Project Zion Podcast

291 | Grounds for Peace | Dehumanization Yesterday and Today: How to Act as Neighbour

August 04, 2020 Project Zion Podcast
Project Zion Podcast
291 | Grounds for Peace | Dehumanization Yesterday and Today: How to Act as Neighbour
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Project Zion Podcast
291 | Grounds for Peace | Dehumanization Yesterday and Today: How to Act as Neighbour
Aug 04, 2020
Project Zion Podcast

In partnership with the 2020 European Peace Colloquy, Project Zion Podcast is bringing you interviews with the presenters. Today, we welcome Andrew Bolton to expand on his presentation, "Dehumanization Yesterday and Today: How to Act as Neighbour".

View Andrew's Peace Colloquy Presentation 

Host: Joey Williams
Guest: Andrew Bolton

Show Notes Transcript

In partnership with the 2020 European Peace Colloquy, Project Zion Podcast is bringing you interviews with the presenters. Today, we welcome Andrew Bolton to expand on his presentation, "Dehumanization Yesterday and Today: How to Act as Neighbour".

View Andrew's Peace Colloquy Presentation 

Host: Joey Williams
Guest: Andrew Bolton

Josh Mangelson :

Welcome to the Project Zion podcast. This podcast explores the unique spiritual and theological gifts Community of Christ offers for today's world.

Joey Williams :

Hello and welcome to Project Zion. The Restoration Caffeinated. Today is the second podcast in a new international series Grounds for Peace under the auspices of peace projects.edu. In this series, we are asking what are the grounds and you might even say the foundations for a new peaceful humanity. I'm your host Joey Williams, member of The Community of Christ European peace and justice team and mission center president for the Western Europe mission center. According to Steve Veazey, President of Community of Christ, no matter where we start as individuals, our calling our purpose as a human species is to be a peaceful humanity. The phrase peaceful humanity is another way of saying Zion, God's peaceful reign on Earth where everything is right. Today, our guest is Andrew Bolton. And he's with us to have a further discussion on dehumanization. Andrew lives in Leicester, England with his wife Joel homes, and has a special passion for peace and justice. He has worked as a religious education teacher in Leicester and a teacher trainer at Westminster College, Oxford. He worked for Community of Christ for 18 years, part of that time coordinating the peace and justice ministries and Department of the entire International Church and then nine years we At the task of coordinating the spiritual and pastoral care of 215 congregations in mission in 10 different countries. He has just written a second book on the Sermon on the Mount called Learning on the Mountain Serving in the Valley and is looking for a publisher. He has written and co authored other books, including in pursuit of peace Community of Christ journey available at www dot Harold house.org. Recently, Andrew has written a number of essays on conscientious objectors in World War One, and also about early church history, including the British Isles. Andrew, I'm so glad you could join us today to continue this important discussion about dehumanization. Please say hello to our listeners.

Andrew Bolton :

Hello. I'm very pleased to be with you. And our listeners today. Joey

Joey Williams :

it's good to have you today. Andrew, you and some of your friends recently gave a webinar on dehumanization yesterday and today, how to act as neighbor as part of the 2020 European peace colloquy webinar series. And our listeners can access this webinar at www.peace projects.edu or on the Community of Christ Europe YouTube page. So tell us what is dehumanization and what makes you so passionate about this issue?

Andrew Bolton :

I think there's two ways I'd like to begin. One first of all, is to say that I'm still haunted by World War II, where my dad was a soldier for seven years. And World War II and our family didn't end in 1945. It ended in 1965 20 years later, when my dad began to get help. So a lot of my energy for peace and justice comes from the stories of his dreadful experiences in World War II. So in Europe, we have to be serious about war. And secondly, dehumanization, which was your question. dehumanization is to be picked on, bullied, be put down belittled, stereotyped. dehumanization is racism, sexism. And we all experienced dehumanization, when it happens to me, I have this sinking feeling confusion, sense of fear or worry is not a pleasant experience. And at the same time, we're all made in the glorious image of God. There's something in me that protests this treatment, and we can and should resist our dignity being taken away. And we should resist the dignity of others being attacked.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, so there's this question of dignity, the worth of others and standing up basically for others and with others, anytime their dignity is at risk is that Right.

Andrew Bolton :

Yeah, yeah.

Joey Williams :

So you started your presentation on dehumanization, talking about some stories from a book called East West Street by Felipe Sands. And your college friend, Miles Hillmann had given you a copy of this and then invited you to join him in Lviv in Ukraine to follow the story on the ground. Can you tell our listeners a little bit more about this book about the trip you in time? What was it that hooked you or grabbed your attention and made you go on this trip and what did you get out of it?

