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5.19.2007

LOVE / COMPASSON / EMPATHY FOR STRANGERS: THE NARROW GATE

"PAY ATTENTION" LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. As I reveal in this post at left, after months of being on the "narrow path" to Joy / Love / Life at the Sudan Embassy Darfur Campaign, in just four days working with friends in the "normal world" I was almost completely lost. My recovery came quickly because thank God I had the presence of mind to focus on the posters I was carrying - dying children from Darfur.

I'll explore this at greater length in later posts - that THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL IS DETACHMENT FROM "THE LEAST OF THESE." And, the purpose of money is to allow transactions to take place in the absence of ATTACHMENT TO ANYONE! It is the specialty, it is the obsession of our Western values, of free market capitalism to "distract" us, divert our attention from, "the least of these."

[Note: The musical "The Fantastics" that shows this magnificently in the song "Round and Round." ]

5.13.2007

Is Truth how Love is Awakened / Released?

What do you think? I am sure there is a relationship, a strong one, A VERY STRONG RELATIONSHIP.

I presume that "Truth" is wired so to develop within us unless circumstances (Western Culture for example) conspires against it's development. The meaning I suggest here is in the way that Truth is wired approximately into a bird to flap its wings. Even better as an example, it is how attacking a nosy squirl is wired into a Flicker bird, as I observed at some length yesterday when the squirl got too close to a nest-in-progress; a behavior I have observed before.

The "Truth" Gandhi was interested in, and that I am interested in is Truth about direction-toward-optimal-species-success / MORALITY / that set of conditions wherein the human organism cannot be more joyful. An example of such "Truth" is that with few exceptions women strongly desire for the success of their children.

Love, Agape, is the optimal, most highly mobilized motivational state. It seems reasonable that Love is maximally optimized when it clearly and correctly sees and RECOGNIZES the Truth / Morality / Maximal Opportunity for Joy.

Gandhi Quotes

Regarding Jesus:

  • "The message of Jesus as I understand it," said Gandhi, "is contained in the Sermon on the Mount unadulterated and taken as a whole... If then I had to face only the Sermon on the Mount and my own interpretation of it, I should not hesitate to say, 'Oh, yes, I am a Christian.' But negatively I can tell you that in my humble opinion, what passes as Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount... I am speaking of the Christian belief, of Christianity as it is understood in the west."
  • "I consider myself a soldier."
  • "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
  • Talking about the Gospel passage of the rich young man, he said, "St. Mark has vividly described the scene. Jesus is in his solemn mood. He is earnest. He talks about eternity. He knows the world about him. He is himself the greatest economist of his time. He succeeded in sermonising time and space - He transcends them. It is to him at the best that one comes running, kneels down and asks, "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said unto him, "One thing thou lackest. Go thy way, sell what thou hast and give it to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven - come, take up the cross and follow me." Here you have an eternal rule of life stated in the noblest words the English language is capable of producing." Let us seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, he said, and the irrevocable promise is that everything will be added upon us. "These are real economics. May you and I treasure them and enforce them in our daily life."
  • "Of all the things I have read what remained with me forever was that Jesus came almost to give a new law - not an eye for an eye but to receive two blows when only one was given, and to go two miles when they were asked to go one. I came to see that the Sermon on the Mount was the whole of Christianity for him who wanted to live a Christian life. It is that sermon that has endeared Jesus to me."
  • "Jesus occupies in my heart," said Gandhi, "the place of one of the greatest teachers who have had a considerable influence on my life. I shall say to the Hindus that your life will be incomplete unless you reverentially study the teachings of Jesus... Make this world the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything will be added unto you. I tell you that if you will understand, appreciate, and act up to the spirit of this passage, you won't need to know what place Jesus or any other teacher occupies in your heart."
  • "The example of Jesus suffering is a factor in the composition of my un-dying faith in non-violence. What then does Jesus mean to me? To me, He was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had."
  • "in Jesus' own life was the key of his nearness to God, that he expressed as no other could, the spirit and will of God... I do believe that something of the spirit that Jesus exemplified in the highest measure, in its most profound human sense exist... If I did not believe it, I should be a sceptic, and to be a sceptic is to live a life that is empty and lacking moral content. Or, what is the same thing, to condemn the human race to a negative end."
  • "I refuse to believe that there not exists or has ever existed a person that has not made use of his example to lessen his sins, even though he may have done so without realising it. The lives of all have, in some greater or lesser degree, been changed by His presence, His actions and the words spoken by His divine voice... I believe that he belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all races and people, it matters litle under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith or worship a God inherited from their ancestors."
  • "Seeming failure is not of the law of Satyagraha but of incompetence of the Satyagrahist by whatever cause induced. The name of Jesus at once comes to the lips. It is an instance of brillant failure. And he has been acclaimed in the west as the prince of passive resisters. I showed years ago in South Africa that the adjective 'passive' was a misnomer, at least as applied to Jesus. He was the most active resister known perhaps to history. His was non-violence par excellence."
  • "stagger humanity without shedding a drop of blood," by following the example of "Gentle Jesus, the greatest passive resister the world has seen." Though Jesus died, Gandhi said, "He lives in the memory of all true sons of God."
  • would-be saints have always tried to imitate Christ, and Gandhi's aim "to live the Sermon on the Mount" puts him in that tradition, even to the point of martyrdom.
  • want to tell others what I feel so particularly keen about, namely what is called non-resistance, but what is essentially nothing other than the teaching of love undistorted by false interpretations…This law has been proclaimed by all the world's sages, Indian, Chinese, Jewish, Greek, and Roman. I think it has been expressed most clearly of all by Christ…

Misc:

