Thoughts on Al Franken’s resignation


(12/11/2017)

From: Pu Huang
Member of the Fellowship
of Reconciliation
Winona

These are stories of the peoples of pre-colonial America, backed by anthropological science, which discuss how these peoples handled unskillful actions of all types, from murder to childish lies. There was often very little crime in these communities for generations, and when crime did occur, notions of forgiveness and humanitarian rehabilitation were invoked at levels far surpassing any standard of the most forward-thinking institution of the contemporary “first world.”

If murder occurred, the person who committed the homicide might not be banished or punished, but in a spirit of crazy wisdom, be sent to live with the family of the victim to be raised and transformed through that holy and redeeming sense of fellowship.

During WWII, the pioneering and radical feminist Simone de Beauvoir loudly and publicly defended men and women involved in types of relationships and romances most feminists today would condemn and vilify as part of her rebellion against fascism. This statement is easily misunderstood, and her argument could perhaps be paraphrased by the Japanese saying, “There seems to be a tendency toward the good,” and that to change unskillful actions, we must first change unskillful situations.

When placed within the context of feminism’s forgotten connections with pacifism and multiculturalism and the historical claim that forms of rehabilitation not based on the principles of prison abolition are inherently both patriarchal and colonial, it makes us wonder about more effective, Christian, sustainably non-violent alternatives to the resolution of conflicts involving those such as Al Franken, and much more seriously, Roy Moore.

Maybe Moore could’ve been invited to a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday with the likes of the Clinton family and Monica Lewinsky. There could’ve been a performance of some of the literature of Simone de Beauvoir and commentary on how it was used to defeat fascism. Maybe Moore could give a talk on how what he learned could bridge the cultural divide of warring peoples in the Middle East and he could comment on possible American interventions to help the status of Islamic women with regard to the preservation of the dignity of the Muslim world.

There was a time, not so long ago, when some of Al Franken’s deeply-held convictions, critical of some of the tyrannical aspects of political correctness, were rather admired as part of his compassionate and even feminist values. There were flaws in Franken’s actions. So too, some would say, any action that any human being makes at any point in time! Franken could perform a skit on national T.V. with the intent or personal and political catharsis, which might be redeeming in a way that could make us laugh. Not laugh cruelly, but sincerely and triumphantly in a manner which is for the benefit of future generations.

 

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