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Showing posts with label Witness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Witness. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Witness


Taken by my dreams
Transported to the heavens
Like the Apostle

Filled with promises
Chaos, blowing in the wind
All my work, refuse

We can have justice
We are entitled to it
We are called to it

Make it if you can
In the shadow of heaven
Parched prayers, hanging limp

Visions of flowers
Sterile seeds falling. withered
Promises, broken

The divine embrace
Amid the ashes, thirsting
Immanuel comes

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Truth and Lies, Can You Tell the Difference - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.02.2019

Truth and Lies – Can You Tell the Difference

Michael Cohen testified before congress this week. He spent ten years working for Donald Trump as his personal attorney and fixer. He is a convicted felon, convicted of perjury, among other things.

He is a known liar.

He lied professionally for Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a pathological liar, and he surrounds himself with liars, people who are totally divorced from any relationship to the truth, people Like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort and Jerome Corsi and Rick Gates who have made their personal fortunes lying.

I watched Ivanka Trump lie this week about her father’s role in granting her husband a top secret security clearance, overruling the judgement of the intelligence professionals whose job it is to vet people for the clearance necessary to have access to the nation’s most sensitive data.

I watched Donald Trump lie about it to.

I watched Representative Jim Jordan, Republican from Ohio condemn Cohen for his lying, when all last year I watched the same the same man lie through his teeth about his knowledge the systematic molestation of college wrestlers at Ohio State University where Jim Jordan had served as an assistant coach. The doctor molested dozen of wrestlers in the program. Jim Jordan had a locker next to his. He was named as a witness by several wrestler who pressed a suit against the university. Jim Jordan denied; lying through his teeth he denied ever having heard about it.

The lies they tell, the inveterate liars they all are; It makes me wonder if they even understand the concept of truthfulness.

All of these liars claim to be Christians, and as such they are supposed to have an obligation to the truth, but they lie without compunction and feign indignancy when they are confronted with the truth.

Michael Cohen, for all his faults, he brought proof to back up his claims when he testified before congress this week. He wasn’t asking anyone to believe him, he was just making the record plain.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

We are All in One Reality


Reflections on Conflict and Human Nature

People ask me every day, as I assume all people are asked, “Hello, how are you?” I give my usual response by rote, a basic affirmation of life itself: “I am doing well, life is good.”

However, if asked to reflect a little more deeply, I might confess that I have spent most of my life in a continuous state of melancholy, a subtle sadness for the state of the World and its conflicts which I find to be both distressing and depressing.

I have been told that this is no good, unhealthy, that I should change.

I am left to wonder how I could, with the world being in the state that it is. Setting aside the issues we have with the leadership of our government in America in 2018. I have been having these feelings my whole life, it seems. I grew up under the specter of the threat of Nuclear War. I can recall the resignation of disgraced president Nixon. I was in fifth grade when the Iran hostage crisis began. I was aware of the United States’ illegal conflict in Central America, and the Iran Contra hearings. Things crystallized for me on the 5th of June, 1989 (the day I started writing this essay), when in China 2,600 people were killed for waging a non-violent demonstration against their dictatorial government. Ultimately 10,000 people, maybe more, would be killed by Chinese soldiers firing into the crowd of 1.2 million, in Tiananmen Square, the gates of heavenly peace.

Today, twenty-nine years later, as a man approaching his fiftieth year, I look back on my life, and the times that I have lived in and I see a continuous progression of tragedies and travesties peppering it.

The Vietnam War, in which the United States military killed 3,000,000 people. Some were soldiers, most were not. My father served in it. We pulled out in 1975, the Vietnamese are still recovering from what we did to them.

I have watched the failure of the Palestinians to secure their freedom, and peace with Israel. More importantly I have watched the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its persecution of the Palestinian people, and the apartheid conditions they force the Palestinians to live under.

Last week the world looked on and largely ignored dozens of murders committed by the Israeli defense forces as they shot unarmed civilians, and target journalists with sniper fire, Killing dozens, and wounding thousands.

I watched the mismatched conflict of the First Gulf War, where the United States staged a grand display with allied forces from around the world, and we slaughtered nearly 500,000 Iraqis, the common soldiers of a despotic regime who had no hope of surviving,  30,000 people killed in one bombing run, a caravan of troops heading North, fleeing Kuwait city, going home.

I was serving as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy at the time, though not in the theatre of conflict. I was ashamed to listen to other Corpsman talk boldly of picking up arms and fighting, of killing “the enemy,” when they had each sworn oaths to save lives.

