The Sorry State of Tennessee and American Politics

Hearing the news these days sometimes feels like we’re living in a swirl and whirlpool of Evil.  One day it’s numerous grand juries investigating a former president trying to deny a duly elected president his office and urging an invasion of the capitol which left six people dead and 150 cops seriously injured.

Marjorie Taylor Greene likens the arrest of the former White House occupant to the arrests of Jesus and Nelson Mandela. @thedavidpakmanshow

And then his minions cheering him on as if nothing happened—140 of them being elected legislators in the very building that was invaded; and another grand jury proposing 34 felony counts for paying off a porn star and covering it up; then interfering with election results in Georgia; and all the rest.

We learn that kingpins at the biggest cable company in America were spreading lies the country over about election fraud but knew all along that they were lying while raking in salaries of 30 and 40 million dollars per year to sell these lies.  And owner Murdoch knew it was all lies also.

MeidasTouch host Ben Meiselas covers in depth the ProPublica report showing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ receipt of millions of dollars in gifts and ultra-right activist access from a wealthy GOP donor.

And now a leading judge on the once Supreme Court has been taking bribes in the form of free luxury trips worth millions of dollars for 20 years without reporting them from a billionaire Republican operative in whose company there sits the Opus Dei procurer Leonard Leo, the man most responsible for today’s theocratic court.

We see three children and three adults murdered in a church school and the head of the Tennessee legislature saying we can do nothing about it, while teenagers demand that they do.  And expels two lawmakers who side with the kids from the legislature—who just happen to be young and black.  This, in the state that birthed the Ku Klux Klan.

Vice President Kamala Harris gives fiery speech after Tennessee lawmakers ousted. CNN

Where does it all stop, this whirlpool of evil?  Where is it all headed?  Is humanity so stupid that it cannot pause from whatever we are doing and take a deep breath and remember that there is such a thing as good and evil.  And we have to choose the good.  “I put before you life and death: choose life” say the Scriptures.

Choice, choice, choice.  Choice does matter.  That’s what ethics is (or was).  That’s what morality is (or was).  We all make mistakes.  But a society cannot survive without a shared commitment to the common good and a basic agreed-upon ethics and morality.  How to get along?  How to strive for community?  How tell the truth—not lies—to each other as best we can?

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: And the massacres continue: National School Walkout against Gun Violence, St. Paul, MN, 4/20/2018. Photo by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Does the hope of Easter Season see you through the darkness of political malevolence?  What action brings that hope alive?

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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15 thoughts on “The Sorry State of Tennessee and American Politics”

  1. Avatar

    What is brewing has not yet come to a full boil. Hate, lies, divisiveness, violence and guns is just a recipe for disaster and pain for many. Who will continue to drink from this cup that has been poured? Who will continue to follow the ‘fallen angels’? Who will the peacemakers be? Do we take sides and engage in mortal battle on the ground or look to rise above the fray not as a way of escape, but rather a way to wisdom and seeking of divine and practical intervention? — BB.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    True revolution is rooted in evolution. The transformation of evil unfolds and evolves through the evolutionary process of conscientiously choosing the morality, ethics, virtues and values of love, compassion, and mercy… the just is (justice) of our true spiritual nature, seeded and sealed within our humanity.

    What emerges through this evolutionary, transformative process of kenosis is a convergence with the inherent goodness and the beauty of this Spirit, this living reality, incarnate within. This is the Original Blessing of our true nature, which we are consciously evolving towards… which we are responsible for tending to, nurturing and cultivating from within; through our relationships with self, others, Spirit, and the all and the everything of creation, throughout the daily choices we make within these engagements and encounters.

    This is the anointing we are all destined to partake of, just as Jesus, the Buddha, Quan Yin, and White Buffalo Woman; and other unspoken of Enlightened Masters have done. These trail blazers have left us all, the wisdom of the ways of this path of evolution. It’s up to each one of us to choose this evolutionary pathway that leads to truly living.

