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Christianity and Empire: Weekly Summary

Christianity and Empire

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Week Forty-Two Summary and Practice

Sunday, October 17—Friday, October 22, 2021

Sunday
How can I trust that things like nonviolence, the path of descent, simplicity of life, forgiveness and healing, the preference for the poor, and radical grace itself are as important as they are, unless Jesus also said so? —Richard Rohr

Monday
I know it’s easy to be cynical, to look at the disastrous effects of Christianity’s complicity with empire and want to give up on the whole endeavor, but I also want to proclaim that the flow of grace is a truly wonderful thing. —Richard Rohr

Tuesday
Many of us have little ability to carry our own shadow side, much less the shadow side of  our church, group, nation, or period of history. But shadowlands are good and necessary teachers. —Richard Rohr

Wednesday
We must return to the spiritual values that are the foundation of life. We must love and respect all living things, have compassion for the poor and the sick, respect and understanding for women and female life on this earth who bear the sacred gift of life. —Indigenous delegates to the Global Forum on Environment, 1990

Thursday
In the dark, enslaved people slipped away to the quiet of thick brush arbors, hollows, or river banks to pray, to sing, to experience God in their misery and obscurity. There. . . God met them and became their consolation and their joy. —M. Shawn Copeland

Friday
In Christ, we see an image of a God who is not armed with lightning bolts but with basin and towel, who spewed not threats but good news for all, who rode not a warhorse but a donkey, weeping in compassion for people who do not know the way of peace. —Brian McLaren

 

A Hymn of Remorse

At the end of this week’s meditations, you may find it helpful to pray a “Hymn of Remorse,” with lyrics by CAC teacher Brian McLaren:

We covered over your colorful earth with gray cement.
We cut down trees and stripped the soil wherever we went.
We scarred the hills for gold and coal,
Blind with greed inside our soul,
Our goal: to have complete control.

Lord, have mercy. Can we be restored?
Lord, have mercy.

What of the lands of tribes and nations who lived here first?
Who took the best with broken treaties, and left the worst?
By whom were slaves bought, used, sold?
Who valued humans less than gold?
Who told us racist lies until our hearts went cold?

Lord, have mercy. Can we be restored?
Lord, have mercy.

The noise of traffic is drowning out the songbird’s song.
Your voice within us is telling us that we’ve gone wrong.
You call us from our selfishness,
To be blessed—and to bless
To turn to you, to begin anew.

Lord, have mercy. Can we be restored?
Lord, have mercy.

—Brian McLaren

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound. 

Reference:
Brian McLaren, “Hymn of Remorse,” from Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together, ed. Steve Heinrichs (Herald Press: 2013), 209. Used with permission. Listen to a recording of this song.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

God’s Supremacy in Love

Christianity and Empire

God’s Supremacy in Love
Friday, October 22, 2021

CAC teacher and author Brian McLaren has spent years calling Christians to a practice of faith that reflects the loving, nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels instead of the conquering Jesus of colonialism and empire:

The God imaged by Jesus exerts no dominating supremacy. In Christ, we see an image of a God who is not armed with lightning bolts but with basin and towel, who spewed not threats but good news for all, who rode not a warhorse but a donkey, weeping in compassion for people who do not know the way of peace. In Christ, God is supreme, but not in the old discredited paradigm of supremacy: God is the supreme healer, the supreme friend, the supreme lover, the supreme life-giver who self-empties in gracious love for all. The king of kings and lord of lords is the servant of all and the friend of sinners. The so-called weakness and foolishness of God are greater than the so-called power and wisdom of human regimes.

In the aftermath of Jesus and his cross, we should never again define God’s sovereignty or supremacy by analogy to the kings of this world who dominate, oppress, subordinate, exploit, scapegoat and marginalize [see Luke 22:25–27]. Instead, we have migrated to an entirely new universe, or, as Paul says, “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) in which old ideas of supremacy are subverted. [1]

In his own words, Choctaw elder and retired Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston “walks two paths”: that of his Native American tradition and that of Christ. Our understanding of God is deepened by his insightful description of Jesus, who experienced his own visions from God and was called to bring healing to his people.

I have come to understand what caused the pain and death that was visited on my nation, and I know that it was not the will of a loving God. The Messiah I knew as a child, the Jesus of my ancestors, walked the long Trail with my people. He was there. He suffered with them. He is not the white man’s god, but a Native healer who made his own vision quest, not once, but four times. He went out to make his lament and he was given visions. He was not afraid of the silence. He was not afraid to speak about what he saw and heard and felt, and consequently, he changed the world.

