Theological Community, The Church, The World, The Blogosphere

Why The Islamic State Is Not Really Islamic – The Intercept

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Islam, Occupy Theology, OWS

while the Islamic State is superficially and opportunistically Islamic, it owes at least as much to secular revolutionary ideologies as to its claimed religion, and borrows heavily from Western systems of organization and pop culture as well.

via Why The Islamic State Is Not Really Islamic – The Intercept.

This is precisely my comeback to the “New Atheists” who display a PARTICULAR animosity toward Islam, eager to point to Islam as an example of how sick religion can make a person.  But people become violent,  sick,  and unhinged for reasons OTHER than religion.  In fact,  it is almost always the case.  So the argument doesnt really hold water.  Might as well be blaming Atheism (which I don’t,  but if I were as fair as Sam Harris,  I would be blaming Atheism for evil because of the atrocities carried out by atheistic regimes).

such as:

The very idea which ISIS embodies – a ruthless revolutionary vanguard using extreme violence to bring about a utopian society – is one drawn directly from 20th century European radical movements like Marxism-Leninism.

A spot-on message directly to the Islamaphobic elements in  the US,  and also to our media:

From a Western perspective, it’s important to not play into ISIS’s hands by giving them the type of religious or political legitimacy they crave but otherwise do not possess.

And yes,  please take this to heart:

In order to effectively fight this group, it’s important to amplify the voices of the vast majority of Muslims who are condemning them, instead of listening to those on both sides who insist that this is at heart a conflict between Islam and the West.

I know the deeply Islamaphobic element here in the States will have difficulty seeing this,  so invested are they in the rage at Muslims in general that is encouraged ,  all too often by the subtle misrepresentations perpetuated in our media (as well as the not so subtle).

Great articulation of this issue via @DemocrarcyNow




What’s Wrong With the Radical Critique of the People’s Climate March | The Nation @NaomiAKlein

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Uncategorized

The emergent climate justice movement is stronger now because of the People’s Climate March, the Climate Justice Alliance and Flood Wall Street — and because of the over all positive interplay between these complementary efforts.

via What’s Wrong With the Radical Critique of the People’s Climate March | The Nation.

Chris Hedges: The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Uncategorized

President Obama wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., last year. APCharles Dharapak

President Obama wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., last year. APCharles Dharapak

The climate change march in New York on Sept. 21, expected to draw as many as 200,000 people, is one of the last gasps of conventional liberalism’s response to the climate crisis.

via Chris Hedges: The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals – Chris Hedges – Truthdig.

MLK the economic radical (aka “Communist” “Socialist” etc.) for which many adoring media would still oppose strongly #OWS

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

The criticism Dr. King received for these stances was fierce, and media coverage even among the outlets that had given sympathetic perspectives on the Civil Rights marches in the South began to echo the J. Edgar Hoover accusations that Dr. King was a Communist and subversive.

via MLK and the struggle for environmental justice..

Malcolm X is depicted as telling Dr. King that “It didnt cost this country to integrate the lunch counters”

One article attributed that insight to MLK :  “It didn’t cost the nation one penny to integrate lunch counters. It didn’t cost the nation one penny to guarantee the right to vote. The problems that we are facing today will cost the nation billions of dollars.”

To hear an excerpt of an MLK speech where  these occur,  click the play button when it appears HERE>  (from    )

the audio link (the play button above) from  has MLK indeed saying that,  which isn’t to say that MalcolmX didnt give him the idea for that.

MLK and the triple threat impacts environment issues as well (and vice versa) @ThisChanges Everything #OWS

September 30, 2014 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

As I read Naomi Klein’s ThisChangesEverything,  I am also winding down the final chapters of Tavis Smiley’s book Death of a King,  about MLK’s final years,  where he was offending a good portion of his following becuase they saw him as “Venturing out” from Race to issues (like war and economics)  that many were saying were “beyond his province”;  “Stick to civil rights” he quoted others as saying to him.  His answer:  “Ive worked too hard and too long  against segregation to end up segregating my MORAL CONCERN”.   This is a KEY THEOLOGICAL truth.  “Theology” is not “over here” while economics, race,  and yes,  the environment are “over there”.

I have this friend who is constantly missing that truth:  that theology is not “other” than any of the socio-ethical issues of our time, or any time.  This comes up time and time again whenever “Separation of Church and State” comes up.  It’s always “Keep the ‘religious’ element OUT of the decision making process where it concerns governing; religious beliefs ‘have no place’ in deciding what to do about X”.  Again,  the separation of “religous” into some ideological section OTHER than politics, government, social welfare.  Frustrating artificial divide.  The same collection of false dichotomies leads to what I was tweeting about earlier:  that the reaction to the environmental crisis is yet “another issue” that is something to be “into or not into”;  is it is certainly understandable,  and one cannot argue with “I’m just not interested in that subject,  although I believe the science about it”.   But the “gap” there is realizing that this climate crisis constitutes a much bigger deal than the act of giving it a score ,  and of course,  to people who treat it this way,  it is practically impossible to point out this disconnect, since they HAVE that disconnect.

Naomi talks about the great weight of this issue,  and how it drives so many people (like herself,  and like me,  even more so) to treat it as we would any other issue,  and read about it and listen to discussions,  but also somewhat consciously set it aside as it becomes “too much” to take in,  given the state of our politics,  and the ingrained harsh capitalist behavior of the fossil fuel companies,  and their constant ,  largely successful pressure, on the politics,  which is a part of why our politics is in such a depressing state of being totally subservient to the corporate state.   The corporate state , in turn,  bows to the will of the Fossil fuel companies by actually subsidizing their already massive profits.  How this makes sense in an economic atmosphere where the conservatives oppose “government intervention” and regulations of any kind,  is revealed when we follow the money cycle,  which changes hands virtually between the halls of government, Fossil Fuel, Conservative think tanks,  and the .1% drivers of all this.

And so,  1988 ,  the year commonly identified as when the climate scientists got their message out that some concerning trends had been taking place around and on the globe,  due to the massive emissions.   And once a network of collaboration has been shaped and implemented that creates an economic ideology that underpins and enables that behavior,  there is a seemingly endless problem in breaking through that set of assumptions about our economics.   That a certain style and shape of economics is assumed if it is to be called capitalism.   And then when people like Naomi Klein question the ethics and practicalities of such a capitalism,  there are endless protests of “anti-capitalist” as if that meant “Anti-American”,  which for many people, does indeed mean that.

MLK understood this process,  which enabled him to question the economic priorities of the United States and not be attacking the very idea of America,  which we took great pains to articulate,  drawing from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  He saw a “triple threat” to America in the shape of racism, poverty, and militarism.  Post 1988,  he would be talking about climate as well,  as a principal component or major product of the threats. He often talked about militarism and the economy in terms of priorities,  and the impact of poverty on ALL of the poor,  fueled by racism and militarism.  Add the environmental implications,  which has its economic causes (“unfettered capitalism) and effects on poverty (low income areas often most impacted by toxic activities,  since the more affluent have the political muscle to have a say in where these “byproducts” can be handled and expelled.  And racism is a vicious cycle,  acting as a social stigma,  due to the generalizing that racist elements use to develop prejudices ,  from the impact of strident low-income populations,  being beset by economic disadvantages, environmental hazards,  and lack of funds for basic infrastructure (often in no small measure due to the wasteful activities of the economy and the corporations which lobby the halls of government for increasingly lax regulation and subsidies.

So you see the quandry we’re in,  caught in multiple feedback loops where problems compound and spill over into the others.