Tuesday, July 31, 2012

At the risk of seeming ridiculous

at the Minimum Wage Rally
Marching to raise the Minimum Wage
Days don’t always go the way you think they’re going to. They can  be carefully planned, then something else happens. Tracy and Hope come in and the conversation began with my running into my old friend Father Earl at the rally for a higher Minimum Wage yesterday.  (Tracy points out a lot of her workers don’t even receive that.) How Earl’s one of those 4-5 people who if they call me and ask me to be somewhere I’ll go, no questions asked. Because I know he respects my time and commitments. And will only ask when important. Some of that comes from going to jail together. 
How Earl’s married to the daughter of my first religion professor in college. (And Hope was her babysitter.) A professor who pushed me to deconstruct the religious beliefs I’d grown up with. Introduced me to the world of Tillich, Niebuhr. In some ways set me on the course to where I am now. 
And we talk about ideology. Discipline vs. rigidity. Who gets to determine where the line gets drawn. Getting kicked out of organizations, jobs,for ideological reasons.  I remembered the communist group back at the University of Bridgeport in the early ’70’s.  My role as a chaplain of sorts. How ideology could serve as a cover for all kinds of personal agendas. As bad as the church.
I told her how in the early ’70’s all kinds of communist faction groups brought young people in to work in the steel industry, to industrialize themselves, to become one with the workers. (Props for that....much of the peace movement really had no capacity to relate to the working class, to unions...) Then when the steel industry collapsed, parties began to pull people out, wanted to redeploy.   But some stayed. Those who stayed had truly come to love the city, the community. Had developed personal relationships. And it was the community that now held their allegiance, not a party or ideology. And so they took on all kinds of various roles, different jobs, still committed to economic justice.And over the years, they have made a difference. 
We have to be flexible, I tell Tracy. No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, as Alinsky said. Relationships. And as Che said,  At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality... We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force.  
When vanguard groups start to lose touch with the people, when they act for, instead of with, great danger can follow. 
It’s been a good talk. 
RL comes in to talk about his office/studio. Karen has been playing her music in the sanctuary. She has some theological questions. I need to open some space to talk with Martin.
He’s run into some issues at the studio he’s lined up. Needs to make a quick arrangement to get ready for Noche’s fall performances. Time is short. Can we make a deal? This will tae some work. 

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