Apocalypse Now

I suspect that after this post gets sent, the number of people who follow me via email (currently 2174–see sidebar) will decrease substantially. The Progressive Spirit radio show has ended and I am taking a different turn in regards to the things that I view as important and worthy of my time and hopefully yours. Yet I hope you will be curious enough to stay with me and pass this blog on to others.

We are in an apocalyptic time. Apocalypse means revelation. This is a time of revealing, of making manifest that which has been shrouded. Apocalypse in the popular sense means massive destruction. This time could be that as well especially if we decide as a human species to ignore the revelatory aspect of apocalypse.

But I am hopeful because I believe in God (not Gawd) to use David Ray Griffin’s distinction. To believe in God means to believe that morality and purpose are more than human social constructs. Morality and purpose are as real as atoms and supernovas, beetles and Bohemians. The very fabric of the universe is moral and we are a part of it, participating in it, being guided by and, to a degree participating, in its unfolding.

That belief is important, according to Griffin, because without it, without a belief and hope that the universe in some way “cares” we will not be able to face the task before us that is immense beyond measure. That task has come to us in the form of Global Warming or Climate Catastrophe. Monumental in itself, our situation is far worse than a problem to solve. Our destruction (apocalypse in the popular sense of the word) is enabled by the evil in high places that temporarily profits by our impending demise. The work of this evil is to shroud our true situation. Evil works in darkness as our wisdom traditions remind us. None of our institutions is capable of dismantling this evil or even capable of naming it. All of the institutions associated with education, religion, politics, commerce, justice, military, and media are held by the grip of this evil, unable to see in the darkness their own complicity.

The only thing that can save us is apocalypse in the precise meaning of that word, which is revelation. We need an unveiling, a de-shrouding, an unfolding, and an awakening. This is not simply an intellectual activity. It is a deeply spiritual event. I use the word ‘event’ because apocalypse is an event in which we participate. This event is happening now. This time is apocalypse now.

All around us the shroud of evil is tearing. Glimpses of light are piercing it. These glimpses are truth-revealing glimpses into the reality of our imprisonment. What exactly happened on September 11th, 2001 is a question related to this apocalypse. We know that we have been deceived but at the same time we are not allowed to know. I am not supposed to be writing about this. You are not supposed to be reading it. It is taboo. Yet here you are. You are still with me. The apocalypse event unfolds as more and more people see what they are not allowed to see, say what they are not allowed to say, and do what they are not allowed to do. Apocalypse now is rendering the taboo powerless. I need not convince you of anything. You already know it. I don’t need to show you Building 7. You know the official myth is a sham. You only need to trust what you know. Find your heart (courage) and act. When you are ready, you will.

Arbaeen is Apocalypse Now. It is not apocalypse (revelation) in the sense of a religious ritual by a sectarian group of Muslims. Arbaeen as revelation is an unfolding of truth and courage so profound that Christian bishops prostrate before it and American Christian ministers (yours truly) return home and preach sermons about its transformative effects.

At first glance, Global Warming, 9/11, and Arbaeen are not related. But of course they are intimately connected. Global Warming negatively effects the poor first. It results from unbridled fossil fuel extraction that is linked to unsustainable economic growth that results in global resource war which is justified by demonizing the “Muslim enemy” that was created by the false flag of 9/11 who resists via Arbaeen.

Evil trembles before Arbaeen. American media cannot even report on it. But 15 million bear witness. Arbaeen (Apocalypse Now) is when the oppressed of the world lead the march toward justice.

Apocalypse Now (revelation) is a divine, redemptive event that uncovers the evil that is hell-bent on the popular version of apocalypse (destruction). Apocalypse Now is our summons to participate in our collective salvation.


Nutritional Wisdom with Fred Provenza

This is the final episode of Progressive Spirit. I say my goodbyes after seven years of weekly programs that always have been available for free to the public. 

In this final episode, I speak with professor emeritus Fred Provenza of Utah State University. We talk about nutrition, our bodies, the falsness of factory farming and the nutrition industry, and the importance of love on this unique journey to Earth.

Pretty much what Progressive Spirit has always been about…

Thanks for listening!


Fred Provenza is originally from Colorado where he worked on a ranch near Salida while earning a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. Upon receiving a B.S. degree in 1973 he became ranch manager. In total, he and his wife Sue spent 7 years working on the ranch.He and Sue left the ranch in Colorado in 1975 so he could work as a research assistant and technician at Utah State University, where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Range Science. He was a faculty member in the Department of Range Science from 1982 to 2009. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University.