  • "I am as certain as I am dictating these words that the stoniest German heart will melt [if only the Jews] . adopt active nonviolence. Human nature ... unfailingly responds to the advances of love. I do not despair of his [Hitler's] responding to human suffering even though caused by him."
  • "Hitler killed five million [sic] Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs." Fischer asked: "You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?" Gandhi answered: "Yes, that would have been heroism."
  • A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
  • Action expresses priorities.
  • A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
  • A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
  • A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.
  • Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
  • An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
  • Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
  • An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
  • There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e., the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being.
  • The test of friendship is assistance in adversity, and that too, unconditional assistance. Co-operation which needs consideration is a commercial contract and not friendship. Conditional co-operation is like adulterated cement which does not bind.
  • Non-cooperation is an attempt to awaken the masses, to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be done by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force, if they would but know the soul within.
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
    Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.
    It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
    Democracy is an impossible thing until the power is shared by all, but let not democracy degenerate into mobocracy.
  • They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.
    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
  • Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.
  • Whenever I see an erring man, I say to myself I have also erred; when I see a lustful man I say to myself, so was I once; and in this way I feel kinship with everyone in the world and feel that I cannot be happy without the humblest of us being happy.
  • I have but shadowed forth my intense longing to lose myself in the Eternal and become merely a lump of clay in the Potter's divine hands so that my service may become more certain because uninterrupted by the baser self in me.
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody will see it.
  • Even as wisdom often comes from the mouths of babes, so does it often come from the mouths of old people. The golden rule is to test everything in the light of reason and experience, no matter from where it comes.
  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
    Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.
  • The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
  • An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
  • Weeding is as necessary to agriculture as sowing.
  • Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

More at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mohandas_gandhi.html

Re Truth:

  • Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
  • Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.
  • My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him.
  • Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.
  • Abstract truth has no value unless it incarnates in human beings who represent it, by proving their readiness to die for it.
  • The freedom from all attachment is the realization of God as Truth.
  • Search for Truth is search for God. Truth is God. God is because Truth is.
  • I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God.
  • The fact that there are so many men still alive in the world shows that it is based not on the force of arms but on the force of truth or love. Therefore, the greatest and most unimpeachable evidence of the success of this force is to be found in the fact that, in spite of the wars of the world, it still lives on.
  • Even the smallest untruth spoils man like a drop of poison spoils an entire lake.
  • “Truth quenches untruth, love quenches anger, self-suffering quenches violence. This eternal rule is a rule not for saints only but for all.”
  • “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”
  • “Abstract truth has no value unless it incarnates in human beings who represent it, by proving their readiness to die for it.”
  • “He who trifles with truth cuts at the root of Ahimsa [non-violence]. He who is angry is guilty of Himsa.”
  • “Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for the confession.”
  • “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”
  • “The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay no claim to super-human powers. I want none. I wear the same corruptible flesh that the weakest of my fellow beings wears, and am therefore as liable to err as any. My services have many limitations, but God has up to now blessed them in spite of the imperfections.”

Gandhi regarding Jesus

"A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act," Gandhi

"A COWARD IS INCAPABLE OF EXHIBITING LOVE," GANDHI

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave," Gandhi

Scripps College on Start Loving Sudan Embassy

Scripps

Discussion and Conclusion
By Sheila Jamshidpoor, Caroline Almy and Alison Cantor
Group Two: Darfur


This "paper" concludes:

Today, 55-year-old Start Loving, “former business executive known to his friends and family as Jay McGinley,” has taken residence on the sidewalk outside of the Sudanese Embassy and has been there for the past 46 days (Schrank). Loving has decided to give all that he has, in the most literal sense, to draw attention to Darfur and cry out to society’s collective conscience. “Bearded, sunburned and dirty from weeks on the street, he could be another homeless wretch -- except that hanging like wings off his shoulders are two giant laminated orange placards that read ‘Darfur Hunger Strike March 1’,” (Schrank). He is sustaining himself on nothing but a couple hundred calories a day to protest the world’s inaction. Loving estimates he has lost around 30 pounds, but continues to follow a path already made by “Gandhi, the King, and Jesus” (Schrank). “I'm here because my brothers and sisters are being killed. It's not my responsibility what others do. It's only my responsibility what I do. I can do nothing less in the face of this atrocity,” says Loving. “I wish I had thousands of lives to give. But I have mine and this is how I choose to spend it.”
Imagine if everyone was as passionate about the rising death toll coming from the other side of the world. If everyone believed in Loving’s mantra and name “Start Loving” it wouldn’t be surprising if the genocide in Darfur was the last. Organizations like the Save Darfur Coalition, STAND, and the Genocide Prevention Network have not gone unnoticed by the United Nations and other political powers, or even by the Sudanese government. It is through the continued growth of organizations like these, and the awareness of the world population, that we can begin to hope for peace and a re-emergence of humanity in both Darfur and the entire international community.


Bibliography
Cooper, Helene. "Darfur Collides With Olympics, and China Yields." New York Times 13 Apr 2007

Lederer, Edith M. "Sudan Accepts U.N. Force in Darfur." The Associated Press 16 Apr. 2007. 16 Apr. 2007 .

Markusen, Eric &Totten, Samuel (Eds.). (2006). Genocide in Darfur: Investigating the Atrocities in the Sudan. New York: Routledge.

Schrank, Delphine. "A Hunger for Justice." Washington Post 14 Apr. 2007. 16 Apr. 2007 .

Totten, Samuel, & Markusen, Eric (Eds.). (2006). Genocide in Darfur: Investigating the Atrocities in the Sudan. New York: Routledge.

TRUTH IS THE GOD I'VE SERVED; THE GOD I SERVE. AWESOME.

