The Profound Miracle a Marianne Williamson Presidency Would Bring About (Sunday Homily)

Readings for 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time: GN 18:20-32; PS 138: 1-8; COL 2:12-14; LK 11:1-13

Today’s readings are about the role of prayer in changing consciousness. On this topic, they share with us the understandings of Abraham, the Psalmist (sometimes called David), Paul of Tarsus, John the Baptist, and Jesus himself.

As you’ll see immediately below, all of the readings address changing our ideas about God from the One who punishes and kills to a merciful Father who wants us to be happy. The readings are about God’s mercy towards enemies and kindness to strangers. They’re about persistence, generosity, abundance, about sharing bread, eggs, and fish – and about debt forgiveness. As always, in a Christian context, they explain the New World Order that Jesus called the Kingdom of God.

In this (over-long) election season, I can’t help but make the connection between those readings about prayer and its mind-changing power on the one hand, and the candidacy of Marianne Williamson on the other. That’s because Marianne is the most prayerful spiritual leader I’ve come across in my lifetime of engagement with theology and with people attempting to connect with the Reality that some still call “God.” As such, Marianne’s candidacy credibly promises to change world consciousness from one dominated by fear and necrophilia to one characterized by forgiveness and reverence for life. I’ll explain how in a minute.

Today’s Readings

However, before I get to that, here are my “translations” of today’s readings about the miraculous power of prayer even as exemplified by Ms. Williamson and the great biblical figures just mentioned. Please check here to see if they coincide with your own understandings:

GN 18: 20-32
Sheik Abraham,
The product
Of bedouin violence,
Comes gradually to understand
That Yahweh listens
To prayers
On behalf of innocents
Otherwise lost
As collateral damage
In mayhem
Inspired by
Tribal lust
For war.
PS 138: 1-8

Yahweh, then,
Is not vengeful
But kind and truthful,
Close to the lowly
And far from the proud
Protecting his petitioners
And saving them
From those who
Would do them harm.
Col 2: 12-14

Thank you, Jesus,
For freeing us from
The world’s lie
That we are condemned
By a necrophilic God
And morbid legal system
Instead of freed
By One
Who forgives
And offers us
An entirely new
Way of Life."
LK 11: 1-13

To get there,
Jesus taught his friends
The prayer of his mentor,
John the Baptist:
“May God’s Kingdom
Come soon
With its abundant daily bread
And the same mercy
(And debt forgiveness!)
That Abraham
Came to understand.”
In God’s New Order,
And despite human reluctance
(And the midnight hour)
Bread, eggs and fish
Will be shared
Even with inconvenient
And rudely persistent visitors
In God’s Holy Spirit
That enables it all.

The Marianne Connection

Those readings about prayer evoke reflections on the candidacy of Marianne Williamson. As I was saying, I’ve never come across a person who so naturally, easily, and comfortably prays. Unabashedly, she invokes miracles one after another – just what we need in these troubled times.

But please note this: for Marianne Williamson, “miracles” do not refer to woo-woo magic events “out there” contrary to the laws of nature. Instead, they are profound interior changes in consciousness just like the one experienced by Abraham in that reading from Genesis.

And change in consciousness is precisely what we need in these times of overriding threat from systems-induced climate chaos, from nuclear war, and from the underlying fears and insecurities fostered by “leaders” such as Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Manuel Duterte, Jair Bolsonaro and the other fascist heads of state.

With those monsters in mind, I’m driven to imagine how a Marianne Williamson presidency would change planetary (yes planetary!) thinking from processes governed by fear embodied in those men, by (mostly state) terrorism – a specifically fear-inducing tactic – to one governed by love and reverence for life.

