"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope." -- Rush Limbaugh
Perhaps we really do owe a debt of gratitude to the Mind, Conscience, and Voice of the American political right-wing: Rush Limbaugh...
Perhaps also, Mr. Limbaugh should -- right now -- be canonized: declared a Living Saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Why? Could there be a better reason than his stunning ability to put into sharp relief the Giant Gulf between the fundamentalist belief system, and a "Living Faith": whether it be Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, or Other... Fundamentalists, of whatever persuasion, place emphasis upon "belief": and very often distance their "beliefs" from "action" (other than efforts to convince others of their need for the salvation offered by their belief system)... Oh, certainly, there are differences between the Taliban and the Westboro Baptist Church -- like shooting people, which is no small thing -- but the essence of their preaching is judgment of the many and salvation of the select few. Again, Mr. Limbaugh with his comment about the recent statements of Pope Francis condemning predatory capitalism and greed, inadvertently underlined the difference between "belief" and "action": and with that comment rendered a great public and religious service.
Mr. Limbaugh has forced upon his audience the challenging decision of continuing to listen to his opinions, or instead increasing the sincerity of their particular faith expression through the application of some sort of "aliveness" or action. "Love one another as I have loved you" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" have clear economic and political ramifications: if one is interested in a "living faith" and not particularly or only in a "belief system". "Whatever you do to the very least of your sisters or brothers" is the activation of compassion. "I was hungry and you fed me" is a revolutionary manifesto! Suddenly, health care for all, quality education, guaranteed jobs and living wages, and equality are seen in a new Light: we are each responsible for the well-being of all! From this, the new perspective of the awakened heart, comes the deep conviction that the practical meaning of "faith" is always the "other": faith is never about "me and my salvation", rather, faith is always about our mutual service and liberation in Love!
Thanks, Rush! You may not have meant to, but you have finally said something everyone needs to think about... you ol' saint you...
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.