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

Sunday, February 17, 2019

no hate

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love.”
 David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

“To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.”
 Robert Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

I was taught to follow Jesus
by a father who was a healer
and a mother who, although she rarely “spoke love”
lived love, doing things for others

I was taught to “keep it simple”
to love God
to love those around me

So I will admit that I do not understand
those who say they love God
but have no problem hating other people

its endemic
this hate

every morning I am assaulted by hate
it is like a stream of fetid sewage
springing up out of the heart of our nation
(not just ours to be sure)

racism, overt and growing bolder
violence, with a red hat assaulting a British photojournalist
lies, lies, lies and more lies,
designed to nurture hate and fear
greed, causing such economic inequity that the poor are literally dying in our streets

and all of this is supported
by religion

I cannot call it Christianity for it cannot and does not come from Christ
I cannot call it faith, for such fear driven behavior is the antithesis of faith

It is simply religion
Which is not necessarily spiritual at all

Spirituality is about our connection with what is Sacred
It is our being touched, changed, driven, empowered by Sacred Presence

Religion is about ritual, and dogma
It is about buildings and program

And all too often, instead of it being the place with the Spirit roars like wind
And consumes like fire
Impelling us into the Sacred’s “new thing”

It is fearful people
Huddled together in a building
Windows closed
The wind of the Spirit still

Listening to fearful people
Instilling fear

It is nothing more than an institution
Trying as hard as it can to maintain a social cultural status quote

And using hate as one of its primary weapons

Religion allied with politics
killed Jesus

Religion created the inquisition
It burned my ancestors (Mennonites) at the stake
I caused the Crusades and has been the driving force behind many a war
It has prompted the genocide of indigenous peoples around the world

Today in America
Religion has joined hands with a political agenda
It has closed its heart to people in need
And allied itself with people in greed

It has chosen to close its ears to lies
And support hate and fear

It has chosen to believe that money is more important than people
And more important than the earth

It has chosen to rely on power
and on guns
on walls
on brutality

rather than on the God who says
“do not be afraid’

which is why each morning
I try to remind myself
That the way of the Sacred was embodied in Jesus
Not in the Pharisees and Sadducees

That the way of the Sacred was lived out around tables
in the homes of common people
not in the Temple in Jerusalem (which had become, as many of our mega-churches, a den of thieves).

That the way of the Sacred, which bubbled up out of Jesus
like a Spring of Living water

caused him to accept, and welcome all
feed all, with no eye to merit
love all
forgive all
heal all
die for all

and he only asked us to do two things
love God
and love the people
God places in our path

hate bubbles up
it is so easy to drink from that cup

but we are called to drink from a different cup

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