Wednesday, September 7, 2016


The life of the prophet and servant becomes the evidence of an Inbreaking of God as they challenge and eventually overcome the imagination of colonialism, patriarchy and white supremacy.  

Prayers and thoughts go out to Dilma Rouseff, family and supporters as she takes time to assess the decision made by Brazilian senate to impeach her.  While I don’t presume to know the internals of the Brazilian political schema I do find that there is a need of the soul to speak, to be heard as a matter of justice and solidarity. It is to that end that this piece is written.

These are difficult and challenging time for those of us of a liberative progressive persuasion.  Though we struggle, we cannot let go of those dreams countered by those of a different persuasion who project desires reminiscent of a banana republic and compensatory excesses of a puppet state which reflect strategies and particular interpretations of doctrines in support of United States Imperialism.  That said, there are some critical lessons to be learned as power, defined in terms of patriarchy and white supremacy, and corporate domination, seek to marginalize and delegitimize narratives which challenge this status quo.  Breaking down barriers is no easy or manageable task yet just as the sunlight gradually breaks through the early morning cloud cover here in the San Francisco Bay area so to the sunlight of shall burn away the clouds, yes, even the rein historically exclusive towards colonial narratives.

The spirit of the people has and will continue to rise, throwing off those historical narratives of oppression first envisioned by the colonizer and maintained by their descendants.  In this those who are oppressed and marginalized, those whose lives are a consequence of regimes which represent U.S. American and global economic interests, must center themselves not in forms and strategies of retaliation but in the eternal call of the heart for liberation and necessary resistance.  Although the ouster of Dilma Rouseff is a setback for those who fought long and hard to achieve the election of the first woman president of Brazil they must not lose hope, more so they must move in divine grace knowing that the sun is gradually setting on those systems and strategies of power dominated by those who profit off of the sorrows of many people. A new day is about to dawn.

The prophet rarely receives honor as they make a new way.  This becomes the blessing and the challenge.  In this embrace your liberation and in essence free God to do more.

To be free of the norms dictated, authenticity becomes a remedy rooted in the heart and soul of the one longing for freedom for themselves and others.  The question, “When shall I know my humanity?”  Whether it be in life or death, in ease or struggle, my humanity shall appear.   Said another way, authenticity facilities imagination which is the resource of liberative thought and discourse.  I must acknowledge that the life of Christ, even to the Cross is an inspiration to receive my humanity as a particular intimacy of divine import and in this to encounter an imagination which affirms a soul reflective of the incarnation and notions of justice and righteousness in the presence of the cosmic sacred. 

Specifically, the goal of life is to know my humanity and thus a particular intimacy with God.  The objectives of life, i.e., the strategies which enable this intimacy have been theology, economics, math, science, history and politics (and one should not limit oneself to these particular strategies only) should express the sincerest desires of the soul and to that end all discourse and dialogues should express that concern, this regardless of persuasion.  Yet, what I’ve experienced thus far specifically in Western Civilization is how power and ego tend to challenge the needs of the soul particularly as exhibited by the decisions of those in power. Dilma Rouseff, like many others before her present the case of the soul and its expression as an authentic reality of life in Brazil which necessarily strikes fear in the status quo.  Of course, this is not a discourse on Paulo Freire and his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, or Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s excellent book “The Cost of Discipleship” or a study on the life of Oscar Romero and sainthood but it is a discourse on needs of the soul and certain longings expressed in the midst of the complications and complexities of desire. That said, the grand calling of desire must be to reimagine power and its various sites, which are, for many in Brazil and throughout the America’s, a means towards longings of liberation satisfied, sufferings rewarded, hopes made real and a society transformed. Dilma Rouseff and the Brazilian Workers party, sought to reimagine, restructure and reframe power in Brazil from a system of corruption towards a just and fair governance. This may be considered radical and leftist in the face those who are invested the narrative of the privilege and the exclusive at the expense of the masses of people struggling through prolonged injustice. Clearly Rouseff and those of the Brazilian Workers Party were out maneuvered in their just but challenged strategy which ended in Rouseff’s impeachment. 

I am mindful of the words of Unitarian Universalist Minister Theodore Parker,

Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.

Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Jefferson trembled when he thought of slavery and remembered that God is just. Ere long all America will tremble.[1]

Theodore Parker’s words are comforting, eliciting much patience for a thirst unquenched.  The global movement for liberation and justice is not deterred by one setback but more so it is made even more secure in its arguments for justice as regimes, fearful of losing power, seek to marginalize or even disappear the people and their movements.

One should wonder how this will play out as the First Woman to be nominated by a major U.S political party is treated if she is elected president. 

Those of us who live a liberated life, where freedom is paramount, must press on holding on to those lessons of divine import so that one day freedom and liberation would rein supreme for all people.

[1] 1853, Ten Sermons of Religion by Theodore Parker, Of Justice and the Conscience, Start Page 66, Quote Page 84-85, Crosby, Nichols and Company, Boston. (Google Books full view) link