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

Friday, November 3, 2017

a narrow path

“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. . . . Argument turns too easily into animosity.”
“It means that bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed, and it means the very identity of our nation depends on passing along civic ideals.”
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life … provides permission for cruelty and bigotry.”
“The only way to pass along civic values is to live up to them.”
                                           George W. Bush 10-19-2017

What is wrong with us?
We people who for so long lived with at least the pretense of civility?

What has happened to make us a people who practice
Casual cruelty instead of random acts of kindness?

Perhaps it has to do what is at our core
Which what drives us

Perhaps it is a matter of what values we live toward

I do not believe it is that we do not have civic values
As much as that we have chosen values that take us
not into the land of plenty, morally speaking
but into the wasteland
where we now wander
without civility

We have left that place marked by compassion and generosity,
Acceptance and equity
To a place where power and greed roam
And fear and anger devour

And we are left fighting over what scraps
Of hope and love are left

Crying that we ‘want to go back to Egypt’ (or perhaps the 50’s, or 30’s)
and practicing casual cruelty
regressing rather than progressing

we have some choices
We can simply stop, and sit, and wait for the buzzards to gather

We can join the crowd, believing that power and wealth are the answer
And that our first job is to take care of ourselves
And wander along
Leaving all those who are weak, or vulnerable, or different
Lying by the side of the pathway to die

Or we can understand that the Sacred Presence within us
Calls us to leave that crowd
Which feels safe, but is our true danger

And follow that narrow path
Of extreme love
Extreme acceptance
Extreme generosity
Extreme kindness

That narrow path that forces us to travel
Against the flow of our culture
Against our own (or so it seems) self-interests

That foolish path of
Service, even servitude
Even sacrifice

For the truth is
That path
Is the only way out

Question for the day
What would be different if we did this?
What would be different for you?

Would you have to think differently about your guns?
Would you have to be willing to accept more taxes, for all, in order to provide health care for all?
Would you have to be willing to accept the potentially scary presence of people much different from yourself in your neighborhood or church?
Would you have to quite hiding behind your rhetoric, and listen to others, and seek to understand?

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