"To be on the side of Truth is to have God Almighty on your side," Start Loving

When recently I've reflected on the centrality of "truth" to my attempts at life, I've been reminded that Truth is Central to any success I've had, and to any miracles for which I have been the midwife. Since a young, ignorant child I've believed that always there is Truth to be known, even if unknowable. Since my early twenties when I outgrew a lust for lust / consumption / pleasure I began a lifelong quest to know the truth about that which matters. When I have found an important approximation of the Truth:

  1. Finding the Truth fires a passion that is awesomely powerful and infectious, though not omnipotent (in my hands atleast);
  2. Having the Truth is the basis for miracles with a surprising frequency and predictablity;
  3. For Truth to be seen I (one) must become possessed by / an instrument of / evidence of that Truth for it to be seen by others. This comes at extreme cost and sacrifice.
Truth is central to that which is trusted and weilded by those we admire:
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always," Gandhi.

"Do you know, Fontanes, what astonishes me most in this world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit [Truth?]," Napoleon

"God is Love, Life and Truth," Gandhi.
"I worship God as Truth only," Gandhi

"It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying: "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world," ML King.
"Truth crushed to earth will rise again," ML King.

Hmmmm. "Truth is God, the Almighty," Start Loving.

RIZPAH

Full verse below: "8 But the king took Armoni and Meribbaal, the two sons that Aiah's daughter Rizpah had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Saul's daughter Merob that she had borne to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meholathite, 9 and surrendered them to the Gibeonites. They then dismembered them on the mountain before the LORD. The seven fell at the one time; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest--that is, at the beginning of the barley harvest. 10 Then Rizpah, Aiah's daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest until rain came down on them from the sky, fending off the birds of the sky from settling on them by day, and the wild animals by night."

Where and when did I hear This story? Years ago. No idea beyond that.

But when I look at what our Father has me doing, I think of RIZPAH! I feel an unrelenting loyalty to our / my Darfur family. I will shield them with my body until our Lord, God within us, takes pitty on them, or until He gives me other orders.

I expect to be on my "sackcloth" on the rock in front of the Embassy for many, many, many, many months, Auschwitz physique and all.

2 SamuelChapter 21:
1 During David's reign there was a famine for three successive years. David had recourse to the LORD, who said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family because he put the Gibeonites to death."
2 So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but survivors of the Amorites; and although the Israelites had given them their oath, Saul had attempted to kill them off in his zeal for the men of Israel and Judah.)
3 David said to the Gibeonites, "What must I do for you and how must I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?"
4 The Gibeonites answered him, "We have no claim against Saul and his house for silver or gold, nor is it our place to put any man to death in Israel." Then he said, "I will do for you whatever you propose."
5 They said to the king, "As for the man who was exterminating us and who intended to destroy us that we might have no place in all the territory of Israel,
6 let seven men from among his descendants be given to us, that we may dismember them before the LORD in Gibeon, on the LORD'S mountain." The king replied, "I will give them up."
7 The king, however, spared Meribbaal, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that formed a bond between David and Saul's son Jonathan.
8 But the king took Armoni and Meribbaal, the two sons that Aiah's daughter Rizpah had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Saul's daughter Merob that she had borne to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meholathite,
9 and surrendered them to the Gibeonites. They then dismembered them on the mountain before the LORD. The seven fell at the one time; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest--that is, at the beginning of the barley harvest.
10 Then Rizpah, Aiah's daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest until rain came down on them from the sky, fending off the birds of the sky from settling on them by day, and the wild animals by night.

11 When David was informed of what Rizpah, Aiah's daughter, the concubine of Saul, had done,
12 he went and obtained the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who had carried them off secretly from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them at the time they killed Saul on Gilboa.
13 When he had brought up from there the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan, the bones of those who had been dismembered were also gathered up.
14 Then the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan were buried in the tomb of his father Kish at Zela in the territory of Benjamin. After all that the king commanded had been carried out, God granted relief to the land.
15 There was another battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his servants and fought the Philistines, but David grew tired.
16 Dadu, one of the Rephaim, whose bronze spear weighed three hundred shekels, was about to take him captive. Dadu was girt with a new sword and planned to kill David,
17 but Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to his assistance and struck and killed the Philistine. Then David's men swore to him, "You must not go out to battle with us again, lest you quench the lamp of Israel."
18 After this there was another battle with the Philistines in Gob. On that occasion Sibbecai, from Husha, killed Saph, one of the Rephaim.
19 There was another battle with the Philistines in Gob, in which Elhanan, son of Jair from Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's heddle-bar.
20 There was another battle at Gath in which there was a man of large stature with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot--twenty-four in all. He too was one of the Rephaim.
21 And when he insulted Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him.
22 These four were Rephaim in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his servants.

"Love must be your name," Martin Buber

Our beloved sister Evelyn Clark, Salvation Army Angel, er um Kaptin!, sent this today:

"Love Must Be Your Name," by Martin Buber

Yahweh, Jesus, Allah God,
I do not suppose you are very tied to titles,
You seem to revel more in creating and loving
Than arguing like we do.

You are beyond any name,
Beyond this group or that,
Beyond ideas or any ability to
Control You by definitions.

You are the Utterly Free One.
you are the Eternal I
That always allows me to be a Thou
Whenever we meet.

You are the Speaker, I am the spoken,
So Love must be your name!
Which is always beyond words.

Source: All Real Living Is Meeting, www.cacradicalgrace.org

"And the children shall lead us." A letter from a leader.

Friday this letter was received in my inbox from a very young sister, and I saw it today:

Hello,

I discovered your blog, and could not agree with you more regarding the need to put everything down to come to the aid of our fellow brothers andsisters in Darfur. I am inspired by your actions, and am painfully aware that time is growing shorter and shorter for Darfur.

So I come to you with a question. I want to organize a very big march. I must admit to you that I have never organized a march or protest before...I am on the younger side of being a teenager. Anyway, I was thinking all the way from the U.N. in NYC down to Washington D.C. Obviously this would take a lot of people, and a considerable amount of time depending on daily mileage. It would also require places to spend the night for participants, along with many other requirements. But an event such as this would recieve a great deal of media coverage, which would hopefully prompt action.