  3. Avatar

    When people feel that they have to constantly be “better than,” they, many times, are desperately trying to cover up the nagging, aching fear that THEY are not, in actuality, “good enough.” This is their unconscious shadow. So very sick and tired of not feeling good enough, they start acting out of the reptilian brain and look to a leader that also encourages that behavior and also does not want to deal with his or her own shadow. This type of leader panders to their innermost fear and is constantly emoting and promoting that they don’t have to go on the inside to face these “not good enough” feelings–just put others faces on them and blame others for these feelings–it is “they” that are the ones that are not good enough. This is how the shadowy tentacles of necrophilia spread–in the field of the unconscious. We all need to take responsibility and face up to our own not good enough shadows–and together more consciously rise up, so that this facism does not choke the very life-giving biophilia right out of us. It would help if people were raised up by the fact that they are born of goodness and dwell in life-giving goodness. They were not born out of sin and missing the mark…that is necrophilia. Thank you Matthew, for your wise words of wisdom!

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you, Lee for your comment. This was my take-away! ” It would help if people were raised up by the fact that they are born of goodness and dwell in life-giving goodness. They were not born out of sin and missing the mark…that is necrophilia.” Yes, Thank you, Matthew, for your wise words of wisdom!

  4. Avatar
    Brigid Cannon, OP

    Happy Easter, Happy Spring! Look around and see all the signs of new life in Creation. Choose to see the good happening in our world and that is not denying the evil yet it is affirming the good. People working to free others from injustice, helping others to rebuild their homes and others caring for immigrant children and women preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ death and resurrection. Yes, our God gives us the responsibility to choose as is said: “Choose life not Death.” So everyday we choose life and work for the good. And some of us may die doing this yet our faith in Jesus tells us we rise to new life in him through the Power of His Resurrection. Jesus has overcome the evil and so can we through Jesus. Jesus says: “Do not be afraid, go and tell my disciples the Good News that Jesus lives and is with us.”

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you, Brigid, for the reminder. Sometimes we forget that before Jesus died, he LIVED for us: “Choose life not Death.” I sometimes ponder the challenge of living and loving, a glorious challenge for certain; Requires COURAGE – a Big Heart!

  5. Avatar

    Faith in God’s Spirit of LOVE(Compassion, Peace, Justice)~LIGHT(Wisdom, Truth, Transformation)~LIFE(Beauty, Joy, Resurrection)… within, through, among us in the Sacred Process of the Eternal Present Moment… the incarnation and evolution of our True Heart Selves~Sacred Eternal Souls within God’s Divine Flowing Diverse Loving Oneness in our beautiful sacred Mother Earth and within our sacred multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos….

  6. Avatar

    I am a contemporary in age of Matthew and have never seen such “in your face” corruption. There is not even the attempt to act in an ethical or life giving way by too many politicians. What has always been a strain and a stain in this country is now in power in many areas, causing death literally by refusing to control guns and outlawing abortion and figuratively by stifling every attempt to consider the good of the community as opposed to the good of a few. Democracy is all but done for. In Florida, each bill is rapidly passed without a thought for what most people want, and there is not a one that fails to restrict human rights more and more. My vote is now worthless because of a bill that allows the state to throw it out, and the governor now has a private army, financed by taxpayers, not accountable to anyone but him. And on and on. It is hard to hold on to a sense of perspective and proportion, but even the rational mind can see that there have been worse times here and in the world as a whole. The time of Jesus was fraught with violence and upheaval and injustice, for instance. Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up, but no outcome can ever be sure. What sustains me and others is the knowledge that God is love and that I must incarnate that love, even as I peacefully address the many evils surrounding me.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you, Sue, “What sustains me and others is the knowledge that God is love and that I must incarnate that love, even as I peacefully address the many evils surrounding me.”

  7. Avatar

    As Nobel prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu wisely pointed out – remaining “neutral” or above things actually means you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

  8. Avatar

    I’m not sure I know what the “hope of Easter” actually means.
    I have no respite from disgust at the ignorance and Evil so evident in this country today. If there are any churches that are promoting freedom and choice, they’re buried alive by the rest of them who are actively promoting national fascism with its attendant racism and misogyny. So what IS the “hope of Easter?”
    In my mind, if there is any hope at all, it’s *associated* with the Easter story of resurrection—presumably from the death created by Evil—and there is little evidence that such a national resurrection is at hand.
    I perceive my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to be in mortal danger from the Evil of the evangelical/republican cult that strives to replace education, common sense, and freedom with Christofascist theocratic totalitarianism and superstition.

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