Shuck and Jive

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 17, 2018

Update on My Spiritual Journey

I have updated the sidebar with some new categories, links, etc. to reflect where I am in my spiritual journey at this point. Yes, atheist Presbyterian ministers have spiritual journeys. I have discovered that people really don't like it when I call myself an atheist. So I do it. I am making a point.

That point is the same point I have been making long before I started this blog. Name-calling and labels serve to repress and silence. We clump into groups and we put our trust in those who claim to be in our group. It is a natural survival instinct. No one wants to be isolated. No one wants to be dismissed. No one wants to be castigated.

Labels (atheist, progressive, alt-right, conspiracy theorist, holocaust denier, anti-semite, liberal, right-wing, fascist, anti-fascist, fake news) mean nothing. They describe nothing. They are useful for group-think. When we allow labels to direct us toward what to read and how to read it, what narratives to trust and to ignore, who our friends are, who our enemies are, we are sleep-walking. Sleep-walking is dangerous. Those authorities who have captured our allegiance, who are "well-respected" et al, can abuse that trust. They abuse the trust by putting in our heads notions that voices critical of them are bad, icky, disgusting, impure, evil, fake. Here are 17 ways to suppress truth.

David Martin wrote a poem that fits my situation now.

Could it be I've learned too much? 
If charged, I must confess. 
My views would be more popular 
If I knew much less.
I might vote for Democrats 
Or for the GOP 
And not have old acquaintances 
Almost run from me.

Education's big with them, 
And ignorance the foe, 
Except for those disturbing things 
That they don't want to know.

David Martin

David Martin along with Hugh Turley were on my KBOO show on Friday discussing the murder of Thomas Merton, anti-war hero.  David and Hugh will be the first to tell you that the Merton Establishment does not want to know this. They don't want you to know it, either.



On Sunday, I preached about John the Baptist (beheaded by Herod). Now the "official story" (Gospel of Mark) says it was because of a dancing girl, but the real reason is the same reason that martyrs have lost their heads throughout history. John was telling the truth and the truth would overthrow the powers that be. I spoke about Thomas Merton's martyrdom.  I concluded:
Catholic writer Joseph Sobran wrote:  
“In public controversies, most people are chiefly concerned to play it safe. Before they take any position, they ask themselves not “Is it true?” but “What will happen to me if I say this?” Quoted here.
Let us not be like most people. Jesus, who likely would have been called a conspiracy theorist today, said the opposite: 
“Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.” 
Amen.
Truth and Goodness.