Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

nonviolence or nonexistence...

Dr. King told thousands of people at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee: "For years now, we have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can we just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence." John Dear
Martin Luther King, Jr., understood our situation profoundly. He summed it up in his contingent prophecy for the rest of human history: "Nonviolence or nonexistence." King knew humanity had passed beyond the imaginable limits of violence at Hiroshima. Today, God and history challenge us to pass equally beyond the imaginable limits of nonviolence. King, like Gandhi and Jesus, felt there were in truth no limits to nonviolence. " Jim Douglass
I'm concerned about living with my conscience and searching for that which is right and that which is true, and I cannot live with the idea of being just a conformist following a path that everybody else follows. And this has happened to us. As I've said in one of my books, so often we live by the philosophy 'Everybody's doing it, it must be alright.' We tend to determine what is right and wrong by taking a sort of Gallup poll of the majority opinion, and I don't think this is the way to get at what is right. Excerpted from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arnold Michaelis, compliments of The King Centre.
Where am I going with this? Towards a universal ecumenism (beyond merely Christian ecumenism). More from John Dear:
I’ve come to the conclusion that all the major religions of the world are rooted in nonviolence. Islam means peace. Judaism upholds the magnificent vision of shalom, where people beat swords into plowshares and study war no more. Gandhi exemplified Hinduism as active nonviolence. Buddhism is all about compassion toward all living things. Even Christianity is about nonviolence!
But for the True Believers In The Nonexistence Of God there's a problem here... And a lesson as well...

Many "on the left" fancy themselves to be atheists (more about such gross ignorance in another blog post), and a fair few of them reflexively avoid studying the utterings of religious teachers. Yet they (erroneously) like to think that they form the core of the anti-war movement. Not only is that not true, but their dismissive attitude towards religions divides the anti-war movement unnecessarily and thereby diminishes its effectiveness.

And the lesson? The lesson for believers in atheism is that if they want a unified peace movement, they need to stop the ideoligical war they wage upon religions. (And likewise, the religious believers could learn much from the utterings of nonreligious teachers, and they too could realise that there are many atheists in the peace movement, and therefore stop their ideological war upon atheism.)

I think it's high time that ecumenism goes universal and that it recognises, not just the need to not wage war between religions, but also the need to not wage war between religions and atheism. And therefore it behoves atheists to actively join this ecumencial discourse and to do so in the true spirit of ecumenism.

Peace, pace, paix, pax, paz, frieden, shalom, vrede, etc., etc.

(P.S. Sorry I've not posted for so long, but the Big Black Dog has been savaging me again...)

34 Comments:

Blogger GreenSmile said...

Yay! Gerry's back! We can all come out and play now.


Oh, right then, uh I guess I better read the post and say something to the topic.

January 24, 2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Interesting coincidence: Saturday night, we took in a film on Zalman Schachter Shalomi, a home made bio about the founder of "jewish renewal". One segment titled itself "ecumenism" and tried to say why this rabbi went to meet the Dalai Lama along with clergy of various other religions...its hard to describe but it left me slightly high.

January 24, 2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

Good post, Gezza.

"Buddhism is all about compassion toward all living things." - I don't think there has ever been a case of Buddhists launching a pro-active aggressive campaign, has there? Correct me if I'm wrong people.

January 25, 2006 4:52 AM  
Blogger chumpsrock said...

And he's back. (Stunning entrance.)

In terms of the variety of people in the world and the variety of professions to choose from, there are bound to be rotten apples in nearly every bushel. Maybe I'm too pessimistic, or maybe this factor needs a little more recognition.

The premise holds a tremendous amount of value, but only if the desired outcome is truly the same for everyone. This primitive existence sees too many afraid to die - amidst their dedicated beliefs, the end of their world as they know it remains beyond comprehension. Until something more concrete reveals itself, money continues to be the next best thing.

Only more incentive for select few to guise themselves in reputable professions while maintaining personal efforts to increase material worth.

This thought makes me ill, and just when I bend over to hurl, I remember something someone said that was so inspirational, so perfect for the moment, and it brings me back.
Every time.

