Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
After hearing an old clip from a comedian who was inspired just after Pres. Obama was first elected... Who was basically saying that we would only be having black presidents from now on...
and after recent white-people politician dramas from our establishment politicians who so often are doing the same old same old...
I was wondering if there might be an opportunity for those of us drawn to progressive social justice to vote for a progressive person of color in 2016? I mean a REAL progressive.... Any information available on alternatives? Anyone who needs to be encouraged to run??
People who have been disenfranchised and risen above it have some of the most potent spiritual messages to give us, and have sometimes the most grounded and relevant perspective of all. They also are (as we saw with Obama) emblematic of divine inclusion, divine hope, divine change toward us ALL being enfranchised now... I love the message that an outsider has. I love the grounding that a well-rooted outsider brings. I love the prophetic way that they call the establishment to account for a more full sense of reality and of where we can go from here.
I'd gotten a piece of mail from some local Quakers and was appreciating the Shirley Chisholm stamp on it. That's what got me thinking, in fatigue of politics as usual, of writing in "Shirley Chisholm for President" on my ballot when the next Presidential election rolls around.
When that time does come, is my only option of a forward-thinking, cantankerous, willful, divine Spirit with integrity going to be Shirley Chisholm?
If you have knowledge of any relevant and present alternatives to consider, it would be most welcome. (I won't use this space to debate politics with anyone, but just wanted to shout out a plea for such a candidate. )
...and if you ARE such a relevant and present alternative -- PLEASE APPLY to the U.S. people. A lot of us would love you rather unconditionally, for being such an obnoxious spoke in the wheel, shifting priorities to those that DO need our full recognition and some divine attention in our world.
According to the bible, Isralite's are not supposed to set up a king over them from another nation. I can put this in plain modern Quaker talk too------> The white race isn't supposed to vote those from other races to be leaders of their nation. As you can see, this didn't happen with the last two presidential elections, and so, consequently, you can see how blessed our nation as a whole has been during those two presidential terms.
And remember, I didn't say it either, God said it. =)
Seriously, Cynthia McKinney ran several times in the past; and may still be running; I dunno. Someone to look up, anyway. She seems to be a real one, who will probably never get a chance to disillusion us.
But if this country is going to get better leaders than we've had so far, we may need to become a nation that deserves better leaders.
"According to the bible, Isralite's are not supposed to set up a king over them from another nation. I can put this in plain modern Quaker talk too------> The white race is't supposed to vote those from other races to be leaders of their nation. "
Got said nothing of the kind. And African American SLAVES brought to our country centuries ago who are THANK GOD now citizens are welcome to my vote.
I suppose this will make it clear that you won't convince me of your views on scripture so consider that you've done your part to inform my heathen self and no need to try to convince me further.
PS. I can recommend a great book written from and for evangelicals and born again Christians by David Kinnaman called "unchristian: what a new generation really thinks about Christianity and why it matters". It is a profound and inside indictment based on thorough research showing that in evangelicals' and born again christians' conviction about Christian Truth they have left the Grace behind.... and that their message is worth nothing without Grace. Your words reek of all the wretchedness I've just been reading about "in the name of God". If you care about what we've done with God's church, and with the image of the true Jesus Christ, please read this book.
Anyway, I voted for her in 2008 and if I were still voting would probably write her in next time, as I've also done.
Biblical interpretation is full of pitfalls, especially when people start imagining that the US is ancient Israel, something William Stringfellow (An Ethic for Christians and Other Strangers Living in a Strange Land) condemned as an idolatrous misapplication of the idea of a chosen people, that is, as worshipping a Principality that's often been guilty of rather blasphemous pretensions:
"My concern is to understand America biblically. The effort is to comprehend the nation, to grasp what is happening right now to the nation and to consider the destiny of the nation within the scope and style of the ethics of the ethical metaphors distinctive to the biblical witness in history. The task is to treat the nation within the tradition of biblical politics, to understand America biblically -- not the other way around, not (to put it in an appropriately awkward way) to construe the Bible Americanly."
Thank you for the recommendation. I saw her wikipedia page and liked it except that pesky part about her father's words on "the j-e-w-s" (was assuming that if she'd disavowed what he said entirely that would be included in the reference). It would be nice if they could be pro-Palestinian while still not being bigoted against Jewish people. I have never been able to understand why people who know so much about oppression are inclined to be bigots oppressing others. We all seem more prone to this than prone to avoiding this pitfall. What is our deal??
I was kind of wondering too about writing in Cornel West. A person couldn't do better than his values, from what I know of them. I know he's a wild one too -- which is great, except that I know he would never get the will of the people behind him. Still, I might.
What's a progressive to do? I guess if I voted for Jesus Christ -- who I would love to vote for - our friend Scott would be clear that we were in trouble with God for voting for someone of another race...and he's not even an American either! Two points against Jesus in Scott's book?
(I shouldn't rail so because Scott you may feel attacked, even though your words couldn't be attacking others much more than they are. I wish you good things. No more attacks.)
I am not saying this to be argumentative, but perhaps there may be more important selection attributes to a viable candidate than their skin color?
ha :-) Thank you, Christopher. Hello! Yes, of course. Being unbiased is a good thing.
