The Wall Street Journal, the Tea Party, and Christian fundamentalists all seem to agree that our recent election and the victory of Mr. Trump spells the virtual end of liberalism in America... but what of the Biggest Liberal of Them All? Is That One going to leave on some Cosmic Vacation? (Yes, perhaps, the above is the only known picture of God that you are now looking at... does She look happy with Trump, fundamentalists, or conservatives?)
And yes, I do like to engage in conversations and ruminations of Sweet Blasphemy... But I see no reason whatsoever to think that fundamentalists or conservatives have gotten anything at all right. Fundamentalists have centuries of accepted (more or less) theology behind them: you know, original sin, a second coming, a burning planet, and a final judgment: and a whole lot of people really believe this -- and proved it by voting for Mr. Trump... Meanwhile, conservatives no longer want to conserve anything except their perception that profit, privilege, and power are the primary values of this American experiment in democracy...
But, here's a Big What If? What if there actually is a "God" "Goddess" "Divine Source" or "Quantum Consciousness"? And What If? that Holy Quantum really did give voice to Her Awesomeness through Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua in the Aramaic that he spoke)? What If? Jesus really meant it when he said "Whatever you do to the least person among you, you do to me"? And "I give you a new commandment, love one another"? Are there any two more liberal lines imaginable? (Actually, those two lines go way beyond liberalism and straight into the Lunacy of rEvolutionary Action... without end...)
The Lunacy of rEvolutionary Action... without end is the Tao of God unleashed upon Planet Earth: radical grace, whether we name it like it or serve it: it is here. Now. Already. Without End. And Only One Outcome Is Possible: (go ahead, guess: what is it? Is it conservative ideology? Is it profit, privilege, and power? Is it a second coming with a burning planet and a final judgment and billions tossed into endless fire? What is it? Are you going to guess?)
Radical Grace: "Behold! I make all things new!" God, the Big Liberal, is going to blaspheme Herself silly -- and every fundamentalism to boot: "You can't steal-profit-privilege-or-power your way into the solidarity of bliss! You can't get away with rape-injustice-exploitation-or-oppression! You can't return-to-sender the gift of my sacred intention! Stay -- or go -- the choice has always been yours, not mine! But I make all things new! The poor and powerless, the abused, the raped, the violated, and the crushed will inherit the earth! Everyone who has ever been told that they are not good enough surely are good enough! My liberalism knows no boundaries! Love always colors outside the lines! Now watch me color this world with a wild wah-hoo grace!"
So liberals and progressives, do not despair! In the words of ol' St. Ignatius,"Work like everything depends upon you. Pray like everything depends upon God." Or if you prefer the words of Mother Jones, "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." A "fundamental" concept of liberalism is that through our collective actions we can tend the world -- inch-by-inch -- closer to justice, equality, and peace. Liberalism is the conviction that our actions of today can build a kinder and safer and more beautiful world for the children who will be alive seven generations from now. And liberalism is the happy-knowing that, in the end, every human and this planet -- while always at risk -- are meant for the evidence of radical grace: goodness and kindness and love: liberal values without end...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.