Christian Fascism

I recently came across the below TED Talk by Yuval Noah Harari, and it became clear why many religious people fear talking about God in an intelligent and grown-up way. This fear exist despite the fact that churches are declining in membership and influence. It’s about power. It’s same reason that neither Trump nor Putin care about telling the truth.

“Fascism makes people see themselves as belonging to the most beautiful and most important thing in the world.”
“So what is fascism, and how is it different from nationalism? Well, nationalism tells me that my nation is unique, and that I have special obligations towards my nation. Fascism, in contrast, tells me that my nation is supreme, and that I have exclusive obligations towards it. I don’t need to care about anybody or anything other than my nation. Usually, of course, people have many identities and loyalties to different groups. For example, I can be a good patriot, loyal to my country, and at the same time, be loyal to my family, my neighborhood, my profession, humankind as a whole, truth and beauty. Of course, when I have different identities and loyalties, it sometimes creates conflicts and complications. But, well, who ever told you that life was easy? Life is complicated. Deal with it.”
“Fascism is what happens when people try to ignore the complications and to make life too easy for themselves. Fascism denies all identities except the national identity and insists that I have obligations only towards my nation. If my nation demands that I sacrifice my family, then I will sacrifice my family. If the nation demands that I kill millions of people, then I will kill millions of people. And if my nation demands that I betray truth and beauty, then I should betray truth and beauty. For example, how does a fascist evaluate art? How does a fascist decide whether a movie is a good movie or a bad movie? Well, it’s very, very, very simple. There is really just one yardstick: if the movie serves the interests of the nation, it’s a good movie; if the movie doesn’t serve the interests of the nation, it’s a bad movie. That’s it. Similarly, how does a fascist decide what to teach kids in school? Again, it’s very simple. There is just one yardstick: you teach the kids whatever serves the interests of the nation. The truth doesn’t matter at all.”

Trump and Putin

“We’ve never had a federal elected official, let alone the leader of a party or the president of the United States, who is so easily moved from one position to another without offering any sort of justification or apology or explanation,” Michael Barber, a political scientist at Brigham Young University, says.

“Even obvious lies have the potential to be highly effective at shaping public opinion.”

“Our knee-jerk reaction to lies like this is to fact-check them, but if the goal of fire-hosing is to assert power, fact-checking misses the point.”

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Seven Magazine: End Mass Incarceration & NYPD Needs Legitimacy

Jackson for NYC Mayor

Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

Click the images above or below for
A rough draft of Seven Magazine.

The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 1,852 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.
Despite only making up about 5 percent of the global population, the United States has nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Since 1970, our incarcerated population has increased by 700% ­­– far outpacing population growth and crime.

prison population

One out of every three Black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino boys—compared to one of every 17 White boys. At the same time, women are the fastest growing incarcerated population in the United States.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

‪There are twice as many people sitting in local jails awaiting trial and presumed innocent than in the entire federal prison system. And each year, 650,000 men and women nationwide return from prison to their communities. They face nearly 50,000 federal, state, and local legal restrictions that make it difficult to reintegrate back into society. According to Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow:
If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste – a group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits — much as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.
Putting It All TogetherIn 1991, I also wrote about mass incarceration in my book, Putting It All Together. In addition, I wrote about COINTELPRO and the assassination of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). COINTELPRO (Portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) (1956–1971) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. In Putting It All Together, I included a copy of the COINTELPRO FBI memo below.

COINTELPRO memo

Prevent the rise of a “messiah” who could unity and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement.

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Trump Looks to Hire Stringer Bell for White House Staff

“Is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?”

In season three of The Wire, Stringer Bell, the brains behind the Barksdale Organization, brings the drug kingpins of Baltimore together and offers them a proposition. They form a co-op and purchase heroin from the same supplier; in exchange, they mediate their disputes with the help of Robert’s Rules of Order instead of resorting to violence. After making his pitch, Bell sees a young man taking notes on a legal pad. He snatches it. “Is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?”

China Needs Black Jesus

African American spirituality includes a tradition of Jesus that trusted in God to make a way out of no way.

Donald Trump is the Naked Emperor of White Supremacy getting his ass kicked by Winnie-the-Pooh.

[Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump’s The Art of the Deal] describes the hours he spent with Trump as “draining” and “deadening.” Schwartz told me that Trump’s need for attention is “completely compulsive,” and that his bid for the Presidency is part of a continuum. “He’s managed to keep increasing the dose for forty years,” Schwartz said. After he’d spent decades as a tabloid titan, “the only thing left was running for President. If he could run for emperor of the world, he would.”

