Sunday, November 21, 2004

Godless Socialists Reluctantly Crossing the Cinvet Bridge 

Thanks to all who commented on finding ways for the godless and godly to work together. “Whither Rational Discourse?” Sorry I dropped out of the discussion early, but rest assured I read all of the comments and this morning thought about them over an urn of coffee and a pipe. Maybe this is the type of rational Christian P&J advocate we were discussing, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of him earlier, as I used to work in the Vietnam antiwar movement and his was a primary voice among the religious. It took a friend to remind me of him, and to remind me that, after all, Dr. King was a Christian (something I forget) and she sent this snip and link:

It must be possible, I thought, to reconcile the Christ of Revelation and of the Gospels; the warrior image of Christ with the meek and compassionate One of the sermon on the mount. To reconcile the violent images of Revelation with the prohibition of violence in the gospels. There must be in sum one Christ, not two; if we were not to suppose that our God is as divided in mind as were His stupefied votaries.

We must claim the book [Revelations] from the violent culture. Nothing must be allowed to subvert the text; no optimism springing from political chauvinism or national frenzies. No pessimism, issuing from the fall of this or that cherished ideology. And above all, no false gods; enticing, telling of our moral excellence, probity, fame, prosperity, and the violence that beckons us to secular nirvana. No gods of America ventriloquizing, aping, displacing true God.

We must flee them; they are putrid, they smell of death. We must plant ourselves in a wilderness, a desert, a prison -- where the soul might grow literate, might 'tolle et lege: In such unlikely places a vision might be granted us, as was granted to the prisoner John in the slave camp on Patmos. A modest and serviceable vision to be sure; something so modest as a sane reading of a simple text.

…And inevitably, tyranny seeks out and befriends religion, an ally, a blessing on the enterprise, a bargaining partner, a power broker who can be winked at and wink back.

But not this community. Christians, John reminds us, are to name the old names anew; Washington or Moscow or whatever. Name them for what they are, and suffer the consequence, in some latter day Patmos or gulag.

Revelation is neither magical nor evasive. It is penetration, meaning, light in dark times.

This is, of course, Daniel Berrigan, who, while I do not share his faith, could work with one who propounded it this way rather easily… War in Heaven, Peace on Earth

Are these voices still out there? I’m not in this community, and I'm not sure this will help me reach out to the lunatic fundies, but I hope I smell new coalitions brewing. And you'll notice, in the spirit of reaching out, I'm posting it on a Sunday morning... peace and justice, y'all.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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