>US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Last night I attended an event about the US-Colombia FTA. The speaker from Witness for Peace showed how “free” trade isn’t fair trade, but mainly benefits the corporations and leadership in each country. He discussed what has been learned from NAFTA’s effects on jobs in the US and disruptions to workers and farmers in Latin America.

More from Witness for Peace (the presenter last night works for them; he’s presented at AMBS in the past) and ICPJ:

>Globalization and the Liturgical Year

While doing laundry today, I read part of The Fullness of Time in a Flat World (Waalkes, 2010). The following section stood out to me. Waalkes, a non-Mennonite, draws on John Howard Yoder to develop a lens for viewing globalization from a Christian perspective. The Christian liturgical year is called to this task of analyzing globalization rather than relying solely on Thomas Friedman’s paradigm.

By contrast [to Friedman], the liturgical year ushers us into a story that transcends the story of the United States and connects us to an alternative story–an alternative drama that helps empower ethical creativity. John Howard Yoder explains how this creativity, a gift of the Spirit, schools the church in “genuine innovation, surprise and paradox in the ways one learns to see reality, as over against the monolinear ‘realism’ of the established power system.”[1] Such an alternative narrative helps Christians to read history differently, from the perspective of the losers rather than the winners.[2] Instead of reading history through the American story, which proclaims America to be a beacon, one reads history from the story of Christ and the church–a story that empowers creative ethical moves and proclaims the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom of Jesus as the beacon. Alasdair MacIntyre writes, “I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?'”[3] The liturgical year, which offers the saving acts of Christ as a rich source for ethical re-imagination, helps us to find ourselves in the chapters of the gospel story (not the American story) and then answer the question of what we are to do about globalization. (pp. 11-12)

[1] Yoder, Priestly Kingdom, 94.
[2] Ibid., 95.
[3] Ibid., 216.