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#RevThread # 160(b)
Stewarding Righteous Anger

1/Both "Hamlet" and its comic counterpart, "Measure for Measure" deal with the management of emotions that are outraged by injustice...
2/... I say that just to show that this is a big issue. Handling it badly can lead to many deaths; handling it wisely can lead to social renewal.
3/ Here’s what comes to me: Righteous anger needs to be Sustained, it needs to be Confined, and it needs to Counterbalanced.
Read 20 tweets
#RevThread # 153
Apostles of Greed

1/ After FDR had spent years preparing for D-Day, he told his inner staff on June 5 that he needed to write a prayer he wanted to broadcast the next day...
2/...They offered to help him compose it. He said, “No, boys; thanks, but some things a man has to write for himself.” Greatness.
3/ In the prayer he wrote, FDR spoke of those who had to be defeated if freedom were to survive. He asked God to help the Allies defeat “The Apostles of Greed.” That may seem like an odd way to describe Fascism, and a strange thing for a man who inherited vast wealth to say.
Read 36 tweets
#RevThread #152
Stone-Catchers and Stone-Casters

1/ In the final chapter of “Just Mercy", Bryan Stevenson’s great account of his life’s struggle against the systemic racism of our justice system,...
2/... Bryan recounts meeting an elderly woman who for years attended a courthouse in Alabama, offering comfort and solace in the court’s lobby to those in pain, as judges and courts grind down African Americans. She explained that she is a stone-catcher.
3/ Stevenson asked about that and this woman then spoke of the stone casters. You know, as in “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Read 13 tweets
#RevThread #150
What’s wrong with folks like me?

1/ Periodically, American Manhood gets worried about. Usually the lament is that men – and this lament has always been by White men and about White men – have gone soft, become weak, blah, blah, blah...
2/ In Evan Thomas’ "The War Lovers" we’re introduced to the trio of men who propelled us into our second Imperial folly, the Spanish American War...
3/... William Randolph Hearst, Teddy Roosevelt, and Henry Cabot Lodge persuaded a reluctant President McKinley to go to war in order to save American Manhood, which had “gone soft” in the 30 years since the Civil War.
Read 15 tweets
#RevThread #153
“Testing, testing; is this thing on?”

1/ “The heart of man,” Jeremiah laments, “is desperately wicked; who can understand it?”
2/This thread will attempt a dive into the unconscious of our irrational and conflicted leader. I’m wondering why Trump cannot face or deal with this reality: He cannot prosper, we cannot manage this pandemic,..
3/... and no one’s life can have any security until we develop and deploy a system of testing the population for the presence of the Coronavirus.
Read 28 tweets
#RevThread # 152 (Take 2)
This Other Eden, Demi Paradise

1/ In Shakespeare’s Richard II, John of Gaunt, an aging, frail power-broker, approaches his death while considering the rule of his wretched nephew Richard.
2/ Richard, poor kid, was made king at age 10 and, though essentially a fop, has to struggle with two great problems:
3/ his own inability to focus on affairs of state, and his growing awareness that all around him know that he is utterly inept -- an entitled party-boy who constantly sees himself as a victim.
Read 18 tweets
#RevThread #152
This Other Eden, Demi Paradise

1/ In Shakespeare’s Richard II, John of Gaunt, an aging, frail power-broker, approaches his death while considering the rule of his wretched nephew Richard.
2/ Richard, poor kid, was made king at age 10 and, though essentially a fop, has to struggle with two great problems: his own inability to focus on affairs of state,...
3/.. and his growing awareness that all around him know that he is utterly inept--an entitled party-boy who constantly sees himself as a victim.
Read 7 tweets
#RevThread # 151

1/ I’m going to share a clinical assessment in this thread, so first here’s a bit of my background. In the 70’s I did some clinical pastoral training in the DC area as part of my seminary experience.
2/ My wise dean, sensing my inclinations of head over heart and verbosity over humility, arranged for my training to take place in a reformatory in Laurel, Maryland.
3/Teenagers from DC in trouble with the law were incarcerated there. The whole thing was difficult and revelatory. To this day, almost 50 years later, thinking of what those souls revealed to me makes me weep.
Read 23 tweets
#RevThread # 150
On Evil

