Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Twelfth Station of the Cross: Jesus dies on the Cross

< The Eleventh Station of the Cross                                                              The Thirteenth Station of the Cross >

After suffering greatly on the cross, Jesus bows his head and dies.

The Cross of Extinction

We have a custom of making beautiful crosses in religious art, as though forgetting the horrible suffering inflicted with crosses by the ancient Romans in their executions of criminals and rebels. The cross formed here is almost beautiful, but not when one realizes that each photo in that cruciform picture is an animal that is recently extinct. They lived recently enough to have been captured by modern photography, but they no longer exist. The progress of our modern day Empire is ever hastening the prospects of death in the form of more species extinctions to the point that some say the earth is on the verge of another mass biological extinction event. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God as a pathway way to life, as opposed to Empire, whose most consistent legacy is death.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Music: Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)

"Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th century art. He struggled with mental illness, and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life. Van Gogh died in France on July 29, 1890, at age 37, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound." (From Biography.com at http://www.biography.com/people/vincent-van-gogh-9515695#synopsis)

Singer songwriter Don McLean wrote "Vincent" as a tribute to the Dutch painter. The song is also known as "Starry, Starry Night." Van Gogh produced some 900 paintings in ten years. You will see a few of those paintings on the video below that, according to the note on YouTube, was created by someone named James Carter. Others have done similar tributes on YouTube, but I liked this one a little more that the others.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Eleventh Station of the Cross: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

< The Tenth Station of the Cross                                                                             The Twelfth Station of the Cross >

Jesus' hands and feet are nailed to the cross

"St Louis Unites: A Dream of Freedom Songs"  Photo collage by Basil Kincaid

Do police serve the community, or do they serve Empire? One quick way to discern that question is whether they promote life or threaten with death. If they promote life, then they serve the community. We understand the chill behind the term "police state." It is the chill of death.

In our own day, we are hearing even our religious leaders advise blacks and Latinos to avoid being shot by the police by simply obeying and doing what they say. Scripture texts are even cited to justify such fearful and numbing obedience.

Ironically, it was Empire's emphasis upon order and obedience that resulted in Jesus' crucifixion. The order and safety of Empire is appealing, but when we choose Empire just to stay alive, we must then endure a thousand small deaths throughout our days.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Haiku: The Red Vineyards

in afternoon light
the red vineyard dances
friendship and harvest

                    ~ CK

Picture: The Red Vineyards near Arles (oil on burlap)
by Vincent can Gogh November 1888.
It is said to be the only piece sold by the artist while he was alive (Wikipedia).


Friday, March 27, 2015

The Tenth Station of the Cross: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments

< The Ninth Station of the Cross                                                                      The Eleventh Station of the Cross >

The soldiers strip Jesus of his garments, treating him as a common criminal

Juvenile detention center in Florida (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Across the country, school systems are shutting the doors of academic opportunity on students and funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The combination of overly harsh school policies and an increased role of law enforcement in schools has created a “school-to-prison pipeline,” in which punitive measures such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are increasingly used to deal with student misbehavior, and huge numbers of youth are pushed out of school and into prisons and jails.  

One of the traits of Empire is that it freely discards its citizens without regard to potential or inherent worth. In the African American community there is indeed a "school-to-prison pipeline" pattern that some are trying to address. Unfortunately, the problem is practically invisible to citizens of the Empire.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Ninth Station of the Cross: Jesus Falls a Third Time

< The Eighth Station of the Cross                                                                    The Tenth Station of the Cross >

Weakened almost to the point of death, Jesus falls a third time

An aerial view shows people protesting against Amazon deforestation during the 2009 World Social Forum near the mouth of the Amazon River in the city of Belem January 27, 2009.

Humans have been practicing deforestation for thousands of years, since the dawn of agriculture when we discovered we could manage crops to feed increasingly large populations. In recent years, however, deforestation has increased exponentially with increasing encroachment upon the tropical rain forests. We are wanting more forest products and demanding more farmland. We are now facing serious questions of sustainability and climate change. Indigenous peoples are being displaced and we could possibly damage the sacred body of the earth irrevocably. Will we weaken the sacred body to the point of death?


Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Music: Boy from the Country

I first heard this one on the vinyl LP soundtrack, "An Evening with John Denver." Many thanks to Scott Wright for photographing and producing the visuals for the music.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Eighth Station of the Cross: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

< The Seventh Station of the Cross                                                                     The Ninth Station of the Cross >

Jesus tells the women to weep not for him but for themselves and for their children

Pablo Picaso's "The Weeping Woman"
Throughout the ages, it has been the women who bear so much of the suffering inflicted by Empire. When Jesus spoke to the women in Jerusalem on his way to the cross, he saw their weeping and knew the greater sorrow that they would endure in the years ahead when their children would grow up just to become fodder for the war machine of Empire. Picaso painted “The Weeping Woman” in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. He painted “Guernica” that same year to depict the tragedy and suffering brought on by the casual bombing of Spain by the Nazi war machine. While "Guernica" has come to be a reminder of the tragedy of war, "The Weeping Woman" is a universal image of suffering.

When you go out today, take note of the women you see. Many of them will be silently bearing the sorrow of having lost someone dear to them at the hands of Empire and its war machine. They bear the suffering brought on by lost lives, cripples bodies and shattered minds of their children who grew up to serve their country and were crushed by Empire.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Haiku: The Sower

 sun at his back
 the sower walks the fields
 planting tomorrows

                           ~ CK

Picture: The Sower, 1888, oil on canvas, by Vincent van Gogh
(Van Gogh Museum version)


Friday, March 20, 2015

The Seventh Station of the Cross: Jesus Falls a Second Time

< The Sixth Station of the Cross                                                                         The Eighth Station of the Cross >

Jesus falls beneath the weight of the cross a second time

Abandoned gas masks litter the floor

It was April 26, 1986, when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred. Pictured above we see the large nuclear power plants standing tall against the sky before the disaster. We also see the sad aftermath of nuclear power gone wrong.  Billed as "safe, clean energy" by the Empire in the U.S., nations of power naturally pursued greater sources of power. Near misses in the U.S. have sent warning signals, but accidents in the former Soviet Union and more recently in Japan have demonstrated how severely we can strike at the sacred body where we live. Empire shows little regard for the sacred body of nature. Under the reign of God which Jesus preached, life will come to all. Under the rule of Empire, however, death is always looming.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Sixth Station of the Cross: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

< The Fifth Station of the Cross                                                                       The Seventh Station of the Cross > 

Veronica steps through the crowd to wipe the face of Jesus

Homeless Jesus sculpture (Photo by Mark Rumsey)

He Died Not Too Far From Here
By Charles Kinnaird

It was my first time to volunteer at the soup kitchen. A lady named Veronica handed me an apron and told me I could work with Fred. “He can show you ‘round this place,” she said.

Fred was an older man, tall and lean with closely cropped hair that was mostly gray. He said he was retired now, but before that he did “just about everything.”

“I come down here every Saturday morning and I help ‘em set things up,” Fred told me as he handed me a wash rag to wipe down the tables.  “You know, most folks will wipe down the tables after everybody gets done eatin’, but I like to wipe ‘em down before they get here, too. That way they know we’re thinkin’ about ‘em. They know they’re  comin’ to a place prepared just for them.”

“How long have you been doing this?” I asked.

“It’s been a few years now. Been more than a minute, I’ll say that. And I’ll tell you why I do this, though I don’t know how you might take it.” Fred paused and took a deep breath, “You see, I heard all my life about how Jesus died for my sins. Then I come to find out he died not too far from here – and I’ve got Veronica to thank for tellin’ me that.”

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I didn’t say anything. I just looked at Fred in anticipation of what he might say next. He looked at me with a side glance and wry smile, then he tilted his head back and laughed.

He then continued, “I can tell you don’t know what in the world this old man’s talkin’ about, but I’ll tell you what happened. Now you don’t know Veronica, but Veronica loves to cook – that’s what she does. She cooks up yonder at the school house for the kids then she comes over here on Saturday and cooks for these folks that are down and out right now.