What do you think? I know that the idea is big. But, here is what I think, let us at least do something...a lot of people probably have ideas like this but do not act on them. In your experience, could this work? could something similar work? If not, what will work??

Thank you and take care,

Ms. H. D.

------ Start Loving's response:

My dear sister,

Oh how wonderful it is to hear from you. An honor and a blessing it is indeed.

Beyond question or dispute it will take a "miracle" (however you define that - a totally unexpected, unlikely "something," unforseeable," "impossible") to Save Darfur. Genocide has never been stopped and NOTHING done for Darfur so far shows any likelyhood of doing anything more than killing time, killing Darfuries. Most people that stop and talk with me about what I am doing at the Sudan Embassy ask, "Do you think it will help?" With respect and love I tell them that the question in the face of year five of the Darfur Holocaust is: "Is it my best chance!!!!!!!!!, NOT will it help." Strangers think about "success" when helping another. "Family," which is what we must become with Darfur, family in an emergency TAKES THEIR BEST SHOT! Right? Among the most inspiring writing of what it means to be "Human" in the face of genocide is the site Holocaust Rescuers. See what the young people did.

Miracles come from TOTALLY unexpected, unlikely places. Always, by definiton. Right? In the face of human rights abuses they more likely than not come from humanity's YOUTH. This was true in the ending of Apartheid with the Sowetto riots (elementary school students), ending the horrible Vietnam War, gaining southern U.S. Civil Rights.... "And the children will lead them..." is ancient and correct Truth.

What history asks of every human being in the face of Genocide is "do what is in your heart;" "do what you would do if your dearest loved one was in a Chad camp and only could be saved by stopping the genocide." DO THAT, ATTEMPT THAT, NOW! FRANKLY, IT IS THE ATTEMPT, FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEART, THAT CAUSES MIRACLES THAT TOTALLY SURPRISE EVEN, ESPECIALLY THE ONE THAT INITIATES THE ATTEMPT.

Your chance of pulling off the plan you propose as you propose it? It would take a miracle. Save Darfur tried, with a multi million dollar budget to have big rally in NY City and it was 10% what they needed it to be, and they are a large, sophisticated organization - with little or no heart, that will never be the source of miracles, until they fall in Love, become "family" with Darfur.

My sister, work hard to see what is in your heart, and attempt it WITH ALL YOUR HEART. If 1000 of us found the courage to find and do what is in our hearts, as though our lives, like our loved one's lives depended on it (and they they do depend on it), one of us would spark the miracle. I pray, you do it' NOW!

I'm your brother. If you find that I can help in any way, let me know.

History will NOT ask you or I if we stopped the Genocide. History will demand to know of each of us alive today if we behaved with all the passion, commitment, abandon, Love and courage that genocide demands of us. Go for it.

With Love and respect, your brother, Start Loving
ps: Sometimes I have to be asked several times before I "get it." If I can help further, ask me again! :-)
pps: Out of respect for you I will disguise your name, no email address, etc, but later today I'll post our dialog on Jesus, Good, God-Father, Alfred Adler, n Start Loving.

"PAY ATTENTION" LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Guidance for my young friends, of every age.

It does. Mine too.

Ever since March 1st of this year when the Hunger Strike began (based on the mirror test tonight "Auschwitz" will begin materializing at the Sudan Embassy this week, thank God!!!) there has not been a day when in my Heart / Soul / Spirit I could understand why millions could stand / tolerate / abide / resist-the-inexorable-Joy of being at the Embassy on hunger strike. Take me literally please.

Last week for four days I left the Embassy to be with family that needed to see me, in Philadelphia. Upon return, for 24 hours I COULD NOT IMAGINE WHY ANYONE WOULD BE ON HUNGER STRIKE IN FRONT OF THE SUDAN EMBASSY. You need to take me literally.

WE ARE OUR ENVIRONMENT. OUR ENVIRONMENT IS US. GET ON WITH. GET OVER IT.

I am as good at what I do, living out of my Heart / Spirit / Soul / Humanity - LIVING IN HEAVEN / JOY / PEACE / LIFE / LOVE - as skilled as anyone you are ever likely to meet. In four days at this advanced stage of my game, I almost totally lost my bearings. Despite being with one of the healthiest families of the "world," they are of the world - The American way of life with all its luxuries and DISTRACTIONS-FROM-LIFE: pleasures, comforts, DIVORCE FROM / ABSENCE OF / MINDLESSNESS OF / EVIDENCELESSNESS OF-THE LEAST-OF-THESE, movies, candy, expensive mattresses (where you can actually lie down!), lots of chatting, grocery stores with a million choices, free / recreational / leisure time....

Hold on!!! Start, this is normal stuff that everyone has!!!!!!!!!!!!! True. Everyone except about five billion of our brothers and sisters worldwide. Everyone except the likes of Start Loving and EVERY OTHER would be Christian / Saint. Everyone except the likes of Start Loving, BY JOYFUL CHOICE, FOR THE LAST, BLESSED SIX MONTHS! The most Joyful months of his life! Free of crap! Free of junk food. [Yes my beloved, this is very hard to take. Literally one in a million find Joy / Life / Love / Peace in abundance.]

Either we control our environment or our environment us. YOU ARE HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME. How much toxic waste do you permit yourself to take by mouth each day? ATTENTION PAID IS YOUR ENVIRONMENT; IS YOUR LIFE; IS WHO YOU ARE 100%.

In the name of God, control / fill / GUARD your every moment (I MEAN EVERY MOMENT. I MEAN EVERY MOMENT):

* Read the lives and ideas of the "Saints" real and fictional (however you conceive of that - Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Alfred Adler, Sorokin, Maslow, Csikszentmihalyi....)

* Watch really altruizing movies (in no particular order): Star Wars, Star Trek, Les Mis, Pollyanna, Captains Courageous, The Green Mile, Gandhi, CRY FREEDOM, THE DRY WHITE SEASON, Sunday in the Park with George, Don Quixote................)

