Monday, September 14, 2009


"You'd think we were blind
the things we can see through
the things we look past
when embolden inside."

Those are lyrics from the song It's Alright by Ellery and I just think it's a profound mouth full that seems many just have a hard time facing.

In the present climate we find ourselves, in this nation, the lyrics are words we would be well served by if we would slow down and let them sink in. Something needs to get our attention...Right now, I don't have any idea how it is going to happen, but if it doesn't...we very well could find ourselves in as difficult a situation as we have ever found ourselves. Actually, I get the sense we are already there and because we have become so embolden in what we believe...we can't see the obvious.

If we have been lucky enough to be amongst the more fortunate ones that have done at least fairly well within the present systems, we often are the ones that ignore the deep problems of the system and at the same time defend it and even praise it. By nature we then set ourselves up against those that have not been as lucky as we have been. We are left paying lip service to loving our neighbors as ourselves and by our actions doing the opposite and ignoring it.

If we still think our Legal System is the best humanity has ever come up with and we are okay with it in it's present state...we more than likely haven't had someone we care about caught up in it's tentacles. And it's not getting's getting worse.

If we still think our present health care and health insurance systems are the best humanity has ever come up with and we keep going around the same old mountain with the same old arguments that has for decades kept us from addressing all the problems that exist there...we more than likely haven't had someone we care about caught up in it when it actually instead of helping them just deepens their struggles. And if we have and still defend it--I don't know what to call that?

If we really still think the private sector is the answer to all things when it comes to organizing society and the government is always the problem, we are living in one of the grandest illusions humanity has ever dreamed up. And please don't misunderstand me. That's not my endorsement for government...BIG or SMALL. Neither is it my dismissal of the private sector. It's just facing up to the on-the-ground reality.

If we are still at a place where we see Capitalism (with all we have seen from it) as being 'good" and all other economies as being "evil" and we have become so emboldened in that stance, we might want to take a closer look and ask ourselves how an economic system of the world has risen to having sacred meaning and power over our lives?

And for us who come from any of the religious Christian traditions, it just seems to me that we have some serious facing up to some things that are long past due. Maybe the Judeo-Christian concept is one of this nation's and the Church's biggest problems? Maybe even the world's? I seem to remember a man named Jesus coming along and basically saying that they all had his Father completely wrong. Yes I know, he was speaking to those of the Jewish tradition at that time but today I am convinced he is saying the same thing to us who have been shaped by the Christian religion. If it doesn't reflect Jesus doesn't reflect his Father and it's not what Jesus has established. The God and the Son that this nation presents to the world is not the Father and the Son that created us and the cosmos and set this whole thing in motion. It's a god of our own making that works at defending our version of the world's systems at the expense of everybody else if they cross us.

American in many ways might have built herself and attempted to build her systems on Judeo-Christain values and ideas, and she is free to do that if she so desires...but if I am interpreting the voice of the Spirit correctly and viewing the history set in motion by Jesus and those who responded to his invitation, it's not the selling and promoting of America or Judeo-Christian values the Spirit is focused on accomplishing. The Spirit is all about a person, who is all about a Father, who came into our space, not taking into account the dopey oppressive systems humans have been preoccupied with forever. They are no match for him nor can they ever bring about or accomplish what we humans are in need of. The Spirit is all about setting us free so we can be a part of bringing the madness to a not participating out of ignorance in the activities that keep the cycle going.

And I get the sense that if that was to happen, maybe the systems would become a bit kinder and gentler simply because people...all people...would become the focus of those who are being set free, instead of the focus remaining on fighting to preserve systems that are always going to create or at least exacerbate suffering for someone.


Kirk said...

This is really good Kent. I am going to mentally chew on this this afternoon and hope to have online time this evening to think out loud some more. Have been re-reading Across All Worlds the last few days and some very similar themes have been banging around in my head.

Kent said...

I look forward to it Kirk

JTHTTK said...

Very interesting Kent, thanks! Again you have put into words much of the plight of humanity in our present day, hopefully revolutionary words for a peaceful people. So where does this Freedom lead in our present American system bordering on tyranny? Do we accept that all we can do is find Peace within our own journey? Is that enough? Or, do we as our forefathers did, stand for the plight of ourselves and others and rise to an undertaking such as a revolution? :)

Kent said...

As far as rising to an undertaking such as a revolution....That's not my deal.

The Jesus that seemed to refuse to pick up the kind of power the world uses has had too big of an effect on me at this point. The freedom I have found in him has disarmed me when it comes to such things.

Kent said...

Jt, part of the process that I have been in has in large part come as I faced up to these things that had always kept me in fighting mode. I always felt like I had so many things that had to be defended....whether it was Christianity or the American Dream...our political system (had to be Republican) and the economic system. I just don't feel that way anymore.

Sue said...

Several weeks ago a 33 year old woman bashed an 89 year old man to death in a quiet suburban street here in Melbourne. Several days ago a group of mainly well-heeled ageing people who populate that suburb were walking around those streets with placards complaining about the lack of police presence in the suburb. They were complaining because the local cop shop is only manned part time.

The problem is right there, totally, for me. What do these people actually want, to maintain their peace and safety? Police patrolling every single suburban street waiting to catch people out? It's like children sucking on giant teats. "Look after me, look after me," they say, going inside, shutting their doors, locking them against their neighbours. Can't have it both ways, kids.

Kent said...

Sue, we now have traffic cameras going up at every intersection. If they get a picture of you going through once the light has turned get a ticket in the mail.

As Ellul say...all power gravitates towards totalitarianism. People are so willing to give up freedom and liberties in hopes of being given security in return. Truth is, security as people wish for can't ever be all that has happened is you've lost your liberty.

Kirk said...

You must have been thinking at me. I was pondering whether to continue the conversation on the thread about that NYT column (and I use the term conversation fairly loosely). Finally decided to just duck out of the way what with all the labels and ism's flying in at lower and lower altitudes. I was thinking of that Ellul line but couldn't recall it exactly. But that is so true of all of our political systems, no matter the side of the aisle or the hue of it's politics.

The line from Across All Worlds that has so coalesced my thinking on so many issues is "There is an infinite difference between religious obedience to a divine being or divine rule and soul knowledge of the Father's heart." We get so lost in following a book or theology or ism that we lose sight of the Father that is right there in front of us. The idea that "I am not" so controls our mind and affects everything. I have to affect this outcome in this political debate or I am lost. I have to win this argument or someone may get something I don't have. Those three words sunk my ship for more than 40 years. Not knowing the Father's heart lets me follow that religious deity and still leave my neighbor in the ditch because they need to work harder or they need to measure up to some line (defined by me of course). I work hard for mine why should I have to pay for theirs. It is all madness.

It is very difficult to even have the discussion because the name calling just erupts. I think a large part of me dying to self is involving letting go of the need to convince. That is freedom inducing.

Enjoying your conversation starters.