Thursday, October 26, 2006

Commandment

Which of the ten in holy writ
has most ‘small print’?

…Remember the Sabbath day…

Rest, it enjoins, for ox and camel,
goatherd and garment maker.
Each to their ease, basking in shalom.

To break Sabbath
it seems, is to oppress,
to steal hope and health
of a woman in the next tent
who stitches a new shirt for Moses.

Who makes my new shirt?
She seams in China, Honduras, Bangladesh.
Ask me tomorrow if I give her rest.

5 comments:

Mrs Wye said...

When in Tassie I bought an expensive top made in Laos. Again I am reminded of the moral implications beyond a single transaction. Such choices are where Western Christians are challenged - well I am!
Fantastic results with your writing. Just read QUEST to my class this week. Varied reactions from confusion to total intrigue!

Inconsequential said...

:)

it is a good piece.

though the implied? sweatshop slavery isn't a christian issue, it's a human issue :)

but all issues aside, it's a thought provoking piece :)
which is good.

ish said...

mrs wye, I think a challenge for us is that biblical Israel had the sewing woman 'in their face'. They could hear her baby cry. Our exposure to such women via the media has a reduced sense of reality. And for us to 'do something' about it is much more complicated, but no excuse...

inconsequential, thank you! :-) Yes oppression is a human issue. If you hold that there is a moral base outside ourselves, there are irrefutable grounds to protest. Yes most people in the world would subscribe to some form of "do on to others as you would have them do to you" ... but that is only what we intuit. That scrupple may actually be counterproductive in the evolutionary scheme of things. We could change our vote tomorrow. There is no final court of appeal, if we start only with ourselves.
A Christian world-view gives a starting point beyond ourselves. Do Chistians fail on this point?! God help us!! But then, that is what it is all about. ;-)

Inconsequential said...

i think the majority of christians fail.
but compound the error by waving the christian flag, as if it makes their failings acceptable.

sorry, i shouldn't just pick on the god squad, it's ALL religions.

It's a human quality? that we are unable to live in a truely moral way, some of us try our best...

the do unto thing should be an underlying philosophy in everyones life, with out a 'faith' to fall back on when you can't.

religion is a 'get out of jail free' card, it allows people to excuse the occasional lapse, and lets them pretend to have a moral high ground.

err, please bear in mind these are only my opinions, and certainly not a dig at any one individual, merely the institution of religion.

and sorry for the sort of rant...

:)

a person should be measured by their actions, not their so called beliefs.

ish said...

Some distinction needs to be made between assuming a particular lable . . . and the reality. For example, in what sense is the current Chinese government 'communist', as they claim?
Indeed as Christ said, by their works you will know them. Examples? I menionted the Burmese 'saint' that was with us last week. I could cite many examples but one reason they are not so obvious is that Jesus said not to flaunt good wooks. "don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
But all this is really beside the point. We come to Christ not because we claim some 'high moral ground but because we acknowledge we need remaking from the ground up. Its the company one keeps. Out of relationship with Christ comes at least the beginning of his goodness, reflected in the life of those who let him work a change. His work, not ours. Thanks for the rant! ;-)