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Life Arts    H2'ed 9/9/19

Marianne Williamson and the Power of Prayer

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So, let me get this straight. Marianne Williamson should be disqualified as a viable presidential candidate because she has too much faith in the power of prayer, of mind, of love, and of God.

The disqualification was sparked by a tweet she made as Hurricane Dorian was bearing down upon the southern coast of the United States. It read: "The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas"may all be in our prayers now. Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm,"

It was a call to faith addressed to a nation where the majority considers itself followers of the one who said, "If you have faith, even as a mustard seed, and say to this mountain 'move from here to there,' it will obey you" (MT 17:20).

[Yes, faith and its power to "move mountains" is an idea that appears multiple times in the Jesus tradition, indicating that the phrase probably originated with the Master himself. But, of course, Jesus' words presume that his listeners, like most of us, had no such minimal faith. Hence, he implied, our belief remains powerless.]

Jesus' faith aside though, consider the content of Ms. Williamson's tweet. It simply asked her followers:

  1. To face the power of our human minds and spirits as much greater and connected with natural forces than we generally believe.
  2. In view of that fact, to activate their collective force to avert disaster.
  3. And to do so by stilling that mind through meditation, by praying for those in the hurricanes path, and by visualizing their prayers answered.

Read it again: that's exactly what the tweet says! Nothing more; nothing less.

In other words, it was all quite harmless and potentially powerful. There was nothing in it of fear, hatred, climate-change denial or blame of victims all the responses we've come to expect from the outrageous tweets of more conventional politicians. Instead, there was only expression of solidarity, compassion, faith, stillness, and acceptance of what traditional spirituality tells us of the untapped power of the human spirit that consciously aligns itself with the divine.

As I've already indicated, the tweet also implied a connection between human consciousness and Mother Nature herself something underlined in the mystical traditions belonging to all the world's great faiths and to mainstream science as well. (As Francis of Assisi would remind us, we all are in some sense related to "Brother Hurricane" Dorian.)

But, horror of horrors (!) such expression of traditional faith and scientific insight was enough to disqualify Williamson from presidential candidacy. Whoopi Goldberg and panel members on "The View" ridiculed her. Others characterized her as no better than that of religious fundamentalists.

To my mind, however, it proves just the opposite.

Williamson's tweet demonstrates how truly different she is from her fellow candidates as well as from the fundamentalists who have hijacked the faith of Jesus. And how refreshing! Her viewpoint is what our times require, where expressions of faith are limited to "thoughts and prayers" after mass shootings or to divisive imposition of narrow beliefs about abortion and rejection of LGBTQQIAAPs.

In fact, Marianne Williamson is so different from what we expect from politicians and secular leftists that when she simply expresses solidarity with those in the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas (whose prayers no doubt echoed Marianne's tweet) she reveals herself as absolutely mystifying, incomprehensible, and unacceptable.

Let's face that too: Williamson's tweet expressed extraordinary solidarity with those in Dorian's path. Without doubt, many of them were praying that the hurricane's force might be mitigated or diverted. In fact, if we found ourselves in their circumstances, the religious among us (and "foxhole Christians" as well) would be offering similar prayers: "Please, Lord, save me and my family from this hurricane. Change its path. Keep us safe."

And what would be wrong with that? It's an absolutely human response to impending disaster.

No, the hubbub over Ms. Williamson's tweet is but another demonstration of why her candidacy is indispensable. We need her to profoundly change our political conversation, to move that conversation from fear and denial to compassion, and to unveil the true nature of faith engaged with an overly-secularized world.

 

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Retired in 2014, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 40 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Mike Rivage-Seul

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The ruling powers and MSM find themselves extremely threatened by this unconventional and indispensable candidate.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 9, 2019 at 1:20:54 PM

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I commented on your earlier piece on this. BUT I want to add this, as a general statement on how we should treat each other. NOT calling them "haters" with zero evidence, not saying "FY" to someone who posts such a piece (as I tried to do here sometime back), not saying "I will no longer read anything posted by him" (me), and the list goes on. It was difficult to dig up this video, which the Zionists have deleted from anything you can find without great effort, but hopefully it will appear here. And it does go to my recent comment in which I advocated "holding people in mind" in re Marianne's statement above.

But mainly, here is the food for thought that you won't find without great effort; my hope is that it doesn't disappear again from OEN, since it is speaks truth, simply and calmly, the truth we need to truly ponder and pass along if we believe it, either as a species or a spiritual tribe (both of which I believe we are, but the former 100% verifiable by any "half-educated" or "educatable" person): click here

P.S. I will take this opportunity to repost a link to one of the most important pieces, if not THE MOST in re the U.S. of A. Crime Syndicate that I posted earlier today click here

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 9:12:53 PM

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Phat Khat

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And what would be wrong with that? It's an absolutely human response to impending disaster. -------------------------------

I must not be human. I experienced an EF4 tornado up close and personal. Obviously I did the right thing because I am still here. But praying never even entered my mind. I was totally "OMG, I'm gonna die!" and "Where can I hide?"

If praying is solidarity, fine. But recognize that the forces of Nature are impersonal and unpredictable, and will not respond to "thoughts and prayers". I do believe there is a "mind/body" connection that can be affected by meditation/prayer, but that has nothing to do with the forces of Nature. I believe that unconditionally loving a sick creature can help to heal it, but it cannot CURE it - only science can do that.

I also hope Ms Williamson is putting her money where her mouth is and helping the Bahamians in any way she can, seeing how's the prayers didn't do much. Because that is what the government must do - help in actual material ways. Love is fine, but ACTION speaks louder than words. Yes, we need a paradigm shift, but, IMO, the only one who can/will do it is Bernie, who is not a religious person.

Yes, I'm atheist, a recovering fundy. I learned very quickly that prayer does nothing outside of making the prayer feel good. And I don't want a POTUS who depends on "gods" in making decisions. If you want to believe, I don't have a problem with that, but I don't want it dragged into legislative action that affects ME.

There IS a connection with Nature - we are part of it - which has seemingly been forgotten. But a secular humanist can be just as sympathetic to nature and as protective of it as some silly "mystic" who has made a ton of money off of their grift.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 9, 2019 at 5:19:24 PM

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Jerry Policoff

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I can't help but notice that this piece mentions "Jesus" six times (seven if the tags count), but never mentions that Marrianne Williamson is Jewish and even once aspired to becoming a rabbi.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 9, 2019 at 5:23:19 PM

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