Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Views" - are all "views" created equal?

Someone on another's Facebook thread mentioned "views" - that it's all just "views" we have ... but is that true?

Here's what I wrote:

"Views" are one thing ... heck, some folks view the moon as made of cheese, and the world flat, and the earth no more than 6000 years old ... what's one view vs. another? How about Hitler's view of things and that of Churchill? Or Stalin and Truman? Or how about Lincoln and Davis. Mandela and Botha? Governor Wallace and ML King, Jr. They all had their views, but history makes it clear that some views are closer to the moral character of the universe.

If we're gonna yak about "my views" vs. "your views," we need to talk about the moral character of the universe - creation isn't neutral. Though Cain kills Abel outta jealousy, and God graciously protects Cain afterward, God sees to it that Seth comes along, to sustain the moral universe that Cain killed. The powers-that-be, the wealthy and the religious, pretty much always join forces with Cain to kill Abel. But there's always Seth; God sustains the moral bent of creation.

There are views, and then there are views - not all are created equal.

So, what's your take on the moral bent of creation?

I think the moral bent of creation favors the poor, not the rich. Favors helping folks, not putting 'em down. Is kind and generous toward the needy, not judgmental and scornful. Favors giving things away, not piling 'em up in off-shore bank accounts. Sides with peace-makers, no war-mongers. Has no borders instead of steel walls and armed guards. Welcomes all, and turns none away.

How I see the universe is how I read and receive the news.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Black Friday, Women's Suffrage, England, 1910

From the pages of English Suffrage History:

Black Friday, November 18, 1910, London ... when a bill to allow at least 1 million wealthy women to vote as denied time for further consideration, a delegation of 300 women demonstrated in front of Parliament. In an attempt to run past police, at least 200 of the women were assaulted and arrested, and two women were dead. 

While the Press was generally on the side of the women, many a politician distanced himself from the effort, even as the British public was generally against the enfranchisement of women.

It's been a hundred years since these terrible days in England, but sometimes I wonder - there is still within certain religious and political elements in America a deep resentment toward the rights of women, seen as a violation of "god's eternal decrees about the sexes, home and family values." And a certain romanticism: "If only women would stay home, be quiet, cook, sew and rear children, all would be well with America. Remember, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

This, and a lot of other poppycock about the role of women in society, was written mostly by men who, I think, wrote this claptrap to quiet their conscience, even as they witnessed the women in their lives denied the basic rights of life and liberty enjoyed by every man. But shout a lie loud enough, and soon folks come to believe it, and even better if the lie is rooted in something so "sacred" as being a mother.

That we should still be fighting about these things strikes me as absurd, but, then, what do I know?

Jesus and His No-Borders World ... and the Children

Jesus and Paul demolished forever the reliance upon borders to define God's People.

One God, one world, and we're all sisters and brothers, one to another.

Let the little children come unto me.

This is not some spiritual thin soup, but realty - how many times Jesus watched adults push children away.

For me, I say, LET THEM COME ...

I bet our brightest people and most compassionate of leaders will find solutions.

I'm willing to say that if we can fly to the moon and mount trillion dollar wars, we can find ways and means of providing for these children and their families, and maybe doing something constructive for the economies of Central and South America that our crazy trade-practices have ruined.

As for "God's Christian People," here is a place for us to make our Christian voice heard - defending borders is the talk of war and violence. In Jesus' world, there are no borders - when some would have gone around Samaria, Jesus went through it, and met the woman at the well.

His bold hometown sermon talks about God's prophet's crossing borders for widows and healing the foreigner. No wonder the hometown folks, who thought he was pretty cool, suddenly turned on him when he dismissed their beautiful boundaries.

In a world where borders were everything, Jesus makes it clear: he has no borders, nor should there be any for those who follow him. For God so loved the world ...