“Well, this one Saturday morning she come up here and found this man lyin’ on the sidewalk up against the wall. She told me she didn’t know if he was asleep or dead, but she called out to him.  He stirred just a little bit so she got down closer. That man was all dirty and had scratches and scabs all over his face. She didn’t know if he had fallen or if somebody beat up on him, but he was so weak and tired. She ran inside and got the preacher, ‘We got to help this man,’ she said. She grabbed a towel and a wash cloth out of the charity closet, got a bowl of water and went out there to see if she could wash off his face.

“And this is the way she told it to me – she said when she knelt down to wash that man’s face, somethin’ told her this might’ve been somebody important. Now I won’t lie to you,” Fred continued, “I’d have probably said he was just some bum who’d been drinkin’ and bein’ no count all his life, but Veronica said somethin’ told her different.

“Well, Veronica and the preacher brought this man inside so they could get him somethin’ to eat and drink, but when they helped him on in, that’s when she knew he was too sick for them to do much for him. And that’s when they called 911.

“When the ambulance came, they got this man loaded up and Veronica told the preacher she had to go with him to the hospital. She told the ambulance drivers she was gonna ride up there in the ambulance, and she just hopped on in. Veronica says she still don’t know why she done it, but it was like somethin’ told her to go on with them to the hospital. And she stayed up there ‘til the doctors came around and saw the man. She told ‘em she didn’t know who he was, but she just found him out on the sidewalk by the soup kitchen. Then they told her that they were gonna get him into a room, so she came on back. She called the preacher to come pick her up so she could get on with her cookin’.

“Well, that was the first time she seen this man. The next day was Sunday and she decided she would go back up to the hospital to see how he was. She got up there and saw he was still real sick, but he just barely opened his eyes and saw her. Then he just barely smiled, and he just barely opened his mouth and spoke to her just one time. He said, ‘I remember you – you’re just like an angel to me, and I don’t know why. I feel like I’m just one of the least of these and you don’t even know me, but you come to help me out.’

“Now that’s when Veronica said it happened. She said it was when he said ‘I’m the least of these,’ it just hit her like a lightin’ bolt. This is how she told it to me, she said, ‘I felt this electricity just come though me and it was like Jesus was sayin’ you done it do me – and all I could do was cry.’ She said she had to leave out from there because she wasn’t doing nothn’ but cryin’ and shakin’.

“So that was the second time she seen him,” Fred said, “and it turned out there would not be no third time. When she went up to the hospital the next day after work, they told her he had passed – there wasn’t really anything they could do, you know. Well Veronica – she was still kinda tearful then, but she said she was somehow feelin’ stronger inside.  It was after all that happened that she came and told me the whole story, what I told to you just now, and this is how she started it off:

Next time you hear somebody say Jesus died for your sins, you tell ‘em, No, he died not too far from here. And not only that, you tell ‘em he’s dyin’ somewhere every day, and if you look around you might see where he’s dyin’. And if you see he’s dyin’, feed him if you can, give him some medicine if you can, but if you can’t do nothin’ but wipe his face, then you just wipe his face, because Jesus is dyin’ somewhere, and he’s dyin’ not too far from here.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Music: Red Is the Rose

For all who carry Irish blood in their veins, and for all others who wish they did, 
and in honor of St. Patrick's Day upon the morrow:

Red Is the Rose
(Traditional Irish Ballad)

Come over the hills, my bonnie Irish lass
Come over the hills to your darling
You choose the road, love, and I'll make the vow
And I'll be your true love forever.

Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
Fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

'Twas down by Killarney's green woods that we strayed
When the moon and the stars they were shining
The moon shone its rays on her locks of golden hair
And she swore she'd be my love forever.


It's not for the parting that my sister pains
It's not for the grief of my mother
'Tis all for the loss of my bonny Irish lass

That my heart is breaking forever.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Fifth Station of the Cross: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

< The Fourth Station of the Cross                                                                                The Fifth Station of the Cross >

Soldiers force Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross

A wood engraving of handcuffed and shackled slaves passing the U.S. Capitol

According to tradition, Simon of Cyrene was a black man ordered by Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry the cross. In the United States, our own Empire was built in large part upon the backs of African slaves, forced to carry the burden inflicted by Empire. It is a blight we cannot erase, but slavery has been a common tool of Empire throughout the ages.  

