Who’s in Charge?

Written by: Joe Morris Doss

Democracy is supposed to maximize the agency of the individual citizen, to give everyone, to the extent possible, the opportunity to control her or his own destiny together with fellow citizens. Today, few of us in the United States who are ordinary citizens feel that we have much of a say. We share a profound sense of being out of the loop, in some else’s control, helpless. This is leading to rather scary possibilities. I make no secret of my most immediate fear that could come of this: election of a pseudo-strong-man hyper-nationalist who will “take charge” by running over whole categories of population that he opposes and seek fatuously simplistic solutions that will not come close to working, but instead can be devastatingly counterproductive. Whatever may come in the fall, the fact is that our collective sense of being out of a political ballgame that feels rigged begs some analysis and evaluation.

It will not surprise anyone that people of faith are unsettled by the institutional decline of the church and by the overwhelming secularization of western culture. A society that has no faith in religion, and takes so little interest in transcendent reality, will become faithful only to matters that cannot ground us and are bound to fail us. If being out of touch with reality is the definition of insanity, then it is hardly surprising that human society seems increasingly crazy, for it is more and more out of touch with the fullness of reality. It is especially dismaying to a Christian to grasp how misunderstood the gospel of Jesus Christ is within this society – despite the assumption that it knows all about it. In fact, the Christianity that is popularized in American society comes closer to the first century pagan religious understandings of God and humanity than to the vision of the man from Nazareth. But let’s come back to this after some consideration of facts “on the ground.”

We will need to think about this in a series of offerings. This will be more productive if you contribute to our thinking about why we feel that we lack the personal agency that we once enjoyed. Nothing would be more helpful than a conversation. I would be happy to post whatever you have to say.

I have to begin with an admission that I don’t understand the world as clearly as I used to think I did.

I wrote a book (The Songs of the Mothers) in which I asserted that the world is changing so much and so rapidly that the church, as an incarnational faith, was going to have to change in order to adapt to it, and serve it as the body of Christ. Thus did I predict the coming ecumenical reformation and issued a plea that we begin reforming now – even if full and ecumenical reformation is not so immediately at hand.

I based this assertion regarding the church’s reformation on the premise that there have been only three watershed reformations (The Constantinian Settlement of the Fourth Century, the Gregorian Reformation that established the Medieval Church, and the Protestant and Catholic Counter Reformations of the Sixteenth Century) and they came about because of two simultaneous forces. First, there was, in each instance, so much pain being experience by the faithful within the church that the internal call for reform was insistent. But at the same time, the world was changing so profoundly that the church too had to adjust just as radically, by way of reform.

That brings us to the question of what is forcing change in the world today. Historically it takes a turning point crisis or a technological revolution to bring about the magnitude of change the world is in the process of going through. Today we have both. We will begin our discussion there.


Where Is the Leadership of The Military and Law Enforcement in Protecting Us Against Guns in the Wrong Hands?
Written by: Joe Morris Doss

Shame on you, Officials of Law Enforcement!

Shame on you, Leaders of the Military!

Trained officers who use guns professionally, and lead men and women who use guns professionally, know what these killing instruments are for and what they are not for.

Why are you not standing up and demanding that society rid itself of the wrongful use of guns through controls you know very well how to set up and employ?

Why are you not leading the rest of us in the establishment of laws that limit the use of guns to what you as professionals understand to be intentions that are suitable and right?

We take note that you do not allow anyone to go onto military posts with a gun – including soldiers – with the singular exception of military police. Yet, you say nothing as criminals, drug dealers, gangs, and kids walk the streets of American cities, towns, and villages with guns in their pockets – as innocent citizens are killed in our land each and every day.

The truth is that you have the standing, authority, and respect to succeed in providing the leadership needed for gun control. Why do you fail us?

You talk about providing leadership, but you fail to provide it at the most fundamental level of your professional aims. You claim that the very purpose for your existence is to protect citizens, but you fail to do the single most obvious thing you can to actually protect us – prevention of violence. Prosecutors and judges, people throughout the system of criminal justice, claim that they are working for our protection – including putting away human beings who use guns wrongfully – and yet do nothing about having the guns themselves put away.

Enough!

You are guilty. You are in neglect of your duty.

You are called upon to turn about and act in accord with your purposes as law enforcement and military leaders. You are called upon to demand laws that effectively protect the innocent people of the United States from the foolish proliferation of weapons of war and crime!


On Saturday, February 15, The Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates will be hosting a national meditation and prayer vigil for the many citizens affected by the excessive and inhumane use of solitary confinement. She asks that people in the US and around the world take a stance within their own communities against the use of solitary confinement at 5 p.m. on February 15.

Read More…


Joe Morris Doss

Joe Morris Doss

By Joe Morris Doss

The former Governor of Arkansas, Presidential candidate, and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee issued the bold declaration that “women aren’t weaklings!” Wow. And then he went on to explain that they are not “in need of government handouts, including the contraception mandate in Obamacare.”

According to his reasoning, the mandate to provide women with contraception insurance for their health care is an “insult to the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without ‘Uncle Sugar’ coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system.”

Read More…