* Deny (learn, as I have, to allow no attention, not a millisecond to go to) ads on TV, Radio, Internet. (How much toxic waste do you allow yourself by mouth each day?)

* PRAY, HOURS PER DAY (driving, waking up, going to bed, at lunch, at break) to an all loving Father of all (a fiction like mine, or a Reality like yours. Makes no difference.) "Father, what do you want me to do; where is your attention in the world; let me imagine your view - what do you want me to do.... Please find the several places that this blog speaks of the "Our Father." Believe, or Make Believe. Makes no difference. USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

Some day I hope to flesh this out. For now I pray to God you run with it!

ps: Some of the key "Our Father" posts:
1. "Our Father in Heaven" [or, Our Master Jesus.....
2. "Hallowed be your name"
3. "Your Kingdom come[s]"
4. "[As] Your will [is] done on earth as it is in...
5. "Give us [all] this day our daily bread."
6. "Forgive us our [errors]," 7. "As we forgive th...
8. "Lead us [all] not into temptation," 9. "But...
10. "For Thine is the Kingdom, Power, Glory...."

Frosh Yr College - Heaven! Start, entered Hell that summer.

To my younger brothers and sisters.

Please be warned that through no fault of your own you can expect to experience what can best be described as "heaven" three times in your life:
* 0-1 years. Love is all you are. Love / Respect / Attention is all you are likely to get.
* Pre-school / Kindergarten. Ditto.
* Freshman Year College: Never before or after will you be with such a high percentage of Human / Humane / Humanized ... humans. All have lost their dehumanizing crutches for that magical, tragically brief year. Gone are their cliques, identities, self image, personal history, personal accomplishments. All they are, and all they can be is "folks," "brothers," "sisters," "FAMILY." Not that perfect is it? Much closer than not for many of us. IT WAS FOR ME!

By Sophomore year it vanishes, and if you don't know it is NOT your fault, you may think that it IS your fault and never recover. By sophomore year all the dehumanization is back. Folks now have a new identity, their "own" friends / brothers / sisters, personal history, personal accomplishments.... The family of man is replaced by "my friends," not yours. It is Hell again. And there is nothing you can do to fundamentally change this fact. What you can and must to is retain YOUR Humanity, YOUR Universal Family Embrace - REALIZING THAT IT WILL NOT, IT WILL NOT BE RECIPROCATED!!!!!!!!!!

Start, your brother here, knew nothing of this. I experienced the horror of "no more Heaven!" I assumed it was my fault, I freaked out, and it took me 30 years to regain my bearings. This is no immagination.

Considering a baby? Love your existing children first.

Ok, imagine (unless in truth) that you and your spouse have a child already and you are considering another. Imagine that one or both of you, well, er, um... hasn't really fully bonded with that first child! Do you really think you would plunge ahead and have that second child before learning to love the first? I don' think so.

Quite a few of my posts deal with the consideration of having a family.

THIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS, AND CONSEQUENTIAL OF MY BLOGGING.

I AM TREADING ON SACRED GROUND, YOURS.

I AM TREADING ON SACRED GROUND - THE WORLD'S AND ITS FUTURE.

There is only one sin / error / dehumanization / Hell-construction: treating another person as "another" person, instead of "FAMILY." This is selfishness. It appears in a trillion forms. It is always a variation of this sin - being "not family" to any other human being.

"Few people choose Hell on Earth. We choose selfishness, and the result is Hell on Earth," Start Loving (with all credit to Dave Dellinger)

Can you bring your biological "child" centrally to a life of extreme sin / error / pain?; centrally into the U.S. way of life that is centrally and totally based on PROFOUND DIVORCE from all but literally 3, 5, 8, 12, 30 people?!??!?!

You must find your six billion brothers and sisters first. Perfectly? There is no such thing. Absolutely and Truly? How long does it take? Minutes of the right prayer? Years of the right experiences? It depends on a lot of things. It is the most important thing you will ever contemplate doing - for yourself, for your spouse, for your biological children, and for the world.

You can do it, faster than you think. But it will take your whole Heart and Soul. It will give you, your children and your spouse Heaven on Earth.

SUFFERING / SACRIFICE - CHRISTIAN NAVIGATION (like "N" on the Compass)

Gosh, beyond Suffering & Sacrifice are there bigger sticking / error / confusion / disinformation / distortion points for Christian / Humane Being wannabees? Not many. Like:

* Well, I don't want to be like Jesus / Gandhi - THEY SUFFERED; I'm so glad WE do not have to!
* Suffering / Sacrifice - How dreary!
* I feel so guilty because I do not want to suffer / sacrifice!
* Etc....

If you are reading this, you are almost certainly (this is NOT a complement) a high-achiever by the "world's" standards. [I TOLD you it was not a complement.] Ok, for the sake of helping me make this point, indulge your error a bit further. Think of 3 - 10 things you've accomplished that you really, really, really feel positive about that you accomplished them. Write them down. 60 seconds. Time's up. Ok. Which of these did you NOT have to "Suffer," or "Sacrifice" to achieve!?!?!?!?! YOU HAD TO SUFFER AND SACRIFICE FOR MOST OR ALL, RIGHT?!?!?!

Hmmmmm. But my question was, "things ... you really, really, really feel positive about...."

WHEN YOU ARE DOING THINGS YOU FEEL ARE IMPORTANT, YOU WILL SUFFER AND SACRIFICE WITHOUT, WITHOUT, WITHOUT BEING CENTRALLY AWARE THAT YOU ARE SUFFERING AND SACRIFICING!!!!! YOU KNOW THIS!

