Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011.10.09 Strongest and Greatest?

My dad used to say to me when I was growing up, “You’re riding for a fall.” The implicit extension of pride goeth before the fall.

I rarely heeded the warning and he was almost always right, like the time I was 13 and in the finals of a tennis championship. I told him I knew I was a better player than my opponent and I’d win for sure. I saw the gentle warning in his eyes. I lost the match and the championship. And I cried. Pride, fall regardless, he loved me anyway.

What I didn’t tell him was that I cheated on one shot saying my racket didn’t nick the net when it did. Cheating didn’t help. I have never told anyone that till now.

If dad were alive he would say that about this country right now: You're riding for a fall.

“I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I’m not your president.” 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney recently said this while vowing vast military growth.

No, I do NOT want America to be the strongest nation on earth. And NO, I do not want Romney as my president.

I don’t want America to be the strongest, the greatest, the wealthiest, the most advanced nation. I’m sick of American grandiosity and swollen ego and I’m sick of the rhetoric of success when it is obvious we are failing on many fronts: to prevent violence against women and children, to feed our hungry, to eliminate racism and sexism, to distribute our resources justly, to wage peace, to get along with our neighbors near and far.

When do we surrender, holler uncle, say please God save us from greatness, it’s killing us?

The worst problem is spiritual because underneath all this lust for greatness lurks a greed so toxic, so sinister, so demonic that it stifles compassion and inspired a corporate giant like Lehman Brothers to plaster its Wall St. skyscraper windows with huge signs that read:

WE ARE THE ONE PERCENT!!!

The implication is that they are proud to hold 1% of the nation’s wealth. This is their arrogant response to the young people’s amazing fast-expanding Occupy Wall Street movement. It is a positive statement for community, justice and peace not just a protest against the pride and corruption that deprives the 99% of jobs, opportunities, dignity—and food.

Cry, beloved country you’re riding for a fall.

In other news......I do NOT want my chosen religion, Christianity, to be the strongest, greatest, best or only religion either. It’s riding for a fall.

I want my religion to surrender its own spiritual arrogance and take its place proudly among the world’s religions. I want it to be beautiful, gracious, and wisely humble.