Mike’s Friday Rumblings – 08-12-22
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.
Rumble 1. “When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from those who have never left home.” ~ Rumi
We do it all the time. We seek the advice of those who aren’t in the know. I can never get rid of the image of a pillow manufacturer advising the White House on COVID strategies while real scientists were given the cold shoulder. Things like that happened a lot back then. Let’s not make the mistake of allowing it to happen again.
2. When Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) speaks I listen. 😀
“The metamorphosis of Jesus Christ from a humble servant of the abject poor to a symbol that stands for gun rights, prosperity theology, anti-science, limited government (that neglects the destitute) and fierce nationalism is truly the strangest transformation in human history.”
Why is it so strange? Because one only needs to read the gospels to see the real Jesus. And the real Jesus is not a gun rights, anti-science, nationalist kind of guy. We have this ugly habit of creating Jesus in our own image and likeness. Bad idea.
3. “You are already under oath to tell the truth,” Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said to Alex Jones. “You’ve already violated that oath twice today. … Just because you claim to think something is true does not make it true. It does not protect you. It is not allowed. You’re under oath. That means things must actually be true when you say them…”
“What Jones did was unspeakably vile: He claimed repeatedly — and falsely, with absolutely no factual basis, since none exists — that the 2012 Sandy Hook killings never happened at all, that they were some kind of “false flag” operation that was “a giant hoax,” and that the 20 dead children ripped to pieces by rounds from an assault rifle were nothing but “crisis actors.” ~ Eugene Robinson, WAPO
A lawyer for the plaintiffs was spot on when he said that “When Jones breathes he lies.” Jones and others like him, have had free reign to ply their sinister, conscience free and cowardly trade with little or no consequence.
Will this be Jones’s ‘come to Jesus’ moment. Who knows, huh? Miracles happen. My hunch, however, is that he’s burrowed so deep into the dark side of some version of hell that he wouldn’t recognize a miracle if he saw one.
But for now his wallet is thinner. He has to face three more trials. He will not be remembered as a good man. His willful, evil, intent and the damage he inflicted is part of the public record and seared into the consciousness of the Sandy Hook parents.
Unfortunately, he will most likely find ways to do even further damage and he will find his audience again. That’s what guys like that do. They know how gullible and malleable much of America has become.
4. Ron Sider died. He was, among other things, the author of “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.” That book greatly influenced my life and for that matter, a generation of Christians. He was an evangelical scholar, professor, writer, speaker and activist. Christianity Today described Sider as “the burr in ‘the ethical saddle’ of the white evangelical horse.”
I pulled one of the books he edited off my bookshelf this week. It’s entitled, “The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump.” Thirty sharp and insightful men and women, all evangelicals, contributed essays speaking to that spiritual danger. Kind of busts the stereotype a bit, huh?
Sider was always talking about tough subjects and inviting conversations about them. He frustrated many but he wasn’t afraid to be one of those voices crying in the wilderness. Well done, good and faithful servant.
5. “The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to others. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.” — Thomas Merton, Trappist monk.
Every one of us needs more than our selfish needs and desires give us. Every ‘me’ needs an ‘us’ willing and able to call us out when our narcissism gets the better of us. Merton is right. Contemplatives have their own demons they wrestle with.
6. “The Torah, the Mishah, the Talmud and later rabbinic sources consider the woman’s physical and emotional health before that of the fetus. Until the baby is born, Judaism considers the fetus to be part of the woman’s body. She is never the villain when difficult choices need to be made.” ~ Rabbi Mara Nathan
The phrase “she is never the villain when difficult decisions need to be made” touched something in me.
I have confessed many times that I clumsily embrace a “seamless garment” ethic as my approach to life issues. It’s not always easy. Caring about life issues from womb to the tomb has all kinds of intellectual, spiritual, and moral challenges attached to it.
Valuing the pregnant woman, actually seeing her, shouldn’t be one of those challenges.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision that effectively chopped up Roe v Wade, state legislatures, composed primarily of conservative white men, went to work and churned out a slew of anti-abortion legislation. The kindest thing I can say is that in their rush to respond they didn’t dot the i’s and neglected to cross the ‘t’s’. There were so many questions left unanswered. Many women felt unseen. The circumstances of their pregnancy and the reality of their overall health profile seemingly didn’t matter. They had become the enemy, the villain.
And then, when those women and others rose up in an angry protest, something totally astounding happened.
In conservative Kansas, voters went to the polls in unexpected numbers, and voted last week to
those women, refusing to categorically view them as the villain and the enemy.
Then there was Indiana …
Perhaps ‘selective seeing’ is our greatest sin – personally and collectively.
7. On Wednesday morning, I felt a disruption in the Force. I was feeling anxious and out of step.
And then there was this small, inner voice reminding me of the most basic of things. “Take a deep breath Mike. Remember what Jesus told us, that He is the vine and we are the branches. Stay connected. He’s got this.”
8. ‘Twas a good week for Joe Biden. Climate change legislation, more jobs, gas prices dropping, Medicare will now be able to negotiate with drug companies, etc.. A White House aide quipped – “We kept hearing ‘Let’s go Brandon. So we did.”
The man isn’t very flashy but he is dogged in his determination to do right by the American people.
Republicans pretty much decided to not support any of these things and actually derailed an attempt to lower insulin prices. No surprise. So disappointing. It would be nice, however, to see them at least try, if only a teensy-weensy bit, to be part of the democratic process.
9. “I’ve missed so much of my actual, human, beautiful, not-beautiful life trying to force things into perfect. But these days I’m coming to see that perfect is safe, controlled, managed. I’m finding myself drawn to mess, to darkness, to things that are loved to the point of shabbiness, or just wildly imperfect in their own gorgeous way. . .
And so, instead: present.
If perfect is plastic, present is rich, loamy soil. . . Present over perfect living is real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. Present over perfect living is the risky and revolutionary belief that the world God has created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms, and that it doesn’t need to be zhuzhed up and fancy in order to be wonderful.” ~ Shauna Niequest, Present over Perfect
To be present to God in the present moment. To be present to all those who cross our path. To be present to ourselves. That’s a good way to live. No one can do it perfectly. No one’s asking you to do that. God’s invitation is to at least try.
10. Thank you for reading my Rumblings. Thanks for taking the time to ‘like’ them and a big thanks to those of you who share them with your friends and family. I know sharing them can be a bit risky but maybe this is a time in history where ‘risk’ is needed. I’m going to be taking a bit of a break, heading North with Anita, and the plan is to be back mid-September. Blessings.