Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Shuck and Jive is Eleven

I started this blog on July 4th, 2006.  Here is that first post.  I sought to write a blog about truth and goodness, with the ironic title, Shuck and Jive. One of my favorite phrases that guides my ministry is from the Presbyterian Book of Order.

Truth is in Order to Goodness.

Here is the complete text:
F-3.0104 Truth and Goodness
That truth is in order to goodness; and the great touchstone of truth, its tendency to promote holiness, according to our Savior’s rule, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” And that no opinion can either be more pernicious or more absurd than that which brings truth and falsehood upon a level, and represents it as of no consequence what a man’s opinions are. On the contrary, we are persuaded that there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty. Otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth or to embrace it.
Truth matters. Duty matters. I have not become so cynical, so post-modern, that I no longer trust that truth and goodness are ideals still worth pursuing. We live within the fog of spin and marketing. What is spoken is not important. What is done is not important. What is important is what a person with power can make people believe is true and good.

The mainstream media is purchased. Every politician is purchased. The presidency is nothing more than a new mask on the same empty suit.  Whether that mask looks like George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, or Donald J. Trump, (or had it been Hillary R. Clinton) the hollow empty container is the same. It is the hole of spin and marketing that exists to sell Americans that we are exceptional and thus deserve "the American Way of Life." This way of life is the consumption of 20 million barrels of oil per day when we produce 9 million bpd. This way of life is using 25 percent of the world's resources while we are 5 percent of the world's population.

Whether that is morally wrong or right is beside the point. The point is that this discrepancy does not exist without militarism, subterfuge, murder, and lies disguised as morality and goodness, in other words, this discrepancy does not exist apart from evil in high places.

America is not good. Charles Krauthammer whines that American children are not learning enough nice things about America. I wish what he is concerned about was happening. The truth is that neither American adults or children know what actually built America (genocide and slavery) and what sustains it (military dominance of fossil fuels). We follow the adage never to look a gift horse in the mouth. Because of corporate influence on politics and media and cheap toys for the consumers, nothing of substance will ever change. Unless...

America can be good. Representative democracy (thanks, Presbyterians) is not a bad form of government. The problem with it is that it requires every citizen to participate by seeking truth. When our paychecks are based on avoiding truth, we tend not to participate in truth-seeking and we fight over partisan politics that get us nowhere. The empty suit (whether Democrat or Republican) regardless of rhetoric, regardless of charm, regardless of whether he is a black guy who reads Niebuhr or a white guy who tweets, neither does anything to end the wars. Neither does anything to end our march to extinction.  Still...

America can be good if we want it to be good. There is a price. If we want goodness we must seek truth. Truth hurts before it heals. The truth that will end our wars is possible to uncover. When enough people say truth matters and act on that truth as patriots, change will come.

This is a revolution.

Happy Independence Day.

John Shuck, Signatory
Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth
9/11 Truth Action Project

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