If Joy comes from extreme service to others, really, really helping "the least of these," this, helping them, is going to take a lot, A LOT of suffering and sacrifice correct? SO....... LIFE / LOVE / JOY / PEACE LIE IN THE DIRECTION OF WHAT APPEARS, "APPEARS" TO BE SUFFERING AND SACRIFICE. "SUFFERING AND SACRIFICE" ARE LIKE A COMPASS, LIKE A WILLOW BRANCH, LIKE A GEIGER COUNTER. THIS IS AWESOME TO KNOW!

USED WITH WISDOM AND ENLIGHTENMENT SUFFERING AND SACRIFICE ARE YOUR POINTERS TO HEAVEN!

FOR ANYONE THAT LIVES WITHIN AND FROM THEIR HEART - THEIR SUFFERING AND SACRIFICE ARE FELT 100,000 TIMES MORE BY THE ONLOOKER THAN BY THE DOER - THAN THEY FEEL IT THEMSELVES. REFLECT ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE. REALLY IMAGINE WHAT THE LIFE OF TERESA, GANDHI, MANDELA, KING.... FEELS LIKE TO THEM!!!!!!!!!!! SUFFERING? SACRIFICE? NO MORE THAN YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED DOING THE THINGS THAT YOU VALUED!!!!!!!!!!! IT JUST "LOOKS" LIKE THEY SUFFERED / SACRIFICED. [How very convenient for Satan.]

Sacrifice, without... Sacrifice

One of those extremely problematic words that means far more to the onlooker than to the "activist / Christian / Humane Being."

See:
SUFFERING / SACRIFICE - CHRISTIAN NAVIGATION (like "N" on the Compass)

Courage, without, er, um, Courage

One of those extremely problematic words that means far more to the onlooker than to the "activist / Christian / Humane Being."

See:SUFFERING / SACRIFICE - CHRISTIAN NAVIGATION (like "N" on the Compass)

Suffering, hmmm... without Suffering

One of those extremely problematic words that means far more to the onlooker than to the "activist / Christian / Humane Being."

See:SUFFERING / SACRIFICE - CHRISTIAN NAVIGATION (like "N" on the Compass)

COMMENTS ON EMBASSY CAMPAIGN to a very blunt, very wonderful sister

Dear K. E.; [AUTHOR OF RECENT RADIO ARTCILE]

I am so honored and pleased with your publication, your visits, your concern and your suggestions. Your Heart, Soul and Mind are too precious for me to waste. So I am going to risk the same bluntness and brusqueness you engaged with me. I HOPE FOR YOUR ONGOING SUGGESTIONS!!!!!!!

K.E. 'Lose those dreadful, bleak, horrifying pictures on your posters Start! I don't what to see them! No one wants to see them! Give me something hopeful!
Start: KE, your dearest one has an attack. Clearly there is something life threatening going on. The Dr's have done their tests and now it is time to talk. HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT THEM TO SUGAR COAT THE TRUTH? ZERO RIGHT? You would rather have them be cruel, blunt, hurtful clods than to sugar coat even a little. WHY?!?! Because your loved one is at stake, you need to be totally and effectively engaged, and TOTAL TRUTH IS YOUR KEY TO THIS! Saving Darfur will take a miracle - objectively this cannot be disputed. "Miracles" come only from "families" engaged in "emergencies." (Remember the movie "The Right Stuff?" "Failure is not an option" said the mission chief. He launched political enemies into "family emergency response' mode, the caused "miracle," upon "miracle" and the rest is history.) YES we have the world's greatest defense system in our U.S. Hearts to protect us from entering this mode with "others," non "family." But there is no other source of miracles. Save Darfur et all have tried your "hopeful" approach for four years. No one has more Darfur blood on their hands than does SaveDarfur.org regardless of their good intentions. The "family emergency" response comes from unvarnished "Truth." This is true in business for god's sake, let alone for stopping a Genocide. Want to raise millions for food relief? Hopeful signs are your ticket. Want to STOP A GENOCIDE? UNVARNISHED TRUTH delivered with the ultimate sacrifice (offered, if not taken) by the few (like me, SNCC, Kent State students, Harvard Students on Hunger Strike to get living wage for their custodians....) to ignite the masses is the only way one people has ever been saved by another. Using your imagination glance, GLANCE at STARTING A MOVEMENT? EXCLUDE THE MASSES!!!!!!!! Gandhi based his life's work on this trust in the almighty power of Truth: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always," Gandhi.

and finally...

Heart of darkness
From "Haaretz"...

"This is not a girl, she is not dying," I think. "This is not her spastic body, not her trembling hands. These are not her legs, devoid of flesh, not her fly-infested face, not her expressionless eyes, not her twisted fingers. This is not a girl," the mind insists. "She is not five years old. That can't be."

We are sitting in a tent in the Djabal refugee camp in Chad, two kilometers west of Goz Beida. A few minutes earlier, we had been told that there was a girl in serious condition in one of the corners of the camp, and now she is sitting across from us on a colorful mat, next to her mother and her two brothers. I [Assaf Uni] find myself incapable of looking at her for more than a second or so, from time to time.

This denial reflex will return to me often: a kind of defense mechanism of the mind. This is not really a girl who is dragged, crying, by soldiers into a clump of bushes to be raped; this is not a man who is savagely mauled by a rope whip; these are not the final hours of the mute children in the hospital, their bellies distended from hunger, their eyes in a wide vacant stare. Soon enough, though, the mind refocuses and starts to take in the information: This is real life in eastern Chad, the life of Sudanese refugees and Chadian displaced persons. This is life and this is suffering on the fringes of the slaughter in Darfur.... (see link above for full story)


K.E.: "Not this location; not this way."
Start: Given the above, if one accepts the above for the moment, the issue is not, "not this location; not this way." The issue is: NOT ONE PERSON / MULTI FRONT ATTACK!!!!!!! One student from SNCC / ONE SIT IN? One nonviolent soldier against Brittan in India (1000's besides Gandhi) / JUST the Salt March? Etc. However, "Never believe that one committed individual cannot change the world. It is the only thing that ever has," Start Loving. :-) Unfortunately, without a first miracle SOON, clearly I am not going to be the "Start." No one else is trying or positioning to be. God save us.

