Episode 215: All That Power
"No one man should have all that power/The Clock’s ticking, I just count off the hours"- Kanye West.
Yeah, we dropped Kanye in this show. I did it in the cold open without thinking about it. But, well, we're talking about power. And I like that song. On today's show do we get a little personal? Yes. But that doesn't minimize or localize the bigger issue... We talk about power, fear, false authority and real authority. We discuss how to recognize it when it is real authority, what to do when it is false authority parading as the final word.
But we do not pretend to be the arbiters of power. We are affluent white dudes with jobs and homes in Southern California. But we recognize that there are certain structures (some of which we belong to) that can hold power in the name of power itself. We explore the connection between power and fear. I bring up a few specific examples, that, while not talking out of school, hit very close to this podcast. Are there holes? Yup. Do we have concrete answers? Nope. Is it a helpful conversation? I think. Is everything going to be ok? Damn straight it will be.
Quote From Augustine on contentious readings of the Genesis creation account:
A number of you asked about the quote Jeff read from St. Augustine on charity and contentious subjects (in this case, the creation account). The whole bit is from the Confessions (An absolutely brilliant work from a 5th century North African). The part Jeff read is from Book 12, chapter 30. Some people say to not read the last parts of the Confessions. Shine that! It's tough at times, but gold. Here is Augustine after discussion the contentious debates about the Genesis creation account (and why did he answer it so well, but we can't seem to figure out a way to do it 1500 years later?):
41. In this discord of true opinions let Truth itself bring concord, and may our God have mercy on us all, that we may use the law rightly to the end of the commandment which is pure love. Thus, if anyone asks me which of these opinions was the meaning of thy servant Moses, these would not be my confessions did I not confess to thee that I do not know. Yet I do know that those opinions are true -- with the exception of the carnal ones -- about which I have said what I thought was proper. Yet those little ones of good hope are not frightened by these words of thy Book, for they speak of high things in a lowly way and of a few basic things in many varied ways. But let all of us, whom I acknowledge to see and speak the truth in these words, love one another and also love thee, our God, O Fountain of Truth -- as we will if we thirst not after vanity but for the Fountain of Truth. Indeed, let us so honor this servant of thine, the dispenser of this Scripture, full of thy Spirit, so that we will believe that when thou didst reveal thyself to him, and he wrote these things down, he intended through them what will chiefly minister both for the light of truth and to the increase of our fruitfulness.
- Augustine of Hippo Confessions