Science of Mind:
There is a place where we begin and leave off physically, but there is no place where we begin and leave off mentally or spiritually.
If we do not merge with others in cooperation, in unity, and in happiness, we may be certain that there is something in us that feels it has been rebuffed or rejected.
In truth, the heart, like the Earth, is continually blanketed by ever-changing atmospheres that come and go between who we are and how we leave our days.
If we could only suspend our judgement when clouded in the heart. For many skepticisms are born from conclusions draw while unable to see, as if any kind of understanding will prevent the clouds from coming or going, again and again.
But no clouds last forever.
The Earth and all that grows from it knows this well. So does the heart and everything that grows from it, in spite of all our very understandable pains.
…a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical,
Christo-centric, social justice-oriented, queer-inclusive,
incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient / future
church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.
“And it started with eight people in my living room (seven) years ago.
And it’s such a freak show. OK, the thing is, is literally you walk in now and you will see a convicted felon serving communion to a statewide elected official next to a teenager with pink hair holding the baby of a soccer mom from the suburbs. And I thought the weirdness of my congregation was going to be diluted, right? It is only weirder now. You walk in, you go, “I am unclear what all these people have in common.”
‘But you were born for such a day as this.’ […] And my parents embraced me and they gave me a blessing and they prayed over me. And like it’s very scriptural that you need a blessing to go and do what you’re going to do and to be who God’s called you to be. And the fact that my blessing got to come from my Church of Christ parents is one of the most profound gifts in my lifetime.
And so if people feel that God has called them to something and you have trepidation, you need to get a blessing from someone. And if it can’t be your parents, find somebody else, because I cannot tell you how that released me and freed me to go and do the work I did. And I feel like it’s this thing in the Bible that we’ve forgotten about. And for me, it ended up being really critical and profound to go with a blessing.”
-Luther Pastor Nadia Bolz-Webber, House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver
[On giving the sermon at the funeral of a teenage boy who had committed suicide
When I heard about this kid, and I heard about all of these wonderful things about him, and how queer he was, and how he played piano, all this stuff about him — he struggled with just a tiny bit of heroin and mental health problems. When I heard about him, I thought, “That is exactly the kind of guy Jesus would hang out with.” We see the cast of characters Jesus surrounded himself with, people for whom life was hard, and who had some colorful things going on, and rank fishermen, and prostitutes, and tax collectors, and these are the kind of people Jesus chose to surround himself with, and I think that’s important. I have no idea how Christianity went from that to what it is now.]
‘For most of human history, the rules of power were clear: power was something to be seized and then jealously guarded. This “old power” was out of reach for the vast majority of people. But our ubiquitous connectivity makes possible a different kind of power. “New power” is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It works like a current, not a currency–and it is most forceful when it surges. The battle between old and new power is determining who governs us, how we work, and even how we think and feel.’
‘My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.’
Duke of Saxony: Well, if so, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?
Gutenberg: Prince-elector, we print indulgences.
Highlights From the Gutenberg Hearings
An empire’s potentates size up the risks of new technology
By Andrew Kahn
Archbishop of Cologne: Let’s say I’m communicating with my friends using a printing press and indicate that I love a certain kind of chocolate. And all of a sudden I start seeing, all along the edges of my Bible, little decorations about chocolate: Jesus eating chocolate, apostles wrestling a bar of chocolate, a big letter A covered in flowers made out of chocolate. What if I don’t want to receive those illuminations?
Gutenberg: We’re considering letting users pay a small fee not to see the chocolate.
Trier: But consider if someone in another country—like Saxony, for example—if a man—a large, 400-pound man in Saxony—he hacked your pringus to put out papers with, written on the documents, the pope’s worst mistake and then he asked the devil to convince everybody, using these fake propagandas, to convince them against the pope?
Trier: And then we get the gosh-darned Thirty Years’ War.
Brilliant. Full article:
The Decemberists’ Shiny, Happy Protest Album
“There’s something therapeutic in looking at the apocalypse and laughing,” Colin Meloy says of the band’s I’ll Be Your Girl.
[Excerpt from interview with The Decembrists’ Colin Meloy in The Atlantic]
Kornhaber: I saw you called the album an “apocalyptic dance party,” which feels like a term that could describe a lot of albums lately.
