Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings – 06-03-2022
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 or read it below.
1. The message from the NRA last weekend was loud and clear. It sounded like this to me: “As long as there are Democrats and other creepo leftist enemies of the 2nd amendment, assault weapons will be needed.”
A NY Times opinion piece offered this gem: “During Trump’s address to the NRA, all guns, ammo, firearm accessories, knives and other scary items — including laser pointers and selfie sticks — were prohibited.”
“There are 50 senators…who refuse to vote on HR 8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago….ninety percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks…. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote despite what we the American people want…because they want to hold onto their own power.” ~ Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Let’s be honest. We do have a gun problem. There’s no denying that. We also have a people problem. Too many of us have lost sight of goodness, perhaps even the desire to be good. We have lost sight of caring for the other. We have embraced me-ism. Selfish people + easy access to guns is a problem. When character is forsaken, when common sense is devalued, when legislative cowardice becomes normal, and when we embrace all the absurd Wild, Wild West narratives, is there any doubt that we are in trouble as a nation?
It certainly doesn’t help matters that one political party and its subsidiary, the NRA, seemingly doesn’t exist as a force committed to making democracy viable, serving all the people of this country and solving problems. It has devolved into a conspiracy driven, anti-democratic force, more inclined towards authoritarian rule.
Of course, on the other side of the aisle, strains of smugness and self-righteousness are quite evident. That party has its own subsidiaries that one dares not threaten. They have their own version of ‘selective listening’ and it doesn’t serve them or us well.
We are a mess as a nation at the moment. Corporately and individually – a hot mess. Prayer, some deep interior work, activism, getting out the vote, calling out hypocrisy, standing against evil, standing up for the good, and continued efforts to build bridges of understanding are the tasks before us.
2. If you set the bar low and over excel – that can be a good thing I guess. I’m attracted to people who set a higher bar even though they know there is a chance they’re not going to hit it. I love their effort and dogged determination as they continue to try. That effort and determination is the real prize.
3.“There’s three things you need to know in life. What you desire, what you believe, and what you have to do. They don’t always line up.” ~ The Lincoln Lawyer (terrific Netflix series)
This is a riff off of Thomas Aquinas who suggested that the alignment of desire, belief and action make for a more satisfying life and is the pathway towards redemption. I agree with Aquinas and identify with the Lincoln Lawyer – sometimes alignment is tricky.
4. “My home is in Christianity but I have cottages everywhere.” ~ David Hayward
Hope you do too. Those who are curious need them.
5. If you play fast and loose with the biblical narrative you could make a pretty good case for genocide, slavery, patriarchy, retributive violence, segregation, polygamy, prostitution, etc..
Of course, playing fast and loose with scripture is not what we’re asked to do. I find it helpful to consider the life and teachings of Jesus. Doing that helps curb my enthusiasm for making a case based solely on my current preferences which can be profoundly suspect.
6. “Everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed and strange,
Minds made muddied and mute.
We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.
And yet none of it is new;
We knew it as home,
Even our children
Cannot be children,
It’s a hard time to be alive,
And even harder to stay that way.
We’re burdened to live out these days,
While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.
This alarm is how we know
We must be altered —
That we must differ or die,
That we must triumph or try.
Thus while hate cannot be terminated,
It can be transformed
Into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;
May our signed right to bear arms
Never blind our sight from shared harm;
May we choose our children over chaos.
May another innocent never be lost.
Maybe everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed & strange.
But only when everything hurts
May everything change.” ~ Amanda Gorman
7.“ … Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, and insipid. When faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain, when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.” ~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
8. “In America you had the forced removal of the natives onto reservations, coupled with slavery, followed by segregation. Imagine all three of those things happening to the same group of people at the same time. That was apartheid.” ~Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
If we stop long enough to process something like this, our lives could change. We just might move from being nonchalant to ‘holy crap, we can’t allow things like this to ever happen again.’ If we remain nonchalant, then we reveal who we really are and it’s not pretty. And it will happen again.
9. “There is something deeply hypocritical about praying for a problem you are unwilling to resolve.” ~ Miroslav Volf
All the thoughts and prayers lately, offered to the Lord God Almighty, might result in our good God saying “Go, be the answer to the problem you’re asking me about. Yes, you.”
10. “ … At a lecture in Israel, I heard one of my favorite rabbis, Donniel Hartman, say, “A life of faith isn’t just about walking with God, but how one walks with humanity. The core feature of a moral life is to see. Choosing not to see is immoral. The goal of religion is to improve our willingness and our ability to see.” A spiritual life is supposed to help us see better.
The aim of Love, and any God worth worshipping, is improved sight . . . See your neighbor suffering and do something about it. See a stranger laboring under a heavy load and help out. See lies spoken and shared in social media and call foul. See a friend soaring, and say, “I see you, beautiful creature! …” ~ Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Center for Action and Contemplation