I’m a fan of footnotes and parenthetical “brain burps.” In off-the-beaten-track and arriving with unexpected foreshadowing or new connections between prior experiences, information from aslant sneaks beneath consciousness—like earthworms invisibly preparing dirt for a next season’s possibility.

In the first chapter of a new book—Liberating the Politics of Jesus: Renewing Peace Theology through the Wisdom of Women—Nancy E. Before has this footnote:

Rather than being called to “Make America (sic) Great Again,” as followers of Jesus we are called to unmake the racist logic, customs, and laws that undergird the idolatrous illusion of (white) “manifest destiny” and its justification of expansionism, military intervention, plutocracy, and the abuse of nonwhite people by the United States.

A highfaluting and out-of-joint esoterism of theology in a transitional time of “spiritual, but not religious” finds it must dive deep into the mess of life. The simplistic ordering of self-imposed chaos to avoid intersectional offspring’s disruptive nature reduces both the genetic and intellectual pool.

Theology can both bolster an economy’s power and be an avenue of sabotage of the same. Most often, theology plays its supportive function and fades into irrelevance. Once in a while, theology reveals the persistence of idolatry that requires more than an adjustment in process—a needed make-over.

An important function of Peace Theology is its unmasking of the structural and cultural hiding of institutional disdain of human and nonhuman differences.

An appeal to one form of unity or another shape of uniformity is an intentional suicide by suffocation. Relying on output means trying to survive an increasing level of exhaled CO2. First, the brain goes, and then the body slips into stillness, awaiting a wormy revival.


I’m coming off an annual state denominational meeting using Zoom Webinar technology. It was a disappointing experience because of a lack of transparency.

There was only one potential point of decision before the body—the Process whereby a congregation who didn’t agree with the current stance on human sexuality or didn’t think it was draconian enough [“homosexuality is incompatible with Christian (doctrine)” – original formulation] could buy back the building they meet in.

As you might imagine, the denomination doesn’t want to lose any revenue stream and has decided to include pension liability and two years of expected denominational support from any congregation desiring to leave. Though some congregations already have, are now, and will be leaving in other states, I don’t know of any who will do so from Wisconsin. This will leave dissatisfied parishioners continuing to mutter on the inside of the denomination.

From contacts I have around the denomination, I know that there questions in the queue that never surfaced. Because the questions were never seen to be present, no one less engaged would have known challenges were being made to the process and the way the technology gatekeepers (all old white males) operated. The exclusion of all but one segment of the document in question meant the state denomination was entering into a legal agreement but not allowing the body to vote on it as a whole.

I did make the only motion to lessen the stringency with which disaffiliation with the denomination would operate. It passed by a comfortable margin. Before the point in question was voted on as a substituted motion, a discomfort by one entered, a pause for consultation among the leaders took place and came back with a longer break for them to converse further. At the end of the break, they announced my motion was out of order for taking local situations of congregations into account rather than a one-size fits all. More questions were raised but never seen, never acknowledged as even being present.

Once past this one small challenge, the meeting progressed swiftly to its conclusion, and we closed business for another year.

I raise this one snapshot of a flawed process to indicate that a cultural zeitgeist occurs at every level. Voting in a small denominational meeting is not all that different from the lack of reliable information that takes place at a national presidential level. Institutions always try to get away with what they want to by a lack of transparency and false justifications. In this regard, Church and State are never far apart. The upshot is the importance of — Keep your integrity: Engage and Vote Anyway! — in every setting you find yourself.

Chicken Road

crossed roads
there were roads

no rhyme
is needed
no reason

a chicken
is a koan
zen sensei

Dirk Gently holistic detective
follows chickens
while not looking for a cat
welcome to an escapade

a road crossed less
makes all differences
equally divergent
worthy of following

Schrödinger’s pullet
perhaps laid an egg
reach in to find out
if there ever was a road


No one makes it past birth without a community or village to care for them. Care meaning more than providing survival basics—Care, including physical caress. None of us are truly individuals.

Selfishness is a big lie. When independence becomes the watchword of a nation, you can bet it is on a downward path that eventually pits each against all.

Survivalists are isolationists, even if there is an economy-of-scale to stockpile resources as a group. The mentality is the-last-one-standing wins. Essentially survivalists will have to face the threat of cannibalism—eat or be eaten.

To isolate is different from quarantine in that it is a way of life, not a provisional response to a specific situation. Isolate comes to us from the Latin for “island”—isola. This is not an attractive vacation isle, but a self-imposed, marooned-by-a-pirate, deserted island.

By dint of luck and hard work, the fantasy of a Swill Family Robinson can work, but it does so because it is a family (even if it were a family of happenstance and convenience).

With an election nearing, we are facing a glut of isolationist wavers of a Don’t-Tread-on-Me flag. It is fascinating if disturbingly so, to see how tied to one another these lovers-of-independence are.

