Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent
                              Isaac Asimov, Foundation

a cornered animal doesn’t think (much)
it just attacks
it strikes out, blindly, intensely,
seeking only to harm
only to escape that feeling

of being hopeless
and trapped

and so violence and brutality
beget violence and brutality

it is the way of the world

I try to understand this space
and I catch glimpses in myself
of this fearful mentality that must be armed
and must react
to any perceived threat

and yet
and yet
my roots and heart are in the pacifist world
my heritage is Mennonite
and although many Mennonites today are just Baptists
with another name

there is that heritage, of pacifism

and then there is the cross
and the lamb,
oppressed and afflicted,
Who did not open his mouth; but was led to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53)

I blieve in my heart violence is not the answer
It is only a short term solution
I am not a violent person
I cannot see myself going to war (except as a chaplain)
and I cannot see myself killing anyone
and yet,
and yet I am torn

if my family were threatened, what would I do?
if I could stop a truly evil person, who would kill and kill again,
with violence, would I not do it?

yet I watched as we answered violence with violence
in Afghanistan, and Iraq

I have watched as self-appointed emissaries of God
have gunned down my gay and lesbian brothers and sister

I have watched as people angry paranoid and out of control
have slaughtered children

it has been ugly, and horrible
and ungodly

I am torn
I want to protect
I want to heal
I want to stop evil
I want to be a person of love and peace

It is all so confusing
“hard is the way” Jesus insisted
He certainly lived out that difficult path
can I?

I do not know
I do not know

perhaps I would be violent
to protect those I love
or to protect the innocent

I can only hope, that if I had to make such a choice
and made the choice to be violent

that there would be tears
not anger
in my eyes

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