The miraculous change intimately connected to today’s topic of prayer, would go something like this: 

  • On Marianne’s accession to the presidency (actually, long before), the entire world would scour her books for clues to her real identity – just as they did with President Obama’s Dreams from My Father and with Mr. Trump’s The Art of the Deal.
  • Some would read Marianne’s spiritual guidebook, A Course in Miracles (ACIM) or (more likely) what Marianne describes as her ACIM CliffsNotes, A Return to Love.
  • Others would even take up the daily discipline described in ACIM’s volume II, A Workbook for Students.
  • In any case, the resulting analysis, commentary and direct experience would get people everywhere discussing ACIM’s basic ideas with the same fervor currently given to Mr. Trump’s “fake news” and “alternative fact.”  Those ACIM ideas hold that:  
  1. Our world of fear-induced violence is a completely human fabrication making Americans in particular (as Chris Hedges puts it) “the most illusioned people on earth.”
  2. No one is actually attacking us. Instead, according to Marianne’s analysis, most of the world’s violence is induced by an economic system that financially rewards human destruction fostered by the Military Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, and Big Oil. In other words, capitalism-as-we-know-it is our enemy including its ideological defenses.
  3. The way out of the resulting morass is forgiveness. That is, we must realize that the ones our culture habitually blames are actually innocent. Our problems are not caused by immigrants, non-whites, LGBTQQIAs, not by the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, Iraqis, Iranians, Yemenis . . . Forgiveness means accepting the fact that all of those just mentioned are not only our sisters and brothers. THEY ARE OURSELVES. Or as ACIM puts it, “There is really only one of us here.”
  4. Such forgiveness leads to atonement – to At-One-Ment, i.e. to specific policies reflecting the unity that exists between human beings and between humans and nature. Policies include reparations to the descendants of African slaves, to Native Americans, and to countries whose economies and cultures have been destroyed by imperialist wars encouraged by capitalism-as-we-know-it. Atonement with Mother Nature includes a Green New Deal.   


When Marianne Williamson is asked about her inexperience as a politician, she invariably invokes Franklin Roosevelt who said that the primary role of the presidency is not governmental management, but moral leadership. In fact, once elected, presidents can turn over day-to-day policy management to carefully chosen experts in each relevant field.

Moreover, the policies in question will end up virtually the same under any of the Democratic candidates all of whom claim to be “progressive.” They’ll all hire similar technocrats to implement Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, $15.00 minimum wage, and forgiveness of college loans. Except for Marianne and Tulsi Gabbard, with their emphasis on peace-building and military disengagement, all the candidates promise to support the same tired U.S. foreign policy.

Besides such crucial peace-building emphasis, what really separates the twenty or so candidates are their character, credibility, and personal values that will enable them to change the national and international conversation.

In a perverse way, Donald Trump has actually demonstrated the importance of character traits in the oval office. Think about it. In Trump we have a nihilist of questionable intellectual competence, completely without moral principle and with virtually no understanding of policy, how Washington runs, or even of basic history or geography.

And yet, Trump has changed the tenor of the national and international conversation more profoundly than any formally educated nihilist philosopher possibly could. He has literally reshaped the world by giving courage to fascists, racists, homophobes and misogynists of all stripes everywhere in the world.

What our liturgical readings for the day suggest (at least to me) is that Marianne Williamson’s life-long commitment to prayerful change in consciousness equips her better than anyone else not simply to return the world to normality after the Trump disaster. She can do more than that. She can move the entire world to the unprecedentedly deeper level of consciousness that our times and impending disasters require.

Marianne’s mindset represents what’s really required to implement the values of love, forgiveness, generosity and at-one-ment that we’ve read about today. They are precisely the values required by our desperate times. Implementing those values world-wide is the profound miracle a Williamson presidency could bring about.  

Marianne Williamson: The U.S. Is 100% Responsible for the World’s Problems!

After the first Democratic Presidential Debate, Marianne Williamson generated a lot of interest.

On the one hand, her name ended up being the most searched on the internet. With language and demeanor vastly different from the other candidates, people wanted to know who she might be.

On the other hand, Williamson generated a good deal of ridicule. Seth Meyers joked that she clearly won’t be around this fall. Ha ha; who would be so foolish as to think otherwise! Kate McKinnon (pictured above) offered a woo-woo Williamson impression that had Marianne eliminating global problems by burning all the sage on the planet. TYT’s Brooke Thomas dismissed Marianne as a “vanity candidate” intent merely on selling her books.

