Sunday, January 27, 2013

John Kerry and Rebellion Against the Status Quo... Political and Religious

John Kerry's eye-opening Wikipedia page
Kerry was a Catholic altar boy descended from Jewish grandparents.


Dear Fred,

Thanks for Frog Hospital.

Have you read Kerry's 1971 testimony concerning the Vietnam War? 

Here is the written transcript. 

And here -- starting at minute 10:18 -- is the audio file of Kerry's testimony.

Conservative America cannot deal with fully-contextualized truth - whether political or religious.


Concerning your predictions about equality and Catholicism...

I realize that "Rome" is wealthy, powerful and beneficiary of humankind's conservative religious instinct (at least on the formal, organizational level).

Even so, I think the church is in existential crisis.


The doctrinal superstructure that gradually transformed Yeshua from a carpenter-teacher-miracle-worker-itinerant-preacher into a co-equal manifestation of God Almighty -- the same transformative process that converted Yeshua's "do-right" moral disciplines into the passivity of "salvation by grace" -- are increasingly threadbare premises. 

Admittedly, the co-equality of "The Son of Man" with "The Son of God" --- and the re-definition of ubiquitous grace as "Salvation Through The Cross" --- are powerful mythic teachings. 

As you may know, I consider myth central to the human condition. I learned this valuation from St. Mike's professor, Father J. Edgar Bruns -- author of "God as Woman and Woman as God," "The Forbidden Gospel," and "The Christian Buddhism of St. John." 

Bruns taught that "myth is truer than history": he also taught that history was a high and noble pursuit. 

Fundamental to Bruns' genius was his ability to "take truth where he found it," thus elevating "all that was good," with little if any thought to condemnation. (Notably, Bruns' office was next door to McLuhan's.)

Relative to Yeshua's personal history, the mythic re-working of Christ's nature-and-mission was overly concretized by Rome, starting with Constantine and reaching high water mark during the Middle Ages (in whose impressive shadow Catholicism still operates).

Currently, the brittleness of stone-solid Vatican teachings is about to shatter, a prospect conservative Catholics contemplate with horror.

Liberal Catholics, however, perceive pending change as close kin to the categorical transformation of Rome's "theology of usury" -- once a singularly damnable sin, now a historical footnote.  (Wikipedia's "Usury" entry.

N.B. Usury lost its grip on the theological imagination when it became clear that Capitalism could not operate without it. In effect, the church saw the onrushing train of a new economic order and simply stepped aside to accommodate it. (Currently, Islamic cultures, which still condemn usury, find themselves at the same crossroads. In the end, Allah will also make way for Capital.)  

It is true that Rome's perennial brittleness performed the great good of shielding long-suffering peasants from the harsh vicissitudes of pre-scientific life. (Until 1750, half of humankind died by age 7. Until 1900, humans lived half their lives with toothache.)

But now that life is no longer subject to unrelenting suffering -- now that reality is experienced as "process" rather than "immutable stasis," now that "we seem to be verbs" -- the rigid paradigms of Catholicism's "Golden Yesteryear" no longer resonate. 

The situation is analogous to the political crisis of The Republican Party: it is an all-white, conservative Christian, stylistically-paranoid constituency, hell-bent on restoring "the six-shooter frontier." The Shootout At The O.K. Corral is fundamental to our apocalyptic passion for Armageddon

I am struck by how many "Good Christians" have lost Faith, Hope and Charity, and now pine for the cleansing conflagration of God's smiting hand. I have no idea what this "perdition" bodes but it is emphatically not Catholic.

For better or worse, young people are so conditioned by America's prevailing matrix of mixed-bag give-and-take that imperious doctrinal dictates, grounded in medieval theology, have become impenetrable anachronisms as inscrutable as David slicing off 200 Phillistine foreskins to pay bride price for King Samuel's daughter -- one of many wives, none of whom David loved as much as Jonathan.

The only way to embrace these anachronisms is unquestioning adherence to "fundamentalism," an approach to Christianity at odds with the essential indulgence, mercy and confessional forgiveness of Catholicism.

In turn, ferocious fundamentalism propagates "conservative" hostility to the modern world, particularly peer-reviewed science and other forms of deeply contextualized learning. (Aquinas, Galileo and de Chardin are rolling in their graves.)

Obligated to "check one's brain at the funamentalist door," American conservatives -- be they sacred or secular -- consider Barack HUSSEIN Obama a Kenyan-born Muslim socialist, anti-American, job-killing quisling, whose Anti-Christ goal is to strip Americans of their guns as prelude to surrendering the United States to a One World Government headed by Arab sheiks.

Straight-jacketed by Impossibly Pure Principles, American conservatives must - as night follows day - project cosmic evil onto a pretty good man doing a pretty good job.

Admittedly, Catholicism (as we have known it) will not be overthrown.

However, absent profound "metaphorical shift" (of de Chardin-ean magnitude) the church will be abandoned because people no longer understand its "wine-skin, foreskin metaphors," nor consider it lovable.

Instead, young people see Catholicism as a white, patriarchal organization determined to keep women, gays and dark-skinned people "in their proper place." (I can no more conceive a black pope than I could conceive a black president in 2004. Then again....)

