Friday, September 9, 2011

“Tell me your image of God and I’ll tell you your politics.” - Marcus Borg

The following is from a speech made by David Korten, a man in the forefront of the movement to lead us into a new paradigm, a new economy.

“Some years ago I was privileged to share a conference platform with Jesus scholar Marcus Borg. I will never forget his defining statement: ‘Tell me your image of God, and I will tell you your politics.’ Borg explains that the many scriptural images of God are of two basic types. One is the patriarch with the flowing beard: the God we visualize in human form, the God of Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, who lives in a distant place we call Heaven. The other image of God is as a spirit manifest in all being.

“The patriarch image sets up a hierarchy of righteousness and domination running from those closest to God to those most distant. It leads to a competitive individualistic politics of separation, domination, favor seeking, and wealth accumulation. It is the foundation of the Calvinist belief that the rich and powerful are by definition God’s most favored, and that financial success and Earthly power are marks of special righteousness. Within this belief system, the world is whatever God the patriarch wishes it to be, and it is beyond our means to change it for better or worse.

“By contrast, the spirit image-by which we recognize the face of God in every human being, animal, insect, and grain of sand-leads to a politics of community, shared purpose, and mutual service. Everything in creation is both manifestation and agent of a great spiritual intelligence seeking to know itself through the creative exploration of its possibilities. Within this belief system, to do harm to another being is to harm oneself. We see ourselves as agents of that creative journey and find our ultimate fulfillment in devoting ourselves to it.”

This reminds me of a film, the Global Oneness Project produced a while back called "A Thousand Suns: Food, Ecology and Religion in the 21st Century. Worth a watch for sure: