by Thomas Dahlheimer
Sojourners founder Rev. Jim Wallis, while addressing the economic downturn in his keynote address Feb. 28, at the annual Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California said: "Our goal cannot be to get back to business as usual. We have to say, 'No, we want a new direction. We've tried the greed culture, and it hasn't worked.' We need to create something new, a common good culture, rooted in compassion." This statement by Wallis was published in a recent edition of The Catholic Spirit, an Archdiocesan newspaper.
The current economic crisis, a crisis associated with our failed economic system, a system that is based on greed, along with the current ecological crisis - as well as many other serious problems facing our nation, such as, the alcohol and drug abuse health epidemic and related severe social problems, an imperialistic warmongering mentality and mission, racism, the lack of good family values, the severe lack of respect for life (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide laws, etc.), sexual degeneracy, the obesity health epidemic, the addiction to gambling mental health problem associated with legalized gambling, etc. - indicates that we need a new culture based on TRADITIONAL TRIBAL VALUES. Especially, including the essential core value of traditional tribal culture that rejects our nation's, greedy money loving, materialistic ways - which are the root cause of many of the mentioned above problems. I am hoping that the Minnesota CatholicConference will come to understand this and then take the national prophetic leadership role in respect to helping to create this new culture that I am proposing.Recently, both, my bishop, Bishop John Kinney, the bishop of Saint Cloud Diocese and Archbishop John Nienstedt, the bishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, sent me letters thanking me for the Catholic activist initiatives of mine that support Minnesota's indigenous peoples. One of my indigenous peoples' rights activist initiatives has gained support from the two internationally renowned Indigenous activists who are on the forefront of the movement that is trying to influence Pope Benedict XVI to publicly revoke a fifteenth century papal bull [Inter Caetera], which is the source of the racism being committed against, both, Minnesota's and our nation's, as well as many other nations', indigenous peoples.
If Pope Benedict XVI would publicly revoke this papal bull and then write and publish a document that states that indigenous peoples have the same fundamental human rights as all other peoples, this would go a long ways toward helping to create a new U.S.A. culture based on traditional tribal valves.
In the summer of 2004, Pope John Paul II lectured American bishops about how their people were “hypnotized by materialism, teetering before a soulless vision of the world."
If the Minnesota Catholic Conference decides to take the national prophetic leadership role in respect to helping to create a new U.S.A. culture, it will require the conference to adopt a peaceful cultural revolutionary mission, which (in part) means radically repenting from being a part of the culture of greed. Hopefully, the conference will [now] admit how right some youth of the 1960s counter cultural revolution were and how righteous some remaining counter cultural revolutionaries still are. And do so, in respect to our protest against the dominant culture's, money loving, materialistic value system and our assimilation into many of the holy and wholesome aspects of traditional tribal cultures.
Albert Bates is an nationally renowned counter cultural revolutionary. In 1990, he published one of the first books on global warming, Climate in Crisis, prefaced by Al Gore. He recently sent me an e-mail wherein he expressed, in respect to our efforts to promote the counter-culture's promotion of traditional tribal values, the "brotherhood" feelings we have toward each other.
And Skip Stone, founder and Webmaster of Hippyland, the world's largest counter cultural site (an interactive site with over 23,000 registered members) recently contacted me to let me know that he posted this letter of mine on his site. Stone recently wrote: "So much of what happened in the 60s is repeating itself again. This is because the movement never finished what it set out to do. Well now we have one last chance to change the world. Are the activists from the 60s ready to finish the job with several new generations of activists alongside them?" Thomas DahlheimerWahkon, Minnesota