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Archive for the ‘Occupy Theology’

Indignant condemnation of young people throwing stones while little outrage for daily injustices

April 28, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Ferguson, Occupy Theology

“I am so grateful to Ta-Nehisi Coates* for expressing so well the frustration I feel watching the media coverage of the protests in Baltimore. I believe in non-violence not just as a tactic, but as a way of life. Yet I cannot stomach the indignant condemnation of young people throwing stones and looting stores when those same indignant politicians and media pundits muster so little outrage for the daily, routine violence inflicted by law enforcement on poor communities of color, including the literal war – a drug war – that has been waged in Freddy Gray’s neighborhood for decades. I say yes to peaceful protests, but no to blatant hypocrisy.” – from Michelle Alexander on her Facebook post/link


* Coates article she is talking about

Have you had a “conversion” experience regarding the Climate Crisis?

April 25, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate

What Micheal Dowd, in a conversation with him, referred to as a “Come to Jesus moment about the climate”, I expect has been rthe experience of many over the past decade, and the frequency of those have probably plunged upward much like the Hockey Stick made famous by Climatologist Micheal Mann. I have certainly had such a conversion. It’s a whole new level and perspective, even outlook , on life as we know it today and how we envision the future. It has totally impacted the way I am looking at theology these days. I see a whole new instance and circumstance for human life just as the Biblical writers who employed the apocalyptic style saw a set of historical circumstances that radically altered their orientation toward the future. The Climate Crisis, it seems to me, is one such circumstance. Perhaps the most momentous, calamitous, far-reaching circumstance that represents an unprecedented challenge to human life and civilization.
And so my orientation toward the present and future (and the past as well) has changed in a dramatic way. It has had an intense impact on the shape of the calling I now perceive to be my role as a communicator and technologist, as well as a theologian. It is the reason why I have found it crucial for me to be in Claremont at Pomona College for the conference: “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization”, for I see that this can be a strategic time for those of us who know that the church MUST come alive to this challenge, in a way that again poses a challenge to the forces of empire that have now aligned with the forces of fossil fuel industries as what I can only name as an instance of those Principalities and Powers that Paul had in mind.
This theological vision has opened up a whole new room/vista into which I have walked. It is completely of a piece with what has gone before in my journey. And it makes all the sense in the world to me that I dove into Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate” as soon as it came out, and had it open up for me this door that had stayed shut in my experience that was keeping me from letting it in to my perspective on time and The Kingdom of God. The kinds of life challenges we now face as human civilization are in dire need of the resources of the visions for human community contained in our Christian scriptures, and have been offered up by a host of other theological traditions and explorers of alternative forms of community.

Climate Doublespeak from Jeb

April 17, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS

Jeb Bush: “The climate is changing and I’m concerned about that,” Bush responded. “But to be honest with you, I’m more concerned about the hollowing out of our country, the hollowing out of our industrial core, the hollowing out of our ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world.”

Oh my gosh. In other words, NO, I’m not REALLY concerned, compared to this same old “inevitable progress”, “unlimited growth” bullshit that’s coming out of the other side of my mouth as I express “concern”. What a phony “CONCERN”. And what a frightening example of the absolute inability to realize REAL LIMITS to our “Progress”.

Denominational Witness re: Climate Crisis is lacking

April 16, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate

As I did back in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street put the issue of income inequality and the 1% on the public agenda,  I am looking once again at the voice of the mainline denominations on the issue of the Climate Crisis.  I have thus far looked at the home pages of the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Episcopal Church USA.  None of those home pages have anything about climate issues.  If there was anything that stood out,  it was that the site features a video prayer for the earth,  in observance of Earth Day.  Even there,  the obvious opportunity to make SOME overt statement of denominational awareness of the Climate Crisis is not apparent.  I will look next at the Southern Baptist Church (which really isn’t a “Mainline” Church anymore by their own preference,  since they eschew the notion of significant ecumenical theological comradery,  but instead prefer,  at the level of denominational leadership,  to be a “Evangelical Mainline/Religious Right” Church,  deeply in lock step with mainstream conservative American politics, which satisfies itself to be “non-committal” and therefore SILENT on the issue of Climate Change.  I also need to look at American Baptist Church, Cooperative Baptists, United Chuch of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples), Mennonites, Quakers (Friends), Congregational, and Reformed,  and I’m sure I’ve left out someone else.

The Bible is anything but an “Official State Book”

April 14, 2015 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Occupy Theology, Theoblogical

This Tennessee Law declaring the Bible to be the “Official Book” of Tennessee is something like what Jesus directly spoke out against: “Blowing your trumpet before men”. In that case, he was referring to prayer, but the idea is that one’s “faitfulness” is not something to present as “announcement”. It’s pure “showoff” and means NOTHING. Like you suggest, to DO the things that are lifted up in the Bible is the point. Not to wag our fingers and say “We believe the Bible, you’d better shape up!” How sickening and hypocritical.

(Inspired by Larry Hollon’s Facebook post here)