All of that was itself laughable for those who know Marianne Williamson. We know she’s not a woo-woo lightweight; she doesn’t need to sell more books; and if people understand just who she is and grasp her fundamental message, she’ll definitely be around this fall.

And that’s because her absolutely radical approach to politics supplies the simple key we’ve all been looking for to solve the endless problems on our national list, be it climate change, the threat of nuclear war, terrorism, or immigration.

Let me repeat: her approach offers a key far more radical and easily understood than anything Bernie or Elizabeth even imagines or dares to say.

The key I’m referencing is basic to the teaching of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), which has been the guidebook for Marianne’s life and teaching for more than 40 years. Williamson herself describes the course as basic Christian mysticism. It’s not a religion; it’s not for everyone; it doesn’t even demand belief in God. However, it does respond to the universal human quest for ethical principle and spiritual meaning, whether the quest is understood as generated by God, Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, the Buddha, Ultimate Reality, the Ground of Being, Life Itself, or Nature with a capital “N.”

But what about that key I mentioned?

It’s simply this: take 100% responsibility for your problems and deal with them accordingly.

That’s it. And, though difficult to actually implement, that assumption of complete responsibility will go a long way towards eliminating not only personal and inter-personal problems, but all our political conundrums as well.

How radical is that?

It’s the opposite, of course, from the approach of Mr. Trump – and even of Marianne’s colleagues on the debate stage. In contrast to Marianne, every one of them adopts the standard cliched and stereotyped approach so familiar to all of us in our personal lives: I’m not the problem; she is; he is; they are.

In political terms it’s refugees, immigrants, people of color, welfare cheats, unprovoked “terrorists,” the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Somalis, Libyans, Syrians, MS-13 gang members, and drug dealers. The list goes on and on and on. All of those included must be punished, subjected to sanctions, bombed, droned, or killed.

But we never find fault in ourselves. Never!

Pertinently and most recently, such unwillingness to accept responsibility was expressed by President Trump in his racist harangue against Congressional Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Presley, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC).  According to Mr. Trump all four representatives outrageously blame the United States the problems of terrorism, Palestinian oppression, public misinformation, and immigration problems. Here’s what Trump and his audience ridiculed as patently ludicrous:

  • Ilhan Omar “attacked our country” saying that terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people’s affairs. She even blamed the United States for the crisis in Venezuela!
  • Rashida Talib said that members of congress who support Israel have forgotten what country they represent.
  • Ayana Presley alleged that “ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country.”
  • AOC compared U.S. border agents to Nazis running concentration camps and claimed that inmates in the camps were forced to drink water from toilets.

To such accusations, Trump’s followers bellowed loud dissent. How could anyone possible accuse Americans of ignorance, of terrorism, of supporting Global South coups, or of maintaining concentration camps or at our border, or of facilitating them in Gaza? After all, (in Mr. Trump’s words) we are the “greatest force for peace and justice in the world.”

But, Williamson and ACIM implicitly ask, what if every one of those accusations is true? What if terrorism is largely blowback? What if the United States has indeed routinely undermined governments in the former colonies, including Venezuela? What if members of Congress generally appear more loyal to Israel than to their constituents? What if many Americans are indeed ignorant, and if those cages on our border – those baby prisons and child detention facilities – are actually concentration camps?

If we seriously entertained those possibilities, dealing with the problems in question would involve change – not principally on the part of our designated enemies – but on our own part. (Imagine that!) It would compel us to terminate uninvited involvement in the affairs of other nations. It would have us cease and desist, for instance, from regime change strategies, from support of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, and from abusing children by separating infants from their mothers.