Now you and I are called to do the same. . . .

The Jesus of the Trail of Tears, the Jesus of the Lakota and the Choctaw, the Jesus who went to a lonely hilltop and made his lament is the One who shows us the way. He found his vision, changed his name, and saved his people. He was purified. He was with his trusted friends. He made himself open to the sacred. The more we come to know him, the more we come to understand ourselves. In the end, his vision and ours are intimately connected. His path and ours are one. [2]

References:
[1] Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian (Convergent: 2016), 92–93.

[2] Steven Charleston, The Four Vision Quests of Jesus (Morehouse Publishing: 2015), 40–41.

Story from Our Community:
As a retired psychologist, I did not believe in evil. One could always provide a diagnosis and explain “bad behavior.” As I reread the words of Jesus, who commanded us to “love one another” and to help the poor, welcome the stranger, feed the hungry… then to witness my own Government take funds from the poor and give it to the rich—I knew this was evil. I look forward to learning more from these meditations. —James M.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

Slaveholder Christianity

Christianity and Empire

Slaveholder Christianity
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Fr. Richard offers a critique of how Christianity aligned with empire and colonialism manifested specifically in the United States:

The form of Christianity that has grown in the United States and spread throughout much of the world is what we have to fairly call “slaveholder Christianity.” The founders of our nation drew on a Christian tradition that had been aligned with empire for more than a millennium. It must be said that this form of Christianity is far, far removed from the Gospel and the example of Jesus as it has failed to respect the divine image in all beings. [1]

Culture, tradition, and power can keep us from recognizing the true message of the Gospel, which is why listening to other perspectives and voices is so necessary. Historian Jemar Tisby shares the writing of Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797), a formerly enslaved man, who published his autobiography in 1789:

By the time he wrote his autobiography, Equiano had converted to Christianity. As he reflected on his life, he viewed his experiences through the lens of his faith and commented on the hypocrisy of slave traders who claimed to be Christian. . . .

On the kidnapping of unsuspecting Africans and their separation from family, Equiano asked, “O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you, learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you?” [2] Black people immediately detected the hypocrisy of American-style slavery. They knew the inconsistencies of the faith from the rank odors, the chains, the blood, and the misery that accompanied their life of bondage. Instead of abandoning Christianity, though, black people went directly to teachings of Jesus and challenged white people to demonstrate integrity. [3]

In her study on the religious experience of African Americans, Catholic theologian M. Shawn Copeland shares the “dark and hidden wisdom” of the enslaved:

In the dark, enslaved people slipped away to the quiet of thick brush arbors, hollows, or river banks to pray, to sing, to experience God in their misery and obscurity. There, as Susan Rhodes declared, God met them [4] and became their consolation and their joy. There they sang “songs what come a-gushing up from the heart.” [5] Like Spanish Carmelite mystic John of the Cross [1542–1591], they too were inflamed with “love’s urgent longings”; they too went out into the dazzling dark with “no other light or guide than the [flame] that burned in [their] hearts.” [6] The Spirit of the Lord descended, and they experienced an inflow of divine love that gushed up, uniting their hearts in prayer and song and shout that “made heaven ring.” [7] [8]

References:
[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, interview with Jen Hatmaker, “Live Yourself into a New Way of Thinking: Richard Rohr,” For the Love of Faith Groundbreakers, series 16, episode 5, audio podcast.

[2] The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, ed. Werner Sollors (W. W. Norton and Company: 2001), 43.

[3] Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Zondervan: 2019), 30–31.

[4] Susan Rhodes, quoted in Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember, an Oral History, ed. James Mellon (Grove Press: 1988), 195.

[5] Carey Davenport, quoted in From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community, George P. Rawick (Greenwood Publishing: 1972), 34.

[6] John of the Cross, “The Dark Night,” stanzas 1, 3.

[7] Rawick, 40.

[8] M. Shawn Copeland, Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African American Religious Experience (Orbis Books: 2018), 34.

