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Archive for the ‘Occupy Theology’

The 1% cant abide mention of their real effects. They’re not done yet. #OWS

October 29, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Strain, a moderate, wrote that Yellen is now “in danger of becoming a partisan hack

via Yellen Mentions Inequality; Right Scandalized — NYMag.

Yeah,  for analyzing what is established FACT.  The Right yet again shows its UNHINGED-ness.


Rather than actually state that rising inequality is a problem in American life, she merely conceded that it is “appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history.”

So she puts it rather mildly (since it is most certainly “a problem”,  since that is why the economic figures are significant in the first place.  DUH! ).  But apparently the MENTION puts the conservative project in jeopardy (as it should.  It’s an obvious and ongoing disaster for the very meaning of “Middle Class”,  not to mention the apalling growth of the poor, as people slip from the ranks of that myth-laden aura of Middle Class  into the very real state of it being impossible to keep up with expenses without help.  Yeah,  good job “bootstrappers”.  I would really like to see these smug, condescending jerks cope with what they have hoisted upon the 99%.  If the “bottom portions” of that 99% are feeling the real pinch,  it is also seeping upward to pull more from the “Middle” downward.  It seems that the aim is onward and upward,  with 99% the goal,  so that all of the rest of the country become service workers for the 1%.  They were not happy with a thriving middle class, much less giving any help to the lower classes to climb up.

There is a little narrative that goes this way:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We might have one of these going in our country’s economic system.  The “I” is speaking from that “Middle Class”.

First they came for the hungry (slashing food programs, etc.)  and I did not speak out becuase I was not hungry.

Then they came for the sick (rising health care costs, opposing universal health care, opposing even tempered and compromised efforts like the Affordable Care Act,  and I did not speak out because I had health insurance through my employer.

Then they came for the workers,  gutting unions and cutting wages,  and I did not speak out because I was not in a union and had a pretty good paying job.

Then they came for the rest of the Middle Class, and there was no one left to speak for me.


(*  And no,  I’m not comparing the economic mess to the holocaust.  But it is serious,  and it is growing and needs to be stopped.  )

Some more great #OccupyTheology from @nathanairplane via NPR’s Krista Tippett

October 27, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Here is a quote from the video that encapsulates #OccupyTheology as well as any phrase could:

 Church! Act like a church!

(about 22:30 for the context)

via Krista Tippett with Nathan Schneider – YouTube.

On what he (Nathan) hopes for

about how people in the world are living that agency; building those kinds of communities that we need; to resist injustice that has sunk so deeply into our world; I hope we can learn to tell those stories better;I hope that we can learn to see that dignity that is within all of us; That divinity that comes when we organize together; when we meet each other face to face, and even sometimes, through a chat room. How to hold up those moments when we find our agency and are able to make a change; THAT’S WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

Some great #OccupyTheology : Lessons on the Bible from Occupy Wall Street (YouTube) by @nathanairplane

October 27, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Unsustainable theo-capitalism – @BrianMcLaren #OWS #PeoplesClimate

October 26, 2014 By: dlature Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate

The big question in my mind is whether people of faith and goodwill will rise up and successfully tame capitalism-gone-wild, or whether it will prove untamable and drive off the cliff of collapse.

via Five Good Answers with Author, Speaker, and Activist Brian D. McLaren : Matt Litton.

This seems to be my two overarching concerns right now (and Brian also wrote another book, on interfaith dialogue,  which came out at a time when I had begun looking deeply into the Islamaphobia running rampant in our country).  So it seems that Brian is often writing and speaking on things that I had come to believe were really important,  often very close to the same time.  He and I are both the same age,  I just discovered,  so perhaps therein is something very non-coincidental about it;  in addition to the fact that “capitalism gone wild” has come to the fore since the 2007-8 economic  recession and the 2010 boomerang of politics that thrust the GOP into their role as filibustering and blocking efforts to stop the inequality bleeding.