In theological terms as understood in ACIM, accepting 100% responsibility for the world’s problems would involve:

  • Prioritizing the world as God created it, belonging to everyone and perfect before humans appeared – without borders, which (though useful for commerce and travel) are not part of the Love’s unchallengeable order
  • Admitting that we are not an exceptional nation – or as ACIM puts it: No one is special, while everyone is special
  • Forgiving those we habitually blame – meaning treating them exactly as we would like to be treated
  • Realizing that no one is attacking us without provocation
  • Yet being willing to treat genuine criminality (e.g. as represented by those cages on the border or by the 9/11 attacks) with humanely retributive imprisonment (and/or impeachment)

Put more practically (according to the points distinguishing Williamson’s platform from that of others who also advocate the Green New Deal, etc.), admitting our responsibility for the world’s problems entails:

  • Paying reparations especially to African Americans, but also to indigenous tribes and to the countries our unprovoked regime-change wars have destroyed.
  • Creating a cabinet-level Department of Children and Youth intent on making our schools “palaces of learning” and our libraries “temples of literature and art”
  • Funding a Department of Peace at the same level as the so-called Defense Department

Imagine a world in which we took 100% responsibility for climate change, nuclear disarmament, immigration, and all the other problems represented by those we habitually blame. Imagine a president using her bully pulpit to set a constructive national tone (vs. the destructive tone set by Mr. Trump) and helping us all to accept 100% responsibility not only for the world’s problems but for our personal conflicts as well. What would happen to our marriages, to our families, to our local communities?

Answers to those musings constitute the reasons why Marianne Williamson, far from deserving ridicule, is the very candidate our country needs.  

P.S. Watch how Marianne knocked it out of the park on Colbert last Monday night:

Jesus (& Mary Magdalen) Rejects the American Work Ethic (Sunday Homily)

Readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Gn. 18: 1-10A; Ps. 15: 2-5; Col. 1: 24-28; Lk. 10: 38-42. 

This week’s Gospel reading is fun. It’s about work and relaxation. It contains Good News for workers that contrasts sharply with the attitude of their employers.

The reading has Jesus and his closest companion, Mary Magdalen, exemplifying the Master’s habitual attitude towards work which is exactly what American capitalists condemn as laziness. Its take-away: forget Martha’s overwork. Instead, be more like Jester Jesus and Lazy Mary.

I’ll explain that in a minute. But before I do, let me offer an amusing reminder of our culture’s deification of work. It came a couple weeks ago in a Fox News interview with Donald Luskin, the CEO of Trend Macrolytics, a prominent Wall Street consulting firm. As such, it’s his job to forecast market trends and offer stock market advice to institutional investors. I imagine he spends his day making phone calls, having three-martini luncheon meetings with clients, or maybe advising them on the golf course or in a luxury suite at the local baseball stadium. For him, that’s work. It ultimately ends in pressing computer keys to implement his momentous decisions to “buy” or “sell.” Whew!

In any case, Luskin was asked on Fox about a recent report showing that retirement is becoming a thing of the past. In fact, nearly one in four Americans will never have enough money to quit the daily grind. When asked if he found the trend worrisome, Luskin said it didn’t concern him personally. On the contrary, and employing theological language, the man actually called it a “blessing” and a “miracle” that people have been relieved of the burden of retirement that workers had to endure in less fortunate times.

He said:

“It doesn’t worry me personally. I guess I’m one of those people who plans never to retire. I mean, I’ve got to tell you, what do people do when they retire? You know, how do you spend a day? I mean, is bowling that interesting? Is fishing that interesting? I mean, I happen to love my work. Why do I want to stop it? You know, it’s not like it hurts. Why would I stop it? This is great. What a great country where we have the opportunity to keep working. What a miracle where our lives are long enough and we’re healthy enough and mentally alert enough, so we don’t have to retire like generations before us. This is a great blessing. You should embrace it.”

Such words need very little comment. What do retired people do? Are you serious? How about: what you always wanted to do but couldn’t while working two or three meaningless jobs involving physical activity, danger, heavy lifting or boring repetitious tasks for clueless employers like Luskin himself. How about: volunteering for Habitat, working for Marianne Williamson‘s campaign (with its commitment to changed political consciousness); how about spending time with your spouse and grandchildren? How about traveling, reading, writing poetry, listening to or playing music, making love, taking naps, meditating, playing checkers or chess, hiking, learning a new skill, painting – and yes, bowling or fishing.

