The three tools of pastoral— Nature, simplicity and complexity

I cannot believe this course is about to wrap up. I have learned a lot from this class that I never would have learnt in many ages. For my final free form article I decided to talk about Blake’s creativeness and its connection to nature, simplicity and complexity; These  contradictions that summarize what pastoral is ultimately about. Blake articulates a series of peoms that represent the fundamental movement from the world of innocence to the reality of experience of every pastoral life. Particularly his peom called the Holy Thursday has both an innocence and experience edge that helps us explore the two unique perspectives of the world we live in. Continue reading

DESTROYING APPALACHIA ONE MOUNTAIN AT A TIME

Mining-executive-top mining

Bulldozers and front-end loaders are everywhere, the earth shakes, huge rocks roll down hillsides, and tears fall down the faces of the people of Appalachian region. Suffering slowly dominates the area. Like a crumpled shadow awaiting a cure, they escape the poison of their impulses as they confront the mystery of pain. The Appalachian community has been affected by mountain top removal mining for a very long time, and it has displaced so many people and destroyed a lot of ancestral homes.

As noted by Erik Reece in his essay “Moving Mountains,” “the history of resource exploitation in Appalachia, like the history of racial oppression in the south, follows a sinister logic─ keep people poor and scared so that they remain powerless” (Reese 185). The mining companies instill indelible fear into the minds of these helpless people in two ways. Firstly, to convince the Appalachian people to leave, the Association of Miners gives them a contract “Broad Form Deed,” so named because it gives the deed holders broad rights to extract the coal by any means they desired. Under the Broad Form Deed, miners are ruthless and the landowners are powerless. Secondly, they intentionally under invest in the community to maintain control, leading to the loss of thousands of jobs and leaving the unemployed with few alternatives but to flee the region, stay with no employment or work for the coal companies.

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What Has Religion Done To Us?

I was brought up in a traditional, Baptist church.  My mother is very religious and made my brother and I attend church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  We were also required to participate in our church’s youth group and activities.  I can hardly remember a summer where I didn’t have to go to some church camp or mission trip.  I was always taught about God and Jesus, and what the Bible said we should and shouldn’t do, how we were supposed to live our lives and so on.  When I was about nine years old, I gave my life to Christ because it was what I thought I was supposed to do; not because I felt any true calling from God.  When I was old enough, I told my mom that I would no longer be going to church with her.  Continue reading