Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings – 05-27-2022
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider hearing. You may agree or disagree but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version.
1. “It always amazes me that many, if not most, white supremacists consider themselves to be devout Christians, when their main message is hatred and rejection of those they consider to be “other.” Jesus says, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13).
And you wonder what today’s white supremacists would make of a Middle Eastern man, most likely dark-skinned, speaking Aramaic, whose family had once been refugees, who was asking them to “welcome the stranger.” And in fact telling them that this was one of the litmus tests for entrance into heaven (Mt. 25).
Or what they would make of that same man’s Parable of the Good Samaritan, where the salvation of the beaten man lying by the side of the road depends on the one he considers as “other,” “different,” “foreign” (Lk 10).
Actually, it’s not hard to imagine what white supremacists would do to someone like that: the same thing that the Romans did.” ~ James Martin S.J.
Preach Fr. Martin, preach. Preach about the heart of Jesus and against what we’re doing to dishonor Him.
2. “Christian Nationalism can be messy to define, but it’s critical to recognize its three animating impulses: freedom, order and violence — the ideology’s holy trinity. The freedom belongs only to Americans these nationalists see as like them (White men). The order is to be imposed on all those they don’t (everyone else). And righteous violence is to be deployed as necessary to achieve this twisted vision… White Christian nationalism …is anchored in a mythological version of American history that goes something like this: America was founded as a Christian nation; the founders were traditional Christians; the founding documents are biblically based; God has therefore bestowed immense wealth and power on America and given it a mission to spread freedom and religion around the world; but that mission and those blessings are now threatened by the presence of non-Whites, non-Christians and non-native-born people on American soil…” ~ Samuel Perry and Philip S. Gorski,WAPO
This is at the epicenter of the battle for the heart and soul of our country. Will Christian Nationalism end up ruling the day? I sure hope not. I like a country that values cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and religious diversity. Don’t you? You gotta work a little harder in a diverse culture but it’s well worth the effort. And when that culture is under attack, good people have to rise up in defense of it. That’s us, right?
3. Archbishop Cupich in Chicago (on NPR): “”The Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them.”
4. The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that “The Florida Department of Education is accepting bids from companies …to provide social studies books for a five-year period starting in 2023. The department posted a 29-page document that lists criteria for what is expected to be included in the books – and what’s expected to be left out.
Critical race theory, social justice, culturally responsive teaching, social and emotional learning, and any other unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination are prohibited.”
Florida is not a healthy place for educators, My guess it’s also not a healthy place for people like me who write things like this. 😀 But, if the Governor gets his way, it will be a haven for anyone who wants to bring back the dark ages.
5. Everything has changed. Is this a time of opportunity? I think it is. This might be the time of our greatest impact, the time where our voice is desperately needed, and where our silence just might be a detriment to the cause of Christ.
7. “Our religion is not working well: suffering, fear, violence, injustice, greed, and meaninglessness still abound. This is not even close to the reign of God that Jesus taught. And we must be frank: in their behavior and impact upon the world, Christians are not much different than other people.
Many Christians are not highly transformed people; instead, they tend to reflect their own culture more than they operate as any kind of leaven within it…
Let’s be honest: religion has probably never had such a bad name. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by some, “toxic” by many, and often as a large part of the problem rather than any kind of solution. . .
Most Christians have not been taught how to plug into the “mind of Christ”; thus, they often reflect the common mind of power, greed, and war instead. . .This is getting us nowhere.
Throughout the history of Christianity, it would seem Jesus’ teaching has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. Could this be the real core of the Gospel? Such people experience God rather than merely have disconnected ideas about God…
We must rediscover what St. Francis of Assisi called the “marrow of the Gospel.” It’s time to rebuild from the bottom up. If the foundation is not solid and sure, everything we try to build on top of it is weak and ineffective. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that so much is tumbling down around us. It’s time to begin again …” ~ Richard Rohr
Order. Disorder. Reorder. That is the pattern imbedded in all of Creation. Much is tumbling down. That’s OK. It’s time. Something new is about to be birthed. Do we want in on it or not? If yes, we will have to do some deep interior work.
8. Not sure what happened at your place of worship, as a response to the shootings in Buffalo and SoCal, but I pray something happened that reminded people of their responsibility in a world spinning off its moral axis. This was our Senior Pastor’s response. Spot on from my perspective.
“This past week on behalf of Church of the Palms I expressed to our sister congregation Light of the World Church via their pastor our sadness and our outrage over the murders of 10 African-American people in Buffalo. It is understood that these shootings were racially motivated and fueled by racist conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories profile people. Conspiracy theories dehumanize people. Conspiracy theories kill people. Each of the 10 was a human being with a name and story and the image of God planted within them.
Far too quickly events like this turn into political and Media Theater that turn into naming and blaming and more conspiracy theory and more killing – not to mention unjust legislation and bias.
Followers of Jesus have no business in these theories. Followers of Jesus have one theory – to love one another. And with that comes grace and mercy and hearts that break. We weep with those who weep. We grieve with those who grieve. And we stand up for those who are being put to the ground. And we must leave no doubt that our greatest concern is the justice given to and the well-being of all people. If you have any other theory it is probably wrong – the only thing that is right is for us to love our neighbor enough for our hearts to be broken when any neighbor, any group of neighbors, is deemed unworthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you wonder why we talk about race here and racial justice. This is why. We must unequivocally seek out justice and equity for all as the only antidote to madmen. And here is a place to start – seek out a person of color in your life and tell them about your broken heart and ask them about theirs. And if you have no person of color in your life then figure out why that is and do something about it.” ~ Pastor Steve McConnell
We also lifted up, by name, all those killed in Buffalo as well as Dr. John Cheng from the Taiwanese church in California. This week we will have new names. This time from Texas. Lord have mercy.
9. Jesus replied, “Come and see.” So, they went and saw. It changed everything. It still does.
10. “I am so tired of waiting,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
Let us take a knife
And cut the world in two –
And see what worms are eating
At the rind” ~ Langston Hughes