1/This is a moment when, in St. Paul’s great phrase,
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)
2/The struggle against evil is both subtle and daunting. We’re up against a bold onslaught of wickedness in high places at the moment. The world-wide resurgence of autocracies, the heedless plunging into ecocide, ...
3/..the cruel disdain for the poor as our government shovels wealth into the hands of the 1/10th of 1% -- all this is a wanton defiance of God’s word, God’s love, God’s creation.
Read 33 tweets
#RevThread # 148
A Very Present Help

1/ “God,” according to the opening of Psalm 146, “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”
2/ I'm thinking of the mother dying in the hospital alone because her husband and child cannot be allowed to visit her. I’m thinking of the young man who pays his rent from the tips he was receiving as a waiter at a restaurant now closed;
3/...of the elderly woman whose scheduled knee replacement is postponed indefinitely, though the pain is now too great for her to walk; of the dad whose micro-brewery has to close and he can’t see how to feed his family and keep the business going with no income.
Read 25 tweets
#RevThread #147
A Retired Pastor’s Plea

1/ Occasionally I get into the control delusion. Well, more than occasionally. And then something happens that reminds me: Control? Not so much.
2/ So consider that we were tottering along as the richest, most powerful, most everything country that ever could be. And we had as a leader a mobbed up guy who was, lots of us dreaded, a shoo-in for re-election. Can old Joe ever beat almost-as- old Don? Probably not.
3/ Old Donald has no morals, grifts along getting richer and more powerful by the day, going to wherever the Dems were doing a primary and out-staging them with his cult rallies. And the economy was booming and the stock market was soaring and Brad the tecno-genius ...
Read 21 tweets
#RevThread # 139
What Lies Ahead

1/A couple of sources for you: in the current issue of The New Yorker, Jill Lapore has a brilliant 10-page summary of the history of impeachment going back to Medieval England.
2/Reading it helps us understand why impeachment has never removed a president before and most likely will not remove Trump this time. Yet each impeachment of a president has been very consequential, and this one will also have profound consequences.
3/The second source is the interview with Nancy Pelosi on the Stephen Colbert show on October 31.
Read 42 tweets
#RevThread # 138
Walking Well

1/Listening to the Clintons, Speaker Pelosi, Barack Obama and Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings at Elijah Cummings’ funeral was really inspiring. There was something healing and magnificent in what each of these gifted leaders had to say...
2/.. about a person they all acknowledged as their mentor. They were -- every one of them -- good preachers who knew how to draw from Scripture. Contemplating Elijah’s grace ennobled all of them.
3/I’ve had the experience of preaching in several African American urban churches, and I can tell you that the congregations always drew out of me better stuff than I knew I had in me.
Read 19 tweets
#RevThread # 137

1/One of my favorite characters in the Book of Acts is a Pharisee named Gamaliel. There’s a big fight going on about who’s righteous. Some of the clerics are getting hot enough to put wrong thinkers to death...
2/When Gamaliel -- “a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people,” got up to talk, he looked at the oh so righteous ones and said, “You might even be found opposing God!”
3/Right now, we have a barely sane monster of greed and lust leading America.
Read 15 tweets
#RevThread # 135

1/ Donald Trump and his enablers are scofflaws. That is, they flip the bird to those of us who value the law.
2/ In the emerging story of Trump’s attempt to conscript the new president of the Ukraine into a plot to discredit former VP Joe Biden and his only remaining son, we find yet another clumsy, stupid and vicious piece of mob-boss behavior by our - God help us - Commander in Chief.
3/We are collapsing into autocracy.
Read 13 tweets
#RevThread # 134
Our Moment

1/Partly to get away from our tedious President, I’ve been pondering chapters 18 and 19 of John’s Gospel, which cover Pilate’s treatment of Jesus on the day he executed Jesus.
2/I’ve been noticing how skillfully the leaders of church and state cooperated to make Jesus their scapegoat. Pilate used great cunning in the moment.
3/As I track with our increasingly tedious President, I also remember that Jesus identified with the poor and with other scapegoating victims.
Read 24 tweets
#RevThread #133
Hearts Trained in Greed

