” Just Call It Treason” This Week on Soul AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson LIVE

10-02-13 Treason Shutdown“These people don’t see America changing. These people see America being destroyed,” warned Johnson, “…so the browning of America for them is the disappearance of America, and when you see it like that, they are capable of doing almost anything. This is only the beginning of their hysteria, of their desperation, of their danger. I hate to sound like a prophet of doom, but we’ve got a problem.”

Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, “Just Call It Treason”, Soul AFIRE, October 3, 2013

The government shutdown is properly viewed as an act of treason, said Dr. Matthew V. Johnson last night on Soul AFIRE. He drew a parallel with a strike conducted by the White workers of the Philadelphia Transportation Company, in 1944, at the height of WWII, who were angry that Blacks were being called in to work the trolleys while the White workers were recruited into higher paying and more sensitive wartime positions. Philadelphia, then the country’s third largest war production center, was shutdown to prevent Blacks from getting these jobs in a collusion among the Republicans, the management of the transportation company, and the White workers.

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A new and urgent broadcast experience . . .

Soul Afire is a live talk radio program hosted by Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr. The call-in program Inspires and Incites the personal spirit to come alive and reach for the fire within. Whether your life moves in the nests of tumbleweed against desert dryness or flows quietly in the sanctuary of lush foliage of a tropical riverbed, you live by the realm a claimed or neglected human spirit. Soul Afire is about the human Spirit and how it navigates Blackness. The program will feature Dr. Johnson’s weekly commentary, “Spirit Matters”.

ABOUT REVEREND DR. MATTHEW V. JOHNSON 

Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for thirty years, Dr. Johnson is the Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist located in Atlanta, GA.

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Why the Faithful Approve of Torture l “The Passion of the Lord, Violence and Black Pain”- March 27, 2013 SAF

03-27 Passion

SOUL AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson

March 27, 2013

 

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“The Passion of the Lord, Violence and Black Pain”

PROFESSOR, CHICAGO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008), Thistlethwaite is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. 

Why the Faithful Approve of Torture

The more often you go to church, the more you approve of torture. This is a troubling finding of a new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? After all, who would Jesus torture? Since Jesus wouldn’t even let Peter use a sword and defend him from arrest, it would seem that those who follow Jesus would strenuously oppose the violence of torture. But, not so in America today.

Instead, more than half of people who attend worship at least once a week, or 54%, said that using torture on suspected terrorists was “often” or “sometimes” justified. White evangelical Protestants were the church-going group most likely to approve of torture. By contrast, those who are unaffiliated with a religious organization and didn’t attend worship were most opposed to torture — only 42% of those people approved of using torture.

One possible way to interpret this extraordinary Pew data is cultural. White evangelical Protestants tend to be culturally conservative and they make up a large percentage of the so-called Republican “base”. Does the approval of torture by this group demonstrate their continuing support for the previous administration? That may be.

But I think it is possible, even likely, that this finding has a theological root. The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person…” White Evangelical theology bases its view of Christian salvation on the severe pain and suffering undergone by Jesus in his flogging and crucifixion by the Romans. This is called the “penal theory of the atonement”–that is, the way Jesus paid for our sins is by this extreme torture inflicted on him.

For Christian conservatives, severe pain and suffering are central to their theology. This is very clear in the 2002 Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ. Evangelical Christians flocked to this movie, promoted it and still show it in their churches, despite the fact that it is R-rated for the extraordinary amount of violence in the film. It is, in fact, the highest grossing R-rated movie in the history of film. The flogging of Jesus by the Romans goes on for fully 40 minutes. It is truly the most violent film I have ever seen.

The message of the movie, and a message of a lot of conservative Christian theology, is that severe pain and suffering are not foreign to Christian faith, but central.

Of course, this is an interpretation of Jesus life, death and resurrection that I reject. It is also an interpretation that I believe has done a lot of harm through the centuries. I think it is impossible, yes, impossible, if you read the Gospels, to make the case that God wanted Jesus tortured for the sins of humanity. But that is an interpretation that has sometimes been made in the history of Christianity and the social and political fallout has been, and is today, that torture is OK, maybe even more than OK. This Pew finding may just be another in a long line of horrible historical examples of that.

