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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Child of God

Successful dehumanizing…. Creates a moral exclusion.  Groups targeted on their identity – gender, ideology, skin color, ethnicity, religion, age – are depicted as “less than” or criminal or even evil. The targeted group eventually falls out of the scope of who is naturally protected by our moral code….
When we engage in dehumanizing rhetoric or promote dehumanizing images we diminish our own humanity in the process… humiliation and dehumanizing are not accountability or social justice tools, they’re emotional offloading at best, emotional self-indulgence at worst.  And if our faith asks us to find the face of God in everyone we meet, that should include the politicians, media and strangers on Twitter with whom we most violently disagree.  When we desecrate their divinity, we desecrate our own and we betray our faith.
                                                                                          Brene Brown, Braving the Wildnerness

There are times when I look in the mirror
And wonder how much is left of my humanity

After Facebook conflicts and Twitter wars
Where I have been assailed,
And where I have assailed others

There are those calm moments of introspection where I realize
That something has been lost

I have taken a bite of forbidden fruit
And have been driven out of Eden

And now I stand in the wasteland
Of hate and greed
Anger and retribution

How have we found ourselves in this dry and barren land?

Because we have stopped seeing the face of God in others
We have forgotten that each person is fundamentally homo divinus
Created in the image of the Sacred
Participating in that reality that is Sacred

What we see is an enemy
Someone we fear
Someone we can use (or even abuse)
Someone who, perhaps, makes us feel uncomfortable

And so an African American woman becomes a “dog”
And so does Mr. Trump
Immigrants are rapists and murders
The poor are lazy moochers
Young black men are all violent and angry
The police are cold hearted people who abuse their power

The face of God is long gone

And every time we say something,
Do something
To dehumanize another

We open the door to terror

Not seeing the other as fully human
We can do most anything to them
They simply do not count
The rules do not apply

In those moments when their humanity is gone
We drop nuclear bombs
We set off backpacks filled with nails
We walk through malls randomly shooting people
We tear families apart at the border, and put children in cages
We remove services from people in need
We name call and attack on Facebook and Twitter

And the ultimate tragedy is
That as we strip others of their humanity
We strip ourselves of our own

I am guilty
I suspect we are all guilty

There is not easy answer to this
Being connected to the Sacred, to that bigger than ourselves is hard work
Letting the sacred rock and roll in our souls feels dangerous
Seeing the face of God in Donald Trump, or a Muslim terrorist,
Or a predatory Christian minister

Is not easy

I think I need a mantra
Something that I say, over and over and over again
As I look at the picture of those I want to despise
As my hand hovers over my key board
As I work on my sermon

I think it needs to be

Child of God, Child of God, Child of God

Otherwise I diminish others
And I diminish myself

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