Dr. King had this to say pertenent on the subject: "…the great stumbling block …[is the] moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to the positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises... to wait for a "more convenient season".

Start: K.E. - Beyond this dear, dear friend, the single most disturbing, single most important writing on nonviolent change, pertinent to this discussion, in my experience is: LOVE IN ACTION, Thich Nhat Hanh (!!! Nothing beyond hunger strike, is, or has ever been contemplated by me; and I expect nothing beyond it ever will be contemplated by me.)

NPR / DARFUR / EISELE / START LOVING

Commentary: Hunger Striker Wants to Make Difference in Darfur
May-06-2007, All Things Considered
...believes his actions can make a difference in Darfur. He inspired this commentary from NPR's Kitty Eisele. KITTY EISELE: He calls himself ?Start Loving,? but actually it's the last...

Listeners Letters: McGinley Commentary, Immigrant Profile
All Things Considered, May 12, 2007 · Listeners air their thoughts on Kitty Eisele's commentary about Jay McGinley, and Debbie Elliot's profile of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a former illegal migrant worker, now a citizen and a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University.

Start Loving - In defense of Ms. Eisele: "I take it as a kindness in support of the Darfur cause that NPR aired the comment above from the California listener. With all respect and affection for the listener, this Californian clearly did NOT understand Ms. Eisele's report. Clearly Ms. Eisele was communicating with courageous honesty her conflicted support and respect for my embrace of people 6000 miles away; and making herself extremely vulnerable to criticism through her selfless self-depreciation. God bless your courage, insight, compassion, skill and support for Darfur Ms. Eisele. Tragically so far, one in a million posses or use these wonderful characteristics you have displayed."

Start Loving correcting Ms. Eisele regarding White House protesters: "Among the only people in the world "sane" enough to stand for their brothers and sisters in Darfur, Iraq and other places thousands of miles from the U.S. are some of those "crazy" White House protesters you so carelessly maligned. Ellen Thomas, with support from her husband Thomas is the only person yet to come forward with daily support of the Sudan Embassy Darfur Action for which you have at least guarded hope. Ellen was one of those White House demonstrators for 18 years, and now chairs the Washington Peace Center and is a world respected anti Nuclear activist. Thomas is in his 26th year of White House vigil against nuclear armaments and for truth and wisdom in government. Thomas and Ellen's bill Prop 1 to eliminate nucs worldwide has been proposed by Rep. Eleanor Homes Norton every year for many, many years now and has ever increasing international support. Pretty Crazy huh?

The prophets of every age are judged by their peers as "crazy," and by history as the only ones that were "sane" in their time; the ones that if NOT "stayed away from" might have averted, well, Armageddon. Please take care. You, Ms. Eisele are so much better than that.

ps: Are there no crazies in-front-of the White House? Are there no crazies IN the White House?"

Miracles. From Julie.

Beautiful Julie.

"Never doubt that a committed individual cannot change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. [Small groups start with one individual,]" Start Loving

4:07 at YOUTUBE

BROTHERS AND SISTERS I HAVE NONE

YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BE HURT OR OTHERWISE BY THE FOLLOWING. IT IS NO MORAL JUDGEMENT, AND IT IS ENTIRELY FALLIBLE DUE TO MY AUTHORSHIP.

Today was a great day. But I am really hurting, too. The agony and ecstasy - always together.

Maybe you have children. If not, imagine that you do. Imagine that you have wonderful friends and "family." They love you. They even sacrifice for you! But they don't love your children. And they would not, and do not sacrifice for your children. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL? One of the things you would feel is, "Brothers and sisters I have none!" A void. Because "real" brothers and sisters, "family" WOULD love and sacrifice for your children. Right?

That's how I feel today, a deep void. And deep sadness. And great hopelessness. Nobody loves my Darfur children. ["In the face of suffering Love cannot remain passive," Teresa of Calcutta. (paraphrase)] Nobody can even consider sacrificing for my Darfur children (besides Reeves, Farrow, and two people in Darfur that I know of. FORGIVE MY ERRORS. CORRECT ME.)

I / we Darfuries have no family, including you, right? This is very hard to face. Jesus too has no family - "as you do unto the least of these my family, you do unto me." He too feels the void.

Please God, make this change. Soon. Very, very, very soon. Don't worry about me, and Jesus will be ok too. But the children. And my beloved dear ones here in the states. Bring them more aLive. Please? PLEASE? Make them wake up to the fact that they have divorced, DIVORCED their children, just like I did all those years. This must not stand.

Bonnie's blog: Searching for Jesus with Start. Con't

This continues to be a very valuable life and death search for the true Jesus at her Blog: http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/intellectuelle/archives/003610.html I suggest reading the whole thing. Our discussion of the last few days:

Dear Start,

I do thank you for this conversation. I have nothing new to add but would like to reiterate a few points:

1) You misunderstand love as it is referred to in the two new commandments. It is not a sentimental thing, done merely from passion for humanity. To love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is to love Him in truth, meaning, for who He is and for the truth about Him, Jesus, ourselves, and the world.

2) The “greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends” is from John 15. Earlier in that chapter Jesus says (paraphrased), “unless you remain in me you cannot bear fruit. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch, wither, and be burned.” Then He says, “love one another as I love you. Greater love hath no man...”

The context is important for understanding these verses. I encourage you to read this entire passage as well as the other ones I have quoted.

Laying down one’s life for one’s friends is not the same as destroying one’s life for one’s friends. It means to lay aside one’s ambitions and comforts, and put one’s life on the line should that become necessary. To be willing to die to protect others or for the cause of Christ, as did Stephen (Acts 7:54-60), Joan of Arc, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, hundreds if not thousands of soldiers, and, recently, Professor Librescu at Virginia Tech.

