Theological Community, The Church, The World, The Blogosphere

@Joerg_Rieger on Deep Solidarity – Boston Poverty Consortium #OWS

October 30, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Do today’s faith communities understand that good news to the poor might imply addressing and ending the conditions that create poverty?

via Joerg Rieger on Deep Solidarity – Boston Poverty Consortium.

Decades ago, the Brazilian Bishop Dom Hélder Câmara put it this way: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.

Yes,  the questioning of capitalism (what Brian McLaren calls “Theo capitalism”),  causes quite a ruckus.  It is the People of God proclaiming Jesus as Lord,  as opposed to the Empire,  and it’s mythologies of “freedom” and “capitalism”. We have seen the deceptions in those words at play in the lives of the vast majority of people,  and most painfully in the desperately poor. More and more of the 99% are seeing the boundaries close in on them,  and so when the people begin to question the justice of this,  the cries of “heresy” arise in the secular liberal democracy sphere,  with “communist” and “socialist”.

Dr. Reiger describes this increasing sense of the hegemony of the 1% over the 99,  and the increasing angst of larger and larger numbers of  the latter, but also as the opportunity to be converted from a relative security to solidarity with others in this common predicament.

As those of us who do not belong to the one percent are increasingly pushed to the sidelines, even people in the middle are beginning to understand that we are more likely to be in the same boat with the poor and with working people. Solidarity is no longer a matter of the privileged helping the underprivileged; it is a matter of understanding what we have in common and how we all need to work together to organize and to embrace a different power.

The 1% cant abide mention of their real effects. They’re not done yet. #OWS

October 29, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Strain, a moderate, wrote that Yellen is now “in danger of becoming a partisan hack

via Yellen Mentions Inequality; Right Scandalized — NYMag.

Yeah,  for analyzing what is established FACT.  The Right yet again shows its UNHINGED-ness.


Rather than actually state that rising inequality is a problem in American life, she merely conceded that it is “appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history.”

So she puts it rather mildly (since it is most certainly “a problem”,  since that is why the economic figures are significant in the first place.  DUH! ).  But apparently the MENTION puts the conservative project in jeopardy (as it should.  It’s an obvious and ongoing disaster for the very meaning of “Middle Class”,  not to mention the apalling growth of the poor, as people slip from the ranks of that myth-laden aura of Middle Class  into the very real state of it being impossible to keep up with expenses without help.  Yeah,  good job “bootstrappers”.  I would really like to see these smug, condescending jerks cope with what they have hoisted upon the 99%.  If the “bottom portions” of that 99% are feeling the real pinch,  it is also seeping upward to pull more from the “Middle” downward.  It seems that the aim is onward and upward,  with 99% the goal,  so that all of the rest of the country become service workers for the 1%.  They were not happy with a thriving middle class, much less giving any help to the lower classes to climb up.

There is a little narrative that goes this way:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We might have one of these going in our country’s economic system.  The “I” is speaking from that “Middle Class”.

First they came for the hungry (slashing food programs, etc.)  and I did not speak out becuase I was not hungry.

Then they came for the sick (rising health care costs, opposing universal health care, opposing even tempered and compromised efforts like the Affordable Care Act,  and I did not speak out because I had health insurance through my employer.

Then they came for the workers,  gutting unions and cutting wages,  and I did not speak out because I was not in a union and had a pretty good paying job.

Then they came for the rest of the Middle Class, and there was no one left to speak for me.


(*  And no,  I’m not comparing the economic mess to the holocaust.  But it is serious,  and it is growing and needs to be stopped.  )

Some more great #OccupyTheology from @nathanairplane via NPR’s Krista Tippett

October 27, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Here is a quote from the video that encapsulates #OccupyTheology as well as any phrase could:

 Church! Act like a church!

(about 22:30 for the context)

via Krista Tippett with Nathan Schneider – YouTube.

On what he (Nathan) hopes for

about how people in the world are living that agency; building those kinds of communities that we need; to resist injustice that has sunk so deeply into our world; I hope we can learn to tell those stories better;I hope that we can learn to see that dignity that is within all of us; That divinity that comes when we organize together; when we meet each other face to face, and even sometimes, through a chat room. How to hold up those moments when we find our agency and are able to make a change; THAT’S WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

Some great #OccupyTheology : Lessons on the Bible from Occupy Wall Street (YouTube) by @nathanairplane

October 27, 2014 By: dlature Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Unsustainable theo-capitalism – @BrianMcLaren #OWS #PeoplesClimate

October 26, 2014 By: dlature Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate

The big question in my mind is whether people of faith and goodwill will rise up and successfully tame capitalism-gone-wild, or whether it will prove untamable and drive off the cliff of collapse.

via Five Good Answers with Author, Speaker, and Activist Brian D. McLaren : Matt Litton.

This seems to be my two overarching concerns right now (and Brian also wrote another book, on interfaith dialogue,  which came out at a time when I had begun looking deeply into the Islamaphobia running rampant in our country).  So it seems that Brian is often writing and speaking on things that I had come to believe were really important,  often very close to the same time.  He and I are both the same age,  I just discovered,  so perhaps therein is something very non-coincidental about it;  in addition to the fact that “capitalism gone wild” has come to the fore since the 2007-8 economic  recession and the 2010 boomerang of politics that thrust the GOP into their role as filibustering and blocking efforts to stop the inequality bleeding.

As a reader of about 4-5 of his books,  and reader of articles and “receiver” of many talks given by Brian over the years,  and one interview of which I am very proud (at The Wild Goose Festival in 2012,  when I asked him to talk about his thoughts on the Occupy movement),  I have also noticed how keenly concerned Brian is about the Climate Crisis (and so I was looking up some of the articles and book coverage he has given eco-theology over the years). I hope he’ll maybe write one about the church’s call to be a voice for this “stewardship of creation”,  as he has talked about many times.  It fits right in with the theme of deep inter-relatedness we have with one another and with our larger eco-system that sustains us.  For me,  it has become another glaring example of the effects of what Brian refers to as “theo-capitalism” that has run rough-shod over not only our economy,  but has proven to be unsustainable for the physical world.