What Luskin reflects is our entire culture that locates “real life” in the shop or market place. In fact, we’re taught to prize overwork. This is especially true of “American” culture where unlike our European counterparts, we spend an average of three hours per week more on the job. That adds up to something like a month more of work each year than our European sisters and brothers. Most important, Americans take fewer (and shorter) vacations. The average American takes off fewer than six weeks a year; the average Frenchman almost 12. Swedes take the longest vacations – 16 ½ weeks per year.

Today’s gospel reading from Luke urges us to correct our tendency to overwork before it’s too late. In doing so, it directs our attention to the counter-cultural nature of Jesus’ teachings about how we should spend our days.

Yes, Jesus was extremely counter-cultural even about work. We shouldn’t forget that. As Deepak Chopra points out (in his The Third Jesus), the Sermon on the Mount, which captures the essence of Jesus’ wisdom, has him explicitly telling his disciples not to earn a living, save money, plan ahead or worry about the future. He actually does! Read it for yourself.

And did you notice the description of the “Just Person” in today’s responsorial psalm? Man or woman, they harm no one, do not slander, speak ill of no one, and refuse to accept bribes. All of that raises no eyebrow. We yawn: none of that seems particularly counter-cultural.

But how about, “They lend not money at usury?” Could anything be further from the work Mr. Luskin idealizes? Yes, lending at interest is considered robbery and is forbidden in the Bible. [What if all Christians (and Jews) kept that commandment? Our world with its economy based on credit and interest, would be entirely different.]

More to the day’s point: the world would also be different – our lives would not be the same – if we acted like Mary instead of Martha.

The misdirection of traditional sermons obscures that possibility. Customarily homilists understand the story of Martha and Mary in a strictly spiritual sense. Their commentaries use the two sisters to compare the active and the contemplative lives – as though poor Martha stood for lay people having to wait on others with no time for prayer like the more otherworldly Mary. Martha’s sister “choses the better part” like a contemplative “religious” eschewing “the world of work” and spending their time pondering the spiritual teachings of Jesus and living a life rapt in prayer and contemplation.

I used to think that too – until I read Un Tal Jesus (“A Certain Jesus”) written by Maria Lopez Vigil and her brother, Jose Ignacio. (The book has been translated into English under the title Just Jesus.) The authors are Cuban and now live in Nicaragua. Maria is a former nun; Jose Ignacio, a former priest.

Together the Lopez-Vigils created a series of radio programs broadcast all over Latin America. The shows dramatized the four gospels and presented a very human Jesus – the one who emerges from recent scholarship on the historical Jesus.

In Un Tal Jesus, Jesus is black, has a winning smile, and a very down-to-earth sense of humor. (The photo at the top of this blog entry shows Jesus as depicted in the Lopez-Vigil’s book.) The human Jesus portrayed in that radio series scandalized many and inspired even more throughout the Latin world and beyond.

As the Lopez-Vigils envision it, today’s episode takes place in a Bethany tavern owned by Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. It’s a place of eating, drinking and lodging for travelers. It’s a place of laughter, joking, over-eating and drunkenness. And Jesus is right there in the middle of it all.

Passover is approaching, and the inn is full of pilgrims. It’s steamy, noisy, and loud. Martha is on the job, waiting on tables and controlling the rest of the staff. Meanwhile Mary (whom scholars increasingly identify with Mary Magdalene, Jesus closest female companion) is distracted by conversation with Jesus, who is bantering with his friends.

And what are they talking about? Religion? God? Spirituality? No, they’re joking. Jesus is posing riddle after riddle. And Mary finds it completely entertaining. In part, their dialog goes like this:

Jesus: What’s as small as a mouse but it guards the house like a lion. One, two, three: Guess what it is!
Mary: Small as a rat…and…it’s a key! I guessed it, I guessed it!
Jesus: Listen to this one: It’s as small as a nut, has no feet but can climb a mountain.
Mary: Wait… a nut going up the mountain…a snail!…Ha, ha, ha, tell me another one!
Jesus: You won’t guess this one right. Listen well: It has no bones, it is never quiet, with edges sharper than scissors.
Mary: It has no bones… I don’t know…
Jesus: It’s your tongue, Mary, which never rests!