January 25, 2006 4:41 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

Just when I think it's safe to throw my brain in my handbag the bear comes back.

Nothing wrong with religion or atheism, just the people who turn feral about them.

January 26, 2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I've been thinking about it overnight.
These people have one thing in common, fear.

The atheists fear there will be a God and they won't get into heaven.

The religious fear there won't be a God and they won't get into heaven because there isn't one.

If they stopped concentrating on what comes after dying and start doing good on earth this minute, the next hour,the next day then we'd all be better off.

January 27, 2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

Fear attracts Fear. Mebbe they feed off each other. Dunno.

January 28, 2006 3:21 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I think you're right, Davo. Religious people want to convert everyone so that there are no sinners for God to be mad at. Atheists fear being forced into believing, going back to the age of the inquisition. If this doesn't sound right, blame the heat.

January 28, 2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger me & God... said...

aiight, I'm taught that it's a Spiritual War - a war against Satan - the ultimate baddy - and vice versa. None of this bland, boring, peaceness... The peace happens within you. peace out. Happy Chinese New Year Gerry.

January 31, 2006 4:34 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

(Warning: veering off-topic)

Could you be lured out of that cave if we taunt you, oh Bearlike One?

February 02, 2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

That does it! I'm hijacking your post Diogenes! We who come here expecting to be kicked in our conscience or merely puzzled are going to camp here with our comments, relevant or not, until you come back.

The reason I didn't fight in Viet Nam was because I was "crazy". I didn't actually plan or work for that end...it just happened that I went into a really profound depression after I got rejected by a certain young lady...needed antidepressants for a while. The shrink the college sent me to had a long list of much healtier patients who wanted and connived for a 4F so he fixed me up without my asking. Not actually proud of that, really.

Am I getting interesting yet?

So here I am, in fact no crazier and running on far fewer brain cells than back in that day. No two of us are alike Gerry. I don't have the demons you do, and noone has the demons I did. But one morning I woke up and said "who's fucking mind is this anyway?!" The sun shone that morning and quite a few since.

Always tell myself: "lets just see what happens next."

February 03, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Good on you, Greensmile!

I don't have anything interesting to say, so I'll just go ahead and taunt you: I bet that yes, you do shit in the woods.

Come back, Gerry. Even a growl would be better than nothing.

February 03, 2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Dodgy: Just so your doctors will have to work as hard as you do, point them to the stories about diabetes subtle link to depression. I saw all the second and third hand reportage as it rippled out through the science press and only today found out that the real science work was done in my own back yard. [but I swear, all my visits to McLean hospital have been to poach rides on its excellent hilly mountain bike trails.]

February 04, 2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

gettin back to the topic.

I'm not an orthodox atheist. Actually sometimes an apostate atheist. I don't mind how others face the void at the end, I don't care which sources they fasten onto as they gaze into their own mysteries. I only get bothered when they presume to tell me how I should deal with mine. Gives me huge problems with evangelical [fill in the blankety blank denomination]

February 04, 2006 2:17 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

And takin' just a short detour for a minute (please excuse me, Greensmile) - Gerry, I bet you look like this.
:)

February 04, 2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

deirdre, do you realize we could go right through his blog and unravel all his threads without getting chewed up.

His furryness' absence could be a lot of fun for us.

On the other hand, it might be the devil's work, he could have given the black dog rabies.

February 05, 2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I like the cut of your jib there, JahTeh! Create havoc while the Smelly One is absent. Excellent idea :)

On the other hand though, I'm just a teeny bit scared of retribution. Did you see that doco about bears on ABC TV last night? The claws on those things...

February 06, 2006 5:29 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

yes deirdre - the spectacle bearcubs were wonderful and so was their mother.

Greensmile - your comment above about the Rabbi visiting the Dalai Lama, gave me a mental picture of the Rabbi and Lama moving on to visit the Pope - and the group starting to look like a sort of ecumenical Village People.

Gerry - call the Ranger and have that damn roaming dog picked up and impounded.xxxxxx

February 06, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

[laughter off stage...probably coming from massachusetts]
I am enjoying the party but I do wish Dodgy weren't missing it. How to roust him? How check in and see if he's OK?