As a reader of about 4-5 of his books,  and reader of articles and “receiver” of many talks given by Brian over the years,  and one interview of which I am very proud (at The Wild Goose Festival in 2012,  when I asked him to talk about his thoughts on the Occupy movement),  I have also noticed how keenly concerned Brian is about the Climate Crisis (and so I was looking up some of the articles and book coverage he has given eco-theology over the years). I hope he’ll maybe write one about the church’s call to be a voice for this “stewardship of creation”,  as he has talked about many times.  It fits right in with the theme of deep inter-relatedness we have with one another and with our larger eco-system that sustains us.  For me,  it has become another glaring example of the effects of what Brian refers to as “theo-capitalism” that has run rough-shod over not only our economy,  but has proven to be unsustainable for the physical world.

Moyers from 2008: Is God Green? Evangelical Environmentalism| PBS

October 26, 2014 By: dlature Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS

Is God Green?

via Moyers on America . Is God Green? | PBS.

Watch it via PBS

Just a bit of the problem that happens with “Bible Interpretation”. The text renders radically different responses,  based on the context.  Some will “filter” and create their own “CANON” of Scripture and ignore the more obvious , “inconvenient” passages that would otherwise cry out as a much more direct message.  Or they will take a completely diufferent angle and claim a different context,  or take a certain word (such as “dominion”,  and emphasize the authority of humanity to subjugate, use,  and strip what wherever,  and whenever,  for as long as it can continue to yield the product (and with new technology,  beyond what was previously considered “used up” ,  to more radical extractive measures (ie Mountain Top removal).

Richard  Cizik is prominently featured in this program.  Two conversions: To Jesus,  and to a British scientist Sir John Houghton,  who said “The fate of the earth may well depend on how evangelical Christians respond to the issue of climate change”.

GOP Senator James Imhofe:  “It’s a stroke of genius for the environmentalists to come ion and try to capture the Chrisitians;  the fundamental Christians”.   New for you, James,  it was The Bible that did the “capturing”.   This guy heads the House committee with jurisdiction over the environment.

Also featured is the guy behind “The Cornwall Declaration”,  which drew heavily on “science” from the various Oil industry (such as Exxon Mobil)  funded “Think tanks” to draft a document on “Environmental Stewardship”,  which I have seen scores of Evangeliscal Christians trot out as their “documentation” for their climate science skepticism and rejection.

This guy says that since the Bible doesn’t say anything about global warming is one of the reasons why he is taking the ANTI CGlobal Warming  , skeptic, “it’s a hoax”  position (which is typical ignorance of the impossibility of Biblical writings to have ANY IDEA WHATSOEVER about the technological heights to be reached once  the Industrial Revolution began the explosive, exponential growth of that technology). And of course,  he is a theological warrior for the “Dominion over creation” , anti-ecological , “Bible-believing” coaltion with the powers that be.   Except that it’s “Bible believing” is in an accomodating , importation of the values of the powers that be,  today ensconced in the global corporations,  and backed by the GOP (and increasingly,  the Democrats, who have ceased to be the “party of the People” in actual policy).

This guy,  as I listen to his responses to Moyers’ questions,  is the typical accommodator.  “Cost-benefit” analysis is focused on the profits of the extractors,  and not to any “Human cost”  (except that they would tout “jobs” as the “Human issue” ,  but ignore and resist the questions about the cost to the land, indigenous people,  neighboring settlements and neighborhoods (especially poorer ones).  This set of blinders is at the center of what Chris Hedges identifies as “The Sacrifice Zones” which huge corporations have determined are the “collateral damage” that results in a postive ledger in “Cost-Benefit analysis”.

“Anyone who believes WITH THE BIBLE that God is in control of this earth…..”    See that?  This is WHAT the Bible believes” (which is , in itself,  a clear indication of the complete disconnect they have with the idea that “what the Bible says” is a foregone conclusion and that WE impose our worldview upon that and conclude that it all points to ours. Typical example of what Duke McCall warned us about in 1980 at the “Heart of America Bible Conference” at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:  “We must not confuse ‘God’s Word’ with our APPROPRIATION of it”.  The opening sentence of this paragraph is a glaring example of just that.