Andrew Bolton :

So 50 years ago, Myles and I met at an agricultural college in the south of England. Were both Northerners. In fact, we find out later that our families knew each other historic, really, so yes, very cool. But anyway, we hit it off before we knew about that. And we both ended up in Leicester. This is where I Families both came and we met, we lost touch, he came to our wedding, We lost touch and then we met in Victoria Park Lester. Now his dad's story is important and inspiring to both of us. So let's hear Miles tell that story of his dad.

Miles Hillmann :

So why was I fascinated? Well, I am the son of refugee. My father was German. He was driven out of Germany by anti semitism, and by narcissism. It was not Jewish. In the 1920s, he was apprenticed as a carpenter in the Keele shipyards. Unable to evolve further education, in nonetheless studied at the Volkers Schuler in the evenings, and eventually passed and gained a scholarship at the Krishna Brick House at Keele University. In 1933, his Jewish Professor Professor Cohen was expelled from Keele University. This expulsion can lead to a furious argument between my father and the leads of the Nazi students, a certain Claud Hoopner. At the end of which first Hoopner said to my dad, Helden, you need to re educating. The next day he was arrested central camp on the islands were hard labor during the day was combined with learning mining camp in the evenings. After a few months in the camp, he was deemed to have learned mind camp well enough. He was allowed out of the camp for a weekend. But rather didn't go home he had in northwestburg when he managed to still work on a fishing boat bound for Scotland. He was welcomed to Scotland. My brother and my sisters and I really appreciated the welcome that UK gave him as a refugee. We're proud of his personal fight against totalitarianism and racism. We do not forget it. Hopefully, my siblings and I have made a contribution as midwife, engineer, businessman and social worker, and none of yet none of us who have been convicted convicted of any heinous crimes. So which demonstrates, in a small way, the value to British society of welcoming refugees. Thank you.

Andrew Bolton :

So Philippe Sands tells brilliantly the story of the Nazi Holocaust and the city of Lviv in the Ukraine, Phillippe's and his grandfather was born there. He also tells the story of two lawyers who studied in Lviv and went on to make extraordinary contributions to international law. Philippe Sands is a professor of international law at University College London, and writes a true story, but like a novel, the result is a monumental achievement is profoundly personal is gripping is told with love, anger and great precision. And no novel could possibly match it as an important work of truth. So if you want an easy introduction to human rights law and why it matters, national and international human rights law, this is a really good introduction to that. And miles and I went to Lviv to follow the story on the ground. And by doing that, the story became even more real for us. Because of the things we saw the stories, we heard, the death camp, we visited the railway station by the ghetto, on which Jews went to Belzec and so on. So it's the sacrament of place that cemented the story for us now.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, so I mean, yeah, I mean, of course, anytime you can make a visit, and especially after having read this book that you were able to like kind of live that moment. Even years later, right?

Andrew Bolton :

Yeah, and that our two guides were awesome as well. So Peter, the organizing guide, had read Philippe Sands' book put those two together, and his journey. And it's critical German, of what his forebears did in this story. So part of the two was Peters authenticity and commitment to telling of this story truthfully and honestly. And then there was Marie Alou a Ukrainian PhD, who also was caught by this story and was also a very helpful guy. So the people that we had with us were part of our journey.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, and brought it to life. In many ways, yeah. So did you already know about Dr. Gregory Stanton's model of the 10 stages of genocide before that trip?

Andrew Bolton :

I did.

Joey Williams :

Dr. Gregory Stanton is the president of Genocide Watch at www genocidewatch.com and explains on that website 10 different stages of genocide. So tell us more about that and why that is helpful for us to know.

Andrew Bolton :

So genocide doesn't happen by accident. It's a deliberate, planned process of mass killing of a whole group of people. And when we understand each step or stage, we can then prepare, how we can intervene and disrupt and block the process. We can recognize its beginnings and take action early on, to hinder this terrible process, this terrible process of creation of hell for people.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, and later in this podcast, I hope we can really focus on some of that intervention at what point can we step in to not allow the process to continue? And this is actually dehumanization, that word is found at the fourth stage of Dr Stanton's model. And so that's only one of nine other stages. So why did you focus your presentation on dehumanization as opposed to one of the other stages in that model?

Andrew Bolton :

So yes, Dr. Stanton called stage four dehumanization. And in this stage, she describes how members of a group called vermin, cockroaches, rats. And therefore, more easily killed. I'm

Joey Williams :

Not seeing people as human at all to the point that we can then do something about it to get rid of them.

Andrew Bolton :

Yes, this happened to Jews in World War II, Bosnian Muslims, Rwanda, Tootsie and so calling members Have a group worse than subhuman justifies then killing or makes it easier to kill them. However, each of each step, each stage of Stanton's 10 step model of genocide is actually a step of dehumanization. So, the first step stereotyping, classifying people is a process of dehumanization. Marking them out with the Star of David or in the case of race of a color of a person's skin, then discriminating against them, culminating in murder. So murder is dehumanization big time. So each of his steps, each of his stages are stages actually of dehumanization. And the last step of genocide is denial. So we even erase the memory of the person of what happened. So his whole model is a process of describing The process of dehumanization, that leads to genocide.

