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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Myopia is dangerous

This is an blog that has been lurking in my head for many a day
Perhaps many a week
Perhaps years

I was watching the dog the other, as he very single mindedly
“chased the ball”

I can almost guarantee you there was nothing else in his brain
But that ball

Ball, ball, ball

Is suspect that is rarely more than one thing in his mind at one time
Ball, cat (he likes to play with is buddies)
Food, nap
Scratch, lick

It’s a simple life

This day he saw nothing but the ball
And so in a huge rush he not only ran over a cat
But he forgot about the ice, and went spinning into a rock wall


Didn’t phase him a bit
The ball was all that counted
Not cat, not the wall, just the ball

What I have been thinking about is people who are “one issue people”
So focused on one issues, or worse on one facet of an issues
That they lose sight of everything else.
And who,

Losing sight of other concerns, and in too many cases, other people
Actually become people who, while trying to do good
End up doing real harm

Let start with a ‘safe’ issue, the economy
For many in America the most important issue around is the economy

Specifically they what an economy that generates profits
And so they are willing to give all kinds of breaks to those they see as driving the economy, the very rich and the very powerful

They are so fixated on the economy, and on the GDP, profits, and the Stockmarket that good and evil are defined by the numbers.

But there are some very important things that can get lost in the rush for profit


There are big moral/ ethical questions attached to the economy

Is it OK to create an economic engine that produce huge profits if you under pay your workers, forcing them on public assistance? Is it OK to produce large profits if only a few benefit, creating ever increasing economic inequity? Is it OK to abuse the earth, and destroy the environment, dooming future generations to misery, and possible death?

Or there is the issue of security.  Sure we all want to be secure.  But at what cost?  At the cost of being kind?  Inclusive?  Generous.  If all you think of is security you might love a border wall.  Without thinking about the impact on other people.  The people on the border whose lives will be disrupted.  The land and animals harmed.  The people who won’t get social services because the money has gone to a wall.  The immigrants who have legitimate reasons to flee, who will end up lined up behind the wall, because our intake process is such a mess.  You might think it’s OK to hold the lives of 800,000 public servants (yes, I said servants) and their wellbeing of their families for that wall, but I don’t. One issue illness.

What about guns? (we are getting in to even touchier territory here)  I get guns.  I grew up with them.  I have some.  I used to hunt with my dad.  But it seems to me that people can get too fixated on guns.

So fixated that there is no awareness of any other issue than the issue of whether their access to guns, any kind of gun, might have a few limits placed on them. 

So they insist on no controls.  Without thinking of all the children gunned down in schools.  Or the spouses killed by angry husband and wives.  Or the depressed people who have shot themselves.  And the children shot by accident at home.  They forget all the adults, shot down in places like Orlando, and Los Vegas, simply because????  In one case simply because they were there.  In the other because someone was full of hate

If a person is not a one issue person, perhaps that person can also powerfully moved by the deaths of children, or abused women, or policemen.  By unnecessary deaths, some of which could be prevented if some guns were illegal, and there were fewer guns in fewer places.

Some places will always have, and need guns.  Ranches, for example. 
And that’s OK.  But if the focus can move from that one, blinding issue, perhaps reasonable controls can emerge.

Now let’s get to the big one.  Abortion.  I hate abortion.  But I also really, really struggle with right to life extremists.  Not because I disagree with their goal of trying have fewer abortions, but because they do so much harm when denying everyone an abortion is their only concern.

They forget the pain, the trials, the limitations of those who are struggle with a dangerous or unwanted pregnancy.  They never think that it might, for this person, be the lesser of two evils.  For them it is all about what they would do. The other person doesn’t count.  They are willing to trade one life maybe many others lives, for the one life that has not even drawn breath. 

These same people, who seem really to be pro-fetus, not pro-life, are willing to vote into power people who say they are anti-abortion, but are truly anti- children, anti-mothers, and anti-life.

You can’t say you are pro-life if you fearfully demand a huge military and aggressive action.  You can’t say that if you are willing to support people who cut important safety net programs for the poor, such as Medicaid and SNAP, and Medicare.  You can’t say you are pro-life if the people you have put into power people who cut funding for housing, and education.  And refuse to provide good birth control programs.  And support the proliferation of guns (which kill children)

There are many, many ways to kill women and children, even if some of them do it slowly. 

It works the other way as well
Those who are more liberal have their own sacred cows, their own ways to be harmful.  And sometimes the behavior of the far left makes me cringe.

Liberals can be greedy too
They can seek power at any cost
They are willing to ignore the feelings, the beliefs of others
And they are willing to push their agenda to the detriment of others

And I am right in the mix… more toward the middle
But I still have my blind spots
Where my issues blind me to others
Blind me to fairness, to generosity, to kindness

I go roaring over the cat
I hit that wall

Then maybe, maybe I wake

I have no great solution
Only a plea.
Please don’t become so blind because of your blind preoccupations with certain issues, that you lose sight of the complexities
Loose sight of other people
Lose sight of fairness, generosity
And love

We all have so much work to do, to create healing
In our world

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