politics

Sunday Sonnet

What force could give the world push it needs
To cease to have the poor with us always
A leader bold or simply more good deeds
A pill to zap our predatory ways
It’s really something when you parse it out
The wealthy cash in with impunity
And then support without the slightest doubt
Our several systems of philanthropy
Hospitals universities and jails
Peace-keepers shelters think-tanks UNICEF
And even when this noble structure fails
We rarely contemplate those who get left
We read escapes art sections and the like
And whoosh these dour declensions take a hike

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politics, theology

Faith Based Obama Style

The difference between what President Obama and President Bush intend/intended for faith-based initiatives, where the government partners with religious organizations to work at the grass roots in fundamental issues, is like night and day. The proof of the pudding will likely be a new executive order from President Obama which removes from his plan any limitation of access or involvement that requires a profession of one’s faith.

All this has been well-accessed by my friend Casey from BlackPlanet who is also a fellow HuffPost contributor.

Click Obama Taps 26-Year-Old Pastor For Faith Outreach Office to read and to access other accounts of what President Obama plans. Here are some squibs:

FROM THE BOSTON GLOBE PROFILE OF JOSH DU BOIS

“I had been struggling with whether I should go into ministry or politics, and I felt that God was leading me to find a way to do both, but I didn’t know any politician that got that intersection right…”

FROM YESTERDAY’S NEW YORK TIMES

Mr. Obama said in a campaign speech last June, “If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion.”

Mr. DuBois led an effort during the transition to consult with dozens of religious and charity groups about the work of the faith-based office, including what to do about the hiring question, and whether the faith-based centers that Mr. Bush inserted into 12 federal agencies should all be preserved.

As it happens, getting the intersection right was an issue 40 years ago, when I wrote “The Way Of Abandonment” — a proposal for a wholesale move to ministries based on a rejection of proselytizing. I have posted “The Way of Abandonment” here unchanged.
READ THE WAY OF ABANDONMENT

It is also relevant to mention the names of John R. Mott and the Rev. James H. Robinson. The notion of ministry as service to the community without proselytizing has serious and deep roots.

READ THE REV. JAMES. H. ROBINSON M.I.R.

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music

“New Rain” — The Story of Jesus in Song

“New Rain” is a collection of songs about the life of Jesus that I wrote in the early 1970s. These recordings were done with a group including me, Lois Rose, Irene Vassos and Larry and Alice Spatz. Alice did much of the arrangement and composed the tune of the initial and closing lyrics (Example: He rode to the city …). We performed this all throughout New England for about two years. It was pressed as a record. Click here for a look at the cover and a review of the album.

Here are my recordings of the album in four sections. The entire work runs around 50 minutes or so.

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part One

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Two

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Three

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Four

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music, theology

Song of The Day — Peter and Andrew

Song of The Day — Peter and Andrew from A Stranger Named Peace.

LISTEN This will open in a new window.

Andrew — Larry Spatz

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