amen together

Spiritual pursuits and just plain pursuit. Pursuit or being pursued? God is in the poor, the broken and the needy who cry out. Evidently, as the picture below shows, staged of not, that Jesus can probably do more with the problematic citizenry than he can with the smug and comfortable classes who count their blessings and perhaps whisper a few supplications for some spare change. So, the addicted,  abused,  abusers, destitute, homeless, and those crossing the chasm of despair and temptation on a tightrope represent America’s hope for a better tomorrow. Moses did not lead the ruling classes out of Egypt.

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One of the most powerful arguments for religious socialism, again, relates not to economic policy, but to simple existential choices. the dalai lama said “man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” ( Hune at Martin Buber Institute )

According to Buber, socialism without god is like a body without a spirit. and god without socialism is like a spirit without a body (paths in utopia). either case its not a living being. but when buber speaks of religion, he does not speak of the institutions that organize and formalize the content and the practices of faith. buber speaks of religiosity, of the individual and the communal free and immediate i-thou dialogue. dialogue with god manifests itself in communities organized around principles of humanistic and libertarian socialism. god is actualized in community and community is actualized in god. it is important to bear in mind that the “ecological” (as i call it) dimension of buber’s dialogical philosophy is not a corollary to his primary relationships model, but a precondition for their actualization. in other words, i-thou is a form of relationship that in its internal intentionality and in the form of its implementation in actual life, manifests itself as religious socialism. this is different than political socialism, (which has failed to advance either equality or freedom).Read More:

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So, there is something powerful and deep seated in religion; the basis of revolution social and economic as a small traumatized and defiant flame that burns in spite of the institution of religion seeming talent for structurally neutralizing the force and pushing the culture less toward a theology of liberation but instead the undercurrent of reactionism, insularity and organizational hysteria and panic. There is a larger dialog of what can be termed religiosity as a viable and necessary balancing force to our endemic addiction to materialist consumerism.An epidemic akin to Freud’s incest taboo in that all the lines become blurred between money, capital, racism, militarism and away from spiritual traditions that are based on explorations of reason and intuition. The pursuit of capital is for the most part the bastardization and vulgarization of spiritual pursuits. We are all, for the most part players in the game of what Thorstein Veblen called invidious comparison, where status, distinction and the pecking order of the animal kingdom are the ground rules. Not surprisingly, Veblen was not convinced about the potential for democracy. From Mill Farm and New Harmonie, and hippie colonies like the Diggers: all positive, creative alternative models of human community that failed to sustain themselves or create an enduring template to build on.

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…Now part of this frustration is to be understood again in relation to structures and institutions. In the way in which our culture of consumption has promoted an addiction to stimulation – one that puts a premium on packaged and commodified stimulation. the market does this to convince us that our consumption keeps oiling the economy for it to reproduce itself. But the effect of this addiction to stimulation is an undermining, a waning of our ability for qualitatively rich relationships…market moralities and mentalities– fueled by economic imperatives to make a profit at nearly any cost– yield unprecedented levels of loneliness, isolation, and sadness. And our public life lies in shambles, shot through with icy cynicism and paralyzing pessimism. To put it bluntly, beneath the record-breaking stock markets on Wall Street and bipartisan budget-balancing deals in the white house lurk ominous clouds of despair across this nation..Prophetic pragmatism attempts to keep alive the sense of alternative ways of life and of struggle based on the best of the past. In this sense, the praxis of prophetic pragmatism is tragic action with revolutionary intent, usually reformist consequences and always visionary outlook.” – cornel west

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Dear God,
Hope you got the letter and
I pray you can make it better down here.
I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet
‘Cause they don’t get enough to eat
From God
I can’t believe in you.
Dear God,
Sorry to disturb you, but
I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in the amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street
‘Cause they can’t make opinions meet
About God,
I can’t believe in you.
Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too?!
Dear God,
Don’t know if you noticed, but…
Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book,
Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
And all the people that you made in your image,
Still believing that junk is true
Well I know it ain’t, and so do you
Dear God,
I can’t believe in…
I don’t believe in…
I won’t believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You’re always letting us humans down.
The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And it’s the same the whole world ’round.
The hurt I see helps to compound
That Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Is just somebody’s unholy hoax
And if you’re up there you’d perceive
That my heart’s here upon my sleeve.
If there’s one thing I don’t believe in…..
It’s you…..
Dear God. ( XTC, Dear God )


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One Response to amen together

  1. Maureen says:

    That first image is a keeper.

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