It is not too simple to say of the whole human enterprise through thousands of years that at any moment, only one of two things is happening. Either we are cursing and struggling to be seen and loved. Or we are blessing and being peace.
In the days before the inauguration, I viewed a four-hour documentary on PBS. Called “The Divided States of America,” it examined how Americans grew far apart during the presidency of Barack Obama. Grief gripped me as I watched. Frame after frame revealed the unrestrained hatred of countless Americans for our former president. . . What was its source?
When all the candidates are reactionary or weak-willed, what if we could push them all out with a NO vote — and require a new election, with fresh candidates?
You need both, you know—both wings. Every nation, every organization, needs the conservatives, who give attention to the existing structure. And every nation needs its liberals and progressives, who give attention to what must yet come into being, and must come into our being, if we are to adapt to the forces of change in society and technology which history throws up like siege works against every living thing.
Don’t you sometimes feel that religion, the way we do it, is no match for the way the world does wrong? Every day in this city, police stop and frisk–violate–two thousand mostly black and brown men doing nothing wrong–and what has church to say to that sorrow? A few weeks ago, an eighteen year old Bronx boy was shot and killed by a policeman in the bathroom of his own home. He was unarmed, scared, dumping something in the toilet bowl. What is old time religion for that boy, that family, for any citizen whose heart cries out at the dawning of another day of evil?
The blunt fact is that scriptures Old and New pronounce a fulsome God damn not on foreign nations but on the prophets’ own land. Stiff-necked Bible-thumpers prefer Micah mounted in museum glass to the real thing. But if we do not take scissors to our scriptures, then those blunt words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright exactly match the purpose of the prophets: to that land which perverts equity through greed and force the word is, God damn!