For the past 30 years, his group has produced ground-breaking research that laid the foundations for what is now known as behavior-based management of landscapes. That work inspired researchers in disciplines as diverse as chemical ecology, ruminant nutrition, human nutrition and biopsychology, animal welfare, landscape restoration ecology, wildlife damage management, pasture and rangeland science and management, and rural sociology and eco-development. Along with colleagues and graduate students, he has been author or co-author of 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, and he has been an invited speaker at over 325 international meetings.

Their efforts led to the formation in 2001 of an international network of scientists and land managers from five continents. That consortium, known as BEHAVE (Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation and Ecosystem Management http://www.behave.net), is committed to integrating behavioral principles and processes with local knowledge to enhance ecological, economic and social values of rural and urban communities and landscapes.They seek to inspire and enable people to understand behavior, ours and other creatures, to fashion environmentally friendly solutions that reconcile differences of opinion about how to manage landscapes. In this process, everyone involved is a student attempting to better understand behavior at all levels from genes to landscapes and to use understanding of behavior to help people learn to appreciate that our differences are our collective strength in sustaining communities and landscapes that integrate diverse ecological, economic and social values and services. 

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The End of An Era

The reason is numerical.

I realized the other day, counting on my fingers, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018…that I have completed seven years of radio shows with Progressive Spirit, formerly, Religion For Life.

Seven years. Seven complete seasons. Seven is the number of completion. Obviously, it is a wrap.

My last two interviews with Brad Gregory (Rebel in the Ranks) and Fred Provenza (Nourishment), will be my final interviews. The show is ending.

I am keeping my once per month show, The Beloved Community, on KBOO from nine to ten a.m. every second Friday. The weekly show, Progressive Spirit, however, will end after seven years.

I started the show thanks to encouragement by Teresa Keller of WEHC in Emory, Virginia. She wanted a progressive religious voice to counter the fundamentalist religious voice so prevalent on the radio in Appalachia. Emory was a bit of a drive for me and I needed a station a little closer to home. So I approached Wayne Winkler of WETS in Johnson City about the idea of an educational program about religion.

Wayne warmed up to the idea, taught me how to produce a show, and encouraged me all along. The show survived the death of my son, a move to Portland, and a format change from a half-hour to an hour-long program. In addition to WETS and WEHC, the show airs on about fifteen to twenty stations on a weekly basis and is available through the Pacifica Radio Network and Global Community Radio.

The show will remain on-line and available for anyone to access for free. The show has always been free of course with no advertising, subscriptions, or donations to keep it going. It was supported by my two congregations, First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee and Southminster Presbyterian Church of Beaverton, Oregon.

The show ended up taking time. Preparation, production, and promotion, all took time. It got to the point where it was tiring. Also, my interests are changing. I am interested in issues of war and peace, truth and goodness that mainstream media, including much of the so-called alternative media, are not allowed to address. I am talking about the so-called Global War on Terror, and the false flags, lies, and Islamophobia that fuel it. Progressive Spirit isn’t big enough for that.

Ending the show is my decision. I never like to keep things beyond their expiration date. Progressive Spirit has expired. What will be next? I don’t know. Of course, I have my personal studio. I have my monthly show on KBOO. A documentary film, For Love of Husayn (as) is in the production stages now. I will now have more time to write my own ideas.

For the time being, I need to focus on my congregation and its needs. This trip to Iraq and the connections that I have made since are very exciting. This is an inter-faith and inter-cultural opportunity beyond my wildest dreams. I need to spend time with Southminster and see if this adventure is for the both us.

Whatever happens, it is all good and it has been good.

Stay with me. I will be writing and posting stuff on this space.

There is more to come.


Rebel in the Ranks: A Conversation with Brad Gregory

Martin Luther may very well turn over in his grave if he was able to see what happened to what he started 500 years ago. The Reformation. Studying its effects is not just for religious people. According to Notre Dame Professor of European History, Brad Gregory, the very way we conceive of private and public spheres today was an ironic result of the effects of the Reformation Era and its wars.  

Professor Brad Gregory has won numerous awards for his books. He is the author of Salvation at stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europeand The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.

In 2017 for the 500thanniversary of the Reformation he published Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts that Continue to Shape Our World.

