Liu Xiaobo was named the 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
There's a lot of discussion all over the inter net about which direction this country should go and why it's not a good idea for anonymous rich donors to use religious and charitable PACs as fronts to mask their influence. The case in Minnesota where Archbishop Neinstedt allowed his office to be used by both an anonymous donor and the very right wing KofC is a particularly egregious example.
I find this situation repulsive for slightly different reasons, although my reasons do include the fact this trend appears to make it look as if the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church is for sale. At least it is in some dioceses. My core reason for my objections is that I truly believe we create our own reality. Our best quantum physicists and our best mystics say this is indeed the case. This is why free choice is so important in all spiritual systems. Free choice doesn't just apply on the individual level, it applies on the collective level. 'We' create our collective reality and it seems to me the really rich are trying to buy that collective definition of reality. Their money accomplishes their objective because it convinces the vast majority of the silent center to stay silent, and it disempowers collective dissent by convincing the rest of us we can't effectively compete.
This morning the Nobel Committee announced that the imprisoned Chinese democracy proponent Liu Xiaobo had won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Communist Chinese government immediately shut down all media coverage, going so far as to censor the Internet, cell phone text messaging, and tweeting which used the Chinese characters for Xiaobo's name. If I needed a better example of how entrenched powers understand the dynamics of collective consciousness creating reality, I couldn't have asked for a better one. The Chinese government knows all it takes to create a completely different cultural and political reality is to allow a dedicated focused group to think and operate unchecked. Their own rise to power was the result of such a conscious creation. As they created, so they can be uncreated. It may happen that in a very short period of time the collective focus of the world, which will be generated by this announcement, will start reweaving the reality of China's future. We've seen this happen in our very recent past when European communism was woven out of the collective fabric of Europe.
For this reason I have taken great hope in the recent massive coverage given to the problem of gay youth suicide. When a group like Exodus International decides it's time they disengaged from the overt promotion of a high school program specifically designed to attack gays, I take hope we are creating a different reality for our country, at least on this one issue. When more and more writers are beginning to question the massive influence of unacknowledged money is this coming election, I take hope that we are beginning to call into question the influence of money on our democracy. There isn't much difference between a concentrated group of Chinese communists controlling Chinese society, or a concentrated group of global corporations and wealthy individuals controlling Western democracies. All either group really need do is convince the majority they have no real power and we don't. All a bully need do is convince a target they have no power, and the target has no power---that is until they reach the conclusion the only power they have left is just enough to take their own life.
Warning: Here comes a jump shift.
One of the problems I have with the kind of Christology that Benedict favors is that it is very disempowering. In that vein it's not surprising that the idea of 'victim soul' is being resurrected as the latest paradigm in which Catholicism is to view the gay person. Essentially this idea states that real power is found in being a powerless self abnegating victim and that God created gays as a special class of humanity whose mission is to be exactly that kind of disempowered person for the collective good of the Church. It's an old idea in Catholicism. It's a bad old idea. It's a special gay upgrading of the notion that free choice is bad because we are all intrinsically disordered through original sin. Humanity is predisposed to choose evil and sin and there for individual humans should relegate their use of free choice to self identified religious leaders. The best use of free will is to choose to not use it. It doesn't get much more disempowering especially if it's voluntary. This is precisely why Catholic cults of personality emphasise obedience to leadership. The Legionaries are a great example of the ability of one sick man to create a very sick culture because it's creation and maintenance were built into the charter. The entire group freely chose to cooperate in creating Maciel's reality. It would have been really really difficult for an individual to work against this collective reality without incurring a great deal of psychic and psychological damage.
Catholicism itself has a sick collective reality. The abuse crisis demonstrates the level of sickness and not just in the clerical system, but in the complete disempowering of a laity who seem unable to wake up to their own Catholic reality--not even when it comes to their own children. My hope and prayer is that the Minneapolis situation is waking up laity to this whole idea of creating and sustaining our Catholic reality and to an awareness of just how sick the current reality actually is. Laity have to understand that although we didn't create this sick culture, we have been successfully conditioned to sustain it.
We need to believe in the power inherent in the People of God to freely and consciously choose to create a different Catholic reality and from there a different world reality. This is what Vatican II was essentially trying to teach, if not in quite so direct a way. My prayer is that this reality is based in love, compassion, and healing. This is after all, the very reality Jesus taught and freely let His disciples choose to confirm for themselves. Imagine a billion empowered Catholics who believed it was God's will that they create a new reality focused on peace and love. It would be creating the Kingdom Jesus talked about. It would be all about 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". And it wouldn't take money and it wouldn't take armies and it wouldn't take leaders intent on dominating anything. All it would take is enough people who truly believed it was possible to change this reality, to connect it to the love of Jesus and the will of God.