Jim Cashman (pictured above), a former colleague of mine in the Society of St. Columban, recently wrote this comment on my blog, “Would Jesus Celebrate July 4th?” There I had shared how some of my relatives found my blogs too shrill and a “poor man’s, left-wing version of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity” A few months ago, Jim wrote another very well-received blog called “More Joy in the Barrio than in the Suburbs” (February 11th). Jim is Irish and left the priesthood about the time I did. He lives in Japan, and is currently visiting the land of his birth. He writes:
I repeat: I think your blogs are refreshing, informative and thought provoking. I totally support your Peace and Justice blogs. You lay reality out.
Being accused of ranting means your focus is true. I do not see politics in terms of “Left and Right;” that is all Murdoch and Co stuff. Instead it is a case of “moral and immoral.” Droning on for any reason and “Just War” arguments in the world we live in are barbarism.
By the way, Geronimo and later Howard Zinn were not too impressed with 1776! Your historical insights into the times and character of Jesus are all powerful stuff.
What I like about your approach into the minefield of religion is that you don’t preach, point, or worse still wag the finger. The wagging finger for me and many is like pointing a Glock. I spend the least time I can thinking about RC-related dogma.
Peace and Justice and the history behind the gospels in Jesus’ time support faith, based on reason. The core of religious belief associated with Jesus is that it excluded coercion.
Evangelizing is so often intrusion into human rights. This was a reason I quit the priests. (Apart from a Vision who had just landed on 4th row from the back, 2 in from the aisle.)
At 75 we are all interested in religion.
Luckily being in Japan simplifies things — like their transistor! Get on board any train, especially at morning or afternoon and one or two of the approximately 15,000,000 mothers and their children will likely join. And so often you hear maternal command: “Do this; do that,” but always with the reason why. For example “Take your feet off the seats. Don’t shout. Pick up your trash – because this is an intrusion on others.” Search “Go meiwaku” and you will get the idea.
This is the basis for what we call “religion” in the west – the Golden Rule of Jesus — and others. Most of the other Pauline type rules are optional but one always has a right to believe even what one has never attained or experienced.
But the Golden Rule like all corner stones is the easiest to understand and the only indisputable one. Breaking it results in separation from God . . . presuming there is one.
Please keep up and expand the blog Mike. It makes a big difference.
The new Reich all around us is inevitable. The dogs are in the street. This time Auschwitz will be for all left standing — multinational, multiracial, and non-denominational. It will be a ‘virtual’ prison within our own home. The few with the "moolah" and their puppets will be left to enjoy the view.
As I type I notice on TV the Cardinal of Dublin, swinging off a thurible is in a cloud of incense, leading thousands on yesterday’s Pro-Life Protest. There he thinks he’s on solid, safe ground defending the irrevocable sanctity of Life.
We humans always have a choice. We can wake-up with a spark in the mind, as you promote – or a BANG, as the door is kicked in.