"A government which has power to tax a man in peace, and draft him in war, should have power to defend his life in the hour of peril. A government which can protect and defend its citizens from wrong and outrage and does not is vicious. A government which would do it and cannot is weak; and where human life is insecure through either weakness or viciousness in the administration of law, there must be a lack of justice, and where this is wanting nothing can make up the deficiency." - Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) African-American abolitionist, poet and author
As I have slowly inched toward graduation from Seminary (spending twice as much time towards my Masters of Divinity program as originally planned), I’ve been thinking the effect the words of heroes in the cause for spreading truth like Francis Harper and the other voices for reason and change I have studied. With all the twists of life, with all the cross-country moves, the loss of jobs, new professional directions forged, and the financial hardships of a newly-married couple with advanced degrees, I have learned so much about myself since my partner and I have sprouted roots in the East Coast of the United States. Above all else, I’ve learned of the need to find truth, and to speak it in a loving way.
So I’m starting a blog on my search for Truth and the obstacles to Truth I see in everyday life. In politics, in religion, and in my little world here in Baltimore.
It is only recently that I have recently started to grow emotionally into a realistic expectation of success in my life, and I have realized that I have much to say about how society should function, pushing for the mutual success of all without the little mistakes and detours in life derailing their hopes.
First, I’ve had to grapple with several questions. What constitutes success in life? How do varied definitions of success muddle political discourse and the attempt to live for our individual and shared values? I believe that these questions are critical to understanding how people of conscience can repair the broken system of public and civic life in the United States. With the 2016 election campaign heating up as actual votes are finally being cast (however incrementally), the future of American society, and by extension the rest of the corporatized world, will be decided by American voters over the next 274 days, which will culminate in the November general election. The way in which people consider their roles in an interlocking and complex nation that is rife with misinformation spread needs to be examined. We must embrace our mutualistic responsibilities to each other determines the next phase of societal development.
Rather than continuing with my unfocused habit of online ranting on social media, I’m devoting some of my spiritual focus to direct my thoughts to this blog. I chose “Head Above Holy Water” because I often feel like I’m treading and maintaining myself just enough to avoid drowning in the inherent contradictions of the modern American white liberal man, as well as the doubts I continuously confront in my Unitarian Universalist faith. While I am on track toward graduation from Seminary and ordination as a minister in the UU movement, I realize that I cannot enter ministry in good conscience unless I talk out those events and ideas in modern life that have given me pause.
If you’re up for an attempt to focus the energy I use to rant on social media too often, as well as provocative ideas on public policy, religion, sex, popular culture, and music, then I encourage you to make a habit of following this blog. With this blog starting at the beginning of Lent, I’m going to try to post something at least once a day during the next 40 days, as an effort to grow the habit of focusing my ideas and writing them out. I seek to focus my attention less on those who oppose my views on various issues and instead pivot to why.
Where there is wanting, may there be satisfaction. Where there is anger, let there be centering. Where there is doubt, let there be joy, for we are all living lives of questioning.
And where there is ignorance, may there be my analysis. May I, as we all, find heart where there would otherwise be anger and division.