I heart Dick Cheney: a true test of spiritual practice.

Via Roger Wolsey
on Jul 16, 2010
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Dick Cheney.

That pairing of words causes hives to break out for many and anaphylactic shock to be induced in not a few. Associations with Hitler, The Grinch, the Architect from The Matrix, Darth Vader and the Sith Lord from Star Wars, and even Barney are made in the minds of many who consider themselves to be “conscious, spiritually awake” persons and practitioners of numerous religious traditions.

He’s also a gift.

You see this loathed, despised, and hated man (whose very image has helped many men reduce blood flow to a certain part of their bodies when trying to not go too far in the heat of passion) is now facing serious health problems.  His heart is failing and his days are numbered.

How one reacts to this news says a lot about where we’re really at in our spiritual or yogic practice.  It says volumes about the health of our own hearts.  It’s where the rubber hits the road and where the proof may, or may not, be seen in our pudding.

Try taking “The Great Dick Cheney Empathy Test” and see how you do.

I passed…but if I’m being honest, I had to cheat a little bit.

As John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, once put it, “preach faith until you have it” – which was essentially the origins of “fake it till you make it.”  There’s something to be said for that.  Trying on and mimicking that which we aspire to become is in fact a tried and proven method for spiritual growth.  This may well be one of those times for a lot of us.

Less judging, more unconditional loving; less damning, more grace and mercy; less vengeance, more forgiving; and less excluding, more reconciling…at least for this wanna be follower of Jesus.

Thank you, Vice President Cheney for providing this mirror for us to gaze into and for this opportunity to check our pulse.

May God’s amazing, transforming, healing, strengthening, and comforting Grace, Peace, and Love be with you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

I (gulp…can’t believe I’m saying this.) love you.



About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity


8 Responses to “I heart Dick Cheney: a true test of spiritual practice.”

  1. Jodi says:

    Can I just heart dick with out cheney?

  2. Roger Wolsey says:

    Jodi, lol, well yes, but that's another spiritual practice.

  3. Roger Wolsey says:


    Geoff Grant
    We can learn much about ourselves from those we dislike.
    Yesterday at 3:05pm · UnlikeLike · 3 people

    Stan Clark
    The kinder side of my nature has been wishing that Cheney would find a heart for years.
    Yesterday at 3:24pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…

    Amen, Geoff.
    Yesterday at 3:27pm · LikeUnlike · 1 person

    Bob Wisdom
    Alas I surrender… I am imperfect … after years of working expanding my heart… shucks , I just can't find it in me to care about this… whatever he is… I'll pray that those on my altar can do the job I clearly am not up to ….my empathy for the millions and millions of life forms ahead of him in my life's sight ! I was able to find a place for bush on my altar… I am imperfect !
    Yesterday at 3:56pm · LikeUnlike · 1 person

    Adora Adams Ross
    I guess SOMEONE has to heart Dickey, or he will be a sad sad man.
    Yesterday at 4:04pm · LikeUnlike · 1 person

    Donovan Moore
    Do you ever notice how some people have first names that just fit them perfectly. I'm talking to you Mr. Cheney.
    Yesterday at 8:37pm ·

    Hellen Keller
    OMG, someone please tell me it is just a bad dream and this pic is not real. I am really scared and not going to be able to sleep without a nightlight tonite!
    23 hours ago ·
    and I'll add that, to those who compare Mr. Cheney to the "Tin Man" from the Wizard of Oz (the one who wanted a heart), remember that in the end, he discovered that he had a heart the whole time. – Roger Wolsey

  4. Roger Wolsey says:

    To riff on one of Geoff's comments above – "we can learn a lot from the people we dislike" – that is indeed yet another spiritual gift Mr. Cheney is offering many of us, myself included. There's an old pastoral and psychologist adage that says, "That which we criticize most in others is that which we struggle with most ourselves." I've certainly seen that played out on the majestic stage of life. As I've recently been reminded of, I can be a dick too. So this is really a double gift for us, 1) to test our empathy, and 2) to ponder how we're like the ones we loathe.

  5. Mary Koepke Fields says:


  6. […] can be all-encompassing, destructive, hateful, and a hindrance to true practice. We all try to be anger-free. We yearn for things like goodness, peace, justice, and truth. We try […]

  7. rogerwolsey says:

    Oy vey. This just in. Seems he's still hard to love. Doing more spiritual push-ups. (which means do more to love the parts of myself that I have a hard time fully loving) http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/persp