The United States Election and Extremism

My thoughts on Extremism and the Election.


A few things I want to make clear. First, this will not show up in the main podcast for a couple reasons. This is a personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the entire collective thoughts of the show, and it’s a very large departure from the theme of what we do here.

Second, and I realize I already mentioned this but I need to make it clear, this is MY personal opinion — the opinion of Justin screen handle OSTBear.

You can click on the link to download it, or listen to it right from the page.

Have a good’er.

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2 thoughts on “The United States Election and Extremism

  • November 10, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Justin,

    Well done Justin. Some very good points indeed. No nuances: I love that. I’m not sure that is a new phenomenon amongst the populace, but it remains one that needs voices and vigilance to counter, which you have done.

    Nice references brought together with Martin Luther King Jr. (Reglious values tied into social activism), feminism (although, if I was in the frame of mind I could probably debate a definition of feminism with you), and the problem of extremism across political, religious and social spectrums.

    I have done a lot of reading in the past few years of Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who I believe will go down in history with a similar stature of, say, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Thomas Merton. An issue he addresses over and over, in the context of our faith, is the problem of dualistic thinking, which leads to right and wrong, black and white, either/or…extremism. The depths of our faith, and Jesus himself teach non-dualistic thinking, truth in paradox, and both of those are the most powerful antidotes to extremism.

    I’ll also send you an awesome article written by a British historian about how what we are seeing happen here seems to be part of a cycle that our species goes through. I can’t say I disagree with him on many of his points, but it makes me somewhat fearful for those who come after me at this point in history.

    Keep up the good work. Moderate voices are always required in order for the truth of the gospel to be manifest.

    I have always been known to be a fence-sitter. It drives people crazy. I can usually see both sides to an argument. Put me in a room with liberals and I’ll be the most conservative in some areas, and put me in a room with a bunch of conservatives and I’ll be the most liberal person there. People are so discouraged when they can’t label someone else and box them into their world in a nice and tidy way. AND, people rightfully can’t STAND it when someone else labels THEM and boxes THEM into a paradigm that basically discounts the whole of who they are as a beloved child of God. The soul rejects that. It must. At the same time, as the person matures on all levels, rejection does not entail radical or extreme responses (of anger, rage or hate). And then, there comes compassion, even for the extremists, who when encountered one on one are often just wounded children of God who have never felt validated for being who they are, and who just want to stand somewhere where they feel they aren’t just WRONG for existing.

    Whatever the case, BELONGING and LOVE are the answers (see Jean Vanier). Also, being aware of and working out the inevitable extremes that exist inside oneself of which one is often unaware, is an on-going all important task. We all have the extremes, the hypocrisies, the unwanted lack of self-control, or of gentleness, or of any of the gifts of the Spirit that are denied to us. In this way, God ALWAYS has more ways to prune and correct and grow us into the abundance of His love and grace and mercy, since none of us is gifted with ALL the gifts of the Spirit ALL the time. Well, I’ve never met anyone anyways, and the lives of most sainted people attest to that from their own mouths: the saints are usually the first ones who know that they are weak and fickle and lacking at the very same time that they KNOW in every cell in their being that they are loved and valued and accepted in spite of all those human traits.

    I’m currently in that pruning (painful) and growing (hopeful) season in my life. The pruning goes on for a while before the growing occurs. But by faith alone, we can know that the next season will come: new life is our promise on earth as in heaven.

    • November 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      As always Valerie you submit deep wisdoms for us to consider and churn. Thanks for listening.


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