Joey Williams :

So I get the, that part of dehumanization obviously is horrible and bad, but the first two stages are classification and symbolization. And these are things to me that seem like very human traits. You know, even both of the creation stories in the Bible categorize classify name seemed to give some type of hierarchy to the order of creation. So is it always bad? Or is it some type of combination of classification and civilization with something else? You know, something else added that leads us down a path of genocide. What are the factors of these two steps in the stage of discrimination that eventually lead us to dehumanization?

Andrew Bolton :

So we as humans are classifying and symbolizing all the time that's how we manage the world understand the world, the periodic table. is a classification of all the elements, right? I love plants. So the division of plants into different families helps in identification of them and so on. And the problem is that when we apply to humans we make a human a thing or an it. A rock is already in it a plant, arguably. So, when we make humans in it, then we're dehumanize them. So in my comics as a boy, a Frenchman was often pictured riding on a bicycle with horizontal striped sweater, wearing a barrette having a mustache and the garland of onions around his neck. So we call this stereotyping. And it can be funny, but I might feel a little uncomfortable and disturbed. If I was to read French boy comics betraying the English. The thing is, each of us as humans are you unique and different. Everybody expects me in the United States to drink tea as an English person, but I don't drink tea. I bust the stereotype. Outside as mimica, London cockney accent to stereotype an English person speaks, or perhaps a very posh upper class English accent. I speak neither. So when I'm stereotyped in a negative way, I feel condemned, trapped, found guilty. Before I've done anything. It's a terrible place to be in, because I can't argue my way out. Hmm. So classifying people is to dehumanize them. It attacks the unique image of God in a person. It destroys their dignity and the Nazi forced labor camps, you were reduced to a number. You had it tattooed on your arm. Even your name, Joey, or Andrew was taken away now I've had all kinds of negative stereotypes of Americans growing up, which I confess with some awkwardness. Now, however, I married an American, but I didn't marry a stereotype. I'm married Jewel, a unique Jewel 43 years ago. And Jesus if I may say so, and as humans classifying each other, Paul, in his letter to efficient says that Jesus removed the wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, in his letter to the Galatians, he raised that in Christ. In God, there's neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female. And the parable of the Good Samaritan is a stereotype busting story. If I was to add a new commandment to the 10 commandments, it would be thou shalt not stereotype.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, so it's it's all almost over and over again that we continue to try not to see the other as other right? It's It seems that the closer we bring others into being human being more like us, as opposed to different from us or to negatively see them as different, that we can kind of make them more human. Is that is that where this is going?

Andrew Bolton :

Yeah. And I found that when I went to work in Germany as a college student. It was a big thing for me to do after my dad seven years in World War Two. And this is one of my big, big discoveries. Wherever I go in the world, I encounter a real human being, no matter their race, language, their religious background, and that's a huge an important discovery. Some of my best friends are in Japan. So soulmates and the Philippines and so on. So, so that's one of my big, big discoveries. You can encounter human, wherever you go, and whatever culture and whatever race.

Joey Williams :

Wonderful. So when obviously this doesn't happen when it goes the opposite way when probably led by our fear, we continue to push people into another category or see them as outsiders, that it leads to these really scary words that you keep using like Holocaust and genocide. And you know, these are dark subjects, very difficult subjects. Why is it so important for us to face it?

Andrew Bolton :

So, for Europeans this happened in our backyard. World War One World War II, there's memories of that all over the place. Every English village, every English town city has war memorials put up after World War One. So you can't escape the consciousness of the terribleness of World War One. And when I go to the village where my parents lived for 38 years, I know some of the names the family names on that woman, Maria, the don't have children in the valley anymore because they died as young man. And then World War Two and my dad's stories being in Dunkirk, North Africa ending the war in Italy. I mean, he, it disturbed his mind. So that's when World War II is in the home. And then Holocaust and genocide 11 million people died, 6 million of them Jewish. It's really important to face this because it's part of the European reality. And I want to say that we have some language in Christianity to help us deal with this. crucifixion Friday happens to innocent people every day. It's a reality and we must face it. And in the darkness of crucifixion on Friday, I suggest Christians are the most realistic of all people about the human condition that we humans can do terrible things to each other. And the crucifixion story of Jesus, we murder God, creator, mother and father. The dreadful betrayal that's in the Holocaust is a people from a Christian culture, crucifying Jewish women, men and children. That's so difficult for European Christians to come to terms with, but really important. However, there's more to the Christian sense of reality than darkness than crucifixion Friday, or genocide if we only have that part of the story, story we would give up. But it's in the early morning light of Resurrection Sunday of seeing with the women, an attitude to that we begin to realize that God is able to mend and heal, and bring to wholeness, what is broken, and a day's coming and says the last book of the Bible, and its penultimate chapter, the God will wipe away every tear from every AI. So Christians in the awful tragic reality of crucifixion Friday are the most realistic of people about sin in humanity to one another, and to injustice. But this is only half the story. In the early morning, like three days later, we joined the women and find an empty tomb. So Christians are also the most hopeful of people. Tears and fears can change to songs of joy and well being and this then The really important line task is this to stop the crucifixion machine in a world and be a part of God's healing and mending.

Joey Williams :

So when you talk about this crucifixion machine, obviously you're making now connection to dehumanization that leads to murder, right and potentially mass murder of entire groups of people. So you've talked about that, obviously, in Europe, the heart of that issue is the Holocaust experience. So is dehumanization continuing today? Is this crucifixion machine still at work?

Andrew Bolton :

And indeed, I'm afraid it is. And it's threatening again in Europe. I never thought this would come back. I thought, fascism. the far right was a thing of the past. We have made it history, but people are forgetting. So hate speech, for instance is alive and well. Here's one example from a British newspaper website, the sun in Britain by Viktor young, heading migrants, the quote, send them back where they come from bunch of cockroaches trying to invade. That's one sample of hate speech. The rise of populist leaders who victimize minorities, migrants, refugees, blacks, Muslims, homosexuals and Jews are on the increase. We thought the fire rate was over in Europe after the terrible things that happened in World War Two. But in France, we have marine lepen, France's National Front leader in Britain, Tommy Robinson, Nigel Faraj, in Germany, there's alternate chief for Deutschland Viktor Orban is president of hungry and there's Donald Trump in the United States. Perhaps, to connect more about what's really happening in Britain at the moment, we can hear the testimony of David Forbes, a Quaker from Birmingham. Talk about the intentional explicit policy of the British current British government on treating migrants and refugees. His policies called by the British government, hostile environment. So over to you, David,

David Forbes :

In this pandemic, in this time of Black Lives Matter and of Greta Thunberg, it's hard to imagine anyone using a hostile environment as a selling point, but that's what Theresa May then UK Home Secretary did in 2012. Unfortunately, we are still living with the dehumanizing consequences of this today. Its most striking manifestation for me is a new, a new style poll tax on migrants and refugees in the UK, which is disguised as government fees. Take the example of a refugee couple from Ethiopia as their registered legal rep and free of charge. I've recently handed them their permanent resident ID cards. As recognized Geneva Convention refugees they have escaped the poll tax so far, but now, they will face it in that they will have to be 1300 pounds sterling each if they want British citizenship. And if their newly born son June, Jude had been born now he would have been born British. But as he was born last week before they got the status, it seems they will have to naturalize him at a cost of a further 1000 pounds and a lot of bureaucracy. So they have a bill of three things and 600 pounds. Another client Hadyara from Nigeria arrived pregnant from the Lebanon as it happened the war in Lebanon in 2007. So that's her son Michael was born in the UK and was in fact eligible for registration as a British citizen at the age of 10 in 2017, but Hydra has never been able to afford this until now. It costs thousand pounds. She is not a convention refugee. But one of the larger population granted so called discretionary leave on the long 10 year route to permanent residence status, divided into two and a half year slices. And it's marked by four poll tax or fee payments of 2000 pounds per person per time, regardless of age or condition. So that's 4000 pounds for her Michael totaling for them over the 10 years. 16,000 pounds. She got this status under the rules when Michael reached seven years of age in 2014. There are no terms and conditions. But she can escape, either by making out a complicated case for a fee waiver, for which she would have to pay us lip service when somebody like me. She succeeded in that in 2016, but failed last year. Or she can make further submissions as a person who was previously refused refugee status, which is free. We've had to do the latter. But making these free submissions is treated as an interruption of her 10 year route march to to permanent settlement. So now while the home office mulling over her case in the process, which may take six to 12 months or more, she has the right to stay but she has lost her job. Because the employers told that she's no longer entitled to work, she's lost her job as a low paid care worker. Despite the huge need for such people in this pandemic, the only concession has been to grant her just enough welfare benefits to survive under the Universal Credit scheme in this country. In the hostile environments with its neo poll tax, the path to citizenship is long and hard and disempowering. dehumanization can only be arrested to some extent by the intervention of charity lawyers like myself and allied welfare workers. They're all too few of us and agonizingly we often fail to buck the system. It's a system based on a targeted hostile environment. And what's more, it was adopted by professing Christians Theresa May and David Cameron to rephrase Lord Acton's famous dictum about the corruption of power, we can say that all management targets tend to dehumanize absolute targets dehumanize absolutely. Thank you very much.