Fourteen years later the United States prosecuted the Second Gulf War utilizing falsified reports and bogus claims that Saddam Hussein’s regime had been stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. We killed in another 2,000,000 Iraqi’s in that conflict, and discovered that there were no chemical, biological, or radiological weapons to be found. Those who perpetrated the conflict knew this to be true, they knew it all-along.

I watched, together with the whole world as we all stood by and did nothing in 1994, we watched as somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Rawandans were butchered by their countrymen, in a conflict fueled by inter-tribal rivalry. It took place over the course of just a few days, with most of the killings done by hand, up-close and personal with knives, machetes and axes. They dumped the bodies in the rivers, so many bodies and parts of bodies that it stopped the river’s flow.

These are just some of the more sensational conflicts that have taken place in the past few decades.

Here in my home country, the citizens of the United States are just becoming aware of how unjust and intransigent our system of justice is, if your ethnicity is that of a minority group, if and only if.

Un-armed black men are killed by police with impunity. The police only have to say that they were in fear for their lives, and they walk away from the killings without being charged, or if charged found innocent, most of them keep their jobs.

They can shoot a man in the back, shoot a man lying face down on the ground, shoot a man complying with their orders, reaching for his ID, in the car with his wife and child. Men and women can die in custody, handcuffed in the back of a squad car, hand cuffed in the back of a police van, in their jail cell with the cameras and microphones disabled and turned off.

The can pull up on a child at a park with a toy gun and shoot him within two seconds of arriving, because they “afraid,” and they will not be punished.

Our ethnic minorities, our fellow citizens, our fellow Americans are more likely to stopped by the police, and when stopped they are more likely to be searched, when searched and some form of contraband is found they are more likely to be arrested. When members of minority groups are arrested they are more likely to be charged with a crime, when charged and prosecuted they are more likely to be found guilty, when found guilty they are more likely to be punished to the maximum extent of the criminal code than white people, members of the ethnic majority are in the same circumstances.

In America, tens of thousands of people die every day from hunger and disease. We have the resources to end these injustices, but we do nothing.

Around the world we clear cut forests, burning them up to make way for farms, at the rate of 100,000 acres per day. We poison our fields and lakes, our rivers and oceans, the air we breathe, the atmosphere we share, for short-term profits.

In America, in Michigan, in Flynt we have allowed whole cities to be poisoned with lead, tens of thousands of people, children, lied to by their government, which denied that the problem existed for years and then failed to put a plan together to rectify it, all for the sake of lining the pockets of greedy corporations who had contributed to their political ambitions. Democratic rule suspended, emergency managers appointed, selling off the assets of town and cities to the highest bidder, cutting through “red-tape,” overturning regulations, covering up crimes without remorse.

I cannot list all of the tragedies that I have witnessed, the tragedies that are taking place all over the world, there are too many.

Like me, there are many who are saddened by the state of the world, disturbed by it, as we watch the continuous progress we are making toward irrevocable disaster.

We are our own worst enemy.

When a person, any person, takes a moment to become still, quiet, silent, when they open their eyes, when they listen with the ear of the heart, they will understand who they are as a part of the world. And members of the greater-whole

To experience one’s self as whole and healthy is to understand yourself as a being in relationship, as a being of relationships. Then, to experience one’s self as whole and healthy, the world itself must be whole and healthy. This places the imperative on us to work for the wholeness and health of the world, the whole world, planet Earth.

Genuine happiness, true fulfillment is dependent on this.

Do you recall the wisdom in this expression: Together we stand and divided we fall?

We must stand together.

We live on a planet, in a universe that is one thing. Our world is one thing and we are a part of it, as every person is.

The part resides in the whole, as the whole resides in the part, as the nucleus of the cell contains the DNA the forms the whole person.

Do you remember this expression: A house divided against itself cannot stand?

We must be in accord, be in communion, if we intend on surviving and fulfilling our potential, both as individuals and as humanity writ large.

Together we are strong, I am strong, and you are strong. Humanity is strongest when we are together and there is a great future ahead of us, awaiting all of our progeny, wherever we may go, as far from home we might wander, even when we ravel beyond the light of our home star.

We will fall apart and will continue to crumble, so long as we accept the lies that allow the illusion of division to keep us separated.

