Friday, February 3, 2017

TFW Rogue One Reminds You of Silence

TFW--That Feel When...

No, really, when watching Rogue One with my kids recently I recognized a connection with Silence:

Image result for galen ersoGalen Erso and Father Rodrigues face the same dilemma:

How do you resist silently?

Answer:  They respond differently.  Galen actually does something.  Depending on the book or the movie, Rodrigues does little or nothing.  But at the moment of decision, they face the same demoralizing, annihilating reality:  they can resist immediately and surely suffer, or they can submit outwardly and seek another avenue of resistance.  

Image result for damned if you do damned if you don't

Galen Erso makes the more spectacular, more heroic decision...but I bet many would see themselves instead in Father Rodrigues, insisting on maintaining their faith and devotion silently despite external appearances to the contrary.

We see this dilemma in our nation's political life, too.  Consider this post by David Frum depicting 2021 America.  Trump has swept to reelection, receiving the mandate in 2020 that he (falsely) claimed he had in 2016.  Many aspects of Obama's America remain intact, such as marriage equality. Trump keeps promising more jobs, and apparently voters believe him.  The wall is built and immigration restricted.  There are still illegal immigrants, but they operate clandestinely "out in the open."  An unspoken agreement permits them to stay and work while not advocating publicly for reform.  Iliberalism descends on the nation as one by one the sources of resistance capitulate:  business, social media (which still exists but is policed heavily by pro-Trump trolls who tolerate not even the slightest expressions of dissent), and First Amendment rights (undermined by constant electronic espionage).

How did this happen?  Easy, Frum says.  Eventually Americans decided not acting--keeping your head down and enjoying the relative material successes the Trump era brings--is more preferable than constant, unrelenting, and seemingly pointless protests.  Oh there are still protests....they just don't accomplish anything at all.  

In other words, their "meh" is our nation's version of deciding to step on the fumie.  

The question becomes: "Who then is our Galen Erso?" Who is going to resist silently--and plan the fatal structural weaknesses to bring about our freedom? And especially so when each of us, even daily, face our own inner Kichijiro?  
Do we, like Kichijiro, repent and seek forgiveness, no matter how many times we fall?  That is a kind of resistance, too.  What we don't want is to remain like Father Rodrigues, fallen and content with it.  At least Father Garupe, as Meg Hunter-Kilmer notes (#14), swims out to save some Christians, only to meet his own martyrdom.


Erso from Sean Hutchinson at Dec. 2016
Rodrigues from Sr. Nancy Usselmann at Reel Spirituality

Kichijiro from Niles Schwartz Jan 2017
Far Side classic courtesy of Dev Central 2008.

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