Twelve American presidents owned slaves and eight of them, starting with Washington, owned slaves while in office. Almost from the very start, slaves were a common sight in the executive mansion. A list of construction workers building the White House in 1795 includes five slaves - named Tom, Peter, Ben, Harry and Daniel -- all put to work as carpenters. Other slaves worked as masons in the government quarries, cutting the stone for early government buildings, including the White House and U.S. Capitol. According to records kept by the White House Historical Association, slaves often worked seven days a week -- even in the hot and humid Washington summers. (From "Slaves Built the White House and Capitol" at Afrocentric Culture by Design)

We still struggle to overcome the inertia of slavery as we wrestle and argue over voting rights, racial profiling, and prejudicial hiring practices.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Haiku: Twilight

soft summer twilight
the air is heavy with hope
footsteps tread softly

                              ~ CK

Picture: Landscape at Twilight by Vincent Van Gogh
(oil on canvas) resides in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam


Friday, March 13, 2015

The Fourth Station of the Cross: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

< The Third Station of the Cross                                                                            The Fifth Station of the Cross >

Jesus meets his mother, Mary, who is filled with grief

A woman cries after her son was killed in an air strike in Basra

When a nation increases its strength and influence to the point that  it becomes Empire, the primary concern becomes to preserve its own power and influence.  In Matthew 25, Jesus said that the true measure of a nation is in how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable within its borders. Empire, on the other hand, often relies only upon one tool – military power – to solve any problem. As such, the loss of innocent lives becomes collateral damage which, to Empire, is only to be expected.

When collateral damage has no face that Empire can recognize, then many mothers will weep in the wake of military campaigns, air strikes, and drone attacks done in the name of establishing freedom and security.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Third Station of the Cross: Jesus Falls the First Time

< The Second Station of the Cross                                                                           The Fourth Station of the Cross > 

Weakened by torments and by loss of blood, Jesus falls beneath his cross

“It is hard to make a desert in a place that receives sixty inches of rain each year. But after decades of copper mining, all that remained of the old hardwood forests in the Ducktown Mining District of the Southern Appalachian Mountains was a fifty-square mile barren expanse of heavily gullied red hills–a landscape created by sulfur dioxide smoke from copper smelting and destructive logging practices. In Ducktown Smoke, Duncan Maysilles examines this environmental disaster, one of the worst the South has experienced, and its impact on environmental law and Appalachian conservation.” http://legal-planet.org/2012/06/18/how-to-turn-a-forest-into-a-desert/

Relatively early in our nation's entering into the Industrial Age, we saw the sheer havoc and destruction that industry can have on the landscape. The copper industry did much to build the country and move it into the modern age, but Empire often moves with callous disregard for the environment that should nurture all of its inhabitants.

Copper smelting—the process of separating copper from rock—is credited with doing most of the environmental damage in the Ducktown Basin in the 19th century. The process required wood to fuel the smelters, and there was no wood left in the area by 1876. Logs were floated down the Ocoee River from Fannin County, Ga., and about 50 square miles within the Ducktown Basin had been stripped of vegetation by 1878. http://nooga.com/165052/historic-ducktown-basin-a-landscape-transformed/

Ducktown was an early example of the Empire's crucifixion of the environment. Unfortunately there is still resistance from corporations to make any changes in their practices which continue to pollute, continue to contribute to climate change, and continue to bring damage to the sacred body of the earth, our only habitation.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Second Station of the Cross: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

< The First Station of the Cross                                                                        The Third Station of the Cross >

Jesus willingly accepts and patiently bears his cross

© AFP Immigrant workers harvest grapes in California's Napa Valley

"We do rely on a foreign workforce. We really have an issue in terms of attracting domestic workers. They typically don't want to work in agriculture. It's out in the elements, it can be a hard job" http://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2013/03/california-harvests-delayed-by-shortage-of-workers