Story from Our Community:
As a retired psychologist, I did not believe in evil. One could always provide a diagnosis and explain “bad behavior.” As I reread the words of Jesus, who commanded us to “love one another” and to help the poor, welcome the stranger, feed the hungry… then to witness my own Government take funds from the poor and give it to the rich— I knew this was evil. I look forward to learning more from these meditations. —James M.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

Living with the Land

Christianity and Empire

Living with the Land
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In the West, most Christians have been shaped by culture and faith into a paradigm that normalizes acquisition, at great cost to others, ourselves, and the land itself. As Richard puts it, “Perhaps the primary example of our lack of attention to the Christ Mystery can be seen in the way we continue to pollute and ravage planet Earth, the very thing we all stand on and live from.” Theologian, scholar, and Cherokee descendant Randy Woodley describes the difference between the attitude of early North American settlers and the Indigenous people who were already present on the land. He writes:

The very land itself meant something quite different to the newcomer than it did to the host people. Something was missing. The difficulty, as the Natives saw it, was with the settlers themselves and their failure to tread lightly, with humility and respect, on the land. The settlers wanted to live on the land, but the host people lived with the land. Living on the land means objectifying the land and natural resources and being shortsighted concerning the future. Living with the land means respecting the natural balance.

To Indigenous peoples, the problems of a Western worldview are obvious. The way of life demonstrated by Western peoples leads to alienation from the Earth, from others, and from all of creation. This lifestyle creates a false bubble called “Western civilization,” which people in the West think will protect them from future calamity. This false hope is detached from all experience and reality.

The problem is that the Western system itself is what brings the calamity. There is little doubt that much of what we are experiencing today as so-called natural disasters have their origin in human carelessness.

How do we avoid the impending disaster brought on by a settler lifestyle of living on the land and against nature? The answer is simple: we learn to live with nature. [1]

In 1990, Indigenous leaders spoke at a global conference on the environment, and provided a hopeful vision for the future:

We have jeopardized the future of our coming generation with our greed and lust for power. The warnings are clear and time is now a factor. . . . We speak of our children, yet we savage the spawning beds of the salmon and herring, and kill the whale in his home. We advance through the forests of the earth felling our rooted brothers indiscriminately, leaving no seeds for the future. We exploit the land and resources of the poor and indigenous peoples of the world. We have become giants, giants of destruction. . . . We must return to the spiritual values that are the foundation of life. We must love and respect all living things, have compassion for the poor and the sick, respect and understanding for women and female life on this earth who bear the sacred gift of life. We must return to the prayers, ceremonies, meditations, rituals, and celebrations of thanksgiving which link us with the spiritual powers that sustain us and, by example, teach our children to respect. [2]

References:
[1] Randy Woodley, Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth (Broadleaf Books: 2022), 101–102. Book available on January 4, 2022.

[2] “Statement of Indigenous Delegates to the Global Forum on Environment and Development for Survival,” forum paper (Moscow, January 15–19, 1999), in Coming Full Circle: Constructing Native Christian Theology, ed. Steven Charleston and Elaine A. Robinson (Fortress Press: 2015), 68.

Story from Our Community:
What a joy to hear Father Richard clearly express what I have felt all my life (and often been mocked for). The well-being of this earth and its people are to be treasured and protected. The old saying “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” will provoke more and more human misery and pain. Will we ever learn? I have experienced through Father Richard’s teachings a confirmation of my innermost feelings. Thank you. I no longer feel alone. —Deborah W.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

The Shadowlands of Domination

Christianity and Empire

The Shadowlands of Domination
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Facing Christianity’s entanglement with empire building means learning how to incorporate the “shadow side” of reality. This is necessary and yet exceedingly difficult to do, which is why Richard returns to the subject of the shadow so often:

Western civilization has failed to learn how to carry the shadow side of all things. Our success-driven culture scorns all failure, powerlessness, and any form of poverty. Yet Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount by praising “the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3)! Just that should tell us how thoroughly we have missed the point of the Gospel. Instead, we developed a system involving winners and losers, which is not Jesus, who identified with the losers without hating the winners. What a recipe for transformation of culture! We avoid the very things that Jesus praises, and we try to project a strong, secure, successful image to ourselves and to others.

Because we did not teach our people how to carry the paschal mystery (the universal entanglement of life and death) that Jesus embodied, it is now coming back to haunt us. Many of us have little ability to carry our own shadow side, much less the shadow side of our church, group, nation, or period of history. But shadowlands are good and necessary teachers. They are not to be avoided, denied, fled, or explained away. They are not even to be forgiven too quickly. First, like Ezekiel the prophet, we must eat the scroll that is “lamentation, wailing, and moaning” (2:10) in our belly.

