Do Your Job – Part III

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

An institution is a humanly created means to achieve an end. All the activities within it are designed by human beings to reach that end. An institution is like a hammer. It is a tool devised by humans to do a job. But, the hammer in order to do the job for which it was developed, e.g. put a nail in a piece of wood, must be employed according to its own intrinsic logic. The handle is held and the head of the hammer hits the top of the nail. To use a hammer contrary to its own logic, for example, to hold the head of the hammer and hit the side of the nail with the handle, is to misuse the tool and render it ineffective to achieve the end for which it was created. Once the tool is chosen its intrinsic logic must be obeyed. 

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AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION IS DEAD, LONG LIVE AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION

The Founding Fathers were explicit in calling for their politicians to set aside “faction” in favor of the American project. But the singularity of that project was always bullshit, most notably in its equally explicit rejection of a role in the political body for African Americans. […] Now that the fraud has been exposed and there is little, if any, agreement on what the American project is or should be, there is correspondingly less agreement on who ought to lead the nation.

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MARKINGSMASS – A Liturgy for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation

Based on excerpts from Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings

Our work of peace must begin with the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice we must be just. And how can we fight for liberty if we are not free in our own minds? Dag Hammarskjold

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Do Your Job – Part II

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series

Contrary to the reigning mythology about Catholic popes and bishops, they are not doing their job and have not been for a long time. To understand the truth and tragedy of this sentence, it first must be stated what the job of bishops is, for without this information it cannot be determined whether bishops are doing their job or not. In fact as opposed to the myths and PR that have arisen around bishops, bishops have a particularized job description, which was given to them by Jesus Himself. It is precisely set forth in Jesus’ Great Apostolic Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 to the Apostles, who are the predecessors of the College of Bishops and of hence all legitimate bishops.

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Is Healthcare a Right or Privilege? Wrong Question.

When people ask whether healthcare is a right or privilege, they are basically asking whether healthcare is either an act of charity or a luxury. And then if it is an act of charity, they ask whether others are entitled to that charity or not. Furthermore, this question implies that the benefits of healthcare go directly to individuals and not to society as a whole.

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Will Supreme Court allow businesses to not serve the LGBTQ community?

This week the U. S. Supreme Court announced that in the fall it will hear the case “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.” The case – which will have many of us LGBTQ Americans on pins and needles – will argue the parameters of one’s right to practice their religion and their right to express themselves freely that’s enshrined in the First Amendment.

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The Once and Future Scriptures: Exploring the Role of the Bible in the Contemporary Church

Can we learn to take the Bible seriously without taking it literally, to be honest about its historical, literary and religious character? Can the Bible serve as a source of faith, hope, and wisdom? In this book, academic theologians engage in a public conversation about the kind of Bible we have. This is not a book of answers, but a dialogue about topics such as the relationship between science and religion, the authority of scripture, and the impact of critical biblical scholarship on liturgy.

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

For two hundred years, scholars have been analyzing one of the most important books ever written—the Bible—and overturning much of what we once thought we knew. Everyday Christians, however, are not privy to this deeper conversation. It is for these people that renowned bishop and author John Shelby Spong presents Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, a book designed to take readers into the contemporary academic debate about the Bible.

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Do Your Job – Part 1

In the U.S. the most successful profession football coach by far is a man named Bill Belichick. He is an intelligent man. Over the thousands of football pre-game and post-game press conference he has had across the decades, he has talked about nothing except his team and the recent or up-coming game of his team. This has not made him a darling of the press. In fact it is quite the opposite. Even when there has been another one of those daily “breaking news” social scandals in the nation or in the National Football League—social scandals being the meat and potatoes of what is passed off as journalism today in North America, Belichick will not speak to the press about them, even if the people involved are on his team. He just says, “My job is to be a football coach. All that other stuff will be handled by the League Administration.”

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Occupy Spirituality

This book is a call to action for a new era of spirituality-infused activism. Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world.

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Hitchhiking to Alaska: The Way of Soulful Service

In this guide to soulful service, Jim Burklo draws from his deep well of experience working with homeless people, leading service-learning programs for university students, and pastoring churches. With touching stories, poetry, and parables, HITCHHIKING TO ALASKA illustrates universal principles about the spirituality of helping relationships. It shatters facile assumptions about what it means to serve. It inspires people of all religions, or of no faith affiliation, to aim higher in their works of service. HITCHHIKING TO ALASKA is recommended reading for anyone in any kind of helping relationship. It is particularly useful for service-learning professionals and students in secondary and higher education, and for leaders and volunteers in religious congregations and faith-based service organizations.

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HILDEGARD OF BINGEN: A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

For many centuries after her death Hildegard was ignored or even ridiculed but today is finally being recognized for her immense contribution to so many areas, including our understanding of our spiritual relationship to the earth—a contribution that touches on key issues faced by our planet in the 21st century, particularly with regard to the environment and ecology.

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Going to Church

In an honest and often blunt assessment of the Church she loves and longs to move forward into the 21st century, Susan Flanders looks at Christianity and her Church through the background of her own life. In her own journey as priest, wife, and mother she reflects on the great challenges that the Church has faced and continues to face and she also poses some of the changes it must make if it is to be a relevant force in today’s world.

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The Emerging Church

This book presents the biological principle of emergence and applies it to culture shifting in congregations. The universe knows how to do life from the inside-out. By moving away from cultures of command and control to a more natural organic model, congregations discover the key to their power and the secret to sustained vitality.

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Music’s Divine Healing Power

Research has shown that music has the power to change emotional states, perceptions, physiology and elevate spiritual awareness. Certain types of music, devotional and sacred in nature, also have the power to transform individual and collective consciousness into the heightened states of love, forgiveness, compassion and physical healing.

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Candles for the Uninsured

Trumpcare is cruel, immoral, and unholy. Every last person in this country should be and must be insured so that they have access to decent health care, and it is government’s role to assure that this is the case. As communities of faith, we must light the way and burn with conviction in resistance to this planned destruction of our nation’s health care system.

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Why Do Americans Keep Saying “We Can’t”?

Why do we keep telling ourselves that we can’t do things?

I keep hearing it over and over again: We can’t have . . . Universal health care. Public education that includes college. Higher minimum wage. Sustainable energy. Humane immigration reform. Safe harboring of refugees.

We can’t. We can’t. We can’t.

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