Mike’s Rumblings – 04-14-23
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. “Just because you have power doesn’t mean you have permission to abuse power.” ~ Justin Pearson
Last Thursday, as votes were being cast in the Tennessee House for the expulsion of ‘The Tennessee Three’, I remember thinking that there was no way the MAGA GOP members would allow the white woman to stay and the Black men to be expelled. I thought that they couldn’t be that stupid and they’d come to the realization that the optics would be horrible.
I was wrong.
They were that stupid.
And the optics were indeed awful.
When representative Gloria Johnson was asked why she survived being expelled (by one vote) while two of her colleagues (Justin Jones and Justin Pearson) were booted out of the Tennessee House she said: “Well, I’m a sixty year old white woman and they are two young Black men.”
Overt displays of racism should make us all cringe. What happened in the mad rush to get even with ‘The Tennessee Three’ was ugly stuff. America got another inside look at what happens when hate attempts to prevail over justice. All that was missing were the white robes and hoods.
Adding insult to injury, House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) went on an interview with a Knoxville radio station. He suggested that the brief nonviolent protest the three representatives participated in, was an “insurrection equivalent to or worse than that at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”
“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” ~ James Baldwin
Ignorance that was allied with power got smacked around this week didn’t it? It was just one battle in a long war but a message was sent to the Tennessee GOP and to the entire MAGA world. That message declared that “Justice ain’t goin’ down easy.”
2. Ruth Haley Barton posted this prayer from “Every Moment Holy”. I find it helpful during this particular time and place in history.
“O God our Rock,
hold us in this chaos.
O Christ our King,
calm us in this storm.
O Holy Spirit,
Intercede for us.
most merciful God!
O God our Rock,
hold us in the chaos
of this hard hour.
O Christ our King,
calm us in the storm
of our distress.
O Holy Spirit,
We need you now,
most merciful God!”
3. Until the Lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero.” ~ African Proverb.
A lot of what’s being banned these days has to do with hunters not allowing lions to tell their side of the story. I wonder what they’re afraid of?
4. The temptation these days is to just go with the flow. It’s actually a good strategy at times. Don’t sweat the small stuff, eh?
But what about the bigger stuff, like the issues fueling our culture wars, the erosion of societal trust, the abandonment of agreed upon cultural norms and the violence at our doorstep? Is laying back and just going with the flow the best way to address these problems?
I’m resonating with those who say “to hell with that idea.”
There’s just too much at stake.
Going with the flow at this particular time, with these big issues in play, would be cowardly.
It would be sinful.
Bonhoeffer says: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Going with the flow means aiding and abetting those who want to do harm and who count on our indifference and lack of resolve.
Good people know that doing
the next right thing, in the right way,
is the narrower
5. “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” ~ Susan B. Anthony
Whenever I hear the words “God told me” I get more than a bit uneasy. Oftentimes, what God told them seems to contradict just about everything I know about God.
6. “We often look for the miracle that rescues us instead of the miracle that transforms us.” ~ Anita Lustrea
7. “Jesus’ primary metaphor for the mystery of transformation is the sign of Jonah … Jesus knew well the graphic story of Jonah the prophet who ran from God and was used by God almost in spite of himself. Jonah was swallowed by a whale and taken where he would rather not go. This was Jesus’ metaphor for death and rebirth…Rather than look for impressive apparitions or miracles, Jesus said we must go inside the whale’s belly for a while. Then and only then will we be spit out on a new shore and understand our call, our place, and our purpose…” ~ Richard Rohr
Metaphorically speaking, have you ever been inside the whale’s belly and spit out on a new shore? Some of you have. There’s a renewed clarity to your call, your place in the order of things, and your sense of purpose. Transformation is an ongoing process. It’s like being born again, again and again and again. Wowser. It’s a game changer isn’t it?
8. “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness, and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? … Folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something… that there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo…and it’s worth fighting for… “ – Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings
So what are you fighting for? What’s so good in your life and in our world that you dare not let it go?
9. If you want to learn how to pray watch Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is always talking to and with God. Nothing was too unimportant, even an injury to his horse.
“Dear God, was that necessary? Did you have to make him lame just before the Sabbath? That wasn’t nice. It’s enough you pick on me. Bless me with five daughters, a life of poverty, that’s all right. But what have you got against my horse? Really, sometimes I think, when things are too quiet up there, you say to yourself, ‘Let’s see, what kind of mischief can I play on my friend, Tevye? ‘“
Honest, bold prayers can and should be prayed. Haven’t we all wondered about the circumstances of our lives? Haven’t we all wondered whether or not there is some kind of mischief maker, meddling with our lives, that God seems to have lost sight of? An honest conversation with our Maker is never a bad thing to do.
In many respects, my Rumblings are prayers. I try to write these things ‘unto the Lord’. Each week there’s a big portion of “help us, O God” and “save us from our enemies” going on. There’s also a healthy dose of “Lord, help us come to our senses.”
10. I believe children and other living things are far more valuable than assault rifles and absurd, dangerous, and self-serving interpretations of the 2nd Amendment.