Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Carolling at Kamunting

Stand in front of a government office responsible for perpetuating injustice and shout, "Down with oppression! We want justice! We want freedom!"

Shout it out. Do the whole 'power to the people' thing. Have at it.

Then...after a few minutes, sing Silent Night or Joy to the World - the way you know it's meant to be sung. 

Chances are, you'll feel weird.

Why? Because it's two different worlds. Anti-government chants are based on a certain kind of philosophy. Carols on another.

Many have implied that I'm hardly qualified to say any of this. They are certainly right. But unless others with more credibility begin to say it, I feel compelled to break the silence: Whilst Malaysia is burning (with injustice, with oppression, with the ISA, with ethnic strife), Christians have to burn not just the light of justice but the light of a new kind of justice.

Shouting demands and singing carols are both about taking down evil, about dealing with what's wrong with the world. Yet, just like one doesn't say I-Forgive-You whilst standing in a power position, likewise we cannot meaningfully embody the revolutionary Jesus-like way of peace-making (not unlike singing carols!) in a clenched-fists posture.

A Jewish baby born in a manger (not unlike a Jewish prophet nailed to a piece of wood) two millenia ago reflects a unique way of power, a new kind of kingdom.

Maybe it's time to sing carols at Kamunting. And let the songs lead the way - for both oppressed and oppressor.


Steven Sim said...

Carolling at Kamunting, why not? :)

Steven Sim

Alwyn said...

Indeed, why not? Esp. if it helps take away some of the gungho-ness so often associated with 'advocacy' nowadays, right? Esp. if it helps remind everyone (not least the singers!) of how Christ 'dealt with' the bad guys, huh?