Andrew Bolton :

So, thank you, David, for describing that. What's really happening now makes us very worried. This is already stage three. You've taken the you taken away the basic human rights of people in our country.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, so this crucifixion machine is still at work. We continue to dehumanize, migrants, refugees, Black people, women, LGBT. And there's probably many other categories Andrew, what what other things are happening? How are how is this being lived out today?

Andrew Bolton :

I heard the stories of how children are held in cages in the United States, children of in migrant detention centers it's a harrowing dreadful story. The murder of George Floyd helps us realize the endemic systematic brutality against Blacks in the States and in Britain. However, the Black Lives Matter and the Me Too movement are positive protests that are also changing things. So in these two movements, for instance, the protests against crucifixion Friday, but they're pointing to Easter Sunday is coming. They're disrupting the crucifixion machine. So we should use plural. There are lots of crucifixion machines. There's not just one.

Joey Williams :

So, is there any hope? How do how do we either a faith community are simply compassionate people wishing to resist these forces of dehumanization what, what hope is there for us?

Andrew Bolton :

So I found hope when I was in Lviv. So during the day with Miles and his sister, Meryl and Peter Murray, we were going around remembering the story in East West Street. And that night, I was reading a book produced by Andrew lane that quake, the Brussels European Quakers center on hate speech. And he gave me hope, by saying what we do to counter hate speech is telling an alternative story. So the first spiritual tool and a collection of tools for disrupting the crucifixion machine, disrupting the genocide process is to tout alternative stories. So one series of stories. I'm just going to give headlines is all humans are made in the image of God. Humans are of equal worth. Stories that illustrate Love your neighbor as yourself or grace as the worth of all souls in the sight of God. We also tell stories that point the real issue. The real issue issue is not migrants or refugees or gay people who are being blamed for our current problems. Unemployment, low wages, is an economy that benefits the billionaire's not all people. And the Bible, Exodus story Gods on the side of slaves. We tell the story of how Jesus stands in the exodus tradition of justice for the poor. We tell the story of how the early Christians in Jerusalem lived all things in common economic equality. We remind people that there are 2000 verses of the Bible that are critical of poverty. That's quite a few verses. And we tell A story of the development of human rights but all human rights can bring people together faith humanists and others that may not have a religious base but have compassion nevertheless, for their fellow humans, and we're all allies in a common cause then. So human rights are rights that you're born with, they can't be sold or bought or taken away. And in the United States, we can remind people of the Declaration of Independence, a document that is like scripture for Americans, We hold these truths to be self evident, that all people are created equal. They're they're endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So I want to suggest to American listeners that if you don't believe or support this, you're not a real American. And if you are a politician who does not support policies that assume all people are created equal Then you're betraying America. So even the American founding story is a story that we can tell. And then we can also tell stories of resistance that hindered or stopped or prevented the Holocaust that disrupted the crucifixion machine. In Denmark, nearly all the Jews were protected in the escape to safety. And it's late 80% of all Jews survived compared with only 23% in Germany, the French village of lashauwn bomb of 35,000 people, a people led by a Christian pastor, who believed in the sound of amount saved in World War II 5000 people 3000 of whom were Jews, and got them to safety, two or 300 kilometers away over the Swiss border. So genocide is not inevitable crucifixion can be stopped tid halted by ordinary people, you and I can make a difference. Hmm.

Joey Williams :

Tell me a little bit about what you've just said and non violence. Because in terms of stories, I've heard of how World War Two ended, there was a lot of violence involved. But some of the stories you just told, obviously, were some non violent ways, you know, protection or hiding of people or ways that they were able to help Jews continue to live throughout that experience. So tell me a little more if you don't mind about the importance of non violence because I know you're, that's a big deal for you.

Andrew Bolton :

So, I love the story of shipra ampure, two midwives, ordered by Pharaoh to kill the baby boys, the Hebrew baby boys as they're born and they refused to do it. And terrorists denied The women to give an account of why aren't they doing that and they make up some excuse. So they didn't participate. They were civilly disobedient. Now, they didn't raise an army. They weren't a physical threat to Pharaoh. They just dissipate him. And their names are still remembered over 3000 years later. I love that part of the story. So a civil disobedience is about divine obedience. So it's first of all about obeying God and obeying the recognition that all humans are worth and should be treated as such. And so the village of LaShawn bond For instance, if they had been a resistance group, they would have been killed, murdered by the narces straight away, because the resistance was non violence, subtle, quiet, not obvious. Sometimes, Andre truck May the past will get a phone call with a German accent telling him raid coming tomorrow. So somebody in the German hierarchy bureaucracy was sympathetic to what was going on unless Shan bomb and could support it by that anonymous phone call because the group was non violent. So I find that intriguing if the Danish Danish government was already defeated militarily, if they tried to attack, sabotage, well attack and assassinate and so on, they weren't to be able to carry out their work of saving the Jews. So it's de escalation whilst upping the disobedience.

