Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11. Eighteen years later.

I didn't quite believe "the world had changed," as many claimed on 9/11/2001.

In many ways, I still do not believe the world changed that day.

In fact, if anything, 9/11 may have only reflected for us (Americans), back to us, and forward for us into our future, who we *already* were, not that we had changed.

AND yet, I do believe *our responses* (as Americans) to the weaponization of airplanes on that day, striking at the "financial center" of America has demonstrated we shifted - though I believe it was a shift of magnitude in the same direction of who we already were.  

We did not become different.  

We only changed in the magnitude of our being more who we already were.

It seems to me the Imperial Claims of American Dominance are now now more narrow, more violent, more acquisitive, more cash-strapped-cash-hungry, more belittling of races, religions, genders and cultures, and more war mongering than ever.  

And, it does not bode well for the future of Creation that could be characterized by greater peace, greater solidarity, greater care, more kindness, more generosity, more benevolence, more tolerance, more reciprocity in sharing, better communication, dissipating misperceptions, less anger for past hurts that could be reconciled with confessional repentance one-to-another, and with greater attention to the Creational care concerns that shape the core of our future.


Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Hope for the Future - Christian Tradition

In the Christian Tradition - when the mother of Jesus is fully aware of her pregnancy, she sings a song.  Her song, recorded in the Bible in the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 1), celebrates more than just the arrival of Jesus.  

Her song reflects the traditions of an older prayer in Scripture, from Hannah in 1 Samuel (Chapter 2).

Both songs celebrate more than the birth of a child.

Each song celebrates the future hoped for reality of newness - and - reversals.

Reversals where the poor and downtrodden are raised up.


In a lovely 21st Century re-writing of the ideas found in these poems, Hillary Watson of Shalom Community Church in Ann Arbor, MI shared a wonderful poem found here.


I'll share snippets of it here:

Let me tell you the Good News: 
There is Good News.
That’s it: goodness, somewhere, rushing toward us in the place where future meets present tense. 
Hope unwinds across the fragile world and whispers its nightmares away. 
There is a good day coming, I can see it, when the walls built up between countries crumble back into the earth they rose from and all the people run free where they want 
. . 

And God is a woman, 
but not the way Ariana Grande thinks. 
And God is judgmental but not because God is mean but because God is all goodness sorting itself out from all evil and goodness reaches into every cracked chasm of our lives until it overflows with love and love and love and love. 

That’s why my smile scares you, isn’t it: 
because I tell the truth you never thought you’d see me trade two fistfuls of anger for two fistfuls of hope pulling it up from the bottom of the ocean like seashells
and don’t you wish you knew what it was to feel this joy? 

.  . . 
But I borrow joy from a future where your breath can’t reach, where your power doesn’t speak, I am in celebration for all our coming healing.Justice is the tsunami I will surf that gorgeous river setting everything free and don’t you see? 
This is just the beginning.


Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

This makes me physically - in my gut - sad

"Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation."

"The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else."

“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”

Article:

We can be better.

We can make other choices.

Human dominance can move toward careful stewardship.


Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Overcoming Hate - Christians learning to Love

Every year when I teach about the Shoah (the Holocaust) and on issues of Genocide, I start every class session with my encouragement that this course will change the lives every person.

I encourage every person to become an advocate for peace who will engage in actions of care & concern among the diverse matrix of human persons around the world.

I tell persons to be peacemakers, to be upstanders, and to be rescuers.

I was enlivened to view this 15 minute Ted Talk by a former member of the bigoted Westboro Baptist Church.  A daughter of the church's leader.

Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

The last lines of her powerful talk end with this:

. . . .we're all just human beings . . . . we should be guided by that most basic fact, and approach one another with generosity and compassion. Each one of us contributes to the communities and the cultures and the societies that we make up. The end of this spiral of rage and blame begins with one person who refuses to indulge these destructive, seductive impulses. We just have to decide that it's going to start with us.  (emphasis mine)





Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Virtue Among First Peoples

European settlers in America treated the First Peoples as "savages" be pushed out or killed. 




The First Peoples engaged in diplomacy for their territorial rights to land their ancestors had used for millennia. They were people of character.


Did First People's kill "white men"? Yes. As white men killed, too, and with greater impact  due to the diseases and gun-powder the white-men brought with them.


While all violence is complex and conflicts emerge in escalating forms of retaliation leading to battles and wars, it is good to remember that First Peoples in the America's were advanced in human care and discerned societal values which shaped communal character.

At this link you can read more about the Lakota Values.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Changing Lives - Minds & Hearts


"If you want to change lives, speak to people’s feelings, not just to their minds. Enter their fears and calm them. Understand their anxieties and allay them. Kindle their hopes and instruct them. Raise their sights and enlarge them."  
~ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Ha’azinu 5779)


Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.