I’m not really sure what to put here. It’s kind of a weird placeholder the website guys put in this particular website template. SO, I’d just say, don’t worry about reading any of this. Move on to the blogs or the books. Or social media.

Super-Victimary Machine

We seem to be living in a state of moral anxiety, pulsating into fits of hysteria. It feels like we've decided the only way to gain attention is by assuming higher moral ground. Higher, of course, is relative to the other, but we don't care just as long as we can justify our righteous indignation. 

But all of us have contributed to the problems in our society. It's true, and I am chief among the contributors. The more I point the finger at the other, the more it insulates me from own culpability. The louder I yell, in particular without first listening to the other (something our social media environment is good at encouraging me to do) the more I invigorate a spirit of accusation. 

My reading of the passion story through the lens of people like Rene Girard helps me see that a spirit of accusation will lead us somewhere, namely, crucifixion. 

That is, a catharsis.

A release. 

Driven by our own fears that we are being victimized, we will heap abuse onto the other until they are victimized… and killed. Our spiritual enemy has no other goal than to create a "super-victimary machine that keeps us sacrificing in the name of the victim." (Girard, pg 169, "Evolution and Conversion")

The problem is, it works. Yes, scapegoating brings peace. For a time. But it will never last. The only lasting peace is forgiveness. And the higher ground of love isn’t higher at all… it’s lower.  

This may not help our economy, or our businesses be more productive. Honestly, it doesn't' even seem to help in growing a church, as we understand the church in our culture. But when all the posturing, finger-wagging, and posting shakes out, the only thing left will be love.

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One of the most awkward and difficult prayers I pray from time to time can be found, among other places, in Common Prayer.*

A Litany of Humility 

Lord, grant me the desire…

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

*One note... don't allow this prayer to be used in such a way that it would keep you in an abused or oppressed situation.

 

 

Toward Atheism

The State of Hope