Holy Cow! Those zany folks at the National Council of Churches and their local affiliates are at it again! Check this nonsense out! I added red to one sentence for emphasis, but it’s all more than a little bit smelly.
Now, some of you think I talk about masturbatory rituals far too often, but this piece from the NCC and the Marin County (CA) Interfaith Council has lubricant sales soaring! I understand it’s oh-so-trendy to “take a stand on violence” by paying it lip service (there’s another sexual metaphor in here I am going to pass up, but hey if you thought of it you’re no better than I am so welcome to the club!).
My first question is, in 2013, does anybody believe that professional clergy provide the “moral voice?” Maybe Marin Interfaith hasn’t been watching the news for the last fifteen years. If they had been, they would have realized by now that from Evangelical icons to Roman Catholic priests and bishops there has been a startling lack of moral high ground being claimed by the Church in all its forms. What’s more, if the Church is doing its job – admittedly, that claim is a big leap – then shouldn’t the world be chock full of people who are able to provide the moral voice The Rev. Carol Hovis seeks? If the world isn’t chock full of moral voices, then doesn’t that prove that the professional clergy as a group have in fact failed in their duty and so are patently unqualified to provide that moral voice?
Well, let’s leave that aside for a moment and see what these largely white suburbanites from the North Bay area are going to do to reduce violence. Ah, there it is, they are going to call their representatives in Congress and urge their congregations (less than twenty percent of Americans) to contact their representatives, too. If we stop to consider for a just a moment that even if we weren’t suffering through the worst Congress in history the fact is that ninety-five percent of elected officials on the national level (and some local ones like Milwaukee Sheriff David Clark, but that’s another blog) are bought and paid for by big business and their lobbying interests, this should be about as effective as, well, a popcorn fart.
I hate to be the one to break it to the National Council of Churches, Marin Interfaith, and suburban white people everywhere, but you can’t change violence by passing more laws. Nobody in a full-blown rage is going to say to themselves, “I’d really like to kick Bob’s ass, but it’s illegal so I had better not do it!” If you believe that, suburbanites, it might just be because the closest you have ever come to being in a violent situation was that time when you were thirteen years old and got so excited about having just completed your first phone call to a real live girl that you thoughtlessly leaped into the basement from the third step from the bottom, smacking your head on the door frame and landing flat on your ass on the concrete basement floor dazed and confused but with a boner (okay, that was me – but hey, I was thirteen). It might just be that you are so afraid of the neighborhoods where “those people” live that you drive out of your way to go around them and so the only thing you know about them you have learned second-hand from news [sic] reports. The truth is that you wouldn’t know a thing about violence (with the possible exception of that spanking ritual you engage in when you are feeling especially sassy and you are wearing the batman suit and the wife has the cat woman suit on that you thought we didn’t know about) if it smacked you in the ass.
So how is it you are working for peace, again, NCC, et. al.?
Oh, yes, you are working for peace through the usual liberal means of making a big fuss over public displays of well controlled outrage followed by a hasty retreat behind the secure fences of your gated communities. Mind you, I am most definitely not advocating your go into the hood because I don’t want to be responsible for your dry cleaning bills and the cost of replacing soiled undergarments. In fact, if I am completely honest, I don’t even want to think about most of your undergarments because I suffer through enough nightmares as it is. What you might do is pack up all of your courage, put on a bullet proof vest (you can’t be too careful these days, you know) and head on over the local elementary school to speak with the children about violence. Learn about violence reduction techniques that progressive day care centers like the one at The University of Milwaukee are implementing, where toddlers are given a place and a method to resolve conflict.
Then (and I realize it is getting harder here), continue your work and take what you have learned and share it with other clergy and encourage them to get involved. Share it at your clergy association meeting and interfaith councils, share it at your denominational conferences, even go so far as to visit other schools to talk with the children about violence – even some where the student body doesn’t most resemble a KKK recruiting poster and where the student body is old enough to shave. That’s real work, but it requires time and effort – and putting yourself on the line just a wee bit. Kind of like, what was that guy’s name? Oh yes…Jesus.