Lately, I’ve been musing about religion and politics. And more specifically, the thought that keeps recurring to me is the following: Is the idea of born agains and other Christians becoming political radicals, a far-fetched one? Or, should the question be, how could they not become politically radical Christians?
For those whose personal and political identities are virtually indistinguishable, these are especially vexing times. Specifically, during this historical stage of capitalism it’s challenging to abide by Gramsci’s optimism of the will and heart and not acquiesce to pessimism of the mind, to the intellect’s awareness of certain recalcitrant realities in our world. And residing in the belly of the global beast also compounds one’s sense of personal responsibility.
President Thomforde, trustees, faculty, families, friends, all those who’ve fed, nursed, counseled, salted icy sidewalks, provided security, and otherwise cared for those graduating today – and especially Moravian’s Class of 2012. To the class, please know that I treasure this honor.
Being aware of your tech-savvy lifestyles, I worried that I’d need to abridge my speech down to tweet-able length, send it you, and sit down. But then I remembered something: I don’t tweet or post on Facebook. I don’t own a smart phone. I had a cell back in 2010 but people kept calling me so I tossed it in my glove compartment.
Are humans “wired for empathy”? How does this affect what Chomsky calls the “manufacturing of consent”?
Throughout the world, teachers, sociologists, policymakers and parents are discovering that empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance. — Arundhati Ray
The official directives needn’t be explicit to be well understood: Do not let too much empathy move in unauthorized directions. — Norman Solomon