Mike’s Friday Rumblings – 07-29-22
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 audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, 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. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
This is why so many needed initiatives struggle to get passed in Congress. Follow the money and you’ll see who legislators are really beholden to and why they aren’t willing to change the rules of engagement. It’s nothing new. You’d think the quite obvious existential threats to our planet might force a change but money is a powerful, powerful enticement. It’s been the ruin of many of us.
No matter the organization there is always a danger that ‘love of money’ will rear its ugly head. It seems there’s always one person, with dubious motives and a large bank account, lurking in the background, looking for just one greedy soul, willing to throw integrity to the wind.
2. Religion is one of the safest places to hide from God.” – Richard Rohr
I’ve seen this happen. I’ve done it myself. I found myself hiding. God came looking for me. I kept hiding. In plain sight I hid, but in my defense I did hold up a sign that declared religious practice and sound doctrine were sufficient and that knowing a lot about God was equal to or better than being in an intimate, loving relationship with the Almighty. And it was easy to find others who believed that too.
Once again, I was wrong. 🙁
3. “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.” ~ Amanda Gorman
4. “Two people read the same Bible.
One sees reasons to love.
The other reasons to hate.
One sees unity.
The other division.
One finds prejudice.
The other equality.
One discovers compassion.
The other, indifference.
The other malice.
Two people, one book.
One book, two views.
The book is a mirror.
The reflection is you.” ~ Mindful Christianity
Pope Francis began a weeklong trip on July 24 across Canada, meeting with indigenous communities, calling it a “pilgrimage of penance”. The Pope issued a historic apology Monday for the Catholic Church’s cooperation with Canada’s “catastrophic policy of Indigenous residential schools”, saying “the forced assimilation of Native peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, severed families and marginalized generations in ways still being felt today.”
Obviously, the Pope opened his Bible and decided that confession and repentance, not indifference, were near and dear to God’s heart. He can’t fix the personal and generational pain that was inflicted upon indingenous people but his humility, honesty and sincere tears of remorse open a door to further healing. And the church will need to walk through those doors.
5. “Biblical faith calls it the Image of God in which we are all created. Thomas Merton calls it the true self. Quakers call it the inner light, or “that of God” in every person. The humanist tradition calls it identity and integrity.” ~ Parker Palmer
When we come home to our true self, a light goes on and our whole way of being begins to change. When we choose the false self, we turn off that light and nothing changes.
6. The Jan. 6 hearings, if nothing else, revealed the character or lack of it of the main players on that particular day. The former president was center stage of course and when he decided that throwing ketchup against the wall was far better than taking responsibility for his actions and saving lives, he revealed himself fully as the bad actor he truly is.
Joseph Heller of “Catch 22” fame might have been prophetic when he wrote this years ago.
“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”
Still and remarkably, 40% of Republicans surveyed in a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll consider January 6 “to be an unfortunate event that happened in the past and it’s of little or no concern now.” Wowser. What a world they live in.
By the way, “Run, Hawley, Run” memes still have me chuckling. As I said last week, it’s pretty much a clown show at this point. In doubt? Consider these gems.
-Florida GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz asked the question. “Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.”
-The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., got married on Friday. A few days earlier, his father voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.
7. “The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure…Negroes know far more about white Americans than that …The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.” ~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
My hunch is anything by Baldwin will end up on the ‘do not teach’ list in a variety of states. That saddens me because letting the brainwashing continue is a disservice to everyone.
8. In his terrific little book “Seeking God: Finding Another Kind of Life with St. Ignatius and Dallas Willard”, South African Methodist pastor Trevor Hudson describes a life changing conversation he had with his friend Dallas Willard. One evening he asked Dallas to recommend a list of books for him to read. Willard replied “I suggest you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
Hudson followed up asking him if there were any other books he should read. Willard replied: “My suggestion is that you take the next 20 years or so to read and meditate on these four gospels. Read them repeatedly, immerse yourself in the words, and deeds of Jesus, and commit to memory as much as you are able.”
Dallas Willard’s conviction was that if someone wanted to “interact with Jesus as his disciple, one must keep company with Him in the Gospels.”
What a beautiful and meaningful spiritual practice. I don’t know if I have twenty years left in me but to spend what ever time I have left in the company of Jesus is a very compelling thought.
9. “Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we don’t have to. He died on the cross so that we may join him there.” Dallas Willard
“When Christ calls someone he bids that person to come and die.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“If we truly want to know the life God gives us at its best, it’s deepest, it’s most flourishing, we need to learn to die daily. While this may not involve literal martyrdom, it will mean dying to all those aspects of our lives that prevent us from becoming the loving person God wants us to be. Life through death describes the pattern of authentic Christ following”. ~ Trevor Hudson
In order to rise, one must die. I’m pretty sure life is a series of mini-deaths and resurrections. If we can accept and embrace that concept, we’re well on the way to growing up.
10. In a cartoon by David Hayward, Jesus is talking to his disciples and says: “You have heard me say: be humble, forgive, love, and show mercy. But now I say unto you: ridicule those who disagree with you, despise people of other orientations, denigrate women, and above all be arrogant and rude.”
Satire has a way of getting our attention doesn’t it? In this case it should lead to some soul searching.