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A Call for Transformation. My Occupy Seattle Port Arrest.

Yesterday evening, I was brutally beaten by my brothers on the Seattle Police force as I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port in my clergy garb bellowing, “Keep the Peace! Keep the Peace!”  An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt.  Between my cries of pain and shouts of “I’m a man of peace!” he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground.  With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side of my face for long enough that I had time to pray that the crunching sounds I heard were not damaging my brain.  I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my face and clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, “I’m a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible.”  He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery. 

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Occupy Wall Street

There were different types of protest, some more violent than others. But the vast majority of the people were simply there to make a statement. “We are not going to let you get away with this.”

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An Ass and a Bunch of Zombies: The Triumphal Entry and Occupy Wall Street

Yesterday (October 4th, 2011), the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement channeled Michael Jackson in “Thriller,” dressing up like zombies, complete with fake blood, stupefied stagger and an insatiable appetite for money.
It was blatant political theater of the absurd.

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Occupied

Until the 1870’s economics was an offshoot of moral philosophy. Adam Smith believed in a capitalist economy grounded in a non-capitalist morality. For him, “honesty, thrift, discipline, cooperation, and not consumption and unbridled self-interest were the keys to happiness and social cohesion.”

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part IV – Believers & Ingrates

Before any of this can speak to 21st century post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-Christian minds (if it can), first remember that John’s Gospel is an extended proof – an argument.

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

In this informal and accessible survey, Spong will move book by book through the Scriptures, introducing their themes and messages by examining the sweep of history in which these books were originally written. What has history taught us? How should we read these stories today? What does it mean for how we live our lives? And why do people tenaciously hold on to so many myths associated with the Bible? For the vast audience of people eager for a meaningful journey into the Bible, Spong leads the way.

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Christmas Theologies and Billboards

To make the news at Christmas it seems a priest just needs to question the literalness of a virgin giving birth.  What progressive interpretations try to do however is remove the supernatural obfuscation and delve into the deeper spiritual truth of this festival.

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The Trouble with Epiphany: Gift Giving as Genuflection, or the “Tebow” Factor

The trouble with an epiphany is that it often leads to enlightenment!  And enlightenment can alter the way one sees the world and one’s relationship to it.  As such, anyone who would bend the knee in praise and adoration might do well to consider it can also be a radically subversive act of obeisance and allegiance. 

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part I – Signs and Wonders

More than being a “human being” on this earth, John’s gospel calls for a transformed life: water into wine; a temple made of distributive justice-compassion, not gold and stone.

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Epiphany: More than changing light bulbs

“Sin” is not about sex, or petty transgression. “Sin” is about the seduction of power-over others; of the gratification of having what others cannot have.

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Topics: Bibles and Bible Study, Early Christianity, Jesus Studies, and Progressive Christianity 101. 8 Points: Eight points. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Ages: Adult. Texts: Amos, Deuteronomy, Luke, Mark, Matthew, Philippians, Psalms, and Romans. Resource Types: Articles.

Occupy Christmas, or, What’s in a Word? – A Christmas Commentary on John’s Prologue

“The divine word and wisdom became human, and made itself at home among us.”  So begins the Prologue to John’s gospel, with a far loftier and esoteric version of Jesus’ nativity than any birth in a barnyard. But more so, John’s introduction to a good news gospel reaches across the ages to not only give new meanings to the words he uses to describe the incarnate word of God; but gives fresh insight into some of our own vernacular, and how we might even redefine Christ’s mass ourselves.

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Good News, Bad News: An Amnesty Gospel for Advent

There’s two sides to every story, and there’s often some good news and bad news. Is the Gospel all good news? That depends. This Advent commentary considers the implications of rethinking and retelling the Christmas story.

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The Coming of Jesus – An Answer to Prayer?

A look at how Christians today still want the kind of physical power Messiah that the Jews hoped for and who will change the world for us, when the actual need is for a spiritual change within ourselves and for us to respond to a vision and a challenge.

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A Voice in the Wilderness

The underlying assumption in this study of Luke (and eventually Acts and the authentic letters of Paul) is that Luke wrote his gospel and his account of the Acts of the Apostles as a subversive counter to Roman oppression, and the Roman imperial theology that proclaimed Cesar (whether Augustus or Tiberias) as the son of God.  The voice of John the Baptist screamed from the edges of civilization about “repentance” until Herod Antipas had had enough.

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Toward a New Cosmology: Advent 2011

In a parody of the story of Caesar’s birth, Jesus of Nazareth was heralded by angels, and born of a virgin.  We can still hope for direct action against oppressive Empire and for distributive justice-compassion; against a greed world and for a share world; against zero-sum gaming of every system devised by humanity, and for a radical abandonment of self-interest.

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