Friday, June 26, 2009

5. Discussion points about Part VII - Envisioning
Absolutely nothing about it in the words of Jesus or the rest of the NT. Even the Revelation to John is not about a vision we should strive to make true, but one that will be true regardless – indeed, already exists in some way. The emphasis on Kingdom living, of Christians behaving in certain ways for the good of others (and ultimately, themselves) contains no hint that this will change this world – no hint of a vision we are supposed to be striving to bring about. Even in the Acts of The Apostles, when many thousands of people lived or attempted to live this way by grace for a short time, there is not a whisper from Peter, from Paul, from John or James, that this is going to or even intended to be a model that will eventually include nonbelievers. Those dreams are added on later, much later. Until the Renaissance/Reformation/printing press/discovery of the New World, the dreams of Christians were heavenly, not earthly dreams. (See The Dream of the Rood, Hildegard of Bingen, The City of God.)

It is interesting how even the religious communities we regard as conservative now – Mormons, hard-working Shakers, and Amish – started as liberal groups in their time.

In researching this Vision Thing (as we called it in 1992), I ran across a number of references to Star Trek being a liberal vision of a future world. There might be something to that, but the evidence given was always remarkably the same: it was a world in which people didn’t care about races! And didn’t want war! And wanted a clean environment! As if no one but liberals cares about those things. We are again up against the same wall – if you aren’t as focused on this vision as we are, then you must not care.

Folks were less convinced that Star Wars was a liberal vision. Yet that led me to consider the whole fantasy/sci-fi genre in terms of its political thought. Tolkien and Lewis certainly did a lot of “envisioning,” yet we would hardly put them in the progressive category. Heinlein had a strong libertarian leaning, Asimov was more classical liberal than modern progressive (which would make him rather conservative now). There’s a lot to play with here. When we go into the next discussion section I will want to treat this at length.

Bring us home, John

John Lennon - Imagine


GraniteDad said...

There's something about the smug self-satisfied nature of that song that makes me hate it quite irrationally. Though it might also be the fact that people really believe the idiotic lyrics.

Donna B. said...

haha Jonathan, I can relate. I despise that song.

I haven't listened to any of the songs in years and still haven't got the sound working reliably on my computer. Yes, I'm too lazy to pull it out and fix it.

But, I remember all except the Seeger ones. None of them are likely to make a liberal again, because they didn't manage to do it when I was younger. This is perhaps because if I was really impressed with a song, I bought the music. I'm still impressed with a lot of the music but always thought most of the lyrics were illogical hooey.

Donna B. said...

And something I'm reminded of when finally listening to the songs -- are the Civil War, WWI, and the depression over-represented in the 1960s? Where were the songs protesting WWII?

Anyway, I remember living in a shack in the mountains without electricity or running water and my mother cooking on a wood stove. I know what an icebox is.

What irritates the dickens out of me is that those singers didn't see or experience those things, they merely heard about them.

And what they refused to see and recognize is the opportunity that so many had to better their situations.

I almost typed "better themselves" but that is not what happened at all. In fact, their situations were not bettered, so much as they were eased.

What worries me so much is that it wasn't the "silver" in the "marble bank" that eased things so much as it was cooperation among several related families that took a risk together.

Enough of that because I am on the verge of becoming sentimental.

FF to the present. My father is 86 years old and has outlived too many wives. He married for the 5th time a year and a half ago.

Unfortunately this wife has turned out to be either crazy or the poster girl for liberalism.

While she both hates and is jealous of my father's wealth and then can't seem to understand that everything he owned before he married her is not necessarily hers also... she spends his money like crazy then tells him he shouldn't let her do that.

She is becoming for me the icon of a "liberal".

There is little to no reality that I can discern from liberal economics.