Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Belittling a person or organization is often an expression of fear about their significance!

(This was sent to me in email by a friend. It was sent to him by an old college professor with a note that it was sent to him with this note: This was sent to me by a staff member in the South Indiana Conference, United Methodist Church. Thought you would appreciate the sentiment.
I do not know who to attribute it to by it resonates, doesn't it!

I obviously, because of age and experience and ailments, am "Old School". One of the atrributes of my reality is that I find contemporary wisdom in the wisdom and writings of my dear friends that they shared years ago. One of my friends, Dr. Tex Sample, now retired from St. Paul School of Theology wrote "Blue-Collar Ministry, Facing Economic and Social Realities of Working People" in 1984! His words from "back in the day" have relevance and resonance today. Hopefully, the superficial critiques of Senator Obama's community organization experience have died down, but in case they surface again, the wisdom and insight of Tex Sample is useful. In Blue Collar Ministry he wrote;

"Community organization is an exercise in empowerment which reognizes that most injustices are rooted in the fact that it is not in the self-interest of the powerful to change them. The powerful will not change unless confronted by power, and the way that working-class people can get such power is through organizing. The moral foundation of community organization is based on the principle that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect them. As long as they are powerless, they will be denied this basic human right." (Page 151, paperback edition)

Is there any misunderstanding as to why Senator McCain and Governor Palin have made fun of
Senator Obama's experience as a community organizer? They know and thus are fearful that a
President with a background of community organizing, would make a positive difference in the
lives of working people. A President Obama who is serious about the struggles of working class people would expose the fact that not everybody talking about working people is serious about enabling them to be involved in decision-making that affects them. "Everybody talking about CHANGE, is not really committed to change."