Many of us live in comfort in the Empire, taking our bounty for granted. It is a bounty that is largely dependent upon the work of immigrant laborers who are poorly paid, lacking in many services such as housing and healthcare, living in substandard conditions. We in turn denigrate the illegal immigrants upon whom we rely for the food and wine on our tables. Undocumented immigrants willingly take up the burden while Empire enjoys the bounty.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Music: Allegri's Miserere

Miserere, by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), is a setting of Psalm 51 composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. It was extremely popular and noted for its exquisite beauty. The Vatican wanted to preserve the mystery of the piece and forbid that it be written down, threatening excommunication if anyone did. A young 14-year-old Mozart, however, being the innate genius that he was, listened to the piece as it was sung in the chapel, then wrote it down from memory later that day, words and musical scoring, in its entirety.  When it was discovered, the Pope was so impressed that he lifted the ban. (See an account of that story here)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The First Station of the Cross: Jesus is Condemned to Death

< Introduction: The Hard Lessons of Lent                                        The Second Station of the Cross >

"Pontius Pilate condemns Jesus to death."

A scene from an American Indian Boarding School
“Aside from the U.S. Government's Attempt at Genocide, what Has Caused the Most Egregious Cultural Harm to the Psyche of the American Indian People?”

The United States engaged in a systematic process of genocide in dealing with the Native American Population. Although today there is greater awareness and the boarding schools which sought to eradicate Native American culture are no more, Native Americans continue to suffer under the grips of a death-making Empire. On Native American reservations, people suffer the numbness of alcoholism and poverty which includes a poverty of income, a poverty of opportunity, a poverty of healthcare and a poverty of choices. Pilate, in his modern incarnation as representative of the Empire on American soil has condemned many to their deaths.


The Hard Lessons of Lent

Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
                                                                                                 ~Psalm 44:22 (NIV)

One of the central devotional practices of Lent is found in the 14 Stations of the Cross. It is a practice of the Catholic Church that dates back to the fourth century when people would make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to retrace Jesus' steps to the cross. In church, the people walk to the various icons positioned around the sanctuary which represent each station of the cross while devotions and prayers are said.

I have friends and family who question why we continue to emphasize the crucifixion of Christ. Do we still think of God as a punitive deity who demanded the sacrifice of his own son to redeem the world? Well, no, I don't believe that, but I will not attempt to answer that question theologically in this brief space (see the writings of J├╝rgen Moltmann for a much more complete articulation of thought than I could give to the subject). Instead, I am inclined at this time to give a more visceral response to the question.

For all the good that humanity does, we are a people well acquainted with sorrow, suffering and grief. Moreover, we continue to organize ourselves under empires which practice death-making and crucifixion as a method of control. I believe that we engage in the passion of Christ at Easter because we ourselves live with suffering and crucifixion and we find hope in the Christ who resisted Empire, suffered, died and was buried and transcended the soul-numbing forces of Empire.

In the posts that follow, we will walk through the Stations of the Cross with few words. We will view images to remind us of the way of the cross as it is manifest in our day and time. The following guideline is taken from Loyola Press at http://www.loyolapress.com/stations-of-the-cross.htm

Stations of the Cross

The 14 Stations of the Cross represent events from Jesus’ passion and death. At each station we use our senses and our imagination to reflect prayerfully upon Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.

1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death.
Pontius Pilate condemns Jesus to death.

2. Jesus Takes Up His Cross.
Jesus willingly accepts and patiently bears his cross.

3. Jesus Falls the First Time.
Weakened by torments and by loss of blood, Jesus falls beneath his cross.

4. Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother.
Jesus meets his mother, Mary, who is filled with grief.

5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross.
Soldiers force Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross.

6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.
Veronica steps through the crowd to wipe the face of Jesus.

7. Jesus Falls a Second Time.
Jesus falls beneath the weight of the cross a second time.

8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem.
Jesus tells the women to weep not for him but for themselves and for their children.

9. Jesus Falls the Third Time.
Weakened almost to the point of death, Jesus falls a third time.

10. Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments.
The soldiers strip Jesus of his garments, treating him as a common criminal.

11. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross.
Jesus’ hands and feet are nailed to the cross.

12. Jesus Dies on the Cross.
After suffering greatly on the cross, Jesus bows his head and dies.

13. Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross.
The lifeless body of Jesus is tenderly placed in the arms of Mary, his mother.

14. Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb.
Jesus’ disciples place his body in the tomb.

15. The Closing Prayer
Sometimes included as a 15th station, reflects on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Haiku: Sage

the gray cat resting
happy with daily hours
becomes the wise sage

                       ~ CK

Photo by Mangus Persson
Getty Images


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Enriched by Other Voices and Views

 “This imam and the nun work together for healing and reconciliation saying Muslims and Christian in Central African Republic never had a conflict. It is all about politics.”

My friend Don is a well-read academic who is constantly informing me of numerous volumes that he has read, especially in the fields of ethics and religion. He recently sent me a fascinating quote from a new book by Daniel Maguire*, Christianity without God:

"Chang Tsai (1020-1077), a major thinker in the Confucian tradition, produced what is seen as "a Confucian credo."  It begins by saying that the earth and universe are his father and mother:

Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature.  All people are my brothers and sisters and all things are my companions.  Show deep love toward the orphaned and the weak ... and those who are tired, infirm, crippled, or sick; those who have no brothers or children, wives or husbands, all are my brothers who are in distress and have no one to turn to.

Francis of Assisi would embrace every word of that credo.  So, too, would Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hannah, and Jesus.  The moral vision contained therein should not fall victim to unnecessary and futile disputes over a deity's existence or nonexistence, its unicity or multiplicity.  When it comes to appreciating what we are and what we have in this privileged little corner of the universe, god-talk should not divide us.  What would be refreshing is a moratorium on god-talk so that together we could explore alternatives to earth's current social, political, economic, and ecological distress."                      
                                                                                              ~Daniel McGuire

I have yet to delve into Maguire’ book, but the quote from the Chang Tsai reminded me of the interesting dynamic in Chinese culture that I learned about when I lived in Hong Kong. There you have, at different times, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism coming into play, with one or the other more emphasized depending on the times and the situation. In our own culture, we also hark back to different influences at different times. For example, why are there so many towns in the U.S. settled by Scots-Irish and English immigrants who named their towns after cities in ancient Greece (Troy, Athens, Sparta, Argo, Corinth, Delphi, etc.)?

It also reminded me of how much my own philosophy has been enriched by giving myself permission to listen to wisdom from many different cultures. Some of that wisdom includes, just to name some of the more prominent in my pantheon of influence:
  • Black Elk's vision of the world (Black Elk was of the Lakota Native American tribe)
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • Krishna's concept of three ways of knowing God outlined in the Bagavad Gita
  • Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and the parables of Jesus
  • The Baptist concept of "soul competency"
  • Writings from the Quakers
  • Writings from the American Buddhist community
  • Trappist monk, Thomas Merton 
  • Reb Zalmon Schachter-Shalomi of the Hasidic community
  • Rumi and Hafiz, poets of the Sufi Islamic tradition

I realize I am being a bit stream-of-consciousness, but I was reminded of all the happy influences around us. Perhaps some of these strands will be topics for future blog posts.

* Daniel C. Maguire is Professor of Ethics at Marquette University and the author or editor of many books, including (with Larry L. Rasmussen) Ethics for a Small Planet: New Horizons on Population, Consumption, and Ecology, also published by SUNY Press.

Photo: from The Parliament of the World’s Religions Facebook page: “This imam and the nun work together for healing and reconciliation saying Muslims and Christian in Central African Republic never had a conflict. It is all about politics.” See the full story at UNHCR TRACKS


Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Music: Drop Kick Me Jesus

Our politicians are putting Alabama in the news yet again, and it reminded me of this old hit by Bobby Bare. It has been billed as "the world's only Christian football waltz," and it probably explains the mentality of some of our elected officials. It should come as no surprise, though. I grew up in the rural South where "everybody should know Jesus" and "everybody was supposed to know football." Also, a cowboy hat always lends credibility.

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