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activism, Immigration

The Least of These

Imm18-Sign&CityHall5159

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

I grew up in the Protestant church (UCC/Presbyterian). I worked at Presbyterian youth camps as a young adult. I even attended a Presbyterian seminary with the idea of being a youth or social worker.

In the end, I had to admit my utter and complete lack of belief in God was an impediment to an effective and fulfilling career.

More than that – I didn’t want to be associated with, or to in any way promote, what the public face of Christianity was becoming in those years – an Evangelical wasteland that denies critical thought in favor of groveling before a supreme Lord whose only concern is whether you believe Christ is your personal savior.

But I’ve always found Jesus of Nazareth – the human, not the putative deity – to have interesting things to say.

“Love your enemies. Do good to those who persecute you.” Maybe I can’t LIVE that, but it’s challenging just the same.

The Least of These

During the 2018 immigration crisis (a crisis of heart, not of law), I’m reminded that I am an immigrant – I immigrated from a racist, homophobic hellhole in the lower Midwest to the marginally more enlightened coast. Thank God for that!

I’m also reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

And its partner in 25:45: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

That seems pretty straightforward, if you ask me.

Add to that the nearby words from 25:41: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” – and I’d be a bit concerned about how I treat “the least of these.”

It certainly makes me examine my own life, even if I don’t believe in a final judgment.

I’ve seen some comments from conservatives saying in effect, “When Jesus said that, he didn’t mean illegal immigrants!”

To which I answer: “I hope you plan to die at the same moment as your lawyer – because you’re going to need him when you get to the pearly gates.”

Judge Not?

I also recall Jesus’ words: “Judge not, that you not be judged.”

My answer: “Thanks for the warning – I’ll take the risk!”

*******

Satires

Guns – Strict Constructionist

I’m not a gun nut or anything, but I support the Second Amendment in its strictest, most conservative scope.

As a strict constructionist. I believe in honoring the precise intention of the founding fathers, and not slathering on accretions, addendums, and contingencies. Just the precise intent of the original law.

This means that I absolutely support the right to bear any and all arms that were in production in 1791, when the amendment was adopted.

This includes muzzle-loading muskets, flintlock dueling pistols, blunderbusses, and even cannon of the sort you load through the barrel.

What about later developments such as breach-loading rifles, anti-aircraft weapons, or automatic and repeating weapons of any sort?

Sorry – you’ll need a new amendment to cover those.

activism

Why I Quit the Black Bloc

A sequel to my earlier post: Why I Joined the Black Bloc

by Luke Hauser

I’ve stood in the streets with the Black Bloc – first at Occupy Oakland in 2011, and more recently in Berkeley at the April 2017 hate-speech protest.

As I explained in an earlier installment, I am not part of an organized black bloc group. Mostly I’m a nonviolent anarcho-artistic type. But when the spirit calls, I’ve dressed in black and “joined in” the defense of our streets and parks.

Continue reading “Why I Quit the Black Bloc”

activism, Satires

Luke Hauser Denied Free Speech Rights!

Berkeley activist and author Luke Hauser has cancelled his planned Free Speech Event at UC-Berkeley after university officials failed to meet his demands.
 
Hauser‘s press agent denounced the “outrageous and unconstitutional denial of free speech” in Berkeley, long an alleged mecca for democracy.
 
Demands included:
  • scheduling of event on two hours’ notice
  • event to be held during peak class hours
  • use of a large, centrally-located auditorium
  • professional quality free-speech sound system
  • police protection from airport to campus and back
  • $20,000 speakers fee
  • campus Republicans to shine shoes, carry bags, etc
  • distilled water in glass carafes
  • catering by Chez Panisse
  • two tickets to Hamilton
 
Hauser‘s attorneys decried the failure of UC officials to comply with the free speech demands, and threatened to bring a lawsuit demanding that all conditions be met upon 48 hours of any future free speech requests.
 
Luke Hauser is author of Direct Action: An Historical Novel, which is set in Berkeley in the early 1980s. Free download at <DirectAction.org>
activism

Free Speech – with government approval!

Luke Hauser Denied Free Speech Rights – click here!

Free Speech and the Alt-Right – talk about being unclear on the concept!

Right wing opportunists and talking heads lambast UC-Berkeley for hypocrisy around free speech – as if UCB is somehow the historic patron of free speech!
 
UCB has never been about free speech. The Free Speech Movement was against UCB, not of, by, or for it. The University did everything they could, from police and teargas to rewriting history, to destroy the FSM and later political movements.
 
The point of the Free Speech Movement was and is to exercise free expression in public, with no official sponsorship – in fact, to speak freely even when institutional power tries to shut you down.
 
It’s not whining and moaning about how you are being denied university approval and a private room and police protection to have your little moment of freedom.
 
Free Speech is not something you do behind closed doors, or from a podium, or for a speakers fee.
 
Free speech is when you go out in public, set up your soapbox, and start talking.
 
Others may or may not listen. They may yell or talk over you.
 
It’s the chance you take in a free country.