Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 73 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Life Arts    H2'ed 11/25/18

Marianne Williamson to Explore Presidential Candidacy: Encourage Her to Run

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mike Rivage-Seul
Become a Fan
  (56 fans)

Readings for "Christ the King:" Dn.7:13-14; Ps. 93:1-5; Rv. 1:5-8; Jn. 18:33b-37

Last week, the great spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson announced that she is considering throwing her hat into the ring as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. presidency. Marianne, you remember, is probably the foremost teacher of A Course in Miracles (A CIM), which she describes as basic Christian mysticism.

I was heartened by Ms. Williamson's announcement, not only at the prospect of her running, but because of the way her candidacy promises to change political conversation within the Democratic Party and nationally, where "devout" Christians have transformed Jesus into a harmless national mascot.

Even more proximately, Marianne's announcement connects directly with the spirit of this Sunday's readings for the feast of "Christ the King," where Jesus distinguishes his kingdom from that of "the world." Marianne's candidacy will surely get us discussing that distinction.

So, let's consider Williamson's announcement and then its connection with today's readings.

Here is her formal declaration of exploratory candidacy:

Do you see what I mean about changing political tone? Williamson's words stand on its head the sad realities of Donald Trump's "Make America GreatAgain" campaign.

We are no longer a country "of the people, by the people and for the people," she says. Instead we've become a country of the few, by the few, and for the few.

In the face of that hard reality, we must return to our founding principles and to the spirit of the abolitionists, women suffragists, and of the civil rights movement. This will entail not only quantitative changes in our circumstances, but qualitative changes in our souls. It will mean becoming activists exercising the responsibility of engaged citizens committed to taking our country back to its original principles and truths which even the Founders of our nation did not dare implement.

It will be so interesting to see how all of that comes off in the debates between Democratic candidates. I'm betting that Marianne's unusual emphasis on the deeply spiritual will strike a sympathetic chord reflected in what she calls "true American exceptionalism" rooted in ethical principle --the perfect antidote to Mr. Trump's faux patriotism rooted in violence.

In fact, the differences between Marianne and the Donald represent mirror images of those between Jesus and Pontius Pilate depicted in today's gospel reading.

Consider the narrative.

There, John the Evangelist has Jesus declaring the non-violent nature of his kingdom during his interrogation before the Roman governor. Standard interpretations of the scene (such as in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ") present Pilate as a spiritually sensitive intellectual. He's a seeker looking for a way to set Jesus free. However, he's too weak to assert his authority in the face of powerful and hateful Jewish leaders.

Problem is: that picture is profoundly at odds with the historical record. There Pilate's character is described as consistently devious and cruel -- the way many of us would describe Donald Trump. Philo, Flavius Josephus, and Tacitus, all tell us that Pontius Pilate was an absolutely brutal man.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Mike Rivage-Seul Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

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. His latest book is (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sunday Homily: Pope Francis to Women: The Next Pope Should Be One of You!

The Case for and Intimate Relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene

"Cloud Atlas": A Film for the Ages (But perhaps not for ours)

Muhammad as Liberationist Prophet (Pt. 2 of 4 on Islam as Liberation Theology)

What You Don't Know About Cuba Tells You About YOUR Future

Sunday Homily: Pope Francis' New Song -- Seven Things You May Have Missed in 'The Joy of the Gospel'

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend