Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings – 05-20-2022
This is the inaugural episode of Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings. This has been a column Mike has posted on Fridays on Facebook for years. I decided his words needed a wider hearing. I wanted his Rumblings to be available to those who might not be on Facebook, or who might prefer an audio version. This was NOT his idea but he did give in and say yes!
Here is a print version of his Rumblings in case you’d like to read them also. Or, feel free to friend him on Facebook. I know there are a million Mike Murphy’s, so I’ll post a link to his Facebook page below.
Mike’s Rumblings 05-20-202
1. Last Saturday morning I rode my bike past the Sarasota Fairgrounds. A steady stream of people were entering the exhibit hall for a ‘gun show’ where you could buy just about any kind of firearm you’d want to have. I wondered if someone would be buying a gun that would be used against other human beings.
Later in the day The Washington Post reported that “Ten people had just been killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo, NY grocery store. Law enforcement officials described it as a racially motivated hate crime…an 18-year-old White man, approached the store in a predominantly Black neighborhood and opened fire on shoppers and employees, shooting 13 people including a security guard…law enforcement officials were investigating the shooting as a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism…11 of the 13 people shot were Black.”
I wonder where the young man bought his gun. Was it at a gun show much like the one I had just ridden by? Could be. Or perhaps his white supremacist friends had a special store they liked to shop in and they steered him in that direction.
After Sandy Hook many of us said Never Again. And then there was the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Never again, we said once again.
After Charleston, we screamed “never again”. Never again did we want to see white supremacists walking in our streets and then January 6th happened. Never again, happened again.
In 2016 after the election, it was pretty clear that we elected a man without a moral compass. Never again, many of us said. But now some are predicting the next Congress will be beholden to him.
Last weekend a Taiwanese church congregation in Orange County, CA was also targeted. Asian-Americans have been under attack for some time now. Jews, in our country, know their synagogues are in the cross-hairs of bigots and they rightly feel threatened. To say ‘never again’ sounds hollow and disingenuous doesn’t it?
Never again. Ha. Maybe all we’ve done is fall in love with slogans. We get the t-shirt, wear it once, take a pic, post it online and then move on. Nothing changes. And then we act surprised when something awful happens again.
Could it be we need a different strategy? The slogan on a t-shirt changes nothing. There’s still awful people, with awful weapons hell bent on killing people.
What are you saying, Mike? What do you want us to do? Start rocking the boat?
If not you, who? You can assert that it’s not your problem to solve. You can say that “it’s a minefield, I’m just not going there.” You can say, “I’m just not ready, I don’t know enough, I need to pray more about it.” You can say that you’ll lose friends and you will. But if we keep evading our responsibility, the bad people win. People will continue to get hurt. Many will die. The oppressors in our midst become emboldened. Our practiced neutrality actually contributes to the violence we’re encountering. It is time to rock the boat. Boldly rock it. Without violence rock it. Risk something of yourself to rock it.
Need a starting point? Here’s an idea. Copy and paste these Rumblings or just this particular rumble. Say, that it challenges you to think differently about what’s going on in our world. That could be a starting point. No matter what people say, don’t back down.
2. Steve Levitsky, a Harvard political scientist, said that “In a stable democracy politicians unambiguously reject violence and unambiguously expel from their ranks anti democratic forces.”
I’d add that in a stable democracy ‘we the people’ demand that of their politicians.
3. A woman named Tara speaking of the Buffalo shooter said that “the devil was really, really busy in that man.” Another resident of the neighborhood,his name is James, replied – “That’s not the devil. That’s America. They made him, they brought him up, they put him there.” ~ WAPO
4. “Bad chapters can still create great stories. Wrong paths can still lead to the right places. Failed dreams can create successful people. Sometimes it takes losing yourself to find yourself.” Cynthia Thurlow
Nothing is wasted. When the shadow sides of life can be seen as ‘teachers’ some pretty extraordinary things can happen.
5. “The so-called replacement theory is obviously racist, dangerous and dehumanizing. But on top of everything else, it’s also incredibly stupid. I mean, just think about it for, like, half a second — no one’s being replaced. There’s no capacity limit here. It’s not like there’s a bouncer who only lets two in when two leave.” ~ Seth Meyers
Replacement theory is the FOX News hot topic these days. Want to live into a better version of yourself? Here’s what you do. Completely avoid watching anything presented on that cable channel. Within a week you’ll feel better. You’ll actually begin to sound smarter.
6. In Florida, MAGA Republicans have a long list of things that educators have to pay attention to or lose their job. Good luck to our teachers. The good ones are being setup for failure. Cuz the good ones will rightfully raise all kind of issues the Governor and his cronies abhor.
What’s going to happen to a gay, progressive, history teacher who has an affinity for Mickey Mouse? Will he/she be able to bring any part of his/her true self into the classroom? In Florida, is authenticity valued?
What’s going to happen to an art teacher who asks his/her high school students to draw a picture depicting a scene from the history of their family? One student, of Japanese descent, shows family members interred at camps during WWII, another student draws a picture of her white ancestors taunting a Black student as she tries to enter a school, a young woman paints a picture of her and her mother and aunts marching for women’s rights, a Jewish student recreates a scene from his Bar Mitzvah with a smokestack in the background, another shows her family serving at a soup kitchen.
What happens if these drawings draw out some deep felt emotions? What happens if the classroom discussion gets a little edgy and a few students feel uncomfortable during this intense learning experience? What does the teacher do? Does he/she urge them to lean into that discomfort or is that not allowed? What happens to that teacher if even one parent objects to the assignment?
7. David Hayward, The Naked Pastor, has a drawing of an armed man walking away from the Gates of Heaven. He had just read a sign on the gates. “Welcome. No weapons allowed.”
8. “The gospel is less about how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven after you die and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die.” ~ Dallas Willard
Life is all about practicing for heaven.” – Richard Rohr
Heaven. Here’s your compass heading: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8
9. The crisis with the US church has almost nothing to do with being liberal or conservative; it has to do with giving up the faith & discipline of our baptism & settling for a common, generic US identity that is part patriotism, part consumerism, part violence, and part affluence. ~ Walter Brueggemann
10. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team fought hard on the pitch, earning the world’s respect. At the same time, they were fighting hard for compensation equal to what the men’s team has. They finally did it. Bravo.
11. Something new. The Rumblings are now available in podcast form at anitalustrea.com.