...It's just that in a world where our fresh, clean slate aka "unbaised" list of hopes for a candidate usually includes an unstated "not the black guy," "not the gay guy," etc. it feels good to name it and give an active embrace. I'm representing that (tiny?) portion of the population who feels their heart moved to call out to those who feel disenfranchised "hey! over here!" (big hand gestures) and maybe give them a more named, active "hug" in some form.
I once heard something along these lines, in church work, about the subject of including gay people. hmm. I believe it was from an organization that was called "Lutherans Concerned". They made a statement that I can roughly paraphrase here:
"if you want gay people to know they are included, you have to seek them out and say and show "you are included" because (essentially) they aren't stupid and they've been paying attention to how the church feels about them for years in our society. Growing up in this society they know that "all are welcome" means everyone but them. "
It is in that spirit that I'm trying to unapologetically claim the progressive person of color as what I'd like to support and see more of in the balance. Certainly I respect your inclination toward being thoughtful and unbaised.
I should have also said:
These two candidates that I mention, Shirley Chisholm and Cornell West, were/are really AMAZING people! Very good candidates, very wise, very smart, very powerful people, with a powerful lot of integrity too.
It's possible to reach into the pool of those who have not been fully welcomed and find candidates who are truly the best person for the job...
I am taking it that your not in a swing state, where you vote actually might make a difference?
There is no place in the United States where "your vote actually might make a difference." Unless you are somewhere in the top 1% of the 1% of the 1% there is no place in the United States where your campaign contribution "might actually make a difference," except on a very local scale.
I don't know enough about Chisholm (forgive my ignorance) but West or McKinney would be people I'd like to see elected. I would then hate seeing them shot the day they made their first decisions, so at best it'd be a mixed blessing, but if they could be at least elected there might be some hope for us.
So one more caveat: There is no person on Earth whose election to any office whatsoever in the United States would make a difference.
And another: There is no policy change that could make a difference that would not be immediately and effectively sabotaged... and reversed as soon as everyone had forgotten the reasons it had been necessary, not very long at all these days.
Hmm... I am thinking to actually make a difference. The difference may be more in the hearts and minds of one or two people who feel all disenfranchised and happen upon our words here...or maybe -- who knows -- maybe Cornell West will get excited about running for office and find a way to pull it off. Not mine to keep from happening by raining on my own enthusiasm and keeping "realistic", though that would be quite a long shot.
My belief is that any conscious vote for the Divine is an act of making a difference. When we honor that ideal we feel in our own heart and try to help the world toward that good, that's the best difference we can make.
Also worth stating: voting as I am thinking of doing (as an act of conscientious objection to the current system and solutions available) feels awfully Quakery... like isn't this what we are called to do as Quakers IF we feel "sold a bill of goods" by the typical systems in our society? As are other people of faith.
I guess I also want to parse out one thing.... I think that:
- ME "making a difference," and
- me voting for someone who I believe could "make a difference"
are two different things. While I think my vote counts (as one vote for powerful progressive change with integrity), it's just one measly vote. I don't really care whether my vote ultimately ranks as "making a difference" to people who want to judge or evaluate such things.
What I really do care about is that when I see someone and see that THEY COULD REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE -- a difference for the better in this world that sorely needs it -- if I cop out and don't support that, I think that makes me a less powerful human being, in the divine/good way...makes me an instrument of less good in the world. So that's how I feel about people like Shirley and Cornell. Certainly you will have your own priorities to weigh and your own heart and spirit guiding you in very unique ways as well, and ours are not intended to come to the same conclusions!
Buy we all MUST aim to vote for someone who we feel will make a difference. Right?
I could say it this way: I want that my vote only be for someone who could turn the tide. I don't like the bar where it's now set and I'm tired of what that gets us when I vote for those people. But it's up to the rest of y'all whether you also want to turn the tide in the same way I want to. :-D
History says its been almost 200 years since a democrat followed a two term democrat as president.
In both the house and senate, the tea party currently controls what does, and does not get passed being the last, or deciding vote. Imagine what would happen if one of those guys gets elected president? We would be in another war (iran) if it happened this month.
In most cases I don't think there is a major difference between republican or democrat presidents, they tend to reach the same decisions. These fundamentalists scare me, they do what they want, rather than what may be in the best long term interests of the nation.
As to one vote counting, it doesn't. But what about how much influence each of us has? If we tell ourselves and friends it doesn't count, how many more will come to the same conclusion. What makes the AARP and NRA so strong in the political process isn't the money they spend, not their lobbiests BUT they represent so many voters. They tell their members that their vote does count, and spends millions on educating their voters on their opinions. The religious right does the same. While they are not allowed to preach politics, the peer pressure is there. They remind each other, calling to ask if they voted, pick up the shut-ins and drive to a polling center (these shutins are the same folks who they bring dinner to everyday, with federal and state funding)
So, our influence does matter. Perhaps not every election, but certainly for some.
Sorry if I am a little disjointed- I had to type this twice, with the page refreshing. Its also been a long day! As to my opinions, I guess they could be called educated opinions, with a couple Masters in this area to back them up. I will never forget one of my least favorite professors, who is a lobbiest for AARP. While I didn't care for the class it certainly taught quite a bit on just how screwed up the process can be. Its amazing how good certain groups have gotten in the indoctrination, and control of the masses.