Joey Williams :

Recently, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to go out and protest for racial justice. After the killing of George Floyd, and, you know, most of that happened in non violent ways. There's some media sources that are trying to uplift the violence that happened, but I almost all over the world. These were non violent ways of people demonstrating for humanization for the rights of people. How important is that?

Andrew Bolton :

I'm reading a book written in 2011 by Chenoweth and Maria Stanton. And they look at over 300 incidents of rebellion, if you like. And the over 100 of them are non violent, the others have violent revolutions, and they found looking at this data that is a non violent revolution. It will succeed on average 54% of the time. If it's a violent revolution, Half that rate of success. And then if you look at the outcomes after the revolution, in terms of movement to democracy and human rights, it happens 4% of the time or less, with a violent revolution. It happens nearly all the time with non violent revolutions. So the outcome is much better with non violence. So we have to take seriously the option of non violence. I want to go back and say also, there's a another group of stories that we should be telling the stories of accountability, judgment is coming. And there were the Nuremberg Trials after World War Two. There are now international laws, international courts, and that as Martin Luther King preached, the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. So it's important to recognize that People now can be held accountable. And that's an important story to tell as well.

Joey Williams :

Yeah. And so one of the results of that for World War Two, for example, was international law then beginning to lift up the rights of not only individuals but groups of persons. And tell more about that. I think there's more about that from Filipe suns and East West Street, right.

Andrew Bolton :

Yeah. So remember, Philippe sands is an international lawyer who can write as well as a janela carrier. So he writes brilliantly the story of two lawyers, both of whom studied law in Lavie, Ukraine, and he has a connection with lovey because his granddad was born there. So it's a personal story for him and he finds this out. He unwraps the story So one of these two lawyers was hersch lauterpacht. And he rooted international law and individual rights. He got to Cambridge, England, escaped Cambridge, England before the war, and he was very influential in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. And Raphael Lemkin, also a student in the law department at Labib University, is the one who created the idea of group rights. We invented the term genocide, that also became part of international law after World War Two. And now we have international laws and courts to prevent mass murder and genocide. And we must protect these games. It's really important.

Joey Williams :

Yeah, I looked up the word genocide and it came up that Raphael Lemkin had created that word, I found it really interesting because it's a combination of two language derivatives. So the first part is Greek. The Gino is that We find there for people. And then the side part for killing comes from, you know, the word homicide, for example, has a Latin root. So I thought it was very interesting that there were two groups of people within this one word that it didn't have just one, it didn't come from one place, but this whole idea of the other, and what does it mean to live together with others and to see people as more a part of us as opposed to dehumanizing them and putting people into other categories and classifications, civilization and dehumanization, that leads to eventually genocide? Andrew, we are in really extremely polarized political times. And lately we've heard all of these phrases such as hashtag Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ plus rights, masks or no masks, and almost immediately for some people saying these things hearing these things, elicit some type of response within them that almost immediately identifies people and their responses with either the right or left politically. And I've actually seen you sit down and write letters to political leaders. This seems to be one method of advocacy to bring attention to the concerns of dehumanization in the world. But it seems to be a strategy that works best in what we might consider to be functional democracies. So one of my questions is, does that even exist anymore? Do we have functional democracies, many of the names you gave were from from countries that seem to be democracies, but are they functional anymore? And is letter writing still effective? Or is there potentially something more that needs to be done? Can we count on our traditional methods within today's democracies to be able to respond?

Andrew Bolton :

So yeah, I think I've been to Parliament. I've been to Congress, I walked past john kerry's door, I saw a presidential candidate taking a group of constituents around. I went in and lobbied and nobody came from it came for me at midnight, to beat me up or threaten my family in the United States. So you still do that. You don't need protection. It's part of free speech. We understand that. So we don't have to fight for that in many of our countries. What we do have to fight against his apathy and energy to do something to make a difference. So it's, you know, the idea that enough feathers can sink a ship and enough sand grains of sand can outweigh a Tom. So our voices matter. Witness matters. So I think we should use the democratic opportunities that we're gifted with as citizens of our respective countries. And we're lazy, if we don't.

Joey Williams :

Interesting. Tell more about what our tasks might be to not get back to Auschwitz.

