Sadly, I’m serious. As a retired child, adolescent/family psychotherapist of 38 years and an ordained interfaith minister, I am writing to tell you USA is not OK.
The interfaith academic and ministerial worlds have sensed the chaos, fear and anger brewing through America this Spring. Hopefully the greater religious world of at least the Big 5 (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) is listening intently, speaking loudly, and acting up sincerely to change the conversations towards invitations, acceptances and tolerations as we listen and talk to each other. Indeed, regardless of our beliefs and labels, we are One.
Communication is key. Perception is everything. Will honesty be more than fusing truth with little lies?
Yes. USA really is the mess it appears to be to you. I’m not exaggerating.
We struggle with a constitutional crisis with apparently an illegitimate rogue pathological president, government ceo and commander in chief that reminds the office may simply no longer be balanced with integrity checks. Does the US President have too much power?
We’re challenged with controlling bribed politicians that have hijacked our notions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our executive branch is unpredictable, prone to mood swings and presents with an emerging dementia birthing lying is the new norm. A toxic family, seemingly owned by Russia sleeps in D.C. while Republicans are complicit. You really can’t make this stuff up. No fiction here.
My personal prayer life poses inquiries. What is propaganda? When does telling the truth no longer matter? Do the ends justify the means all the time or just when it supports your point of view?
Morality sucks a wiener right here right now. America is out of control. Our societal controllers (both secular and Evangelical Christian are psychologically immature) and unable to support the task:
We have growing awareness that “all lives matter” and the civil war is yet unfinished. There is a contemporary civil war about deities, moral codes of conduct and some trusted officials (secular and religious) who are challenged to control their sexual desires yet are apparently compelled to preach false facts: America was not founded as a Christian nation. Don’t believe everything your pastors tell you.
I believe all sins can be forgiven… that’s why I do what I do. No sin in unforgivable.
We are angered and in pain about the EPA, Ryan Zinke, our U.S. Department of Education, Speaker of the House and and the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the gates of hell while procreating toxic new election laws.
Most of us have much respect and faith in the integrity of General Mattis although we are painfully aware USA dropped 26,171 bombs in foreign countries in 2016. Our military industrial military machine is out of control but safer in the hands of a trusted General.
An EU friend is concerned about “crazy stuff every day over there. You’re imploding!”
so yes. USA is in trouble.
Join me in prayerful solidarity… peaceful meditation… powerful imagination seeing what needs to happen to save the Republic for which we stand and maintain this world as a safer place. Endless war is toxic to our psyche. USA is a failing nation.
Pray for peace yet also pray for firm resolve that WE can collectively make a difference. Having lived my adolescence in the shadows of the Vietnam War, I testify from personal experience that protests can change the course of history.
Boycotts work. Protests can be contagious. Group psychology happens toward a new perspective. We co-create change.
Talk with me about waging war with peace…. for your kids… grand kids and the kids next door.
“José y Maria” by Rev. James Martin, SJ
The “scandal” of Christmas, as theologians call it, is that God became a person. Think of how shocking that must have sounded to people used to either the God of the Old Testament, the great and mysterious “I AM,” or the Greek philosophers’ conception of God—for example, Aristotle’s “Thought thinking thought.” But on the first Christmas, God entered the world in a particular time and a particular place and as a particular person: Jesus in first-century Galilee. That’s why this contemporary image of the Holy Family, “José y Maria,” by Everett Patterson, seems so perfect to me. Were God to enter the world today, it would be into a family more like this than the ones we see on Christmas cards. For one thing, the Holy Family wasn’t white. For another, they weren’t rich. Finally, they weren’t powerful. But there’s another reason I like this image, beyond the many clever visual puns. In his adult years, Jesus told us that what we do to the “least” of our brothers and sisters, we do to him. So when we see a poor family, a refugee family, a migrant family, we actually are seeing the Holy Family. Jesus resides there. The contemporary “scandal” of Christmas, then, is also a theological one: Why so many of us turn him away from our hearts, and decide, like the innkeeper in the Nativity story, that there is “no room” for him. If you make room in your heart for the Jesus of the Christmas cards, can you make room for the Jesus who presents himself to you today?
(Image: “José y Maria,” everettpatterson.com)