From No Shame to Nothing in Common for America
I have been on a sabbatical the past few months from the “common struggle”. Paying attention to being the paterfamilias of clan Harrington, and our many struggles, has consumed me.. just as it is consuming us all.
At first, all I wanted to say was my “mea culpa” to all, and let it be. Finished.
But I cannot be that shameless. Even with all that has transpired against the human family these past few months our shame is still unclaimed and misunderstood.
What might Occupying Faith actually mean for the interfaith movement and the wider Church?
“Women’s rights under attack!”
“Gay marriage banned in North Carolina!”
“Jim Crow 2012: Mexican Americans Under Attack!”
“The War on the Poor!”
“The War in Afghanistan has entered its 11th year!”
There is nothing surprising going on here, but on and on it goes. .
Do I still care?
If I answer yes, what will I feel moved to do about my concerns?
Am I even inspired to be moved – much-less to move?
Late spring 2012 was all about LBGTQ and the marriage “equality” vote inNorth Carolina, and the president’s history-shaking affirmation of gay marriage. Out came the spin-blasters from all sides. I am so weary of bigotry and classism, and this creepiness has them both.
At this point I just want to take my family and go to that mythic place called “leave-me-the-hell-alone.” It is anno Domini 2012 and someone feels the requirement to intrude on my family with their pseudo-Christian pronouncement of “what is their definition of marriage.”
No thank you.
Does a personal affront to our sense of fair play become the motivation we need to prompt us into action?
I realize that I am being lazy.
At the least I am passing on the problem.
No mas (no more).
With all apologies to our own children – can we secure our inspiration from this new generation of the 21st Century alone?
Can I occupy my own faith and begin anew? Can we – even as we face such a divisive future?
When people of like-mind seem to be behaving as if we hold nothing in common – even when it comes to how we act upon such a basic shared concept as active non-violence – then people of goodwill fade to the shadows.
Across the country the OWS movement actions on May Day clearly exhibited multiple expressions of peaceful non-violence.
Are we to believe that the so-called old peacemakers and their Kingian nonviolence are out of touch and cannot hope to bring about reform?
Are we to believe that the so-called Black Bloc are merely ungrateful anarchists bent on a hybrid form of nonviolence under the cloak of “diversity of tactics,” and are impotent to bring about a real revolution?
I don’t know the answer to either question with any authority, but I really don’t give a damn either. Let me clarify. If this OWS movement is derailed because so called reformers and so called revolutionaries can’t stand for the human rights of the poor and oppressed in peace – then I am un-moved.
Above all else, as a person of faith and a pacifist, I must at least be able to stand with the mighty cloud of witness that has preceded my own efforts.
I will Occupy my Faith to that end. I will stand in common with the elders of the civil rights struggle, and I will be an advocate for the hearts of those who believe in a so called diversity of tactics.
But as for any act of violence, within me or without, I will not be moved.
God forgive my bitterness and God lead the way for blessing our children’s children’s children.
God I pray you shame the shame and cause people of good will to hold peacemaking in common.
Peace to You ..
This Post Script is quoted from Sara Robinson who is the editor of AlterNet’s Vision page in her Six Reasons We Can’t Change The Future Without Progressive Religion posted on July 8, 2012.
“ .. while we all want a government free of religion, there are good reasons that we may not want our own progressive movement to be shorn of every last spiritual impulse. In fact, the history of the progressive movement has shown us, over and over, that there are things that the spiritual community brings to political movements that are essential for success, and can’t easily be replaced with anything else.
Religion has been central to the formation of human communities — and to how we approach the future — for as long as homo-sapiens has been around. Apart from God-belief (which varies widely between religions), all successful religions thrive and endure because they offer their adherents a variety of effective community-building, social activism, and change management tools that, taken together, make religion quite possibly the most powerful social change technology humans have ever developed.”
Okay, I’m in.