Friday, September 20, 2013

more about Synchronicity

(see previous blog)

By paralleling Colorado's vote to oust legislators supporting gun control with the devastating floods that swept the state immediately following, some might presume I was implying God's vengeance.  Not so! I do not believe in a vengeful God; rather, a God of love awaiting humanity to realize its mandate for recognizing life's interconnectedness.  It is our choices, not God's intervening that sets the stage for world events.

All life shares a tiny blue ball suspended in a vast universe--but only man makes choices.  If we don't learn to make sustainable choices we face extinction--from wars and violence, ecological degradation, economic imbalance, political polarization, denial of moral values . . .

Too often we ignore a problem and collectively make choices on behalf of special interest groups who prevail because they are organized and funded and so are able to manipulate public perception to serve their purpose while diverting attention from the actual problem.  Climate change is one such problem that has largely been ignored while industry actively blocks movement toward solutions.  The unprecedented weather disasters in this and the last decade demonstrate catastrophic results of bad choices.  So too we have a violence problem in our nation, to ignore it and punish those actively seeking reasonable solutions is to invite disaster.  What I see as the meaningful connection between the two unrelated Colorado events is that both illustrate inappropriate choices in response to obvious needs.  Is this a wake up call?

There are those who believe there are no random coincidences, that all happenings are part  of a greater plan . . .

Friday, September 13, 2013


There are those who believe there are no random coincidences; that all happenings are part of a greater plan -- I find that an interesting idea but take no stand on it.

Ummm -- with no implication of cause and effect I observe this week's news:

1)  Because two state politicians in Colorado had spear-headed new gun control legislation the NRA and gun lovers initiated a referendum to oust the two from office.  The legislation did not take away guns, only required tighter background checks and a restriction on the size of ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds--not an unreasonable move to curb the violence infecting our society--yet on Tuesday's vote the two were ousted.

2)  The next day, Wednesday and continuing through Thursday the state has been ravaged by floods.  A freak storm dumped unprecedented rainfall on the state with devastating effects--roads and bridges washed away, homes threatened by mud slides and loosened boulders.

Karl Jung would here use the term synchronicity:  an apparently meaningful coincidence but causally unrelated.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moral Dilema

This seems an appropriate time to give ‘serious thought’ to moral dilemmas.  A simple definition of dilemma is: a required choice between conflicting alternatives.  A moral dilemma is never a choice between right and wrong (that choice is obvious); it is a forced choice requiring evaluation and judgment.  While moral dilemmas can be either positive or negative, the more apparent moral dilemma is one where there is no desirable outcome, yet the situation demands a choice.  This is the current situation we face regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
            I don’t presume to know the best answer, but I clearly see the dilemma.  The Assad regime is at war with its own people; in its attempt to subdue the rebels it has loosed chemical weapons that have killed thousands of non-combatants, mostly women and children.  In the Geneva Accord of post-WWI, nations came to an agreement to ban chemical weapons for use in conflicts.  The Assad regime ignored than ban and the world has viewed dying children gasping for breathe and rows and rows of bodies wrapped in shrouds.  The question before the world and our nation is: How do we respond to this abomination?  There is no ‘good’ alternative and the issue of military retaliation is on the table.  We as a people are called upon to choose the course of action.  We cannot know the outcome of ANY of the potential choices.  The current choice before us seems to be between military reprisals or to do nothing.  Either seems abhorrent!  It may seem that ‘do nothing’ takes us off the hook—but non-action IS a choice: the choice to squarely face what we know to be morally abhorrent and simply look the other way—ignore it.  Is that not what the German public did as the Nazis rounded up Jews and sent them off to concentration camps that ultimately led to gas chambers? 
            To do nothing is a choice!  Yet I ask, are there choices other than: bomb or ignore?  If our leaders choose not to use military force, let us not lose our moral outrage, but put all effort into finding another way to retaliate against this monstrous immoral regime. 
            I believe the biggest challenge of our era is to learn to make moral choices.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Psalm 6 for the contemporary world

An exercise I enjoy is taking a Bible Psalm and re-writing it to fit that theme into today's world.

In Psalm 6 David seeks deliverance in a younger world;  in mine, an older and different world, the story  changes while the prayer remains.
David is pursued by enemies and fears his sin has ignited God's wrath causing God to turn from him.  His prayer describes the agony he feels at God's absence.

       . . . I too have felt God's absence . . .
I have walked the edge of the void
       and peered into the darkness . . .
Not God's wrath do I find
       but man's thunderous denial!

Life is a precarious balance
       between God's goodness and man's selfishness
When God is taken out of the equation
       man is free to create hell.

My heart has never been without a longing for God,
but the rest of me lives in a world of ever present denial of His being
       not just by words of brilliant men from Fredrick Nietzsche
                                                                 to Karl Marks
                                                                 to Steven Hawking
       but by daily demonstrations:
such as obscenities and pornography protected by law
       while prayer is banned from schools;
as the few luxuriating in opulent wealth while
       orphaned children sift through garbage heaps;
as men of power willingly destroy cities and
       slaughter their citizens to keep that power.
On a daily basis the God of Love is mocked and slandered by our
       entertainment saturated society.

I live in this reality we've created which ever makes the case
                                                                  for a godless universe . . .
and the plausibility of that conclusion seeps through to threaten . . .
                                                                  Awareness asks: IS GOD?
                                   The shouts of 'No' drown the whispers of 'Yes'
                                                                  6 . . . 7 . . . 8? billion people . . .
       In my aloneness I become a grain of sand on an endless desert

                     My soul is in anguish,
              How long O Lord, how long?
       When your absence is all that I feel,
              my soul is inconsolable
              my eyes grow weak with sorrow
       when I realize the strength of my enemy!

                                 . . . still I pray
                     Turn, O Lord, and deliver me
              save me because of your unfailing love!