The world has seen the inauguration of an American president whose online supporting community proudly calls “the absolute madman”. The world has also seen, in the past decades, the same country engaging in vicious forms of capitalism that subjugate and exploit poorer countries’ workers, accompanied with more bombing and killing than any other country, terrorizing and decimating families across the globe. The world has seen this country’s public debate overtaken by questions of police violence, constant shootings and gun control, racial struggles, LGBTQ movements, feminism, privilege, and revolts against the acclaimed 1% richest of the world in times of economical unrest. With all this struggle, being “politically correct” became pejorative, and increasingly labels like “liberal” and “conservative” are tossed back and forth in a constant polarization. All of it with the USA as some sort of symbol for several other countries, with its liberal and conservative, left and right dichotomy being reflected back by them, with a rising tension everywhere between those who push for one side and the other: the stereotypical religious white fascist defending traditional family and good values, versus the colored women and queer socialists who attempt to claim their rights for choice and equality. All of it being led by smart educated people on both sides, who are followed by uneducated, unquestioning parroting masses unable to break the dichotomy, unable to think that maybe, just maybe, it’s possible to agree with one point and disagree with another without defending indefensible party positions.
Amidst this global chaos, of which America is the eye of the storm, I see some Christians affirm each other by saying it is all going to be OK. That their citizenship is in heaven alone, so none of this is their business, they can sit back and mind their lives.
It makes me want to cuss, badly. Continue reading Christian Responsibility and The Hope of Another World: On Politics
I recently began my fourth year of university. Throughout this journey, I have gained many vital skills that will last me my whole life. But of all the skills and knowledge that I have thus far gained, it is the ability to listen that I cherish most. Continue reading Learning to Listen: Fundamentalism, Politics, and Opening the Mind
My Experience with Homelessness
In last year’s census of the homeless, volunteers counted 3016 homeless people in Montreal. In all of Canada, it’s estimated that there are more than 235,000 homeless.
This is a problem. Continue reading How Should We Respond to Homelessness?
One of the most important concepts of the religion of ancient Israel, and in today’s Jewish Kabbalah, is the concept of the Shekhinah (שְׁכִינָה), the Presence of God. After God gave the Torah to Moses and Israel made a covenant with God, God’s Shekhinah, his presence-glory, started to inhabit the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle. The Ark would come with Israel to battle, it would be the center of all worship festivals and rituals (the biggest community events), and it was the most sacred, cherished and protected thing in all of Israel. When enemies stole it, it was like complete darkness and defeat covered the land, a sense of abandonment by God, whose Presence has departed.
The Presence of God was what assured Israel of their importance, identity, and strength… Its departures and returns from the land marked the light and dark points in their history. What was the main reason why the Presence departed from Israel? The people becoming proud, ignoring the poor and the widow, and ignoring the afflicted. It was apathy, and greed for power and riches. In simple words, when love was absent, Love departed. Continue reading On Loneliness and Incarnation
“To think the way you think, you must be either dumb or dishonest — not to say evil.”
I grew up in a conservative evangelical circle. Evangelicals, by definition, are out there to spread the evangelion, the gospel, the good news about Jesus. That means that normally, we want to be the ones talking, not listening: we’re messengers, preachers. That also means that a lot of people hate us because we never listen to them. Those people are right.
It’s a sort of natural patronizing attitude we have: we’re walking around saying we have a personal relationship with the guy who claimed to be Truth incarnate, so, clearly, everyone should listen to us, right? We don’t even realize that there are a bunch of other Christians who claim to have that relationship with the same Truth-man and yet we all disagree on a bunch of things. Something is wrong. Continue reading Two Ears And Only One Mouth