Week of April 17-22, 2023: Shame & Shamelessness plus Celebrating the Earth

April 17, 2023. Has the Supreme Court No Shame? A Question for John Roberts
We reflect on the shamelessness of a Supreme Court justice who has been accepting millions of dollars’ worth of undisclosed gifts for years, plus buying a house for his mother from a conservative donor, and a chief justice who does not reprimand him. As Matthew says: It is a serious thing when a person entrusted with public authority and responsibility to bring about the common good has no shame. Laws exist to remind people that there are some boundaries we must agree upon if we are to survive as a people, as a society.  

When judges simply decline to bow to expected norms of decency, what are the options? MSNBC’s Alicia Menendez and Josh Gerstein, Senior Legal Affairs Writer for Politico, report.

April 18, 2023. The Have-No-Shame Virus Spreading in American Today
This “have no shame” virus appears to be rampant in the Supreme Court, among politicians and a certain former president, and in certain media corporations, one of which goes on trial this day for promoting lies that they knew were lies about a stolen election. This, of course, helped stir up the frenzy which ultimately led to the January 6th insurrection. This shamelessness, this lack of moral integrity, is also flaunting itself among state legislators who feel compelled to dictate what a woman may or may not do with her own body, and also by undemocratically ousting two legislators who speak up for gun control and also just happen to be black.

State Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) joined American Voices with Alicia Menendez to discuss the fight to preserve American democracy as he prepares for a “Moral Monday” protest in Nashville to push for gun safety laws. MSNBC

April 19, 2023. Healthy Shame, Unhealthy Shame, and No Shame
Matthew explores the difference between shame, which can be complicated, and no shame, which is much more clear-cut. Shame can be defined as feeling like one doesn’t belong, whereas no shame sets the stage for possible sociopathic behavior. During the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954, a lawyer asked McCarthy, “Sir, at long last, have you no decency?” This is a question we would do well to ask others as well as ourselves. If we are willing to have the courage to admit we made mistakes, there exists, then, the possibility of redemption.

April 20, 2023. Patriarchy and Shame, Roy Cohn, Mentor to a President
Matthew tells us that many men are raised in an atmosphere of shame. They are told they should feel ashamed “if they demonstrate feelings, if they are overly sensitive, if they don’t play sports or engage in self-defense—certainly if they are gay.” Matthew continues telling us that a lack of shame can be very destructive. He uses the example of Roy Cohen, who was a lawyer for McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings and for Trump when he used “no vacancy” statements to prevent African Americans from moving into his properties. He became a mentor to Trump teaching him to never admit that one is wrong. Always deny. Always go after one’s enemy. Trump seems to have learned this vile lesson very well. Finally Matthew sums up with the following: A person who is always attacking and never examining one’s own conduct, and rarely if ever looking inside, is a person who has little shame.  If he or she has power, shamelessness is spread far and wide. Like a virus.

Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, explains the difference between healthy shame and toxic shame. The Change Triangle

April 21, 2023. Rupert Murdoch, Fox “News” and Lack of Shame
Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corporation, friend of Roy Cohn and the former president, suffered a huge loss as Fox settled with Dominion Voting Systems to the tune of $787.5 million. One wonders, as our government was almost overthrown as a result of the lies promulgated by Fox, could the government also sue Fox Corp? Matthew tells us that a healthy person, when they offend others, feels some shame. And those who do not are often considered sociopaths. He reminds us that people who kill with impunity and no guilt or shame are considered to be profoundly sick.  This begs the question: Can corporations be sociopaths, too? Have they no sense of shame whatsoever?

April 22, 2023. Earth Day 2023: Lessons of Celebrating and Exulting
It is a gift and a blessing to live on this very special planet that is just the right temperature for life and has just the right amount of oxygen and water. Thomas Berry tell us: “In the end, the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration.  It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself.” It is absolutely wise and appropriate to celebrate our precious Earth and to exult and take exuberance in the blessing of existence itself!

The Blue Marble: The View From Apollo 17. Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, people around the world marked the first Earth Day.” NASA.

Banner image: Our Earth: Day and Night, Light and Dark. Photo by Javier Miranda on Unsplash

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

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

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1 thought on “Week of April 17-22, 2023: Shame & Shamelessness plus Celebrating the Earth”

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    Happy and Blessed Earth Day everyday and every Sacred Present Moment within God’s ongoing Loving co-Creation~Incarnation~Evolution in our physical and non-physical worlds of our sacred multidimensional- multiverse Cosmos of Loving Diverse Oneness….
    — Amen

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