The first nuclear weapons plant to be built in the last 33 years is coming to Kansas City - my home area. Here I am sitting in my office, writing about it.
I know that Nathan wanted me to write about a more global problem connected to China, waste disposal, and foreign relations but this issue is a little closer to home.
Just last week, over 50 people were arrested while protesting at the construction site. I know that there have been some awareness meetings at NTS over the past few months. And surely there have been other meetings, gatherings, and plans to take a stand against this new facility that I know nothing about.
To be quite honest, I know very little about social action. Perhaps I can say that I know a little bit about it on the theoretical level, but I have next to no experience being involved in it. Sure I've signed a few petitions and written a couple of letters over the past few years. Of course there are a few business and franchises I refuse to visit due to their positions on various issues, advertising techniques, and overall moral quality. And yes, I try to plug organizations when I can on Facebook and Twitter. But still, I don't really feel like I've made much of a difference in these areas.
To continue in my honesty, I'm not really sure if I want to be a social activist. I am perfectly comfortable in my office today, thinking about what should be done and reflecting about the theological implications of various potential actions. When I get done writing this blog, I will probably feel happy with myself for making people think about the nuclear weapons plant and social action. I will say to myself, "There, I've done my part to stop it."
I do a lot of thinking. I wish someone would pay me by the hour for the amount of thinking I do. Social Justice is something I think about often. I am constantly haunted by the scene in Hotel Rwanda where the camera man tells about how so many people watch atrocities on their television, say "that's so sad," and then continue with their lives as if nothing is different. Human trafficking, rich individuals ruling over poor and starving people, ruthless dictators, and so many other things truly bother me. But yet, I am here.
I realize that as a Christian, I am a participant in the missio Dei. I am a active participant in God's plan to reconcile all of creation to Himself. I know that this includes compassionate ministry, social justice, evangelism, disicpleship, etc. But many times I do not feel like I am making a difference in our world.
While I realize that not everyone is called to do carry out God's mission in exactly the same way, I still wonder what each Christian's role should be. My real, specific question is what can we do to stop the construction of this weapons plant? I honestly don't know if the type of protesting done by these Catholic Workers is going to make much of a difference. What do you think on the issue?