Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

A friend of my high school days was very, very religious. He belonged to the Pentecostal church and, after getting a degree he entered the Penecostal clergy to become a missionary in Congo where he would bring the savages to God.
Congo. That's the subject of a novel by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. It's not considered one of the hundred best novels in the English language.

Conrad spent some time there in the late 19th century after the European powers that had been conquering Africa generously gave Congo to the King of Belgium. And Conrad wrote of what he saw.

Congo was and is a land of magnificent resources. Many a billionaire was created by Congo. But none of them was ever a native of Congo. The Belgians proved to be perhaps the most vicious imperialists in the age of vicious imperialists that we still live in.

Conrad writes of the millions who were killed, tortured, or enslaved while digging up their own resources as gifts for the Europeans who, in return, sent them Bible stories. Heart of Darkness is the story of one of the most brutal periods of history.

And nothing has changed.

Though the Belgian influence has lessened, the brutality still goes on, and not just in Congo. I've been reading a sort of up to date version of Heart of Darkness. Conrad's novel was about Congo.  The new book is about mining in Latin America. It's by Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber; and it's titled "The Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America". And it's all about Canadian big capitalism on that continent, companies like HudBay, Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, Nevsun,  and Tahoe Resources. All of them are owned, I'm sure, by respectable church goers.

And the Canadian governments have not been innocent onlookers. They have worked hard to discredit local protest against dreadfully low wages, highly destructive environmental damages, violence against protestors - and a discreet silence about the killing of protesters. No Canadian government has lifted a finger in the case of the murder of Raoul Leger - though they have all known about it. Indeed, the Canadian government has been a very active player in destroying democracies, and being a full partner of the mining companies. (That's why it never announced the murder of Raoul Leger of New Brunswick.
This book would a great gift to the special preachers at the Irving Chapel, and a fascinating topic for coffee and fellowship in 'the barn'.

And these Canadian mining companies operate all over the world. We are a major player in creating "Hearts of Darkness".

Makes ya wonder, don't it? Wouldn't it make more sense to send missionaries to the people who really need them?  You know,  the mining company executives. I think that's what Jesus would have done.

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