Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What are God's Politics?

As a comment to the above photo, I recieved the following and replied as follows...

Bruce Thomas Benda said: Why do WE need to redouble OUR commitment? I thought you all voted for this guy because you thought he has it covered. Even though we don't have a great understanding how. Just the HOPE. Why would God send someone who won't fight for helpless unborn babies or that supports gays or associates with a killer and PLO supporter. Not very Godly. I was just wondering. Nice photo though.

Well, Bruce:
No one has it all covered. As the son of a former coal miner, I hope President Obama will learn that there is no such thing as clean coal, and as a Quaker, I hope he learns that fear and the word enemy are related, and as Jesus reminded us, the way to perfect love is to abandon fear, and stop making war.

But, the world is not about absolutes. When we assign to God our own political beliefs and prejudices, though it might be a wonderful rhetorical device, after all, who can argue with God?! It does put God in a much smaller box than the infinite nature God must choose to be. In short, a God who can be quoted is hardly likely to be God at all.

This does not mean God does not speak to all -- in that still small voice, ever present voice of love. I am not sure that God does not love gay people or the PLO, anymore than God once allowed a world where people of Obama's complexion were once held in slavery. After the events of September 11, an Innu friend of mine sent me a letter reminding me that God sends these things to teach us to fly, not as a punishment.

What we do in the darkness of pain, such as that caused by the struggles of Israelis and Palestinians leads us to love and light, or fear and loss. To respond to the darkness of fear with violence digs the hole of revenge deeper and deeper, no matter which side you feel calls you to justice. War never seems to me to have been an answer, it always seemed to me to have been the problem expressed.

It is not an easy thing to live our faith, what ever that faith may be. It is not easy to face our fears with love, to grow towards those who cause us pain. Religious faith and politics are remarkably hard to juggle together. We Quakers turned away from that attempt after our failed attempt at a theocratic state, in the Pennsylvania colony. We found that politics is seldom about truth, it is about power.

I am very fond of your photos as well, they share a great deal of light.
Finally, a unified nation, like a unified family of God, does not mean one where we all see things the same, just that we eat at the same table, and feed each other.

In the light of God who loves us all


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

so glad to see that you're posting again. and once again, I'm reading aloud to my husband the things you write. you write in a way that invites discussion; something of a lost art.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Thank'ee Tammy, nice of thee to say. I am taking care of my mother, seven days a week these days, and don't get much time to write. She is a joyous handful.

All the best


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