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Systematic Change And Chaos In Action

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.


A recent article about Pope Francis' trip to South America made me realize how much things really are changing and changing very fast: 

Between 800,000 and 1.2 million people could cross the border between Argentina and Paraguay to see the pontiff, according to immigration officials in both countries. Most will be Argentines seeking to get closer to Francis, a fellow countryman. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner will be there too.

About a fifth of the roughly one million Paraguayan immigrants estimated to be living in Argentina will also make the trip, officials say.

The idea that such activity could ever have been influenced by the previous Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, is laughable and ridiculous on its face. Francis has not only tapped in to the developing world but also could potentially change religious institutions in the first world. His installment of Blase Cupich as Archbishop in Chicago put a serious progressive in a place of authority over millions of Catholics and others who use Catholic social services, while his call for fossil fuel divestment could potentially change the American way of life if were put in to action by American religious institutions.


Change is happening and change always is chaotic. The optimistic view of this chaos is that positives always come with negatives and this could potentially explain the violence that the United States is experiencing.

As I wrote in one of my last posts, a firearm is a tool. It's a tool I think should be heavily, heavily regulated but it is a tool - like a bow and arrow or any number of other dangerous items. As I also wrote, I think these mass shootings will be remembered historically as a right wing insurgency. Most of the manifestos and explanations by the mass shooters amass as some level of right wing status anxiety from "women won't date me" in Santa Barbara to "I hate black people" in South Carolina. There are men's rights and neo-Nazi groups that have fairly sophisticated ideologies built around these sentiments and I'm sure there was at least some level of "I get where he was coming from," if not outright support, from those camps when the shootings occurred.

There's alot of left wingers who support gun rights - my chief writer Josh is one of them. Apparently Bernie Sanders is not a gun control advocate either - although I think there may be some exaggeration from analysts. When I actually saw a video of him talking about the subject, he said basically that "Vermont is a rural area and guns are used for target practice and hunting but I realize that not everywhere is Vermont." It didn't really sound like the absolutism that most gun rights advocates adhere to.

I think that, with the level of systematic societal change that we are seeing, attacks like this would be an unfortunate reality. Transitional periods have alot of violence - this is a historical reality. Policy in the United States allows for it to occur alot easier at the hands of sick individuals and that's something that I do think is going to be altered, even if it is altered by people extremely reluctant about altering it.

We thought we lived in a world we didn't. Right wing ascendancy for decades had assumptions not only about how things worked but about what people wanted that have proved tacitly false. This is a pretty extreme result - the result of such change isn't going to be peaceful.

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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