Despite its residual indulgence, the Catholic church has become a finger-wagging scold whose hierarchy is more closely allied with the monstrosity of Bible Belt Bible Bangers (  than the remarkable nuns who have become Catholicism's most inspired -- and spirited -- Carriers of The Light.

Watch very closely when Rome completes its "study" of American nuns and (almost certainly) uses its patriarchal power to attempt a knockout punch that will (as Rome envisions it) send the The Pope's wimpled subjects "back to the cloister" where they will resume their pre-ordained destiny as servo-mechanisms of Father  

I encourage you to dicuss "nuns" with your parish priests to get a sense of their profound esteem for these women - whatever hidebound Rome says.

In my experience -- and admittedly North Carolina Catholicism is an odd "missionary" bird -- overworked priests have come to depend on their nun-collaborators. Without nuns "in their corner," most parish priests would be lost. Given this existential dependence on nuns, priests will not play along with Rome's fey attempt to restore "full patriarchy" as if "Impossible Purity" could be "headlocked" like a wrestling maneouvre. 

Your current edition of Frog Hospital concludes: "Traditional forces will rally around the Church and make a last stand."

Did you consciously choose the phrase "last stand?"

Or did it simply "well up" in you?

Either way, I agree.

The "last stand" is coming.

Just as the idiotic forces of decadent "conservatism" are coming to an end, so too will the mono-polar (monopolistic) rule of ecclesial conservatism and its evil twin, ecclesial patriarchy.


God knows...



PS I very much enjoyed  the following TED Talk   Like McLuhan before him, Clay Shirkey spotlights the interface between technology and "the quality of consciousness." When Rome stonewalled The Protestant Reformation,  it missed the boat on the dawn of mass literacy, choosing instead to double down on  a vision of Christianity that insisted on the mediation of "educated priests" who would enlighten "uninformed laity." Protestants, on the other hand, overvalued intellect-and-individualism at the expense of community. As Shirkey sees it, the radical decentralization of community-based communication technology promises a synthesis of Individual and Community with both emerging stronger as a result of their interaction. The "loser" in all this will be centralized authority, which may or may not be a good thing. Personally, I am hopeful. The Apocalypse is literally Revelation, and despite widespread "communicational debris" in the early going, Revelation is "on the ascendant." As you have said before: How marvelous that you and Laura Wood and I are now able to share our gifts universally, instantly and for free!  

On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 11:03 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote:

FROG HOSPITAL -- Jan. 25, 2013

By Fred Owens

John Kerry, Secretary of Ambiguity.  
I like John Kerry as Secretary of State. His ambiguity over Viet Nam marked his character. He
 wanted to serve his country and yet, when he did, he found it was senseless. He fought and earned his medals, then threw them away. He could not resolve his inner conflict on the war. With far less effort, other people formed positions pro and con, but they did not find the truth.

The War in Viet Nam was maddening. You were damned if you fought it, and you were damned if you ducked the draft and stayed home. If you were a young man in those years, you were bound to lose. There was no path to honor. John McCain may have believed in the mission, but no one else did.

John Kerry, from his privileged family, could have avoided military service quite easily, but he joined up and saw what he saw, and came home conflicted. As such, he is a man after my own heart, and he might finish his career well by this last good service to his country as a diplomat.

Women in Combat. One things leads to another -- this is the law of social dynamics. Acceptance of same-sex marriage has led to the admission of women in combat. The broader trend is the battle against gender distinctions. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is not at issue here, but we ask a related question -- "What happens next?"

Target. Three exclusively male institutions remain in this country, standing as pillars of patriarchy. The Boy Scouts of America are reserved for male leadership and male membership as well as a prohibition of homosexuality. College and NFL football teams are exclusively male. The third and biggest pillar is the Roman Catholic Church with its all-male priesthood and hierarchy.

Prediction. The Boy Scouts of America is the smallest and weakest of these all-male citadels. Sex abuse law-suits will impoverish them. Their prohibition against homosexuality will banish them from most meeting places. They're going down, to put it bluntly, to be resurrected when they decide to invite women and girls to join the troop -- women as Scoutmasters, girls as scouts, and gay men and women as leaders. It will simply become the all-inclusive Scouts of America and go on from there.

As for football, the sheer bulk and muscularity of college and pro players will prevent females from joining the team -- but a campaign of awareness about head injuries will lead to changes and new rules. Hard-hitting will be discouraged. Women will qualify as referees and coaches, if not players, and an 11th player position will be created -- a no-tackle position, suitable for women and even disabled players. Even now, it is conceivable that a woman might qualify as a punter or field goal kicker........But, one way or the other, football is not going to about brawn, muscle, and gladiator combat any longer. They will learn to play nice and the "hits" will become ceremonial and symbolic.

Finally, the gender equality wave will crash against that bastion of faith, the Roman Catholic Church and it's all-male priesthood. This is where feminist leaders will encounter serious resistance. The Church is global in reach and vastly wealthy. Billions of dollars in pedophilia court settlements have not threatened the church's foundation. Traditional forces will rally around the Church and make a last stand. I don't expect a significant change here in my lifetime.

Well, that's the forecast. There's been quite a debate over same-sex marriage, but having gone over that hump, the admission of women in combat seemed the next obvious thing. So, not to discuss the right or wrong of these changes, but to examine the social dynamics -- what happens next? These are my predictions. What do you predict?

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My blog is Fred Owens

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

No comments:

Post a Comment