Tag Archives: libertarian

On my politics, For Scott and Joel: A very brief response

Scotteriology and Joel have been dissing my politics this whole week on twitter.

So, I would like to say a couple of things:

#1, theologically, I am post-colonial and liberationist and a pacifist; these labels I do accept. Churches should be leading the way in terms of peacemaking and demonstrating what liberation and solidarity looks like; we shouldn’t be waiting for the “gubberment.”

#2, politically, I am a left libertarian, with strains of Federalism (a national government protecting INDIVIDUAL rights).

#3, geographically, born and raised in Louisville, KY, and now officially a Texan, I am a Southerner, a black man raised and bred in below the Mason Dixon line.

All these things, which may seem contradictory to the naive, are easily reconciled. I have always been fiscally conservative, even when I was registered as a Democrat, and the only reason why I was registered as a Democrat (rather than an Independent or 3rd party) was because one of my parental units was with me and strongly encouraged me to do so because of Al Gore. Whatever. Philosophically, I never was a Democrat, and I could not stomach progressive politics, much like I could not tolerate the fascist-lite policies of Newt Gingrich in the 1990s. Why? It did not occur to me until March of 2008 that I had always been a libertarian at heart; in college, I was in denial. But to vote for persons based on his race or his gender, is ridiculous. Even when I did believe in affirmative-action in undergrad, I made a pretty weak case for it.

I’m a fiscal conservative, more so than even my mostly staunchly Republican friends (cuz they like the idea of government handouts to the rich and to the military). So when I defend this or that politician, I do not do so because I lack a critique of them; in fact, I own a Ron Paul shirt (a birthday present from a friend), but in my scholarship, I have recently taken aim at a writer whose theology may have influenced Paul’s and the Tea party’s politics [keeping it under wraps for article writing purposes]. I am more than willing to give a snap shot at a later date of my findings. There are some bloggers who can’t help themselves but post every article from HuffPo or the New York Times, bashing their least favorite politicians’ latest misquote. Yet, these same bloggers can’t ever seem to discuss real policy differences, because they are trying to overcome personal ghosts from the past, i.e., liberals trying to overcome their past conservatism, and vice versa.

Yet, that does not happen here. I could care less about Mitt Romney’s religion. Look at his abhorrent policy decisions. Romneycare. Ugh.

One last thing:

Texas still rules.

Movie Review: Tron: Legacy

TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY AND LIBERTARIAN POLITICS GONE WILD?

I know this post is two days late, but I just wanted to recommend Disney‘s Tron: Legacy.  I enjoyed every minute of it even though I have yet to see the original Tron (Blockbuster video and all other movie stores were mysteriously sold out).

A few thoughts from a political theology perspective:

POLITICS:

First, from the opening credits up until half-way through the movie, it could sound pretty moralizing for people who do not believe in Net Neutrality or  free and open sources for computers.  The stance for a truly free market and transparency on the part of technology providing companies has a libertarian element to it, and in a good way.  I also felt that there was a libertarian bent in the politics of Tron:Legacy during second half of the film, with its critique of empire building, and the notion that Clu planned to codify programs in his own image in order to make the “perfect” society. It speaks volumes about humanity’s desire for sin and sameness.

THEOLOGY:

As a trinitarian Christian, I felt that there could be a possible subjective interpretation of the Holy Trinity in Tron: Legacy. The Creator, Kevin Flynn/ His Son, Sam Flynn, and the Holy Spirit as the Isotopic Bond that binds them together/ Quorra work together to save the world from being taken over by The Grid.  Of course, Tron (the character) would have to act as the Angel of YHWH since he only works for the Users.

POSTCOLONIAL CRITIQUE:

Garret Hedlund, who plays Sam Flynn, did not look like a 27 year old (this coming from me who is a year older than 27), but more like a 23 or 24 year old for some reason, maybe it was the fashion the costume designers were looking for or what, but I don’t think he pulled of 27, I’m sorry. Well, no I’m not.  But speaking of maleness, aging, and maturity, I think the whole “Boy-acts immature, free and chaotic-but at the ends, matures and becomes a hero before he enters the mainstream”  story was a bit over-done. Well, it seems to be over done in many US American movies.  Ugh, the Man-Boy child all grown up gets quite polemical.  I do not see anything wrong with being liberated outside of mainstream society as long as no one else gets hurt. Oh wait, there’s that libertarian and nonconformist speaking again. I mean, seriously, can we please stop with the whole Wedding Crashers/American Pie sagas and move on?  I get it, men who act like boys have to go through an adventure, and then once their quest is complete, voila, they are allowed to enter mainstream society, graduating from college, getting married, oh, and also taking over their father’s corporation (all of which any good citizen should do, you know).  And for the love of God, could action movies exclude the post-modern vomiting of the 1920’s damsel in distress, which entails rather than have lead women play victims throughout the movie, these ladies are introduced as strong, intelligent, heroines but in the end, their character becomes that damsel in distress who falls in love with the man boy-who-becomes-manhero?

Seriously.

Oh, and I would also recommend James McGrath’s posts on Tron: Legacy so far. He plans to do at least one on the film and Zen Buddhism.

Here.

here.

and here.

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My Sabbatical from the Academy So Far

I have decided given the recent circumstances the past six months or so, that it is in my best interest to take at least a year off from the Academy, i.e., no PhD applications or what not.  Along the way, I have learned a few things about myself.

1. I have once again become a fan of Science fiction, both novels and television, thanks in large part to the now defunct series, Caprica. I honestly had once lost my faith in Science fiction genre, starting all the way back to Star Trek Enterprise and Star Trek Voyager. But now, I find myself trying to catch up with Battle Star Galactica (starting from the late 1970s) as well as the Green Lantern story with the help of Optimistic Chad.

2. I have discovered that, at this time, I am becoming less and less generous with thinkers that I disagree with. Thus, my multiple posts criticizing John Milbank (even though I was civil) as well as my comments concerning the Father of Super-Orthodoxy Karl Barth elsewhere in the theoblogosphere as well as on Twitter a few times this week.

3. Lastly, I think to find where I am theologically and politically, I see myself as “sipping the Kool-Aid” of post-colonial theory which some Super-Orthodox Christians consider to be poisonous.  It’s definitely a time to discover who I do not agree with, who I am not, and why. Sadly, I have fallen behind on my reading of the Church Fathers and Mothers, but that can wait as I try to read up more on Science Fiction and Black literary works.  A working theological  paradigm I see being constructed is a more Wesleyan/Arminian/Free Will, liberationist Christian worldview with sympathies to the Holiness and Baptist Free church traditions, with a non-violent,  anti-imperial and libertarian politics. I see this not only as some of the ideas that I adhere to, but also an appropriate counter-narratival response to what I see in theological studies which is currently the dominion of so-called “high-Church,” communitarians, Anabaptists and Calvinists who focus on hegemony, I mean uh, unity and the sacrament of  the Eucharist as the answer to all social problems. I realize that as both an African-American as well as principled libertarian, I remain on the margins of the academy (both liberal/mainline and conservative/evangelical).

And I would have it no other way.

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