American Indian scholar George Tinker offers a clear view of the shadow side of the Western conquest of the Americas, particularly in the United States.

American Indians continue to suffer from the effects of conquest by european immigrants over the past five centuries—an ongoing and pervasive sense of community-wide post-traumatic stress disorder. We live with the ongoing stigma of defeated peoples who have endured genocide, the intentional dismantling of cultural values, forced confinement on less desirable lands called “reservations,” intentionally nurtured dependency on the federal government, and conversion by missionaries who imposed a new culture on us as readily as they preached the gospel. . . .

[Indian peoples] suspect that the greed that motivated the displacement of all indigenous peoples from their lands of spiritual rootedness is the same greed that threatens the destruction of the earth and the continued oppression of so many peoples and ultimately the destruction of our White relatives. Whether it is the stories the settlers tell or the theologies they develop to interpret those stories, something seems wrong to Indian people. But not only do Indians continue to tell the stories, sing the songs, speak the prayers, and perform the ceremonies that root themselves deeply in Mother Earth; they are actually audacious enough to think that their stories and their ways of reverencing creation will some day win over our White settler relatives and transform them. Optimism and enduring patience seem to run in the life blood of Native American peoples.

May justice, followed by genuine peace, flow out of our concern for one another and all creation. [1]

References:
[1] George E. “Tink” Tinker, American Indian Liberation: A Theology of Sovereignty (Orbis Books: 2008), 42, 56.

Richard Rohr, The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder (Franciscan Media: 2020), 183, 185.

Story from Our Community:
What a joy to hear Father Richard clearly express what I have felt all my life (and often been mocked for). The well-being of this earth and its people are to be treasured and protected. The old saying “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” will provoke more and more human misery and pain. Will we ever learn? I have experienced through Father Richard’s teachings a confirmation of my innermost feelings. Thank you. I no longer feel alone. —Deborah W.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

Jesus and the Empire

Christianity and Empire

Jesus and the Empire
Monday, October 18, 2021

On his podcast “Another Name for Every Thing,” Fr. Richard discussed with co-hosts Paul Swanson and Brie Stoner what he sees as the “trajectory” of the Jesus movement and how Jesus lived a simple life of non-cooperation with the empire of his day.

Paul: Richard, can you help us understand how the original spirit of the Jesus movement kind of lost its momentum as it got institutionalized [and the church colluded with the empire]? How did we lose that ability to speak truth to power and to empire in such a way?

Richard: It’s possible to trace the movement of Christianity from its earliest days until now. In Israel, Jesus and the early “church” offered people an experience; it moved to Greece, and it became a philosophy. When it moved to Rome and Constantinople, it became organized religion. Then it spread to Europe, and it became a culture. Finally, it moved to North America and became a business. This isn’t much of an exaggeration, if it’s an exaggeration at all. The original desire or need for a “Jesus” experience was lost, and not even possible for most people. Experience, philosophy, organized religion, culture, business—in each of those permutations and iterations, Christianity was seen as above criticism. It simply was the religion, the philosophy, the culture.

Those are the big historical reasons that we look to different places for our authority. We gave it to emperors and kings and presidents instead of the Gospel, pretending Jesus was Lord but we didn’t really mean it. Now, I know it’s easy to be cynical, to look at the disastrous effects of Christianity’s complicity with empire and want to give up on the whole endeavor, but I also want to proclaim that the flow of grace is a truly wonderful thing. Even inside of each of those iterations, misguided as they were—and we still are today—humble, loving people emerged—in every one of them.

Brie: At the end of the day, I think we’re all longing to really live this out. And there’s a cost to wanting to live into this type of prophetic imagination that Jesus is showing us.

Richard: I think if we try to communicate what Jesus’ social justice teaching is, we won’t find a highly rarefied explanation of justice theories, and so forth. The way to do justice is to live simply, to not cooperate with consumerism, with militarism, with all the games that have us trapped. Jesus just does it differently, ignoring unjust systems and building up a better system by his teaching to his disciples. His name for the better system was the kingdom of God or the reign of God. The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. He’s showing us “We’re just going to do it better. Let’s not be anti-anything. Let’s be for something: for life, and for universal love.”

Reference:
Adapted from Richard Rohr, with Brie Stoner and Paul Swanson, “Jesus and the Empire,” Another Name for Every Thing, season 3, episode 4, March 7, 2020 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2020), audio podcast.