BY SUSAN BROOKS THISTLETHWAITE  |  MAY 1, 2009; 4:15 PM ET

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/susan_brooks_thistlethwaite/2009/05/why_the_faithful_approve_of_torture.html

Listen to a new episode Soul AFire with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson l Spirit Matters Talk at http://tobtr.com/s/4461083. #SPIRITMATTERS

“The Last Letter” l Soul AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson l March 20, 2013 10 pm ET LIVE

This Week on Soul AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson

03-20 letters

 

“The Last Letter”
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10 pm ET     LIVE

The Last Letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

 

 

Dig last updated on Mar. 18, 2013

 

S P I R I T M A T T E R S Journal l March 14, 2013 l Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr. l #40

Sharing the Fire As It Grows

S P I R I T   M A T T E R S

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March 14, 2013

The Kingdom Under Siege

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12)

         

            The Kingdom of Heaven is under siege from all quarters. Whether it’s the Church, the interrelated values implicit in the Kingdom, the Gospel, the Will of God as symbol, however it is conceived, the Kingdom of Heaven is under siege! It has become a cultural cash cow. Everyone wants to lay hold of the cultural capital of the Kingdom for their own purposes. They strive to take possession of the prestige of the Kingdom for their own private and political agendas. The Kingdom is under siege! Some want to use it to satisfy their need for expiation, to take it over in order to protect themselves from the crisis of judgment it implies. They want to use it to shield themselves from the very challenge it brings to their comfort zone and life styles. Still others want to take hold of its inherent goodness to clothe themselves in a righteousness they will not strive to attain. Others recognize that in it are the resources that provide access to the vulnerabilities of  humanity that they can exploit for private gain and advantage. Some want to capture it to take hold of the highest aspirations of the race so they can hold them within the limits of their own dwarfed spirituality and minimalist vision of life and human possibility. Still others wish to harness its great power  and lash it to the fortunes of a failing system.

In all of this the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent seek to take it by FORCE! Even in the local church the violent wish to harness, manage, control the Kingdom for their own personal aggrandizement. The Kingdom is under siege! Its would be friends but certain foes want it for their private possession. They use the power of the Kingdom’s language to turn it against its true purpose, changing the truth of God into a lie. It is a violent degradation of the Faith.

But in all of this the Kingdom will not be contained. It will break every bridle and snap every lash. The matchless majesty of true life will swell beyond human limitations and swallow the very prisons in which men thought to keep it chained. Spiritual cowardice will not contain it. Superior political power can not defeat it. Violent suppression can not discourage it. The prison house of language will not harness it. Fear and intimidation in all their manifold forms will not stifle it. For not even death could defeat it. Stay true to the Faith as we have received it. We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us. (Romans 8:37) Be of good cheer, for in Him we have overcome the world! (John 16:33)

A Friend of the Crucified,

Pastor Johnson

Soul AFIRE -April 3, 2013 – ” ‘Unchained from Our Sun . . . The Breath of Empty Space’: The Loss of Purpose in Black Institutional Life”

04-3-132 sub Unchained

SOUL AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson

April 3, 2013 10 pm ET “Spirit Matters Talk Radio”

” ‘Unchained from Our Sun . . . The Breath of Empty Space’:

The Loss of Purpose in Black Institutional Life”

“What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?
Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving?
Away from all suns?
Are we not plunging continually?
Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?
Is there still any up or down?”
– Parable Of The Madman

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Parable Of The Madman by Friedrich Nietzsche

“What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?
Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving?
Away from all suns?
Are we not plunging continually?
Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?
Is there still any up or down?
Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing?
Do we not feel the breath of empty space?
Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us?
Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning?”

04-3-13 UnchainedABOUT SOUL AFIRE
A new and urgent broadcast experience . . .

