When I find myself writing almost blog-length statuses on facebook I know it is perhaps time to just start writing again. I think I choose not to write at times because the things I might write about seem personal and I don’t really want you to know them. I don’t know if I want to be vulnerable. But there is another side of me that cares deeply enough about many things that it seems silly to not set aside my fear if there is even a possibility of shining any light into any darkness. There is also the fear that in hoping and praying I’m shining light, I may in fact not be…because I may be wrong. I guess I’ll trust that the source of light and truth is greater than my trips and missteps along the way. To me, this source is The Divine, perhaps you use the term God or otherwise (or not). And the way which I talk about trying to live is for me, the way of truth, which I believe Jesus is and shows.
I’m going to share some snippets of things that I’ve found inspiring lately and then will hopefully get a sense of what I want to continue writing about in further posts. Voila. Feel free to share your thoughts, please.
“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”
-Frederick Douglass (1852)
“Today, the church in much of the world, and especially the First World, works to come up with all sorts of theological gymnastics to get around the gospel, so that an economic model based upon rampant individualism and consumerism and countless wars are justifiable. Looking at the “Christian store,” this is exactly what we are seeing. Much of modern American Christianity is tied to capitalism and patriotism and even those of us who think that we are separated from it still benefit from it and take part in it involuntarily. The Bible that I use is not from some conservative evangelical publisher; it’s from HarperCollins…, and most likely, there is blood on my hands for buying it. Most likely, a grossly underpaid worker in some foreign country made it, and the profits from it went to lining the pockets of the corporate elite… the patriotic religious apparel from “Family Christian Stores” was most likely made in a factory like the one that collapsed in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 poor workers. On top of that, think about what this patriotic religious merchandise promotes. Think about all of the “enemies” who are being slaughtered by soldiers and drones, where Jesus said to love and forgive them. Think about the police actions enforcing oppression…” -Kevin Daugherty, from “Wretch” http://www.wretchproject.wordpress.com