quarantine lent

Image: Hamilton Grimaldi


Life passes through death. A people can kill forms of oppression, illusory expectations, confidence born of lies and hate speech. But there is one condition: it must be people

It takes a lot of cunning and trickery to escape the political underpinnings of the small Aramaic world of the well-known Biblical New Testament, especially in mediating moments of the birth and suffering of the cross accomplished in Jesus, commonly called The Christ. That divided and threatened world moves through memory and through the effort to build social values ​​that support possible misfortunes.

In it, there is not much left for a decisive Roman action (year 70 of the new calendar), producing diaspora, strong as the ancient intervention that took the Hebrew people to the so-called Babylonian captivity (year 586), which also echoes the Egyptian life of the people , whose passover (almost tragic in its pilgrimage) announces the value Eretz – Earth and its strenuous maintenance. The earth reference does not survive without memory.

Forty days, forty years: prototypes of time to mature an accumulation that can build the new and see it succeed; likewise, when the new is not born, destruction follows, the disorientation of space and time. The banishment. Nothing happens in the forties without strong pressures, although this time of quarantine and Lent brings at its core the proper hope in the face of freedoms and the recognition of rights. To be born and not to be born (the new) are also political phenomena.

Relating the facts and deeds of Aramaic time is too much, because what matters in them is always the perspicacity and sharpness of their senses, as the literature of many peoples so well intuited in the centuries that already distance us from the small Greek, Roman, Jewish world. , christian.

There is always one thing inside another in the movement of those cultures. One time responds to another, enunciates it and then announces it abundantly, whether in the presentation of children as a first initiation ritual, or in the painful mediation of the rhythms of death, or in the enlightenment of sages and prophets, or in the temptations that last almost seven weeks, which seems like an eternity. It is always about the concrete human, of faith, citizen, subject to laws and norms, in the face of the political and spiritual injunctions that test him, that humiliate him many times and not only tear him apart. However, the germs of hope and even overcoming are never absent either. This is where the difficult citizenship takes shape in a protracted and slow-moving crisis.

However, there are prototypes of the phenomena. The rejected blind cry on the roads, the father of the dead child complains, the rich man tries to regenerate, the rift between disciples prevails, parents and children quarrel, tax collection is cruel and impoverishes the already poor, possessions are debatable in their nature. justice: in all this, the ensemble of social crossings that teach less how to be perfect and irreproachable than to participate in brief or lasting projects of redemption, a work of memory and struggles, regardless of persecution, censorship and even death. The fall brings with it liberation, as the old saying goes.

This recluse to the individual or family is unthinkable. Even worse for individualism and its secular projections. The structural issue that founds Aramaic space-time is that of the forcibly programmed division of non-angelic powers, although they try to take over the ancient semantic field. Power is stripped away. This means the pain of the people's hopes, with or without hope. It means, by accumulation, the game of popular expectations, strong maintainer of illusions, largely responsible for many discussions in the New Testament. And more: this social process implies a conscience that is not generic enough to apprehend the set of events, learn to judge them and undertake transforming actions.

The Christian answer is that the new exists. Even when it's unheard of, it's viable. Death can be killed by overcoming the established, whose maturation requires 40 days until the new passover, the crossing of the killing hosts by the new conscience to give effective and creative answers.

Life passes through death. A people can kill forms of oppression, illusory expectations, confidence born of lies and hate speech. But there is one condition: it needs to be people.

The people in the books of the New Testament are not a racial agglomeration, which can happen conjuncturally. Nor is the people the sum of the documents of voters or migrants before power. Likewise, it is not the organization called by the charismatic cry, which leads to hoarseness and loss of direction, always followed by repression.

The present Brazilian conjuncture does not fit (does not fit into a box) in the Aramaic world, but it has strong political proximity, not only because of the falsified messianic stories it has lived (non-liberating liberations, non-republican republic…) but notably because of a completely evil religious movement resolved and in collusion with the state, either Catholicism that is not very Franciscan, or “evangelicalism” dragging its feet before the temple money changers, the new indulgence sellers and the thieves of popular good faith. Their names are widely publicized by the media and everyone has been able to justify themselves in the face of their ills. These people preach no gospel but their own; hence it holds no hope. Only illusions.

On the contrary, the sum of illusions produced an amalgamation between functions of the state and functions of local authorities, as is the case of the militias – related to governments – and their functions of sponsoring and mystification of the evangelical faith, whose validity within the communities liquidates with the rest of what could exist of hope, because the only day to live is today. The future is due to the protector and who owes it are not the elected and composed powers in formal structures, but individuals, families, communities. Becoming dies to duty.

We are in our forties, in lent and in quarantine. On the one hand, we head towards Pesach, which involves leaps. As in the old Hebrew Pesach, heels are indispensable to mark rights and justice at the door of those who believe. Our quarantine in the face of symbolic and physical violence, government irresponsibility, the murder of various values ​​and bodies has already lasted more than 700 days, therefore many forty. The quarantine that enjoyed supposed changes in 2018 for part of the people had to face more pistols, murders and feminicides, liquidation of the guarantee of human rights and lies to exhaustion. like bees under toxic fumigation, to humiliate the formal senses of the State in favor of governmental debauchery, spread political turmoil, put an end to any sign of agrarian reform, silence and plunder nature and its native people, etc., etc.

The new has never been an exclusively individual phenomenon, nor is it born from there. The new of Lent and quarantines will have to be at the crossroads of conversions and awareness (in that Freirean sense) that exceed everyday awareness and provoke the meeting of extended everyday life with new figures, facts and phenomena (as GyörgyLukacs and Agnes Heller thought) competent to confrontations, unique places of human learning.

This new quarantine, Lenten and political phenomenon also echoes, whether the word of Jesus, the Christ, when he exhorts disciples in doubt, still trapped in illusory expectations, or the strong texts of Micah-Micah, the prophet, of which one can exemplify, among other passages, the first verses of chapter II, which deals with various forms of oppression and violence against the humblest and weakest of the earth.

Citizenship in the small Aramaic world was on a razor's edge. There was no agora there, as we never had it again. The time without peace, sung by the theatrical works that are close to us, Liberdade, Liberdade, Arena conta Zumbi and Tiradentes and other stories, is demanding an urgent movement of conscience, which goes beyond the repetitive daily life, although it respects and considers it as a place in which begins the liberating overcoming.

*Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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