Week of 6/26-7/1/2023: Fighting for Justice and a Solstice Pilgrimage

June 26, 2023. Dobbs: One Year After
The Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court one year ago, overturning Row vs Wade, has resulted in some sad health consequences for women. Dealing with maternal healthcare emergencies has become very difficult, especially in states like Tennessee and Texas. Maternal mortality rates went up. Lack of access to abortion means “there will be a great number of younger and larger families living in poverty,” says one expert. Another expert said the impact “is likely to be long-term, sweeping, and dire….more women will die, more families will live in poverty, and society will bear larger consequence in the decades to come.”

Family of Joe L. Montoya, in the housing project of a coal mining company. Photo by Russell Lee. Wikimedia Commons.

June 27, 2023. Dobbs Decision and Religious Overreach
More on the Dobbs Decision: Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America says, The stories we’re hearing from states with bans and restrictions are getting increasingly dystopian, straight out of… horror movies and shows like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s crazy when stuff in fiction is happening in real life.  It’s so much worse than any of us could have ever imagined. The Dobbs decision was not the result of serious jurisprudence, but of the overreach of Opus Dei and its fascist leader Leonardo Leo. He is the one responsible for six of the most extreme right-wing members of this court. Meanwhile Jamie Manson, of Catholics for Choice, tells us: A crucial, overlooked fact about the Dobbs decision is that all justices that overturned Roe v. Wade are, or were, raised Catholic…. It cannot be overstated: Anti-choice catholic forces are responsible for all the suffering.

June 28, 2023. A Solstice Photo and Story Shared from the Camino, Part I
In this meditation, Matthew introduces us to a friend of his who is an indigenous Laotian and Buddhist currently walking the Camino de Santiago for the fourth or fifth time. His family escaped the Vietnam War on foot, all while his mother was pregnant with him. He grew up in a refugee camp in Thailand and his family eventually found their way to the U.S. where he now teaches math in high school. Matthew officiated at the wedding of his friend and his friend’s partner and, sadly, was again with them as the partner lay dying. to be continued

“El Camino Pilgrimage.” Photo by Kyle, gifted to Matthew Fox. Published with permission.

June 29, 2023. A Solstice Photo and Story Shared from the Camino, Part II
In the above Solstice photo, taken by Matthew’s friend during his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, we are struck by the bright rays of the sun and the gentle light of the moon, to the right. Matthew offers these beautiful reflections: Does this scene and story say something to you about deep ecumenism? About how the sun shines on all of us, and the moon too, and Spirit and God-by-whatever-name is so much bigger than our religions and ideologies and how Spirit works through all traditions and none? We are all on a pilgrimage of some kind, moving our bodies, souls, breath, cares, concerns, loves and losses along our sacred paths.  And the sun blesses, and the moon rises, and the Earth keeps on giving.  And here we are.

June 30, 2023. Post-Modern Holiness Sign # 4: Justice
Pulitzer-prize winning author Ernest Becker tells us in his book Escape from Evil: “The early promise of Christianity was to bring about once and for all the social justice that the ancient world was crying for. Christianity never fulfilled this promise, and is as far away from it today as ever.” No wonder so many are leaving the Church and organized religion today. Becker further says: “In science, as in authentic religion, there is no easy refuge for empty-headed patriotism, or for putting off to some future date the exposure of large-scale social lies.”

Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta comments on the implications of the Pew Research Center study revealing the percentage of Americans who claim no religious affiliation is now at 29% — higher than it’s ever been.

July 1, 2023. Justice, Holiness, & Cries from Prisoners Baking in Texas
We look at some of the ways “large-scale social lies” are in evidence, to use a term coined by author Ernest Becker. And one of the many is the continued denial of the reality of climate change. We especially look at the horrifying conditions in Texas prisons lacking air conditioning during this massive heat wave with the heat indices in the triple digits. Prisoners report that they feel like they are “being cooked alive,” and there have been several fatalities and subsequent lawsuits for wrongful death. Yet the Texas Senate voted  “not to put a penny directly toward cooling dangerous hot prisons”  even though the House had proposed spending $500 million of a multi-billion dollar surplus into remediating the deadly situation.

Banner image: The scallop shell is an iconic marker along the famous Camino de Santiago. Photo by Diego Charlón Sánchez on Flickr.

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

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.

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology): the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.
Original Blessing makes available to the Christian world and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.” –Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story

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3 thoughts on “Week of 6/26-7/1/2023: Fighting for Justice and a Solstice Pilgrimage”

  1. Avatar

    May God’s Spirit of Divine Love~Wisdom~Truth~Peace~Justice~Healing~Forgiveness~
    Transformation~Creativity~Beauty~Joy~Compassion… Always Present in our hearts/souls continue growing in our daily lives with one another and Sacred Mother Nature/Earth, within our co-Creator~Source’s ongoing evolving Loving Diverse Oneness….
    — Amen

    1. Avatar

      Amen and amen, and may we each find a way in our own lives to share this good news in tangible ways that grow our own faith and benefit our neighbors, all our relations.

  2. Avatar

    All of life, unfolds, evolves, emerges and converges out of both pain and pleasure… it’s not either/or, but both/and. So goes the cyclic movements of life, change, transformation and death… then again… new life, change, transformation and death.

    Throughout these sacred movements Spirit is present in essence… midwifing all of creation, like a Mother brooding over her chicks… offering comfort, consolation, and wisdom counsel, of that which just is… within the laws of nature and the creative, imaginative, transformative potential possibilities… the chance of becoming and being more… the yet to come into being.

    We experience pain, when we resist, deny and compete against this reality… and we encounter pleasure, when we surrender, accept and cooperate with this reality. The choice is ours to make in any given moment. Often, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we see that we choose a little of both/and!

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