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Everything must change.

September 27, 2007

The title is stolen from Brian McLaren’s new book. Which I am now excited to read. Especially in the context of a lecture I attended last night.

Lecture may be too strong a word. It was instead a conversation between Chris Frazer, one of St Francis Xavier’s History professors, and Sam Webb, the leader of the American Communist Party. The conversation covered a lot of ground, from the history of Socialism, to Socialism’s determination to become a viable political alternative, to the current goal of the American Communist Party to defeat the Republican party, by supporting the Democratic party.

When the floor was opened to the attendees I asked Mr. Webb to comment on the history of Religion and Communism, and where he saw it going in the future. His answer was a bit of a run around. Resulting in him criticizing the religious right in the states. A deserved criticism, but not one that deals with the constant putting down of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and others in China. The periods of intense pressure on Christians in Cuba, or the history of the U.S.S.R. where people of any faith were tortured and killed as enemies of the state. Sam Webb also said that there was room for people of faith in the Communist Party in the US. It seemed though that they would have to leave their faith at the door.

I had gone in expecting to disagree with everything he said. To a large extent this expectation played out. But what was more surprising is what we agreed on. The most important one being that things have to change. The environment is entering catastrophic change, there is a growing gap between the rich and the poor in the Western World, and the developing world is still far behind in basic human needs and rights. Things like consistent food and clean water. Not to mention things like education.

But we disagree profoundly on how this is to be dealt with. The goal of the conservative, which to a large extent I am, is for there to opportunities for all who are willing to work. Regardless of creed, race, or gender. The Goal of the Christian, which I am, is to see all creation, Christian or not, as loved by God, and therefore worthy of love by us. It is only through this love that we will see the world transformed.

To love what God created means treating the environment with care. To love what God created means looking after the sick and the poor. To love what God created means being ashamed of our materialistic ways and our economic system that propogates it. It means requiring our governments to look after the countries that can’t feed themselves or lift themselves out of economic hardship.

And its simpler than communism.

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