Well, Mary and Jesus might have found that sort of patter entertaining, but Martha did not. She’s in charge of the inn and is worried about her guests waiting impatiently for their food while bread is burning in the oven. So, she makes her complaint to Jesus: “Stop your chatter and let my sister do her job!” It’s then that Jesus makes that remark about Mary’s choosing the better part. She’s chosen socializing and play over work.

Does that scandalize you – Jesus distancing himself from work? Well, it seems completely consistent with what I said about Jesus earlier. It coincides with his general approach to work, money, profit, saving, and anxiety about the future.

What difference would it make in our own lives if we accepted that message: socializing, community, and fun are more important than the work people like Donald Luskin would have us devote our entire lives to?

What difference would it make in our culture if, in a context of underpaid labor and long hours on the job we elected candidates advocating “spreading the work around,” spreading the money around, shortening the work week, and affording us more time with friends and family, eating, drinking, joking, and playing?

That’s the message of today’s Gospel reading: we need more free time, more vacations, and assured dignified retirement.

Wake up, Mr. Luskin! Wake up, American workers: You have nothing to lose but your chains.

P.S. Here’s the actual interview with Donald Luskin along with commentary by TYT‘s John Iadarola

This Is What A Good Samaritan Looks Like (Sunday Homily)

Today’s Gospel selection, the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, couldn’t be timelier.

It’s read at a juncture in American history, where a Christian acting specifically according to the teaching of Jesus’ parable faces 20 years in prison. His crime? He provided food, water, lodging and hospitality to people whom the Trump administration would rather see die of thirst and exposure, because the president considers them sub-human.

I’m talking about Dr. Scott Warren (pictured above), a humanitarian aid volunteer and immigration rights activist. For years, he has worked with an organization called No More Deaths (NMD). Its members leave water jugs, clothing, and medical supplies for refugees and immigrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. Warren and NMD also keep track of the numerous cadavers they find there and have filmed U.S. border agents emptying more than 3000 NMD water jugs in their clear effort to create more deaths by dehydration. In fact, those border agents are the sadistic executioners who staff Mr. Trump’s concentration camp system. (Watch what they do in this film clip. Doesn’t their sadism remind you of the Nazis we’ve all seen in all those WWII movies?)

Coincidently, I guess, and soon after filming the murderers, Warren was arrested and tried for aiding two undocumented migrants. A hung jury failed to convict him. However, the Trump administration wants the man retried – again, for the crime of obeying Jesus’ mandate in today’s reading. (In fact, most reports of Warren’s case specifically invoke the imagery of “the Good Samaritan.”) His second trial will take place in November.

The sad irony is that so many of Trump’s supporters consider themselves Christians. Their single “Christian” issue seems to be abortion about which Jesus and the Bible in general says absolutely nothing. Nothing at all! And yet, when someone obeys Jesus’ clear and unambiguous teaching as in today’s Gospel, they want Jesus’ follower punished to the full extent of the law whose essence Moses describes as Love in today’s first reading.

It’s like what happened in Germany after Hitler came to power. There, the birthplace of Luther and his Reformation, Christians not only enthusiastically approved of der Fuhrer; they worked in his concentration camps. And then (as Elie Wiesel puts it) after cremating Jews all week, they went to confession on Saturday and received communion on Sunday. They could do so, because, mirroring Trump’s attitude towards immigrants, they believed Jews were sub-human.

That’s the same attitude Jews themselves in Jesus’ day had towards Samaritans. They were considered enemies of the state, because their ancestors back in the 8th century BCE, intermarried with Assyrian occupiers of the Jewish homeland. Intermarriage rendered Samaritans unclean. They were as sub-human as Trump’s immigrants or Hitler’s Jews.

So Jesus’ making a Samaritan the hero of his challenging parable, and contrasting the outcast’s compassion with the “couldn’t-care-less” attitude of professional holy men – the priest and the Levite – connects directly with the hypocrisy of Christians, the Trump administration, and those border agents all of whom have criminalized the fundamental human right of immigration.

