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

Monday, June 29, 2020

thinking people dead, or not

Since wars begin in the minds of men,
It is in the minds of men
That we have to create the ramparts of peace
UNESCO Charter

In the beginning we created the enemy
Before the weapon comes the image
We think others to death
Then invent the [weapon] with which to actually kill them
Sam Keen, Faces of the Enemy

who is “the enemy”
it depends, I suppose, who you ask

is it the immigrant, fleeing from the south
that desperate soul with brown skin, and a haunted look in dark eyes?

is it that person with darker skin who invokes Allah
or that black person who seems so angry

maybe it is that bearded white guy with the AR-15
and multiple clips of ammunition
waving that confederate flag

who is the enemy?

Although there are enemies,
people who wish us ill
or if they do not wish us ill, are so focused on their own needs
their own lust for power or wealth
that they are willing to do us ill

the reality is that most of our enemies
are of our own making

sometimes we have help
for there are plenty of people who
for reasons nefarious
want to create enemies for us

for an enemy is a handy tool, if one wants to control another

the American “Christian” church has done this masterfully
creating enemies against which to rail
enemies against which to battle
so that it can “rally the troops”, and fill the pews, and the coffers

so progressive women are the enemy
the LGBTQI community is the enemy
Muslims are the enemy
Liberals are the enemy

the church is not alone
this President
the GOP
the Democrats
the white nationalists, such as the “Proud Boys” and the 3%ers

all excel in creating enemies

but how do you create an enemy?
It is really quite simple
You take away their face

Your make them a caricature
a stereotype
your bestialize them
you make immigrants from the south
fathers, mothers, little children
murderers and rapists
you call them animals, you say they all have AIDS
you suggest they come from “shithole countries”

you take a person
and you call them “the Orange One”
or reduce them to the number 45

You give them demeaning nicknames
Moscow Mitch
Putin’s Bitch
Crazy Nancy, Crooked Hillary, Little Adam, Pocahontas, Sleepy Creepy Joe

you do anything you can
to rob the other of their essential humanness
you take away their face
so you can dismiss them
so you can hate them
so you can kill them

so you can kneel on a person’s neck,
while they plead for their life
and stay there until they are dead

you can say “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”
you can blithely arm the military, or the police
and send them out there to get “tough” on “them”
those faceless ones
those one’s who no longer counter
no longer matter

you can wish your enemy dead
you can think them dead

so perhaps if we want to find the real enemy
we need to look in the mirror
and look into our own eyes

and into our own souls
into that deepest place that makes us who we are
and recognize
that the problem may be that there is a vacuum of love
at the center of who we are

a void where the Sacred should dwell
not because the Sacred is not there, but because we have compressed
the Sacred into such a small space

and have left space for things not Sacred to dwell
and rot, and fester and destroy the ‘divine original’

Perhaps, as Pogo once so famously put it
“We have met the enemy, and he (she) is us”

Only love can reverse this
Only Love can make this better
Love is the antidote

And so we must allow ourselves to be Loved by God
We must love God in return
We must fill that void
So that we can then love ourselves
And love those around us

It is time to stop thinking others dead
and start thinking them fully alive

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