Archive for January, 2010

They’re all the same

For your own good, please take a moment to read EA Hanks’ “Dear The Left: A Breakup Letter.” Or skim it.  I don’t care, really.
I have so many things I could say about this provocative and well-written letter.  “I told you so” comes to mind.  I’ve been saying it for years now, folks: these politicians are all the same.  Every last one of them.  And I’m not just blowing Beck-esque smoke here, either — the proof is in the pudding.  Has anything of real meaning to progressive America gotten done in the last, oh, 40 years?  Anything?  Somebody help me.
I have my theories about why many of us have hung on so long, wishin’ and a hopin’ that change will finally come to Washington.  Maybe I’ll share those at a later time.

For now, here’s the short of it: We cannot trust our government to bring about peace and justice.  We just can’t.  And the thing is, I don’t know how to recognize that reality with my feeling that some issues need to be legislated on: human trafficking, aid for Haiti, civil rights, slavery, etc. But the sad truth is that we simply don’t have the political will nor the common sense to truly address many of these crucial issues in our world.  (We can’t even mobilize the right medical supplies and aid for a country in desperate need not 500 miles off our coast!)

Don’t expect me to go running off to join a tea party or anything.  (those people don’t get it either)  I’m just going to set out all the more vigilantly to love my neighbors and build community and make small changes in my community, and invite others along for the ride.  I’m convinced that as our system stands today, that’s all we can do.

[end rant]

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Jesus Evasion

From Fr. Richard Rohr’s e-mail meditation today:

How is it that after two thousand years of meditation on Jesus, we’ve managed so effectively to avoid most of what he taught so unequivocally?  This is true of all the churches.  The most we could usually do is emphasize one or the other part of his teaching, and still call ourselves orthodox or “Bible based”.

All of us, for example, have evaded most of the Sermon on the Mount.
All of us have evaded the unmistakable teaching of Jesus on a simple life-style, non-status-seeking, non-greed.
All of us have evaded Jesus’ teaching on non-violence (except for the Amish, the Quakers, and the Mennonites).
All of us have evaded his straightforward teaching on loving our enemy.

Jesus is just too much for all of us!

— Adapted from Simplicity, pp. 161 – 162

“I am not my belief system.”

Just watched a video that put words to something I’ve been feeling for a while now.  It’s a conversation between Spencer Burke and Tim King about several aspects of religion including the presence of doomsday scenarios in most of the world’s religions and the propensity to convert a person of a different belief system rather than contribute to his or her worldview.  I urge you to check this video out … it’s only 5 minutes long, and it touches on some issues that will become more and more important to grasp as our reality becomes more and more pluralistic.  I don’t believe these are purely reactionary principles (to the reality of pluralism), I’m beginning to see that viewing reality from this vantage point actually contributes to a better way of living. As Tim King says, when we back up and realize that we are not our belief systems (our belief systems are actually pointers — not “the point” — to a higher reality), we can meet with others beyond our belief systems and begin to realize not just peace, but celebration.  That’s the kind of life I want to live.  Thoughts welcome, as always!

Sorry, but I can’t figure out how to embed this type of video. You’ll have to click over to another page to view the video. Link.