Andrew Bolton :

So Europe, I feel really positive about Europe. It has this dreadful history. And then I went and worked in Germany as a student and was treated totally humanely, as another human being stereotyped. Me. They teased me. They were kind to me. They treated me as a human. I became a Europe, a European in Europe, in Germany working in gym, and I think in Europe and the British Isles after World War Two. You have the welfare state come in. I went to college. Which is basically a free ride even though I some a poor family. So things got better and better in Europe. It's been a miracle. And the European Union has been this amazing peace project that has prevented world war three happening in Europe. That's immensely important. My grandfather's generation, fought World War I. My dad's generation fought World War II, I didn't have to fight world war three, which would have been the last war perhaps, of all things. So what's our task? After the gratitude that I feel for being European task, I think is to make Auschwitz the heart of Europe, like Christians make the cross the heart of Christianity. Our sweat is God's agony. Our task is to make sure it never happens again. And as Community of Christ, we have this growing commitment to always protect the most vulnerable. Now in Europe, we have the Council of Europe, we have the European Convention on Human Rights, and the accountability to the Strasburg based European Court of Human Rights. And it's really important that we protect these initiatives that came into being after the darkness of World War Two, they're part of the Easter morning light in Europe, if you want to put it that way. So this talk in Britain, though, in the dynamics of Brexit, of leaving these things, and I think we will be more vulnerable because of that. And so we must take a stand before it's too late. And we must join with others who are also concerned. We're working already with the Quakers who were actually born in a hostile environment three and a half centuries ago. We hang out with friends in church and peace that has a European Why are we seeking to build bridges with Buddhists and Jains who like Quakers have a non violent tradition. And we join hands with those Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus who also want to have societies to be good for everyone's children. And we need to be particularly sensitive in our relationships with the Jewish community, which over 2000 years has suffered so much pain, and so called Christian Europe. Our task is to make sure Auschwitz never happens again, we raise that as our goal. And we joined with others to make sure that doesn't happen because we are strong enough to do that by ourselves. So I want to say others exclude, divide, build walls. We include, reach out, build bridges. All of us want a good world, for our children and grandchildren. In Nepal, I was working there I met the former ambassador to Britain, a real gentleman and then retirement he was working with perhaps 500 charities, not for profits, NGOs for fair elections in Nepal, which by the way have happened. I asked him, was it dangerous work for him? Was it the risk nice smile know, when you're working with 500 other organizations, the government, they're not do anything against me. The safety and numbers he said, with others, we can be a force for good. So that's why allying with others and civil society is so important. And we can learn so much from the Quakers from the beginning. They they love it. So George Fox sometimes persuaded the judge that he stood before to do justice rightly. Judge Fox and other Quakers spoke with Oliver Cromwell and got a hearing and were heard and the story When Charles the second came on the throne of England after 18 6060, and 60. So the fact that the Quakers were nonviolent and kept telling their respective governments that they were nonviolent, meant their voice could be taken seriously. They weren't dangerous, but they were lobbying for change. So it's the same in the United States today, as well as in Britain, we can lobby safely. And you asked about letter writing earlier, silent 35 years ago that when a politician gets a letter, a phone call or today an email, they think 1000 other constituents are thinking like this. So that's always empowered me. An eight letters in a is a big post bank for a senator or representative or a Member of Parliament. They represent 1000 people. So just a few people can make it big difference. And it only takes one other person to help me be much more courageous. So with you or with Elray or Andrew fellows, for instance, I'm much more courageous. I mean a lot to do far more than I would by myself.

Joey Williams :

So if the goal Andrew is to move away from humanization and genocide, what is it that we're moving towards?

Andrew Bolton :

So assume the idea of Zion, or Martin Luther King's the beloved community, or God's peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. We all have dignity where we're all skilled and committed to reconciliation, war, violence, poverty, and economic justice, injustice, our history. Design is where humanization happens where human dignity is practiced it's an old hope.

Joey Williams :

Yeah and you've talked about a 10 stage process that leads to genocide. This is Dr. Stanton stages from genocidewatch.com. Is there an alternative to that? Andrew? Is there an opposite process of humanization? Or re humanization? Maybe?

Andrew Bolton :

Yeah, I think so. So we humanisation begins with listening, hearing people's stories of pain, taking the hurt seriously. And I love the story in Exodus three, in a burning bush story, where the Holy Spirit confronts Moses, and Moses hears God say, I've heard the cries of my people. I've seen their suffering. I've come down to lift to deliver them. So so rehumanize ation begins by listening and it's interesting To play with the eight Beatitudes, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, and to see an opposite process to Dr. Stanton's 10 stages to genocide. So let me just go through those quickly. Blessed are the poor in spirit. So we begin by listening to the story of the dehumanised. So those that mourn. So those that mourn to the pain of others, and realize that sometimes, we participated in creating that pain by being a perpetrator or bystander not doing anything to stop it. Blessed are the meek, the humble, who are willing to learn new ways to repent, to use traditional language. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice for righteousness, who are hungry, to humanize not dehumanize. Blessed other merciful, who seek the recovery and healing of victims and also perpetrators. Godspeed races for all. We all dehumanize. We all need mercy. That's the pure in heart who act without mixed motives long only for the humanization of all. Blessed are the peacemakers and peacemakers of people who dismantle, and prevent and disrupt the road to Holocaust, genocide, economic injustice, systems of violence. peacemakers are those people who prevent future crucifixions and genocides? And then it ends with the last beatitude Blessed are those who stand up for justice for humanization no matter the cost. Blessed are those who see Jesus the Jew, as one who always humanized who gave dignity to women, children, the second cripple the mentally ill, and even reached out and blessing to Roman offices and tax collectors. Like Matthew's Zacchaeus who promised paradise to a thief on the cross beside him and forgive those below him who had nailed him to the work. So these Beatitudes, create a people who then become salt, light, a city on the hill. We're all humans have dignity. So yes, the Beatitudes are the opposite process of re humanization or humanization, the opposite of Dr. Stanton's 10 steps.

