Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
Politics: Old and New
Willing to Be Changed
Friday, November 22, 2019
For a long time, it seemed that politics in the United States was “old hat.” I sometimes thought that supporting one party or another was almost like choosing Coke or Pepsi; you might have a preference, but it didn’t really make a difference. But recently our politics have grown more and more divided with many religious people exclusively focusing on narrow issues of abortion or sexual identity while disregarding the lives of so many—refugees, the poor, the incarcerated, the abused or addicted, people at risk from climate change or pollution. What will it take to come together and work for the common good—not only our personal interests? The old way of doing things just isn’t cutting it for anyone anymore, not on the left or the right.
Its going to take another tsunami like Noah or a rewind like Jesus. If God did all that then what is he waiting for. I know, I know, you will probably say well God gave us freedom of choice.
Check out this link for active conflicts going on in the world. https://www.cfr.org/interactive/global-conflict-tracker?category=us
Some pray on God to help with their cause. Others say they will wait for God to reveal his next plan. But wait!, I thought he gave us freedom of choice. That means he’s hands off.
I say, its my job to be happy or sad and not to abrogate my will to God rather pull up my bootstraps and giddyap. That doesn’t mean we can’t have downtime. It only is mean to say it is up to us. If God made us in his likeness then study and search him out in you to live a life of his principles. However we must realize we live in the rhelm of an earthling. Get it in your head that God would want you to live free and with the joy of an earthling. That means be happy. Of course not at the cost of others but you come first. Don't live in the afterlife until you get there. why, because no matter what you read you don't know if there is one.
You don’t have to give your life to God while you are on earth. His son said walk with me. He didn’t mean for you to bow down and worship him. That is why he washed all his disciples feet. The truth is, other than what’s written, there is still no living man on record that can say its all true.
Often what seems new, and sometimes rather shocking, is actually a return to our roots, to traditional wisdom that precedes the founding of the United States and the violence of settler colonialism. Peter Armstrong, an alumnus of our Living School and seminarian at Yale Divinity School, looks to the Gospels for practical guidance to help something new emerge. Peter writes:
Just as Jesus was moved to ministry by entering into relationship with other people along his path, we too are moved by stories and relationships. For me, it took actually showing up at different events in order to learn about white (and male, and straight, and other forms of) privilege—and meeting people who were experiencing the negative side of this phenomenon—for me to have my heart transformed with compassion and a desire for action. In short, I could read all about redlining, mass incarceration, and the case for reparations, but it wasn’t until I actually started showing up at actions with the intention of being transformed through relationship with other people that I began to want to become a better ally.
One caution with this good intention is some who are terribly tarnished by how they have been treated have learned a technique of survival. It is to play and pray on the sympathy of those intending to help. Living in the inner city, I have that experience firsthand. We, The people, have made this mess. We are not willing to step up big enough to fix it. Why? Because the greed of many who are able to put the movement into fast forward are waiting for the entitlements to put it in the fast lane of desire.
As a straight white man whose faith has been formed in contemplative Christian circles, places dominated by white, male speakers (even if the majority of audiences consist of women), I need to seek out voices that are different from my own. In a multicultural, multi-ethnic, pluralistic society, choosing to live comfortably in a bubble of people who share almost everything in common with me—as I have done for most of my life thus far—is a rejection of God’s work of Creation, for God didn’t create us all the same. We are not meant to live isolationist lives, because God created diversity and it was good (see Genesis 1). . .
Please read this previous paragraph a view times. It is suggesting many are living in a misunderstood bubble of what they were taught. This can be very limiting to our self humanity.
There are millions of devout Christians who live in the sect ruled by God's principles as interpreted by God. The concern is the many limiting human rules that cause our isolation from ourselves. They revolve around one way of life. They may not speak of the judgment they hold within about sects outside their circle. It is a quite prejudice. A fault here is it is backfiring to within themselves. They rely too much on God and wait for God to make the first move. This paragraph should be read over and over again by those devout Christians in that sect. I’M SHOUTING OUT FOR YOU TO DISCOVER YOURSELF.
The work of getting to know others different than ourselves, made so difficult by our society’s divisions, is nevertheless the work of following Jesus. . . . Many say that their faith is personal and not to be mixed with their politics. But, in my journey . . . I’ve come to understand that religion has everything to do with politics. Jesus wasn’t executed because he went around healing people; he was crucified as the worst kind of criminal because his Gospel message was viewed as dangerous by the ruling class. In fact, the entire Gospel of Luke is one long lesson in speaking truth to power—to the corrupt elite in Jerusalem. If we Christians claim to have anything to do with Jesus, then we must inherently be engaged with the political issues of our time.
I suggest you take a psych class and human behavior before you engage with some of the idiots who literally take retribution against you for standing up for truth and love. I only say that because they are going make some discouraging remarks that may dissuade you from being vigilant. It is he who understands the difference and benefit of power verses force (read David R Hawkins) that will prevail. But as God puts it, the meek shall inherit the earth. PS. Meek is not spelled W E A K, nor does it mean that.