Run Away! Run Away! Fear and the Problem of Progressivism

Let’s face it, progressives just don’t do fear well. Conservatives go to town with death panels and black helicopters, while progressives build arguments. It’s true in religion; it’s true in politics: progressives live in Reasonville while conservatives scare the hell into people. Take, for example, Pascal’s Wager, one of the enduring arguments concerning the god [Read More...]

Messy & Beloved? Yes.

Beloved Community is ever on my mind lately, both who we are and who we can be. My meditations are guiding me toward increasing clarity about my vision of Beloved Community – it cannot be a state of perfection. Because humans are essential elements in Beloved Community, it is/will be cluttered and messy if it [Read More...]

To Becoming Silent

by Pablo Neruda (translation by David Breeden) Now, let’s all count to twelve, then keep still. For once on this earth, let’s speak in no language. For once let’s stop and not move our arms so much. That would be a fragrant moment, without hurry, without movement; we would all be together in an instantaneous [Read More...]

Who does your heart break for?

Last month I had the joy of participating in the first Life on Fire un-conference (https://www.facebook.com/LifeOnFireTribe). I was drawn to the gathering by the questions being asked, as well as by the beloveds who were convening us. • Do you want to transform the world into the beloved community? • Do you want to live [Read More...]

The ABCs of Extortion

A. Thucydides–that Greek telling his story, human doings with nary a nod to the gods–said   the powerful extort what they can;   the weak pay what they must.   True enough to make a bon mot.   The powerful take, the weak give.   Person to person; city to state; and the empires the [Read More...]

Together

Beloveds, I believe that we are all in this together – and together, we can shift a culture that is dehumanizing us all – A culture that prioritizes paper with imaginary value over oxygen, clean water, livable communities, A culture that tells some of us we are better than others, tells some of us we are [Read More...]

Ideology

The government has come screeching to a halt because Speaker Boehner, under pressure from the Tea Party Republicans, will not allow the House to simply vote up or down on a continuing resolution to fund the government. (Since having an actual budget has bizarrely gone the way of the politically impossible.) Unless the Democrats agree [Read More...]

Who’s In and Who’s Out of Institutions (and the immigrants between)

The British social anthropologist Mary Douglas had this to say about institutions: Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. That about sums it up, [Read More...]

A Better Choice

It was a few days after the 9/11 tragedy. We had done our best to shelter our not-quite-three-year-old daughter from the constant onslaught of images on the news, but there was no way to censor things entirely, particularly our conversations as the tragedy unfolded. How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? How [Read More...]

Bombing Again? But It’ll Work This Time!

There’s really no need to refer to specifics. When you’ve been a citizen of the United States as long as I have, you’ve heard it all before: national security; stopping this or that madman; ending drugs or terror or Communism; honor. Whatever. The point is always the same: now, in this situation, violence will actually [Read More...]


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