CT ColumnistsJK033.jpgToday’s Chicago Tribune.  John Kass’ football is dead in America column in which Kass says –

Fans have been led to pretend that the violence is merely ancillary. But to say that violence isn’t at the heart of football is a lie. Remove the violence, and you remove what is great about the game, what is awe-inspiring and guilt-inspiring at the same time.

ShteirRight next to Kass is Rex Huppke’s she stands by her slam about Rachel Shteir’s NY Times review of three new books about the city she works in.  The city home now to 2.7 million.  3.6 million in 1950.  The city of “incessant boosterism”.  Where “bloviating roars on, as if hot air could prevent Chicago from turning into Detroit.”

I see how this upset some people.

Chicago turning into Detroit.

Long before Huppke’s article, before Shteir’s review, before the books by Dyja, Coen, Chase, Steinberg … I have wondered.

I have wondered when I began to see parts of Chicago which have necrotized.  I compare with the Detroit I have seen.  Chicago neighborhoods which will soon see their schools close.

Chicago is far from being in the same condition as Detroit.  But parts?  I can see it.  Perhaps Chicago as a whole will never.  But perhaps Detroiters of the 1950s would never have believed what their city is now.

moltmannI’ve mentioned in recent posts Jurgen Moltmann’s Ethics of Hope.  Moltmann is a theologian with a special focus in eschatology, dealing with last things.   But his way is a way foreign to TV and radio preachers who talk about the last days and how things will grow worse and we all better find a survival place to huddle and wimper while the world goes to hell.  Bloviating.

Instead, Moltmann sees the coming of God into the present.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

An ethics of hope sees the future in the light of Christ’s resurrection.  The reasonableness it presupposes and employs is the knowledge of change.  This points the way to transforming action so as to anticipate as far as possible, and as far as strength goes, the new creation of all things, which God has promised and which Christ has put into force.  The liberation of the oppressed, the raising up of the humiliated, the healing of the sick and justice for the poor are their familiar and practicable keywords.

This offers robust possibilities for us in the present time, in the city of Chicago, or Detroit.  Or anyplace where the people of God choose to act to transform our world and cities, in anticipation of a greater city (Revelation 21:10; 22:1-5).