No; I’m wrong:  they’ve actually criminalized God’s law of love as described throughout today’s liturgical readings. Read them for yourself here. In any case, what follows is my “translation” of their main ideas:  

 DT 30: 10-14
The Great Liberator, Moses
Exhorted the former slaves
To return to LOVE
The most obvious, uncomplicated
In the world.
PS 69: 14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37

Love is all we need
From Life Itself.
It is always kind
And helpful
Overflowing with gifts
And ready to protect
The poor, the imprisoned,
The exiled,
And those in pain.
Yes: All we need is Love.
COL 1:15-20
Jesus, the Christ
Shows what Love means –
That absolutely everything
Was created for Love,
The bond, the glue
That holds us all together
In complete at-one-ment
Transforming the human race
Into a single body
Despite resistance
And crucifixion
By a hostile world.
LK 10: 25-37

For Jesus (like Moses)
Love of God and Neighbor
Is the only law
Promising fullness of life.
The two laws are one.
Being “neighbor”
Means rejecting
The ignorance of
Professional holy men
And politicians,
Adopting instead
The compassion of
The very minorities
We’re taught to hate
Who provide
Health care, transportation,
Lodging, mercy
And money,
For those they have every reason
To hate.
That’s what it means
To love Our very Self!

Moses was right: Love is really all we need. It couldn’t be clearer. Jesus was right: Love is God’s only law. There is no other.

Trump, his followers and agents are wrong. They are criminal.

Or as the Master put it in another place (MT 10:42) “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

AOC & Joey B. (with apologies to Dudley Randall)

The present rift between establishment Democrats represented by Joe Biden on the one hand and progressive insurgents led by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (A.O.C.) on the other, focuses on the Green New Deal. The debate seems to reprise a similar divide in the Black community between W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington. Their issue at the turn of the 20th century was education and whether African Americans were better served by a vocational curriculum or by the liberal arts. Dubois favored the latter approach, Washington, the former. In 1969 Dudley Randall wrote a famous poem encapsulating the controversy between cautious conservatives and more revolutionary leaders. It was entitled “W.E.B. and Booker T.” Here, I borrow heavily from Mr. Randall to similarly encapsulate the current debate between the Biden and AOC forces.

 “It seems to me,” said Joey B.
“It shows a mighty lot of cheek
“For someone young like you to speak                          
“Of Green New Deals and rising wage
“When all big donors shout with rage
“At Marxist thoughts of equal share
“Of voting rights and Medicare.
“That’s not the way to win the vote
“We’re better served to go by rote.
“And simply do what we’ve done before.”
“I don’t agree,” said A.O.C.
“We need new vision, words and plan
“Remember our loss when Hillary ran
“Saying words like yours so ‘tried and true.’
“She lost to Donald and so would you.
“And besides, Mother Earth has raised her voice
“To tell us all we have no choice.
“Time’s running short the experts say.
“My Green New Deal will save the day.”
“It seems to me,” said Joey B.
“That folks like you have missed the point
“Who tell us ‘Times are out of joint’
“And spend vain days and sleepless
“In uproar over workers’ rights
“Let’s keep mouths shut, and do not grouse,
“Be content to know you’ve won the House.”
“I don’t agree,” said A.O.C.
“For what can winning votes avail
“If all earth’s systems drown and fail?
“Unless we join to change our way,
“Your grandkids and mine will surely pay
“For the near-sight vision of pols like you.
“But as for me I’ll choose the New.
“I’ll take my chances that people know
“The Green New Deal’s is the way to go
“It seems to me,” said Joey B. –
“I don’t agree,” said AOC.

Marianne Williamson & the Immigration Crisis (Sunday Homily)

Readings for 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: IS 66:10-14C; PS 66: 1-7, 16, 20; GAL 6: 14-18; LK 10: 1-12, 17-20.

The theme of today’s liturgy of the word is exile and deliverance from captivity. In its light, I can’t help thinking of all those refugees at our southern border and of Marianne Williamson’s wise and unique response in last week’s second Democratic Debate.