Soul Afire is a live talk radio program hosted by Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr. The call-in program Inspires and Incites the personal spirit to come alive and reach for the fire within. Whether your life moves in the nests of tumbleweed against desert dryness or flows quietly in the sanctuary of lush foliage of a tropical riverbed, you live by the realm a claimed or neglected human spirit. Soul Afire is about the human Spirit and how it navigates Blackness. The program will feature Dr. Johnson’s weekly commentary, “Spirit Matters”.

ABOUT REVEREND DR. MATTHEW V. JOHNSON 
Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for thirty years, Dr. Johnson is the Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist located in Atlanta, GA.

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“The Great American Con . . . Revisited” l This Week on Soul AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson l Wed. February 27, 2013

02-27 Con

“The Great American Con . . . Revisited”

February 27, 2013 10 pm ET

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From the “Spirit Matters Journal” of Dr. Matthew V. Johnson

“Just a general observation on American society. This comment seems to me justified in the way the society, culture and the mass media treats issues concerning whites and blacks, as well as whites and blacks deferentially in matters that concern them both. What follows is a phenomenological observation not a normative affirmation.

Black people’s whole struggle seems to be the vicissitudes of their efforts to matter. While the entire presumption of White society is that they have ultimate significance while all other’s significance is a derivative of their place in how white people see themselves. It must be nice to live in a cultural universe where one matters so much. Of course this is a question of the entanglements of pathological narcissism, the different levels of causality and the existential entrance point in the received framework.”

ABOUT SOUL AFIRE
A new and urgent broadcast experience . . .

Soul Afire is a live talk radio program hosted by Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr. The call-in program Inspires and Incites the personal spirit to come alive and reach for the fire within. Whether your life moves in the nests of tumbleweed against desert dryness or flows quietly in the sanctuary of lush foliage of a tropical riverbed, you live by the realm a claimed or neglected human spirit. Soul Afire is about the human Spirit and how it navigates Blackness. The program will feature Dr. Johnson’s weekly commentary, “Spirit Matters”.

ABOUT REVEREND DR. MATTHEW V. JOHNSON
Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for thirty years, Dr. Johnson is the Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist located in Atlanta, GA.

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SOUL AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson l “Chris Donner and the Perils of a Misplaced Faith” l February 13, 2013 l 10pm ET

SOUL AFIRE with Dr. Matthew V. Johnson

“Chris Donner and the Perils of a Misplaced Faith”

 

02-13 Donner

February 13, 2013              10 pm ET
“Spirit Matters Talk Radio”

dornergunFrom Christopher Donner’s Manifesto . . .

” . . . The principal swatted Jim for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking Jim in response to him calling me a n****r. He stated as good Christians we are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did. Problem is, I’m not a f***ing Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a n****r. How dare you swat me for standing up for my rights for demanding that I be treated as a equal human being. That day I made a life decision that i will not tolerate racial derogatory terms spoken to me. Unfortunately I was swatted multiple times for the same exact reason up until junior high. Terminating me for telling the truth of a caucasian officer kicking a mentally ill man is disgusting. Don’t ever call me a f***ing bully. “

From Matters of Religion to Matters of Politics…Spirit Matters…

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Call In Line: 914-338-1610

ABOUT SOUL AFIRE
A new and urgent broadcast experience . . .

Soul Afire is a live talk radio program hosted by Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr. The call-in program Inspires and Incites the personal spirit to come alive and reach for the fire within. Whether your life moves in the nests of tumbleweed against desert dryness or flows quietly in the sanctuary of lush foliage of a tropical riverbed, you live by the realm a claimed or neglected human spirit. Soul Afire is about the human Spirit and how it navigates Blackness. The program will feature Dr. Johnson’s weekly commentary, “Spirit Matters”.

ABOUT REVEREND DR. MATTHEW V. JOHNSON
Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for thirty years, Dr. Johnson is the Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist located in Atlanta, GA.

Soul AFIRE
http://ww.soulafire.wordpress.com/
Like us on FB: SoulAFire
Twitter: @ASoulAFire #SpiritMatters
Email: soulafire@truthworksnetwork.com

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