Ordinarily, cult and independence would be considered an oxymoron should they come anywhere close to one another. Now that pride is then in having a tribal leader deemed more infallible than the Pope, the cutely named figure-of-speech has morphed into a trance dance by those hypnotized by their leader.

Usually, this impetus to self-destructive independence is cared for by waiting for the leader to die. Since this is an election, electoral defeat doesn’t function in the same way. Defeat becomes martyrdom that attracts even more. Once “independence” trumps “general welfare”, it is next to impossible to right the ship. The only option is to creatively become reliant upon one another—something we don’t have any experience in sustaining, for we so easily forget how liable we are to falsely envision independence as a primary virtue.

Not Me

I am well acquainted with the concept of “Me” and “Mine”. These early survival orientations center me in the universe. Feed me! appears all along my timeline.

As time proceeded, it became apparent that some other provided what I needed. Knowing how to synch with this “You” and “Your” is a benefit. It smooths out the need to regularize the transfer from out-there to in-here.

Even later, it appeared that moving toward an “Our” and “Ours” had an extra benefit of finding a way to meet needs in a variety of time and space locations. A wider storehouse also brought the possibility of access to tribal assets and the storing of them for some amount of time and accumulating more than was immediately needed.

“Me”, “You”, and “Our” are well-marked in our language. Their abundant references reveal what is important to us. Of note is the lack of consideration for that which is “Not Me”. “You” and “Our” can pick up some of this, but still are derivatives filled with projections of and allegiance to “Me”.

One of the sins of the Enlightenment and Industrial/Digital Revolutions is the loss of that which is beyond definition as “human”. To have lost touch with all that is other-than-human means we anthropomorphize and dominate without recognizing the presence and value of any not directly associated with “Me”, “You”, and “Our”.

So we design mechanistic economies, rape earthly resources, and constrain dreams.

For a moment, consider what will designate, for you, what is “Not You”. Here is a door to a broader and softer satisfaction.

Just for You

just for you
a classic
children’s book
the best
gone wildly wrong

would there were
an equally illustrative
artistic attempt
bringing adults
back to their roots
connecting feedback
to engagements

such belated recognition
needs continually
to be moved
forward from excuse
to awareness
changing outcomes
before disaster

= = = = = =

Here is a link to a video presentation of Just for You (not as good as reading it with someone).

It is available at:


My thoughts are the measure of normality. They are so pertinent and common-sensical that they do not require me to shout. They are quietly true.

What my thoughts lack in assertion, they make up for in persistence and extension. Everywhere I am, there are my thoughts firmly centered and confirmed. Everywhere I am not, my thoughts precede my eventual appearance there.

Basically, there are no chinks in my perspective.

Then comes the difficulty of relationships with other humans and those-beyond-human. If I am not going to spend all my time bullying others and defending my turf, a small thought is going toward learning through more than the limits of my singular experience.

If I am going to admit any limit, there will have to be a way of amplifying the voice of others. Otherwise, all I’ll find are echoes and variations of where I am. Eventually, this will be a great stuckness—like having a grand theory with no way to verify it beyond the simple assertion that that which is known to be right is right: I know I’m right: so there!

I am not likely to voluntarily give up my right to be right.

In such a case, the main option is to amplify the voice of others to be one decibel louder than I am. If I claim parity, it has turned out that my thoughts claim the right to break a tie.

Though there are elements of Active Listening that are important to activate, they are only available if I can recognize a need for them—a need to amplify other voices is such a rationale.

I trust readers here will take this post to heart and amplify my voice in their lives. Otherwise, how will we ever get such beautiful thoughts into the world for its betterment?

Shh, don’t tell anyone how crafty my thoughtful consideration of others is.


I am, by nature, one who moseys—slower than faster. Some might see that as being non-responsive. The Sunday gathering I attend used this song today …

As might be expected, I appreciated the slowing of the song as it went along and gathered a wider perspective.

While at home in the slow lane, I did note one drawback to my natural inclination—entropy. As a group or context gets larger/broader, the speed on the circumference gets faster and faster. If you have seen those large three-bladed, energy-producing windmills, the blade tips are traveling, depending on the wind, at a surprising speed of 120–180 miles per hour.

If you are new to a group and located on the edge, if the entire system doesn’t slow down, you may be spun off before you can make sufficient contact points to ride until comfortable and begin to have your gifts migrate inward toward increasing usefulness.

Should the circle become universal, there would be a tendency to finally come to a grinding halt. Slowing to the point of reversal is an on-going question about the theory of behavior by an individual, structure, and system.

Others may find the slow lane frustrating and not have been able to attend this long and hear my thanks to them for their work to jump ahead. Somehow Jumpin’ Jack Flash is needed to balance out my hero among the dwarves—Sleepy.