According to our readings, the immigrants and refugees our politicians want us to hate are exiles like the ancient Hebrews in Babylon. They are the victims of the rich and powerful as were the Jews in Jesus’ day, when Rome occupied his homeland aided and abetted by the Temple clergy. That is, today’s biblical selections say that the poorest and most vulnerable among us are God’s own people.

Yet incredibly, the richest and most invulnerable at the top of our contemporary social order – the very ones who crashed our economy, looted our common treasury, and escaped unscathed with the handouts we ourselves provided – somehow want us to believe that the poor exiles from their beloved homes in Central America are the cause of all our problems.

But remember: the home lands of these exiles from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are the very countries whose economies our government purposely and permanently crashed in the 1980s. Then, the Reagan and Bush I administrations used drug money to finance illegal wars that ended up killing hundreds of thousands and replacing governments and social movements whose primary beneficiaries would have been the parents of those at our borders today. The latter are victims of the drug lords we established and supported during the ‘80s and who today are doing the same things they did 40 years ago – marketing drugs while terrorizing and murdering the innocent. I’m talking about the generals and other military officers who are now the drug kingpins.

That’s the point Marianne Williamson tried to make at the first Democratic debate. But no one picked it up. None of the other candidates elaborated on Ms. Williamson’s observation that today’s immigration “crisis” amounts to our government’s reaping what it sowed. The other candidates still haven’t seconded Marianne’s point. Instead, they and their interlocutors remain stuck in the same old, same old. They mouth the standard political platitudes while ignoring the shameful history that explains today’s headlines.

It’s been that way from biblical times and before – rich foreigners oppressing poor locals. Listen to today’s readings. Or, rather, read them for yourself. Here are my “translations.”

IS 66:10-14c

These are the words
Of Isaiah’s prophecy
To all in captivity
By Powers
Foreign and domestic:
“Your time of desperation
Is nearly over.
You will soon
Return home
Like starving infants
To Mother-Jerusalem.
With hunger satisfied
And prosperity
Along with joy
And comfort, comfort, comfort
At last!”
PS 66: 1-7, 16, 20
Our liberator
From exile
So kind and powerful
Is the answer
To the prayers
Of captive people
And a source of joy
For the whole
Human race
And all of creation.
No obstacle
Can impede
God’s destiny
Of liberation
Joy and freedom
From oppression.
GAL 6: 14-18

Yes, our destiny
Is an entirely
New World!
Where the world’s distinctions
Are meaningless.
Acting accordingly
Will bring
Compassion and peace.
The World
Crucifies us
For this belief.
We’re called to
Bear its torture
And scars
As Jesus did.
LK 10: 1-12, 17-20

Paul’s words
Agree with Jesus
Who sent
Thirty-six pairs
Of “advance men”
And women
To announce
(Like Isaiah)
From oppression
By powers imperial.
Like lambs among wolves
Like monks
With begging bowls,
They healed and proclaimed
God’s Great Cleanup
Of a world
Infested by demonic
Imperial oppressors.
And it worked!
Every one of those 72
Cast out evil spirits
Just like Jesus.
(Despite powerful opposition
And crucifixion.)
Some have ridiculed Marianne's debate performance. However, that only shows how our country thought-leaders have become tone-deaf to biblical values. They consider them ludicrous.

For me, that only signals the necessity of doubling-down on support for the only one in the crowded Democratic field who courageously insists on the values embedded in today's readings which identify the keys for solving the problems caused by "experienced" politicians. As Marianne says, those keys are love and forgiveness precisely for and of those the rich and powerful vilify.

Marianne Williamson Speaks for Herself

Just for fun, here’s an interview with Marianne Williamson whose candidacy for POTUS I’ve been trying to promote. I’m doing that because I think Marianne offers the national presidential debate a refreshing, deeply spiritual dimension that it sorely needs. She makes that contribution in a way helpful to believers, non-believers, and those who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” In any case, give this little interview a look and listen and see what you think.