A Design I'm throwing around

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:48 AM 0 comments
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Narcissism & Immigration

Posted by Tim Posada On 2:09 AM 0 comments
As I sit here annoyed with MTV’s boring programming and the horrible vee-jays of Fuse, I can’t help but be reminded of how much I hate this country. This may be an extreme, but these are the words that overwhelm my thoughts. Narcissism is the word of choice—this word is my argument against American culture. This word is also the biggest critique against postmodernity. Contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber points out that religious pluralism has a major flaw. Pluralistic individualism allows everyone to do their own thing, thus there is no need to truly care about anyone else. This is a broad generalization and pluralism can be a good thing, but individualism is prone to show the dark of humankind—something very prominent in American culture.

So as I was watching TV, learning to how “pimp my ride,” wondering what would happen if that money was directed towards something substantial. To make things worse, the news did a story on people from Indiana protesting immigrants…you know, that last legal form of racism. C.S. Lewis once discussed that our culture has not truly progressed since such tragedies as the witch trials. He discusses that people stopped burning witches because of scientific discoveries not because killing others was a distortion of Christian faith. Advances in science lead many to leave behind their superstitions. Advances in science lead many to leave their Christian faith that gave them the belief that killing witches was wrong. Current immigrant issues further this argument. Americans have had racist attitudes since the beginning: Native Americans, then blacks, then Mexicans, back to blacks, Asians, gays, and now immigrants. The concept of privilege is still so foreign to spoiled America. The dominant culture (and I dare say, very white in body and/or mindset) cannot understand that this country thrives because of the web of corrupt social systems. We are able to live so well because others are not.

We speak so often of “freedom,” but we do not realize that freedom and “equality” cannot coexist—this tension is easy to see. Perhaps “equality” should be the true goal of this country. This ideal would truly bring about the redistribution of wealth and jobs along with the redistribution of justice and peace for all. “Freedom” brings about ideas of the American Dream—rising yourself up on your own. But “equality” calls for community engagement. Unfortunately, the evils of “freedom” are winning. Many Americans response to immigration issues has shown the hatred in this nation. Masked under the rhetoric of “personal freedom” hatred against immigrants is socially acceptable. There are many arguments about the complexity of this issue, but I simply propose that Christians are called to accept the outsider as the leaders of our spiritual journey once did. The issues surrounding immigration may be complex but the response should be simple. They are humans that deserve our respect, not our hatred. We have no right to throw them out of a country that we just happened to be born into. We truly have no right to this country either.

Anytime I see the phrase “God bless America,” the aspiring pacifist in me wants to hurt someone. In contrast to that saying, I offer a more accurate one: “God, please bless America for we have recently learned that we are not.” It is not very catchy and is rather drawn out, but it gets the point across. I do not consider myself a pessimist; I am simply Christian who is sick of living in a land rich with apathy and capitalism. I am a Christian who refuses to give into a corrupt system just because it’s the way things are. This country is fucked up, but it is not beyond repair and I will not let people continue the hopeless lies of defeat.

Pain & Suffering

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:46 AM 0 comments
Suffering. Depression. Pain. Sorrow. These are the words that define so many. When I say this, I mean something very different than most. Pain and suffering is all around us. It’s in the city streets. TV. Internet. Film. Music. Art. These mediums show us pain and suffering everyday. We may be numb to pain and suffering, but we are not numb when it finds us. Emotional suffering seems to be the only suffering we care about. We are often reminded of the poor and the injustices of the inner city, yet we only see pain in our own lives as worth noting (I say this because I am a hypocrite). Immigration has become that latest socially accepted form of racism—causing real suffering—and all many churches can speak is depression caused by an unfulfilled life without God—rather than showing a God that stirs people to love others.

It is quite easy to ignore social pain and suffering and simply focus on individual pain and suffering. After all, what happens to those “others” is not happening in front of us. They are dying under somebody else’s watch—it’s their fault. The mind plays a wonderful game. All one needs for this mind game is some denial and a closed mind. Guilt may slip in but it’s easily managed by shady logic.

When people go through their own form of suffering—which is normally not as bad as the suffering many others—they usually bask in the suffering, thinking only about that which is hurting them the most. What would happen if, in the midst of our own pain and suffering, we tried to help others? If we took a more communal approach maybe this could help ourselves. It could help us see the world around and remember that we are not the centre of anything beyond the drama of our own inner monologue. It’s a thought, but who’d really go for that?

Many will say that all suffer in different ways and, while some will suffer physically and others mentally, all suffering is not harder or easier but simply different. Only a middle-class white family could create something so user-friendly. All pain and suffering is horrible, but the facts speak louder than sentiment. If you’re emotionally in the suburbs, it’s a hell of a lost easier than watching your family get murdered in Rwanda. If you’re physically suffering in Orange County, it’s easier to get care than if you’re mentally suffering in Pakistan because, while you may be fine for the moment, your family can’t eat and you’re worried about the son you recently sent off in hopes of getting him smuggled into England for a better life (ultimately, mental suffering in other places less privileged than the rich world leads back to physical suffering).

By the time these words have been written and read, how many people will have died today, gone unfed, and been abused. By the last word, how many new sermons will have been written by the thousands of churches in the richest country in the world on becoming a voiceless for the voiceless—and using our money for something else rather than masking our inaction in an empty and unmeant prayer. Someone once said that no one gets into heaven without a reference from the poor. I cannot help but find that to be true. But as I write these words, I can’t help but remain depressed because of my own baggage. In the end, I’m another selfish American who would like to move, but suffer from a mix of apathy and social paralysis. I acknowledge the contradictions within this text. I further acknowledge that I am not giving due credit to individual pain. I understand that this is a defensive result of what John Locke refers to as “mythic American individualism.” Yet, this is what my mind is throwing up right now.

In closing I simply pray, “Lord, grant us the ability to find the answers to questions we have yet to ask.”