“It’s not that Trump is telling these groups what to think. They have their own White supremacist ideology for many decades now. What Trump is doing, is legitimizing.”

Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh

The United States is currently in conflict with China, and in the eyes of most of the world, the United States is losing badly.

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China & The Teachings of Jesus

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
~ Matthew 4 : 19
Trump Xi

President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping

The United States is currently in conflict with China, and in the eyes of most of the world, the United States is losing badly.
There are more Christians in the United States than anywhere else in the world. American Christians need to step-up our game to become more relevant around the world in the Twenty-first Century. Intellectual assent to the Divinity of Jesus and proclaiming that “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” is meaningless without actually following the example set by Jesus.
The United States is currently in conflict with China, and in the eyes of most of the world, the United States is losing badly. The Gospel is not going to appeal to Asians and the rest of the world by sending American missionaries, especially Trump supporters, but by Americans setting the true example of what it means to be followers of Jesus.
Harder to be an American evangelical

President Donald Trump listens as Franklin Graham reads a passage of Scripture during the inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Proclaiming that “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” is meaningless without actually following the example set by Jesus.
We cannot say the same thing as Saint Paul, Origen, or Saint Augustine, and expect it to resonate in the Twenty-first Century or in a non-Western culture. A Twenty-first Century Gospel has to be relevant in the age of Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, and Amazon, as well as be comfortable with the rise of China.
The Twentieth Century and early Twenty-first Century has been a great triumph of the secular age. The Twentieth Century saw two World Wars, and the rise of communism, fascism, and unfettered capitalism. Recall that Sir Isaac Newton wrote a great deal about the Bible. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg not so much.
To avoid the massive conflicts of Twentieth Century, we need The Word to become more relevant in our world and that includes China, India, and the rest of Eurasia. Keller has a video about the Chinese church, and he asks “What do we conserve and where do we innovate?”
What do we conserve and where do we innovate?

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Fixing the Opioid Crisis in New York City

How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet?
Our inequality stems from what’s missing in modern politics.

Jackson for NYC Mayor

What’s missing is that people need sacredness, but only our profane longings are being addressed.
Modern market economies put a great deal of pressure on the individual, without guidance from God, we are bound to fail.
In 2017, there were 1,487 drug overdose deaths in 2017 in New York City. More than eight in ten (82%) overdose deaths involved an opioid.

overdose deaths

For the first time in 11 years, rates of overdose death were highest among Black New Yorkers compared with White New Yorkers and Latino New Yorkers.

overdose deaths

Hunts Point-Mott Haven and Highbridge-Morrisania in the South Bronx are the neighborhoods with the highest rates of overdose death, with overdose rates more than twice the citywide average. The rate of fatal drug overdoses in the South Bronx for 2017 was higher than any state except for West Virginia.

overdose deaths neighborhoods

“Despite taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the opioid crisis, overdose deaths continue to rise in New York City,” said Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal, chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

The suicide rate has been rising in the United States since the beginning of the century, and is now the 10th leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s often called a public health crisis.


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Becoming Thinking and Dreaming Followers of Jesus

The American story cannot be fully understood without understanding the country’s religious history

God in America

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
~ Matthew 4 : 19
Langston Hughes, Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert Delany

Langston Hughes, Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert Delany overlooking St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem in the 1920s

“As thinking Christians, we strive not to bring men to heaven, but to bring heaven to men, and with that the aim of science is identical.”
~ Rudolph Fisher
Rudolph Fisher
Rudolph_Fisher

Rudolph_Fisher

Rudolph John Chauncey Fisher (May 9, 1897 – December 26, 1934) was an African-American physician, radiologist, novelist, short story writer, dramatist, musician, and orator. His father, John Wesley Fisher, was a clergyman.
Fisher went to Brown University where he studied English and biology, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Sigma Rho, and Sigma Xi. During this time, he earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brown in 1919, where he delivered the valedictory address and received a Master of Arts a year later.
On June 18, 1919, a young Black man strode to the podium to deliver the student oration at Brown University’s annual Commencement. The graduating senior, Rudolph Fisher, fearlessly tackled the live-wire tension between science and religion.
Fisher titled his speech “The Emancipation of Science.” In it, he argued that both disciplines have undergone evolution — science through the time-tested process of inquiry and discovery and religion through the enlightenment that Scripture mirrors the thinking and interpretation of peoples through time.
“As thinking Christians,” Fisher told his fellow students, “we strive not to bring men to heaven, but to bring heaven to men, and with that the aim of science is identical. It is this oneness of purpose that brings science and religion into harmony — a harmony which permits science to devote its energies not to self-protection, but to the making of life worth living.”

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