Meloy: We’re having a very shared experience. It’s almost galvanizing, people coming out of the woodwork and saying, “Shit is fucked up.” There’s something therapeutic in looking at the apocalypse and laughing.
I was hearing a story about that incident in Hawaii when a false missile alert came down. There were a couple guys on a golf course whose phones went off at the same time, and they went through how much time they had, where they could go, what they could actually accomplish. And they came to the conclusion that the best thing they could do is continue playing golf. There was nothing else they could do. That, in some ways, is a shared experience in this country right now.
Kornhaber: That story sounds like a future Decemberists song topic. But there’s a capitulation in it, right?
Meloy: Obviously the golfers in Hawaii is not analogous to our current predicament. It is a thought experiment: The apocalypse is 10 minutes away; what really can you do? If you want to talk literally, I don’t think we are in that dire circumstances. Responding to that intuition to shout out that things are broken is some way forward. We’re not leading the charge, but it feels good to lend our voices to that ever-growing chorus of people who are saying, This is not right.
Kornhaber: How much do you want this read as a Trump album?
Meloy: I don’t think I set out to make an overtly topical or political record. The songs just came from where we were and where my head was at in the last year and a half. I didn’t want to go too over-the-top. For one thing, I don’t know that I feel like the white straight-male voice is really the voice that needs to be amplified right now, or necessarily be the one singing protest music. There is powerful and topical music to be made by those communities who are oppressed. I don’t think it’s necessarily my place. That said, you can’t help but have some of that stuff just come through the cracks as you’re working.
5 Indigenous Women Asserting the Modern Matriarchy
They’re reclaiming the tradition of female leadership and turning the old, white, male-dominated perspective of history on its head.
It is precisely because this historical narrative is biased that righting this wrong isn’t as simple as cherry-picking the names of notable Native women and inserting them into textbooks or other media. In order to truly improve public understanding of important indigenous women in history, the entire narrative has to be restructured. And who better to do that than Native women themselves?
Today, contemporary indigenous women are taking the matter into their own hands and showing the public how to rethink, reframe, and relearn a new American-Canadian story that seamlessly incorporates the voices of indigenous women. These women are living in the tradition of their ancestors, whose societies and nations were often matriarchal. They are reclaiming the tradition of female leadership and turning the old, white, male-dominated perspective of history on its head.
The following are five Native American and First Nations women who are using their platforms in such profound ways that they are also, in a sense, making history.
Mountain West News Bureau
“The data breach prompted a “Delete Facebook” movement that hasn’t really gained any traction.
That’s especially true in the Native American community, where Facebook is much more than sharing cat videos or keeping in touch with friends and family.
Social media is vital in Indian Country. It helps connect communities and reservations that are scattered across North America. Many are in rural, isolated places that don’t get a lot of attention from national media outlets.
Places like Pablo, a small, one-highway town in northwest Montana where Patrick Yawakie goes to college. He was an organizer for Native Lives Matter a couple years ago.
And in Indian Country that message can also be about mundane things — from community classes to bike donations and fundraisers. And then there are public service announcements that can actually save lives.
When a bad blizzard caused a state of emergency on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, people used Facebook to warn which roads were closed and to get food to needy families.
But as much as she loves Facebook, Lamb said indigenous communities would find other ways to get in touch and organize if it disappeared. She pointed to the founding of the American Indian Movement in the late 1960s.
“They didn’t have Facebook and I think they got a lot of things done,” she said. “So they would obviously adapt and change to the world and find a way. There’s always a way.”
“A true account of the early 20th-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.”
“In his new book, Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann describes how white people in the area conspired to kill Osage members in order steal their oil wealth, which could only be passed on through inheritance. “This was a culture of complicity,” he says, “and it was allowed to go on for so long because so many people were part of the plot. You had lawmen, you had prosecutors, you had the reporters who wouldn’t cover it. You had oilmen who wouldn’t speak out. You had morticians who would cover up the murders when they buried the body. You had doctors who helped give poison to people.”
