Spirituality often sees activism as unnecessarily binding, while activism often sees spirituality as a navel-gazing escape. For Pancho, though, the two paths merge into one. Meditation is internal service, while service is external meditation.
A delegation from the Council of Elders (veteran leaders of the freedom and peace movements of the mid-20th century) recently led an interfaith service at Zuccotti Park. Hundreds of OWS activists took part.
Our forefather Jacob taught us that only by challenging evil and standing up for what is good, can peace be brought to the world. If we can learn from these achievements of the past, then we are likely to repeat them.
The police, as a class, are generally in the 99 percent -- and while they often do their bidding for the 1 percent, many of them have cultural and economic roots that are more closely aligned with those against whom they are being asked to use force.
Today, as the United States celebrates Veteran's Day, the Church celebrates Martin of Tours, a conscientious objector to war. Let us follow this subversive centurion in the way of Jesus, our ultimate Commander.
The Occupy protesters share with the Tea Party an aversion to institutional leaders and political process. But to achieve change, the two must eventually work side by side. And it is easier to mobilize than to organize.
We have spent too many centuries tolerating a limited and limiting narrative of war. The desire for a new dialogue on war and peace is not limited by one's personal politics -- peace doesn't have a side, or a color or a race.
If we believe that one life - perhaps even our own - is worth giving up for a change that brings hope to thousands or millions of others, then this third way begins to look like a path worth exploring.
Consider the contrast between Gandhi's precarious, defenseless efforts to reach his fellow humans, traveling alone and armed only with truth, and, in contrast, weigh U.S. reliance on a massive arsenal of weapons and armed warriors.
Now what makes this even more complicated is the fact that most of the statements about Hell found in the Bible are said by Jesus. The one who is leading me to question Hell, seems to be the very one who teaches it.
Those who commit their lives to following Jesus are asked to follow in His steps. Many will argue that these are challenging tasks. If Jesus was here today, He would not do anything we cannot do ourselves.
As crashing economies and austerity measures slap ever more ferociously at the lives of the vulnerable and disenfranchised, the Western world, with all its hidden poverty and institutional racism, may continue to convulse.