All life is one.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Miracle

Awake and alone
I am too poor to receive
This revelation

Awake and alone
The miracle passes me
I could not touch it

I feel the bludgeon
The cold, and despairing blows
Numbing my senses

Hollow humanity
Our terrible husbandry
Mechana of grief

Our desire to rule
Captivate and dominate
To name and call ours

Everything turns, spoils
Seeding the earth with poisons
Soaked in bitterness

Alone and awake
Witnessing a miracle
Softly beaten air

Brushing against me
Broad wings, black against the night
Wings of the eagle

Soul of the nation
White head, yellow beak, raptor
Tearing into flesh

Hungry, devouring
This miracle, eating me

Alone and awake

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Reason



In service of truth
The faculty of reason
Connect, understand

Shape of the day, time
The most accurate measure
Object, movement, space

The lapse of judgement
There is madness in the wind
The way of the world

Witness the patterns
Forming clouded discernments
Push, push in labor

Words in the mist, wet
The end of the long canal
Luminous, life

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.01.24 (Sunday)

Purpose and Witness

Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.

  Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.

He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up.

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ (NJB)

Following Jesus

Something happened in Palestine, something happened in old Judea, a movement began in Galilee, and spread throughout the world.

The Gospel of Saint Luke purports to have been written by Luke, who was physician, and a follower of the sainted Apostle Paul. Together Luke and Paul brought the “good news” to the diaspora, and to the gentiles. In the good news, there was hope, and trust and love; it was the blue print for a community that was not of this earth, in it was the promise of salvation.

Luke’s Gospel, however, was not written by a man named Luke, it was written by the community he formed, decades after his passing, and it was not dedicated to a man named Theophilus, but to all of God’s children, everywhere.

This passage tells us of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth; a Jewish man who taught in synagogues, as his followers would do in later years. He was a Jew of the diaspora. People called him Rabbi, this marked him as a Pharisee, a teacher of the law.

Jesus taught in the prophetic tradition. He exhorted people to action, he performed works of service, and he told the truth as if it had descended on him like the Spirit of God.

Any of us who have taken on the work of carrying the mantle of Christ; we must adhere closely to the central point of this reading:

Our ministry is to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives, to restore sight to the blind, and to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the jubilee (a year of favor, the forgiveness of debts).

This is working is never done, even though it is fulfilled every day.

As long as the world endures, this ministry will need to be proclaimed, the year of God’s favor, the jubilee; that year never ends. It is God’s year, it is eternal.

If you envision yourself as a servant of God, then you must be a servant of the people; there is no other way to serve God. Your teaching must be joyful, and full of hope.

If you are going to proclaim liberty to the captives, you must set people free. In the time of Christ the captives he spoke of were the populations of people who had been taken from their homes as the spoils of war. The Romans called these people servi, servus meaning servant, meaning slave. The slave economy of the ancient world does not look the same today as it did then, but there are hundreds of millions of people living in servitude, without rights, without recourse to the law. If you follow in the footsteps of Jesus, you must call for justice, and the freeing of these people.

You must restore sight to the blind, which is to say you must convince the rulers of the world, and their armies, the powers that be; you must convince them that there is other way to peace, and security than for them to relinquish their power, give up their wealth in order to foster justice for all. 
The blind are the world’s elite, the 1%, and the only cure for their blindness is the truth.

This is how you will set the downtrodden free, forgive their debts, not just once every seven years, but now and forever.


3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Homily - The Gospel of Luke 3:1 - 6

The Gospel of the Day – 2015.12.06 (Sunday)

The Historical Witness?

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:

Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
(NJB)

Forgiveness

The understanding of history is a great tool. The Christian tradition has always attempted to root itself in historical realities; with greater and lesser degrees of success.

The study of our tradition gave birth to modern historical criticism; without which, as a culture, we would have no understanding of the uses and limitations of history whatsoever, and that took eighteen hundred years to develop.

Our stories, our narrative about the life and mission, the arrest and killing of Jesus are a part of the testimony of our faith. It helps us to locate in time the singular moment when our cultural commitment to the teachings of Jesus took place.

We remember the rule of Tiberius, heir to Augustus, and the Herod’s, and Pontius Pilate.

We recall the role that Pilate played in the killing of Jesus, we shout it out at every hour of every day in all parts of the world; that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried. This story is told unceasingly and without end.

It is long since time that we, as heirs to the ministry and teaching of Jesus, forgive Pilate for the role he played in that political murder.

John the Baptist taught us to repent, and be forgiven, but Jesus taught us to simply forgive.

Jesus forgave those who killed him he asked God to forgive them when he was up on the cross.

It is time we do the same.

The promise of Isaiah, which John echoed in the wilderness cannot be received unless we do this.

God is the author of our salvation, but we are the agents. It is incumbent on us to proceed with the healing, if the human race is to be healed.


The Second Sunday of Advent