Mike’s Rumblings – 11-17-23
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.“I want you to be grateful that you’re going through this sad moment with all these other folks. Because I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad. Ain’t nobody in this room alone.” ~ Ted Lasso
Thumbs way up for the power of community. May we all find it and thank God for it. And if we can’t find it, perhaps we can help create it. It’s really needed at holiday time.
2. “We have just learned that Santa’s been reading our posts all year. And most of us are getting history and civics books. Some of us are getting books on spelling, theology and civility.” ~ Clergy Coaching Network
I hope some people get remotes for their TV with no on button. And some of the punditainers need muzzles. For sure Santa will be delivering many, many moral compasses.
3. When our religious beliefs cause people harm, it’s well beyond the time to reconsider what we believe and why.
4. Grace cannot be understood by any ledger of merits and demerits. It cannot be held to patterns of buying, losing, earning, achieving, or manipulating. Grace is, quite literally, “for the taking.” It is God eternally giving away God—for nothing—except the giving itself.” ~ Richard Rohr
Why is God so generous? He knows not how to be anything else.
5. “In order for me to write poetry that isn’t political, I must listen to the birds, and in order to hear the birds the war planes must be silent.” ~ Marwan Makhoul
6. Stories are floating around about what the culture wars and Christian Nationalism have done to churches. Congregants, it seems, are pushing back on pastors using Jesus’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ as preaching material. They’re calling it woke, soft, and very much aligned with liberal talking points. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Don’t know the Sermon on the Mount? Here’s a sneak peek.
-God blesses those who are poor and those who mourn.
-God blesses those who are humble and those who hunger and thirst for justice.
-God also blesses the merciful and those whose hearts are pure, those who work for peace and those who are persecuted for doing what’s right.
I’m sure some pastors, knowing the prevailing political bent of their congregants, will choose to avoid using Jesus’s words as source material. As a result, they won’t sleep well but they also won’t have to hire security.
The sobbing you hear is from Heaven itself.
7. “Great acts of faith are seldom born out of calm calculation. It wasn’t logic that caused Moses to raise his staff on the bank of the Red Sea. It wasn’t common sense that caused Paul to abandon the law and embrace grace. And it wasn’t a confident committee that prayed in a small room in Jerusalem for Peter’s release from prison. It was a fearful, desperate, band of believers that were backed into a corner.” ~ Shawn Fain, President of the United Auto Workers as reported by John Blake, CNN
Fain was speaking to the United Auto Workers prior to their strike. I find that to be fascinating. Obviously, he’s a man of deep faith. These words – “a fearful, desperate band of believers were backed into a corner” – got to me. In the world we live in I often feel both desperate and afraid and backed into a corner. Bet you do too. In those times I long for other fearful, desperate believers who, when their backs are against the wall, seek God . And not in a perfunctory manner. No, they seek God with everything they’ve got because they know there’s no room for weak and polite prayers in the kind of world we’re living in.
8. “There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man and a woman is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty. The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” ~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
“…some are guilty but all are responsible .” I assume he’s referring to me and you.
9. If the presumed MAGA nominee for President (the one with 91 indictments and four trials) actually wins the election, undocumented immigrants (including the Dreamers) will be deported by the hundreds of thousands, no matter how or when or why they got here. He’s vowing to round them up, put them in big camps, and then ship them out without any due process, all the while building that big wall to keep them out forever. Whew. And he will do that at the same time he’s getting even with his political foes, going hard after those he calls ‘vermins’ (one of the favorite words of Nazis), and cozying up to other authoritarian, anti-democracy world leaders.
My hunch is that he’ll also figure out how to monetize all that hate and anger for his personal benefit.
Wowser. What a vision for America, huh?
Does our immigration policy need fixing? Yes, it does. And soon. Draconian measures, however, that tear apart families, sending people back to dangerous, perhaps deadly situations is not the solution. Even entertaining the thought of deportation camps, with no due process available, and with no consideration of our undocumented neighbors who have lived in the USA in meritorious ways for a long time is flat out sinful.
Seriously, there’s something quite troubling about those who just can’t wait for the day when ‘those people’ will be punished and finally gone.
The sign, a while back, outside the Madison Avenue Baptist Church in NYC made a really good point: “Rather than a wall, America needs to build a giant mirror to reflect on what we’ve become.”
Yes, that rings true. But who will actually step up to do that reflection?
10. $76,000,000 is the buy out of Jimbo Fisher’s football coaching contract at Texas A&M. It will be paid by the athletic department and a foundation supported by wealthy boosters.
You know that mirror I mentioned in Rumble #9. It’s also needed in big time college sports.