Joey Williams :

Wow, the way you've just lifted up the Beatitudes, you know, really, especially in light of dehumanization, what we've just spoken about gives us a way forward, it gives us a way out. That's one of the things I love about the stories of Jesus is Jesus seems to find ways out of the current situations, of dehumanization of destruction that we're in. It would be wonderful if all of this was in some type of book that we might be able to read more On the subject of the Sermon on the Mount, do you know anything more about that? Can you share anything about that?

Andrew Bolton :

So I've been working, I wrote one 20, on the Sermon on the Mount 20 years ago, that sold well in Herald house. But I've learned some things since then. So really, this is a 30 year project. And in this session, I do a common tree that people can do, personally, on each part of the Sermon on the Mount. Dare to time perhaps. And then I tell stories of people who have lived out or some of them, some of whom we've touched on today. We have Alicia shumba is one of them.

Joey Williams :

Wow. I look forward to that being available for our listeners. In the meantime, can I suggest the Bible? Wonderful, great option.

Andrew Bolton :

Thank you, Andrew.

Joey Williams :

The theme of the webinar was dehumanisation yesterday and today how to act as neighbors. So can you give us a little summary of how ordinary people can act as neighbor?

Andrew Bolton :

So Jesus said there were two great commandments. Sometimes we overlook them because we're so familiar with them. The first was to love God. And the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. So why love God? Because our neighbors and ourselves are creating the image of God. So when we love our neighbor, we're worshiping God, to go together. And a simple thing to do is to greet everybody in your neighborhood, get to know them. Be friendly at work, get to know everybody. treat each person equally at your place of work or in your school. Obey the 11th commandment do not stereotype and as a 12th commandment, do not be a bystander. Don't watch it happen. So civil disobedience, as I already mentioned, is about disobeying laws and orders that dehumanize others Civil Disobedience is divine obedience, because it's protecting the dignity of every human being. Now the village of LaShawn bond who saved 5000 people. These villages didn't have theology degrees, most left school at the age of 12. But they didn't know love your neighbor as yourself. It was above the doors, he went into church. And the important thing is, it wasn't an only an idea. It was something that reflects a habit. They didn't, in fact, have to think about it. It's become a habit and instinct that they had adopted. So they were living out great is the worth of souls in the sight of God, which is essential value of the restoration. So I've been exploring the worth of souls. What's the race, or the gender, or sexual orientation, or religion of Islam?

Joey Williams :

Maybe we can have a future podcast on the soul and what is the race, gender, sexual orientation, or even religion of a soul? Fascinating. Well, is there anything else, Andrew that you wanted to mention in this podcast? Anything that has come to your mind as we've taken time to explore these topics today?

Andrew Bolton :

Thank you, Joey for the opportunity. It's very simple, I think. I mean, I'm not a complicated person in the end. It's the west of souls is great in the sight of God, love your neighbor, I shall sell. We're all made in the image of God. There are stories and parents stories of people who've disrupted and prevented the crucifixion machine.

Joey Williams :

Thank you so much, Andrew. Thank you for being a part of this follow up podcast to the 2020 European peace colloquies webinar series. And we also want to thank your friends Myles and David for their contribution and letting us use their clips in this podcast. Thank you for your time and your important reflections on dehumanization and how we might respond and change the direction from genocide, destruction and more towards diversity, inclusion, and peace. And thank you to all of our listeners. Please join us next time to listen to Zac McLaughlin share about action teams, as we all continue to explore together our many different grounds for peace.

Josh Mangelson :

Thanks for listening to Project Zion Podcast, subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast Stitcher, or whatever podcast streaming service you use. And while you're there, give us a five star rating. Project Zion Podcast is sponsored by Latter-day Seeker Ministries of Community of Christ. The views and opinions expressed in this episode are of those speaking and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Latter-day Seeker Ministries or Community of Christ. Music has been graciously provided by Dave Heinze.