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Justice is the Foundation of Peace

"Alternatives exist. Resistance against this new totalitarianism of the economy grows worldwide.. The world is not for sale. The world, the air, the water and the sex slaves are not goods for sale. Life on this earth beloved by God is not up for sale., Foreign policy and domestic policy are not separated as though one could act domineeringly and imperialistically in foreign policy and maintian peace and order domestically!"
Justice is the Foundation of Peace

By Dorothee Soelle

[This address on the occasion of the Evangelical church day in Frankfurt, June 15, 2003 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,  http://lists.socialforum.at/pipermail/asf_antikrieg/2003-June/000182.html. Ms. Soelle, author of "Suffering", "Thinking about God", "The Arms Race Kills Even Without War" and "On Earth as in Heaven", died in August 2003 at the age of 73. May her prophetic words and witness give us courage to be prophets of the powerless God!]

Many years ago I had a conversation with an American friend about rearmament in which he emphasized two different highly venerated idols of our world. He called them mammon or money and Mars, the god of war. "Mammon kills more little children than Mars." This sentence about mammon that kills more little children has become even truer in the meantime. We live in a new epoch that in many respects has become more barbaric than the earlier forms of capitalism. I was a passionate opponent of the Adenauer system on account of the rearmament that was the price for the economic wonder. Today I am sometimes caught in nostalgia for "Rhine capitalism" as the system at that time was called. "Rhine capitalism" joined capital interests with a social care or responsibility for the weaker.

This social market economy disappeared with globalization from above, neoliberalism or raging turbo-capitalism. Social considerations have become superfluous. The self-enrichment of the rich functions best when everything is "de-regulated", a favorite word of the owners of the world. All economic rules and restrictions are regarded as obstacles for free trade and abolished along with the disempowerment of the state or its "trimming" as our rotund chancellor recommended. The economy is becoming ever more totalitarian. The most important question in life is whether it "works", whether the kindergarten can be kept open an hour longer or another half-day nurse can be employed in the old people's home. Money is exploited profitably. It isn't used to satisfy the needs of people. Why should social needs be satisfied when winners can make more money? Margaret Thatcher, an ardent defender of neoliberalism, summarized this in a revealing formula that is marvelous for the winners: "There is no alternative." Combining the first four letters of this simple sentence, this thinking is called "the TINA-syndrome". Our bankers also suffer in this sickness.

We don't believe this. Alternatives exist. Resistance against this new totalitarianism of the economy grows worldwide. Opponents of the false globalization since Seattle, Prague, Davos and Quebec have coined a wondrously simple sentence that agrees with the Jewish-Christian tradition. "The world is not for sale." The world, the air, the water and the sex slaves are not goods "for sale". Life on this earth beloved by God is not up for sale.


The foundation of peace is justice. "Steadfast love and faithfulness meet. Justice and peace will kiss each other" (Psalm 85,11). The goal is the state in which God destroys the chariots of war and ends aggression.

Without social justice, there is no peace. The standard according to the warnings of the prophets is that right of the outlawed, of the widows and orphans who have no male advocates. The lowest class is made the standard of the well being of all people. Those most deprived of rights who have the least to say, who have no money, no intercessors and no relations, who can't deal with the authorities because they don't know their rights - they are the standard for measuring justice. The excluded, the marginalized standing on the lowest rung of the ladder of a society, are "lifted up" and the powerful are "brought down" so that a "straight highway for God" is built (Isaiah 40,3).

Foreign policy and domestic policy are not separated here as though one could act domineeringly, imperialistically and militarily in foreign policy and maintain peace and order domestically!

Justice and peace are connected as closely as rearmament and war. Peace or Shalom in the full sense of the word only arises together with justice.

From a biblical perspective, nuclear bombs did not guarantee our peace for forty years but guaranteed dying of starvation to the people of the two-thirds world. A peace based on deterrence, force and violence, terror, misery and threat is anti-biblical because it makes armament, not justice, into the foundation of peace.


I believe in God
who didn't create the world finished
like a thing that is always the same
who doesn't govern according to eternal laws
that are irrevocably valid
or according to natural orders
of poor and rich
experts and uninformed
rulers and helpless.
I believe in God
who supports the protest of the living
and the change of all conditions
through our work
and through our politics.

I believe in Jesus Christ
who like us had a right to say
"An individual can't do anything"
who worked for the change of all conditions
and focused on root causes.
Measured by him I see
how our intelligence becomes stunted
our imagination stifled
our effort wasted
because we don't live as he lived.
Every day I am afraid
that he died in vain
because he is buried in our churches
because we have betrayed his revolution
in obedience and fear of authorities.

I believe in Jesus Christ
who rises from the dead in our life
so we become free from prejudices and arrogance
from fear and hatred
and drive his revolution
toward his reign.

I believe in the spirit
that came into the world with Jesus
to the community of all nations
and our responsibility for
what becomes of our earth:
a valley full of lamentation
hunger and violence
or the city of God.
I believe in the just peace
in the possibility of a meaningful life
for all people
in the future of this world, God's world. Amen

homepage: homepage: http://www.mbtranslations.com
address: address: http://www.jcrelations.net

Amen 09.Dec.2003 21:39


that is enough.