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The War on Yemen: A Conversation with Dr. Aisha Jumaan

The US Senate voted this week 56-41 to end US support of the war on Yemen. According to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders:

“The Saudi intervention in Yemen has created the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, with millions of people facing imminent starvation. The time is long overdue for the United States to stop following the lead of Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime that recently murdered a dissident journalist and has no respect for human rights. Further, and importantly, the Senate must reassert its constitutional authority and end our support of this unauthorized and unconstitutional war.”

Dr. Aisha Jumaan returns to the Beloved Community to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the latest political developments.

Dr. Jumaan is the founder and president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation.  (http://www.yemenfoundation.com) , a nonprofit charity organization that aims to provide relief to the people of Yemen and support peace building efforts.

Professionally, Aisha has been working as an independent consultant in health related projects since April 2013.  She manages and coordinates Health funded projects in Yemen, including the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). Prior to this Aisha was a consultant for CDC FETP program supporting FETP programs in the Middle East. In 2011 she helped establish the Yemen program (amid social and political unrest) in collaboration with CDC, WHO and the Ministry of Public Health and Population.

Between 2008 and 2010, Aisha was the Director of the HPV vaccine project at PATH working in India, Peru, Vietnam and Uganda.  She has served as a Senior Epidemiologist for over 10 years in several divisions at CDC, including Cancer, Immunizations, Nutrition and Environmental Health.  She has been the primary investigator on several research projects and provided epidemiological and statistical technical expertise. As an Assistant Professor at both Emory University School of Public Health in the Epidemiology Department and at Sana’s University in Yemen under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aisha developed and taught intermediate epidemiology to graduate students as well as epidemiology and biostatistics to medical students.

While in Yemen, Aisha served as a National Program Officer for the United Nations Population Fund and as a Health Program Officer for the United Nations Development Fund, supervising several major programs in collaboration with local government institutions. She developed and implemented training programs for US Peace Corps Primary Health Care Volunteers in Yemen, and has evaluated training programs for Primary Healthcare Workers for the Dutch Volunteer Organization SNV. Aisha holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, an MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University, and a BA in Biology from Mills College.

Plus John Shuck speaks with His Eminence the 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche who visited the West Coast this summer.

He was born in India on November 18, 1985. He was taken to the Tibetan Childrens Village in Dharamsala, after his mother died, and stayed there until His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of his Senior Tutor, the 6th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, who passed away in 1983.

During this interview, he spoke with John Shuck about leadership, suffering, kindness, and happiness.

KBOO  Includes Pledge Drive Pitches
PODCAST (Jumaan only. No pitches)

KBOO (Includes interview with Ling Rinpoche)

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A Gracious Heretic: Catching Up With Connie Tuttle

Connie Tuttle tells her story of being a queer prophet.

Connie Lee Tuttle is the pastor of Circle of Grace, a small, progressive, ecumenical, feminist, Christian house church in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary on a path to ordination within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) She was refused ordination because she is a lesbian. (The denomination has since changed its policies).

In her book, A Gracious Heresy: The Queer Calling of An Unlikely Prophet, she recounts her story, calling herself “slumgullion”, army brat, and third culture kid. She brings it altogether in a story of grace, stumbling, and seeking what is true and good, often outside the box.

She writes at ConnieTuttle.com

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The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: Hugh Turley Investigates His Death

December 10th, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton. Questions linger.
Was it a heart attack, accident, or murder?

Investigative Reporter, Hugh Turley, makes the case that the conclusion that Thomas Merton died by accident cannot possibly be true. Hugh Turley and David Martin are co-authors of the 2018 book, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton, An Investigation.

John Shuck speaks live with Hugh Turley on Beloved Community about the death of Thomas Merton, who was an anti-war author and spiritual leader. He died mysteriously on December 10th, 1968 in Thailand.

“Merton was in apparent good health and at the height of his productive powers when he died suddenly and mysteriously while attending a monastic conference, on December 10th, 1968, near Bangkok, Thailand. He was 53 years old. Up to now, no one has examined the circumstances of his death systematically, critically, and what is most important honestly. That is our purpose here.” p. 2.

Hugh Turley, as a volunteer columnist for the Hyattsville Life and Times was winner of the National Newspaper Association award for best serious column, small circulation, non-daily division.

Book’s website – The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton.

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