Story from Our Community:
I give to the poor and apologize for not giving more. I am not a rich person, although I live on much more than a dollar a day. So, I serve God. My wife and I have worked to ease the lives of those less fortunate, but now we are older and so I pray. I pray for God to give me the strength to write to those in charge to look seriously at the condition of the poor. I am sickened by our leaders’ allowing multi-billion-dollar corporations to pay no taxes, which could well go to improve housing, education, and salaries of those oppressed in our world. —Russell C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?

Jesus as Central Reference Point

Christianity and Empire

Jesus as Central Reference Point
Sunday, October 17, 2021

The first of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Eight Core Principles is that “The teaching of Jesus is our central reference point.” Affirming Jesus as central provides Fr. Richard and all of us with a confidence that comes from the Gospel. Richard writes:

Without the assurance of Jesus’ teaching and example, I would not have the courage or the confidence to say what I say. How can I trust that things like nonviolence, the path of descent, simplicity of life, forgiveness and healing, the preference for the poor, and radical grace itself are as important as they are, unless Jesus also said so? This discernment is made even harder, however, by the fact that the actual Jesus agenda is so rarely emphasized in most Christian churches.

In her autobiography, Dorothy Day (1897–1980) paraphrased theologian Romano Guardini by lamenting, “the Church is the Cross on which Christ was crucified. . . .” [1] Doesn’t that hurt? And yet, maybe it’s true. In many ways, the institutional church does not seem to believe its own Gospel.

It wasn’t always this way, but starting in 313 CE, Christianity gradually became the imperial religion of the Roman Empire. It was mostly top-down and hierarchical for the next 1700 years. As the “imperial mind” took over, religion had less to do with Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence, inclusivity, forgiveness, and simplicity, and instead became fully complicit in the world of domination, power, war, and greed itself.

Lay theologian and educator Verna Dozier (1917–2006) highlights some of the significant shifts that took place when Christianity became an imperial religion:

It is hard for us to understand what happened to the people of God under Constantine. Surely the church got a breathing space from persecution. . . . Constantine dreamed of restoring the ancient glory of the empire, and he believed that could be best achieved through Christianity. Constantine himself was not changed; the church was. It became the imperial church. Christian worship began to be influenced by imperial protocol. Incense, the sign of respect for the emperor, began to appear in Christian churches. Ministers began dressing in more luxurious garments, processions and choirs developed, and eventually the congregation came to have a less active role in the worship.

More important than any of this, however, was the kind of theology that developed. The gospel of good news to the poor now saw riches and pomp as signs of divine favor. The coming kingdom of God was no longer a fundamental theme. In the view of Eusebius [c. 260–c. 340], the father of church history, the plan of God had been fulfilled in Constantine and his successors. Beyond the present political order, all that Christians can hope for is their own personal transference into the heavenly kingdom. [2] [DM Team: CAC teacher Brian McLaren calls this version of Christianity an “evacuation plan for the next world.”]

This week’s meditations highlight how we lost the essence of Jesus’ message when the church aligned with empire—and the painful results that followed.

References:
[1] The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day (Harper and Brothers: 1952), 150.

[2] Verna J. Dozier, The Dream of God: A Call to Return (Cowley Publications: 1991), 73, 75.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, unpublished talk, Canossian Spirituality Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 3, 2016; and

“Christianity and the Creation: A Franciscan Speaks to Franciscans” in Embracing Earth: Catholic Approaches to Ecology, ed. Albert J. LaChance and John E. Carroll (Orbis Books: 1994), 143.

Story from Our Community:
I give to the poor and apologize for not giving more. I am not a rich person, although I live on much more than a dollar a day. So, I serve God. My wife and I have worked to ease the lives of those less fortunate, but now we are older and so I pray. I pray for God to give me the strength to write to those in charge to look seriously at the condition of the poor. I am sickened by our leaders’ allowing multi-billion-dollar corporations to pay no taxes, which could well go to improve housing, education, and salaries of those oppressed in our world. —Russell C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 13 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.
The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to Dr. B as part of an exploration into contemplative photography and she returned this wonderful photo.
Image Inspiration: Our state-sanctioned history celebrates explorers who chose separation, conquest, and domination. What if we chose differently and looked instead through our own “windshields” with humility, reverence, and awe for the diversity of God’s creation?
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