There is no evidence that your efforts will effect help for Darfur. This is not to say that we should not love people unless they love us back, but that our help must be actual. If you have a sense that, by hunger-striking, you have power to help the cause, it is a false sense.

3) My statements about my own involvement in the Darfur crisis are not about how I feel, nor whether I grieve for those who are suffering (I do), but about what I can do. You acknowledge this yourself, that there are many different needs in the world and everyone has different callings.

If those suffering in Darfur are my friends and relatives, then the VVF sufferers in Africa are your sisters, and the people who come to our local soup kitchen are your family too. My own blood and legal relatives are also your relatives, and you and your wife and children and other relatives are mine.

If you are speaking of the entire human family, then the corporate CEOs in this country are your family as well as those who hurl rude words as you picket outside the embassy. As are the members of the Sudanese government and the Arab militia who perpetuated the horrific abuse in the first place.

In peace,
Bonnie


Posted by: Bonnie at May 10, 2007 2:09 PM

Dear Bonnie,

"There is no evidence that your efforts will effect help for Darfur. This is not to say that we should not love people unless they love us back, but that our help must be actual. If you have a sense that, by hunger-striking, you have power to help the cause, it is a false sense."

What a fantastic comment! On what wisdom, knowledge, and expertise do you base this? Have you stopped a genocide before? Me either. Have you repeatedly workes "miraculous" turn-arounds of major situations? I have. Are you quite an expert in nonviolent actions? I am. Are you quite intimate with the traffic patterns, location, my actions, my daily routine, the recent NPR piece... to do with my specific actions and impact regarding Darfur on the people of DC and the nation? Hmmmm.

Also, yes of course I mean all people on the planet are my family. What do you know of me that would suggest anything other than this?

Start Loving

Posted by: Start Loving at May 12, 2007 10:40 PM

Dear Bonnie,

I find honesty and an attempt at truth in what you write. You are blunt with me but with what is at stake this is right. I pray that the same is true of me. I am upset, and I think you are too. I certainly am because I believe the beliefs, the interpretation you help to proliferate bars us from Heaven in this lifetime and the next. And, I suspect you have similar concerns about mine.

I too feel the need to summarize or restate points:

* I believe that your legalistic view of Jesus and His teachings, the 99.99% prevailing view among self proclaimed "Christians" has reduced His teachings to precisely what He died to eliminate. This does not require malice and I make no accusation of any. It requires incredible blindness - that of the Mind ungoverned by a barely functioning Heart.

* What kind of a god would rig this cosmic sweepstakes you seem to believe in? If you draw the lucky circumstances of a sufficiently dogmatic "Christian" family or experience that you profess properly; no matter how much one "does unto the least of these" under your legalistic "Christianity," or some other belief system, the "proper professors" go to Heaven!!!! What kind of "Father" would do such cruel nonsense? NOT A LOVING GOD. Gandhi for example - one of the few followers in history of Jesus ethic of love? One of the few Hearts that Loved all people, as Jesus Loved? Someone for whom Teresa of Calcutta had boundless respect and admiration? HELL FOR THAT MAN!!! He does not profess me as his lord and savior! Do you really want to be in league with such a petty gamester God? I do not. I AM not. Nor was Jesus.

* This legalism (sorry, I don't know a better way to express how I see your beliefs) of your system, you really think a Loving Son of God, a carpenter teaching "fishermen," would come up with such convoluted phrasing and structures? "Well yes, I said, "Love God...," and "Love your neighbor..." and "These are the two commandments." "Hmmm, yes, these sound simple and straightforward but they are not! Be sure to read the context (written 10's or 100's of years later NOT by Jesus!) How cruel! And, He didn't set the real "professing" rule did he? Wasn't that one of the Apostles? Hmm. The real rule for getting into Heaven and the Son of God forgets to mention it, or to make it clear? Odd.

* Are you not the least bit disturbed that your legalistic "Christianity" has produced the most non-Loving ("They will know you by how you Love one another," and from 1 John, "Whoever claims to abide in [Jesus] aught to live just like He lived"), the most un-Jesus-like culture known to man? Consumer Capitalism - "do unto others before they can do unto you" is our true Religion, we U.S. Christians; I implore you to see more about we legalistic "Christians" in a speech by Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recif Brazil at peaceandnonviolence [[dot]]blogspot [[dot]] com/2007/03/fetters-of-injustice-dom-helder-camara. A quote that gives a flavor: "Our responsibility as Christians makes us tremble. The northern hemisphere, the developed area of the world, the 20% who possess 80% of the world’s resources, are of Christian origin. What impression can our African and Asian brethren and the masses in Latin America have of Christianity, if the tree is to be judged by its fruits? For we Christians are largely responsible for the unjust world in which we live... [a social "order"] that consists in leaving millions of God’s children in miserable poverty, should rather be called social disorder, systematized injustice. Private ownership? Is it not evident to everyone that on this point we Christians have abandoned the Fathers of the Church, and that we have ended by attributing divine right to private ownership, whereas God’s law says that the wealth of the world should be shared by all, and should never form odious, oppressive monopolies?"
* Does it not interest you at all that when people, the one in a billion that finds the courage and responds to Jesus not a legalistic entity but as a brilliant, most Loving man in history, people like Gandhi, Bhave, Teresa, Francis of Assisi, ML King you get people that briefly at least, transform the world clearly in the direction of Heaven on Earth? Not so for the Legalists. But they don't really believe in Heaven on Earth do they? Heaven AFTER earth is their interest.

* I could go on, and on. But the above is enough.

I am not trying to argue, or to win an argument; nor that you have been for which I convey my respect. I do think you and I are dialoging on the entirety of matters in life - on the entirety of what we need to get right. And we've been warned that it is extremely difficult to do so. "The will kill you and think they are doing God's will."

Your Loving brother, Start