Brute power is incapable of threading a needle…


That Trump used a Prayer Breakfast to bask in his acquittal and publicly question and discredit Jesus’s teachings on love is not unsurprising to me. He’s a man who once deliberately mocked a disabled person on the campaign trail.

But, my brothers and sisters, that’s not where the sickness lies. That’s just a symptom.

I saw Sméagol. I saw Gollum. And he wasn’t behind the podium addressing the crowd.

I saw sickness. Spiritual rot.

At a prayer breakfast.

The true sickness is in the “faithful” clergy people and laity and others who revel in and/or will defend that kind of mess at all costs. Regardless of what they say, we know who/what their god is. There will be no false equivocation here for me. From a spiritual and theological standpoint, this is naked hypocrisy and idolatry. Propaganda and disinformation campaigns notwithstanding—I know what I see.

Time and again, strong-men/authoritarians promise stability and safety, and in the beginning they may even win success and more devotees. But when the chips are down and catastrophe strikes, authoritarianism is only capable of one thing: increasing body counts exponentially. Because the ideology AND spirit behind it is filled with narcissism and selfishness, authoritarianism cannot and will not be able to handle or humanely respond to complex situations that involve and need massive amounts of compassion, understanding, a dogged pursuit of truth, and humility. With its incessant focus on power at all costs, it cannot “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” Brute power is incapable of threading a needle. Closed, tightly clenched fists cannot manipulate and get the best out of thread, small openings, and pointy, prickly things.

Then ish goes sideways. Bad. World War II is a more recent example of how bad it got. And at that point, the autocratic faithful prays to their god, brings an offering (a bribe) to their god, and promises unwavering fealty to their god in the vain hope that he will be merciful and that his wrath may not be visited upon their household.

But the god of authoritarianism is a god without true personality. It’s a god of retribution. It knows no such thing as grace.

The best of human religions incessantly critique this human failing/dispensation and offer spiritual pathways out of this kind of cycle. Prohibitions on idolatry. The Golden Rule. Deep, nonviolent commitment. Praying for one’s enemies. Remembering that God is not a respecter of persons. Remembering you were once oppressed too. Etc.

Religion and spirituality can surely and has often been coopted by the status quo on too many occasions. But so has every other human enterprise/discipline. None are exempt. But in every generation, people of good will, prophets, community activists, rebels, and artists arise to declare to the world that another way is possible. What it takes is a community of various folks and disciplines, utilizing the best of their traditions in order to yield a more just and equitable society.

We have seen this before. We know where it leads. Just because it’s their turn, they think they gone do what no other human civilization has done when a failing empire gets all authoritarian—smashingly succeed instead of failing miserably.

Imma place my bet on Tolkien and history.

That is the psychosis of all the modern/post-modern philosophies and cosmovisions centered upon supremacy and domination coalescing around an idea so wild and fraught, it convinces the rational and nonrational mind of its truth.

But they are all deceived. As it consumed Sméagol, so shall it consume them. And the thing was, Gollum was not the true owner of The Ring. Sauron was. Gollum was secondary. But he was consumed nonetheless.

The Spirit of Sauron endures.

Folks are consumed.

And I saw it all.

At a prayer breakfast.

It is precious to them.

Faith, Hope, and Love

Desperately needed.

©️ MJ Sales 2020

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