February 07, 2006 12:41 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I'm trying to think of a good name for the ecumenical Village People, but it's beyond me. Laughing though, Brownie. They've already got the razzle-dazzle in the costumes... now for just a bit of rhythm and choreography :)

Have you heard from the Dodgy, Greensmile? Any sightings, anybody?

February 07, 2006 9:35 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I've been checking the Blue Mountains for news of bloggers found with their throats ripped out but nothing.

Ethical question here. If it's the CIA, will it be okay for us to rob a bank to raise the ransom?

After all, His Royal Bearness is a national blog icon.

February 07, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

"After all, His Royal Bearness is a national blog icon"

Yes, I have a picture of his eyes on the back of my bog door.

Whoops ... you said blog icon

February 07, 2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Stop it, Ron, that's too funny and this could be SERIOUS! The CIA!!

Could we call on the Queen? Y'know: honour among... royals? Save Our National Icon (SANI), Your Maj, go on!

February 07, 2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Yeah, so I can spell. SONI. But SANI is just better.

February 07, 2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

uh oh! are the gods fooling with our little play-world of bearly sane rantings?
hadn't noticed when but I see the Aussie and the elsewhere blogrolls have lost all their listings.

izzat you Dodgy? Are you messing with us? Don't try any funny business. You mess with us and we'll riot. Well break furniture. we will stop using spell checkers.. Hell, we might just throw off all our punctuation and run around in run-ons.


[deep breath.] lets just wait and see if anything else changes.

February 08, 2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

and then, all just as mysterious, blogroll is back...must be blogroll and not Gerry.

February 08, 2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger Link said...

A free for all on grumpy's blog. Yay!

February 08, 2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

So, that's really all you philistines want, eh? A bloody banal, off-topic chinwag on other people's blogs, eh?

This is what happens when I stop cracking the whip? Mindless buffoons!! Grrrr! :-)

Seriously though, Thank you all for your comments. I still can't get my brain around responding to them though. Even less, to post new stuff.
Sorry.

And your emails? They are even harder to face than this stuff. I've gone seriously sociophobic.

When I find my mind again, I'll deal with it.

Till then, chat amongst yourselves for a while if you like. (And to this end I'll create new, one-word pseudo-posts every week under which you can then babble on aimlessly to your most wonderful amusement while the world inexorably goes down the tubes.)

The band playing on the Titanic... Nero fiddling... These are images I get.

Again, thank you all for your concern and kind thoughts. You're all good eggs...

God bless America... and little Johnnie Howard... and Charles Manson...

February 08, 2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger BigBob said...

Actually, Nero fiddling is a myth.

Seems the crazy Emperor responded much better than Shrub did for Katrina.

History is a wonderful, changeable feast.

Damn good to see your words Mate, we was all getting a touch more than concerned I think.

February 08, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I was on the Titanic and the band was bloody good.

Nice to see you're not at Gitmo, grouchy although that 'God Bless Howard' has me worried about alien abduction.

February 08, 2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Yeah, what happens if the Grouch starts supporting the government now?

...

Oh well, what the hell. He's back, and a bloody banal, off-topic chinwag on other people's blogs is JUST what I'm always looking for.
:)

Look after yourself, Your Bearness. Glad you're still around.

February 08, 2006 5:26 PM  
Blogger me & God... said...

man you're so popular.

you get emails?! i'm impressed.

i'm lucky if i get one comment in a month. but....... i kinda like it that way.

and your friends are so funny aswell.

don't do anything dangerous to yourself!

x

ps. i've got a new link on my site

February 08, 2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

As promised, an apology or partial apology as the bill hasn't passed the House of Reps. 25 male senators proved they weren't pricks, a win for sanity.

*Curtsy*

*grovels backwards out of the august presence of the Ursa Major*

February 11, 2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger phil said...

I don't wage ideological war on religions but I get extremely bloody annoyed when they insist on imposing their absurd constructions and silly little rules on me. Believe if it gives you comfort, but don't proselytise. And I've found another blog where I think I will feel comfortable! Ain't life grand...

February 11, 2006 6:46 PM  

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