but is about being more equal, or about balancing and rebalancing the scales from time to time, based on subjective review of where the scales are at any point in time. This subjective review is really called political pressure. Watch it at work, as the forces of the Official Jews and the CIC and others push for the Appeal of the Lemire Decision. So, equality is really about agenda.

Unity is about being unique, but sharing our uniqueness with each other, even unto death, if necessary. Unity is how we approach the divine, bringing ourselves as we are before God, giving our gifts and our weaknesses for the betterment of ourselves and our society and the world.

Give me unity. You can keep your equality.

Here is the actual story of the Seminarian martyrs taken directly from a part of this blog entry by Dom Donald. The blog also references a French book detailing the murder: LES QUARANTE JEUNE MARTYRS DE BUTA, BURUNDI 1997: Frere a la Vie, a la Mort.

God is good and we have met Him. --The Martyrs of the Christian Fraternity d. 30 April 1997

The isolated, mountainous country of Burundi, often called "the Switzerland of Africa," has been the scene of some of Africa's bitterest ethnic violence, a spillover from the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. At about 5:30 in the morning of April 30, 1997, armed invaders allegedly from the Hutu rebel group CNDD (the National Council for the Defence of Democracy) attacked the Roman Catholic Seminary at Buta, killing forty young seminarians between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Since the beginning of the country's most recent civil war in October 1993, the seminary in the country's south had been a tranquil refuge for members of the two warring ethnic groups. The pastoral Hutu and more nomadic Tutsi have been locked in deadly genocidal war since 1972.

The seminarians themselves had made a special point of living in a Christian fraternity, where love of Christ was more important than ethnic origins. They had just completed an Easter season retreat before their massacre. Fr. Nicolas Niyungeko, rector of the Sanctuary of Buta in the Diocese of Bururi, wrote of the seminarians:

At the end of the retreat, this class was enlivened by a new kind of spirit, which seemed to be a preparation for the holy death of these innocents. Full of rejoicing and joy, the word in their mouths was "God is good and we have met Him." They spoke of heaven as if they had just come from it, and of the priesthood as if they had just been ordained .... One realized that something very strong had happened in their heart, without knowing exactly what it was. From that day on, they prayed, they sang, they danced to church, happy to discover, as it were, the treasure of Heaven.

The following day, when the murderers surprised them in bed, the seminarians were ordered to separate into two groups, the Hutus on one hand, the Tutsi on the other. They wanted to kill some of them, but the seminarians refused, preferring to die together. Their evil scheme having failed, the killers rushed on the children and slaughtered them with rifles and grenades. At that point some of the seminarians were heard singing psalms of praise and others were saying "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do." Others, instead of fighting or trying to run away, preferred helping their distressed brothers, knowing exactly what was going to happen to them

Their death was like a soft and light path from their dormitory to another resting place, without pain, without noise, nor fear. They died like Martyrs of the Fraternity, thus honouring the Church of Burundi, where many sons and daughters were led astray by hatred and ethnic vengeance.[1]

Forty days after the massacre, the small seminary dedicated its church to Mary, Queen of Peace, and it has since, according to Fr. Niyungeko, "become a place of pilgrimage where Burundians come to pray for the reconciliation of their people, for peace, conversion, and hope for all. May their testimony of faith, unity, and fraternity send a message for humankind and their blood become a seed for peace in our country and the world."

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