Good and Evil in a Secular Age

By good I mean
what comes from the willful
exercise of what makes for good
tolerance helpfulness
democracy and non-idolatry

By evil 
I mean the conscious
inflicting of harm
whose end can and does result
in the taking of life

We are as we always have been
in a secular age
where history is made by persons
all persons
by their conscious
choice of the values
on which they act

Thus good and evil
is not something we can 
somehow move beyond
We can move beyond the hoary values 
that continue to set the stage 
for evil events
For we must rest assured that
evil is the result of our choosing values
built on intolerance
on the failure to help and enable
those in need and on the denial 
of the same rights to all 
Evil and idolatry are
partners in the creation
of a culture of

Simply because we live in a secular age
is no reason to suggest that
we fail to define what evil is
and to confront it
confident that the values
that save us are embedded 
in all persons
and that evil results when these values are 
ignored and repressed

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Our Shabby Plutocracy Class Matters

Class has many meanings
I do not mean class as defined 
by metrics like income or race 
I mean it more as Pirsig means quality
So when I say plutocrats have no class
and Obama does
I think as follows

Class is intellectual openness
Class is appreciation of quality
Class is the distance that says I do not
suffer fools gladly

There are some things one might associate
with class in America
like Harvard
But Harvard has produced its share
of snobs bullies and ideologues

Class is fragile
It can be lost
It cannot be willed
It cannot be attained
If I think of my friends
and acquaintances
who have class
they range from
a friend out West who raced
drag strips and lives hand to mouth
and a stroke victim in Nashville
who is gracious in suspension
to President Obama
I have not met him
but his class is revealed 
in the face of
plutocrats who
would kill to have his class
but lack it
as they continue on their criminal way

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To watch the rich in action, check out our privatizing prison system


"At a time when the U.S. has achieved the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, at a cost of $55 billion a year, and with statistics that tell us:

1-in-4 Black men are in prison, on parole or probation, 10% stripped of their right to vote;

Unprecedented numbers of children are locked up, many sentenced into their adult lives;

Native Americans have the highest percentage of their population in prison;

Latinos and women are the fastest growing populations in the prison system;

New prisons are being forced upon rural communities to revive their "economies";

70% of prisoners are locked up for crimes that did not involve violence;

Immigrants are now subject to separate laws, many disappeared and detained indefinitely;

All giving the U.S. the highest incarceration rate in the entire world...

The U.S. public is witnessing an unfolding crisis of MASS IMPRISONMENT, more and more visible to us each day."

'via Blog this'

Prisons, Privatization, And Public Values: "For-profit private prisons, jails or detention centers have no place in a democratic society. Profiteering from the incarceration of human beings compromises public safety and corrupts justice. In the spirit of democracy and accountability, we call for an end to all for-profit incarceration(www.stopprivateprisons.org).

Grassroots Leadership has organized religious, labor, student, and community groups to fight private prisons through media advocacy, education, lobbying of government officials at all levels, and pressuring corporations involved in the private prison industry. For example, Sodexho Marriott, the largest single investor in CCA, divested its holdings in the prison firm in response to pressure on college campuses to cancel food service contracts. (www.grassrootsleadership.org)"

'via Blog this'

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