1/ I write during the week following the slaughters in El Paso and Dayton. Clearly, deranged young white men, influenced by Trump, are attempting to start a race war inside America.
2/ Trump is now revealed to be a white supremacist. Indeed,he has called himself a white nationalist. Trump’s compulsive, mobster’s cruelty once again surfaced as he insulted person after person on his way to console the grieving relatives of those killed by his adoring acolytes.
3/We are dealing with a vicious human being whom we, as a free people, have lifted to power. Trump had lots of assistance from Russia, true, but the GOP can not bestir itself to object to Russia’s sway over him.
Read 22 tweets
#RevThread #132
Stewards of the Mystery

1/ St.Paul says that as a preacher and leader of the Jesus movement, he - and by extension preachers like me - are “Stewards of the Mysteries of God.” (1Corinthians 4:1)
2/ I like that. The idea of the steward is that the steward is never the point; what he or she is taking care of belongs to Someone Else. God and God’s “mysteries” are the point. Hmmm.
3/ The main mystery of “Mysteries” is, of course, God. If someone claims to you that he or she has God all figured out, my advice is to put your hand over your wallet and back quietly out of the room.
Read 25 tweets
#RevThread #132

1/ It’s time. The threats to our democracy are now overwhelming and occurring in plain view.
2/ I feel something of the exasperation Jesus expressed about the blindness of the religious leaders of his day: “...You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matt. 16:3)
3/ Here are some of the main threats to our democracy: A President who is immoral, stubbornly ignorant, and cheerfully criminal;
Read 20 tweets
#RevThread # 131
Mueller Report

1/ My wife and I ordered a couple of copies of the Washington Post edition of Mr. Mueller’s report. It’s 750+ pages because there’s a 50 page introduction, a separate and wonderful article about the lives of Mueller and Trump,
2/ and -- after the two volume document -- the texts of all the indictments Mueller’s team produced. Took awhile to read.
3/ Here are my two main take-aways: we have sustained a major, debilitating, successful attack by a malevolent, mafia-led state which intends to attack us again; they have empowered us to install a criminal enterprise, beholden to them, in the White House.
Read 34 tweets
#RevThread #130
“ . . . Thy Liberty in Law”

1/ The second stanza of “America the Beautiful” ends with this complex exhortation: “Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!”
2/ When the professor and poet Kathleen Bates went to Colorado Springs and climbed Pikes Peak and saw the grandeur of it all, the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” came to her. Major inspiration.
3/ Let's meditate a bit on confirming liberty in law.
Read 26 tweets
#RevThread # 129
Enough already!

1/ I haven’t posted in a while, as I struggle through the Mueller report and sit slack-jawed before the great reveal of American depravity on TV.
2/ For the last 3 years, one of the most painful features of Trumplandia, for me, has been the craven support offered the lout by prominent Evangelical pastors. I am not prominent, but I am an evangelical believer, & I am so not buying the “sent from God” theology about the Don.
3/ It’s probably good advice not to confess the sins of others, or, as our brothers and sisters in 12- step work nicely put it, “don’t take other peoples’ inventory.”
Read 31 tweets
#RevThread # 126
Big Gift

1/ In Robert Burns’ “To a Louse”, the poet is in church when a grand lady sweeps into the pew in front. She’s wearing a very fine hat with various things piled on it. ...
2/...And as he looks at the back of her head, a small critter emerges from the stuff on her hat and looks at him.

“Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?”
3/ I can imagine the folks getting those awful church giggles, where the harder you try not to laugh the funnier it all seems. Burns then writes his immortal line:

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!”
Read 23 tweets
#RevThread #125

1/ I write after the Mueller report has been submitted and given the Barr twist, amid considerable despondency both among the patriots and within my own heart. I’ve found that periods of desolation, at least for me, are always helped by clarity.
2/ So here is what is now clear to me: it’s up to us.
3/ Trump, the Kremlin, the corrupted GOP, Fox News, and corrupted parts of the White Evangelical church comprise a demonic force that our currently structured government is incapable of withstanding.
Read 35 tweets

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