Steve Inskeep and author David Gann:
Richard Rohr, American Franciscan friar and author
”Being on the edge of the inside…”
“Your body is not an isolated, separate entity. We are our truest selves only in community—with our ancestors (carrying their stories and DNA), our natural environment, and our neighbors. We hold the mystery of transformation…”
Today Barbara Holmes continues reflecting on the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) and their evolving, embodied way of fighting for justice:
As the millennials will tell you, “This is not your grandmother’s Civil Rights Movement (CRM).
”They are right. Although both the CRM and BLMM seek the betterment of life for black people and their communities and both resist oppression with contemplative practices and activism, they use different strategies and leadership models and seek different goals. . . .
The BLMM is a decentralized network of local organizations. . . . Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the BLMM, says, “We are not leaderless, we are leader-full.”  . . . It is difficult to infiltrate, undermine, or disrupt an organic movement that draws its power from regenerating communal cells. . . .
During the CRM, the blindness of dominant culture to the plight of the African American community meant that the message had to be delivered by one voice in language that white Americans could understand and support. Lives were at stake, and [Martin Luther] King’s biblical and patriotic references combined with his soaring oratory ignited the nation and inspired the movement.
Now, fifty plus years after the CRM, another approach is needed, and the BLMM like the LGBTQIA justice movements are updating the art of contemplative confrontation and noncompliance with the status quo . . . oppression and violence against black bodies. Today, the most respectable image that young protesters can offer is their authenticity, resolute voices, and pride in community and culture. . . . The BLMM uses disruption for transformation rather than the predictable politeness and political compromises that were part of the ordinary negotiations of social activists. . . .
They block traffic and refuse to allow “business as usual.” The response is not riot or violence, it is the twenty-first-century version of the sit-in. CRM activists got parade permits and stayed along the side of the road so as not to interfere with traffic. BLM activists “shut it down” with song, putting their bodies on the line. . . .
BLM activists are not singing “we shall overcome,” they are not saying “I am yet holding on” or “making a way out of no way” like the church mothers and fathers of old. They are saying “we ain’t gonna stop ‘til our people are free” and “I can’t breathe,” as they shut down malls and highways to stop the killing of young black men and women. [Far too often, by the very officers who are supposed to “protect and serve,” I might add.]
Let America Be America Again
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!
-Langston Hughes, 1902-1967
Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief
“This Is What It Was Like Learning To Report Before Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In The World
As a young reporter in Eastern Europe in 2001, I expected to witness the “end of history” and the flowering of democracy. That was just one of the mistakes I made.
I recognized myself in Suzy Hansen’s recent book on the delusions of our generation of Americans abroad, Notes on a Foreign Country.
“I would never have admitted it, or thought to say it, but looking back, I know that deep in my consciousness I thought that America was at the end of some evolutionary spectrum of civilization, and everyone else was trying to catch up,” she wrote.
There’s an axiom in reporting — crystallized by Janet Malcolm in The Journalist and the Murderer — that at the core of journalism is betrayal. I thought that’s what I’d done to Shydlovski. And I’ve thought a lot about the balance of responsibility to your sources and to your readers.
I had left Belarus on an overnight train the day after the election, and crossed the Ukrainian border on the morning of Sept. 11, as clear a day in that region as it was in New York. That afternoon, I sat in a Kiev newsroom watching my past assumptions about American power crumble, and walked outside to watch Ukrainians lining up at exchange bureaus to turn in their dollars. The story moved on.
Kozak, though, stuck around; he’s still working on the Lukashenko project from his desk in Foggy Bottom. And his own experience, he said, had taught him not to trust confident judgments about the future of an authoritarian.
“You get that blithe assumption that the status quo will always remain — or that this guy is so bad he’s got to go,” he said. “Neither are necessarily true, nor necessarily false.”
And Kozak is right: The main lesson I should have learned was about making predictions, about trusting the confidence of my American culture and of official sources on both sides, of imagining I knew more than I did. Even in the era of Steven Spielberg’s The Post and of a kind of glorification of the work of journalists, good reporting doesn’t offer easy lessons. It’s an uncertain business, and a necessarily anarchic one. Now I’m glad I wrote Shydlovski’s story, not despite the fact that I didn’t know where it would lead, but because of it.”