FAITH & REVOLUTION
FAITH AND REVOLUTION
When one first reads or hears the word revolution, thoughts of discord, lawlessness, blatant disregard for the rules of law emerge. That is not what this section is about at all. What it does point out is the following: the economic, environmental, social and political fabric of our world, insidiously, has become fragmented, and is becoming increasingly compromised. At one time, opposing political views were ones of disagreement. They have now been replaced with a venomous and toxic disagreeable spirit. At one time, the attaining of “the American Dream,” was a viable reality for all those who were willing to make the attendant sacrifices, and work toward the goal. Today, barriers have been erected, to protect the few extremely financially fortunate, and to diminish the prospect, of them being toppled from their lofty stations. They are referred to as the “job creators.”
There was a day when our national treasures were considered revered. Whether they were our state parks, the delicate economic and life-giving sustainability of our waterways, or the impact on livelihoods of the locals, as well as on animal creation and protection, they were to be guarded from all assailants. Today? “Drill, baby, drill.” After all, we need to be protected from those greedy Middle East oil sheiks, don’t we? Never mind that we import more oil from Canada than from any other country and Saudi Arabia is third after Mexico. What a ruse!
While the gains made for equality, regarding the gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/trans-gender community is laudable, those gains are continuously tenuous, fragile, and under assault from religious extremists of all colors and creeds. Recently, a Pastor on the evangelical religious right, stated that they should all be executed! I do not know what Jesus, this Pastor is in cahoots with, but it is not the Jewish one, of actual history. If that Pastor owned a bar or a restaurant, he would probably throw Jesus out on a dress code violation.
We need the kind of revolutions that sparked the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and gave them a voice. The same voice that fueled the American Revolution, and gave birth to a nation, now freed from the dictates of a tyrannical oppressor an ocean away, thereby providing acceptance and protection for a whole disparaged segment of society. The African-American Civil Rights Movement, outlawed racial discrimination, and provided for those citizens, the right to vote. In addition, the American Gay Rights Movement spurred recognition of those individuals’ dignity as members of humankind. All of mankind has been the most fortunate beneficiary, of these types of revolution. It is on these examples that I make my case.
I trust this sampling of themes we are going to consider together, has wetted your appetite. As we go for a deeper dive into each subject, I am going to lay all of my cards on the table, as to why I feel as I do. Much of what I will be sharing comes from my own, oftentimes painful, yet necessary experiences. You are going to get a 20/20 view of who I am. Through this process, you will be invited to carefully and quietly, reflect on how you view the same matters. I will be asking you to have the courage, to question some positions you have held, perhaps for most of your life. Some questions will result in your challenging long-held traditions. Perhaps, some of them require challenging!
Be brave! You and I are not here on this walk together by accident. This is a defining moment in your life. It is certainly a defining time globally. Most encounters have a beginning and an end, but not this one (at least not in that order). Our walk has an ending and then a beginning! The beginning will be obvious to you, when we conclude our journey together. For now, I am going to invite you to envision all of the themes that we will be encountering, with two words – THE END! In other words, to maximize our time together, it will be important to “deep-six” your prior experiences, prejudices, things you think you know, traditions, and to open yourself up to whatever El Elyon, the GOD MOST HIGH, wishes to impart to you. What you are about to undergo, if you will simply trust my counsel, is unfathomable as to its value.