Friday, February 25, 2011

The Revolution is On!

I wonder now how deeply implicated the US was in keeping the despots in the Middle East in power. I'd suspect lots. And I was taken in by the propaganda--was blind and now I see.

The real question always was: "Do we want these countries to like us or to be like us." The propaganda intentionally muddles the two questions. So the Bush administration pushed for regime change by persuading us that democracy meant installing one of our clients as a benevolent despot. And of course we assumed that our friend Saudi Arabia, where it's illegal to build a church and women can't drive, was a model of freedom, justice and the American Way.

Well, I sincerely want them to be like us. And I no longer assume that being our friend, or being under our thumb, is either necessary nor sufficient for being a democratic, decent human society.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Guest Voices: Organized religion is big business - On Faith at

Guest Voices: Organized religion is big business - On Faith at "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Big Businesses famously roll on in this country because we're scared of letting them fail. And if there truly is an American business that's too big to send swirling down the economy's drain, it's the Organized Religion Industry (O.R.I)....The premise of the O.R.I, that you need religion in order to live as a person of faith, is, if you'll excuse me for saying so, unpardonable hooey. It's perfectly possible to live as person of faith without being religious; to live in partnership with God, the great Whatever, without swaddling your relationship in any of organized religion's folderol. It's absolutely fine to, in God's name and in It's company, put your time, energy, and money directly into doing some good for and with your fellow inhabitants of this sweet old world. And to let the sound and fury of the O.R.I. play on without you.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit piled higher and deeper. I worship the Church, I adore the Church, I give thanks to the Church which is the incarnation of God here on earth and love Organized Religion with all my heart and soul and mind because it is my God.

I don't give a rat's ass about living as a "person of faith" whatever that might be or living "in partnership with God, the great Whatever" whatever that comes to. I care about the institutional church--the institution that maintains the buildings and does liturgy. I care about religiosity. It it doesn't survive our lives will be poorer because we won't have those buildings, the sacred space the Church maintains, or the ceremonies it organizes. I worship the Church, I adore the Church, I give thanks to the Church for its greater glory because it is my God. I love organized religion with all my heart and soul and mind.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Egyptians Muster for a New Protest as Crackdown Widens -

Egyptians Muster for a New Protest as Crackdown Widens - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Hello, Egyptians (if anyone is reading this). I don't know how else to sent this message but...please, please keep fighting! I cheered for the green revolution in Iran, that's now underground but which I believe will emerge. Please keep fighting. And I can only say "please" because it isn't my life, or safety or property on the line. So I only hope that you're better people than I am because I don't know if I'd have the guts to push this through.

I'm really disgusted at the extent to which US foreign policy has been determined by our "realistic" concern to promote our own national interests. I'm especially disgusted because it associates "modernity"--democracy and the whole business of the Enlightenment with European colonialism, neo-colonialism and, in particular, American hegemony. It isn't hard to imagine what it would be like on the ground anywhere in the middle east, given the brute empirical facts, to think that "democracy" just means an American military base down the road, redneck soldiers screwing local girls and checkpoints at every major intersection. If that's democracy, who wants it. If that's modernity I'd take a pass.

I know most people in this revolution know better, and just pray that they pursue it. I pray that this thing works. The old saw is that nationalism doesn't work in the Global South because there are no real nation-states--geopolitical entities that track real nations. Egypt seems to be the most striking counterexample--possibly the oldest nation on earth: I think roughly 7000 years old.

I do hope this works. Not because I want more US allies or because I want to see Israel safe. But because I believe in the Enlightenment, believe in modernity--in democracy, egalitarianism and all it offers. Please, please keep fighting. I wish I could do more. Please fight and show everyone else similarly situated that change is possible. Make my day.