The month of June, 2015. I am trying to sort out the common thread of current political and social issues we are facing on the front line. I am addressing these issues from a Christian perspective where I hope to diffuse the prevailing conservative fundamentalist thought. Christianity has been primarily responsible for these injustices of human rights throughout history. I hope to offer a voice that helps to merge these dividing lines. I am ashamed that in the name of God many people have been victims to injustice and abuse.This is not Christianity. This is not spirituality. This is religion. Religion is outdated superstitious law that caused so much bloodshed. Religion (almost universally) is enforced by those in power in an attempt to maintain, increase, or abuse their power over others. -Jake McWhirter (to read more of why Christianity is not religious, check out Jakes’s website).
Jesus was not religious. He was super cool and totally spiritual. I don’t do religion, but I do connect with the divine and try to live by the spirit.
Back to June, 2015. Stories of white police officers killing innocent African-Americans with no provocation. Innocent people being gunned down in their bible studies because of racial hatred. Civil rights in the forefront, from racial discrimination and violence to personal freedom to sexual identity and gender. The Confederate flag is finally being brought down. The rainbow flag is at full mast. There are so many people mourning and so many people celebrating simultaneously, many of them the same people. I am one of those people. I am mourning and celebrating. I am mourning injustice and hate, and celebrating freedom and equality.This is a month we will never forget, as it is a landmark beginning and ending that will forever alter history. We have a BIG job to do, as the unified tribe, to begin the journey of ending the hate and reinstating only pure love.
Are we not all equal in the eyes of God?
The stories of hate and the stories of love that pass down from generation to generation become the cloth we adorn ourselves in. Racism sewn from all kinds of thread. Passing statements like “those people are…different, bad, wrong… blah blah”, to obvious intentional hate and slander with expletives fill in the blank. Do we have the right to insult and assassinate the character of another human being? Perhaps we do, with the freedom of speech, but the prison of oppression we inhabit from this type of verbiage is anything but freeing for anyone. The language of love and acceptance frees both the speaker and those who are spoken of.
What have we been taught?
From subtle viewpoints to inherited belief systems (religion), we pass on what we know and what we have been taught. We pass on our opinions, right and wrong. We can’t help it. Our children succumb to the quiet whispers of separation spoken from our mouths and realised in our actions. Separatist thinking suffocates the soul. Hope of grace, love and fellowship fades. When we look down on another we forfeit our compassion. During this momentous month of June, same-sex marriage became legal across all of the USA. This is an act of love and an act to love through legislation. And couples are now rejoicing this win. This is beautiful, liberating and important. No matter what someone’s personal views on homosexuality are, as human beings they have a right to have love and give love. We have been living with social injustice and inequality for generations throughout many centuries.
Why is that?
Why do we feel so threatened by someone different from ourselves? We actually have more similarities than differences, when we choose to see them. We are all human beings with feelings, longings, dreams, goals, ambitions, pain and suffering.
My heart breaks for my fellows in Charleston, South Carolina. My heart breaks for the families of the victims. My heart breaks from feeling the sting of hate. My heart breaks for the decline of human compassion. But my heart swells in love as it breaks. My heart grows from this pain. My heart acknowledges the horrific tragedy and becomes softened in compassion. My heart grows in understanding and willingness to try to find common ground and conversation where the healing can start. My heart is eager to see what this will do to transform the human conditioning of hate. Our hearts must heal and change, never returning to these barbarian ways.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6:31
I am no expert on politics or scripture, so please forgive my simplified viewpoint. We are meant to love unconditionally, whether we think of someone as the enemy or not. We are meant to love beyond those who love us. It is speaking of performing an action, it is not passive. Do unto others. Doesn’t that unequivocally give us a responsibility to act? Jesus presents us with A CALL TO ACTION. You do not need to be a Christian to understand that this is a very clear request to have compassion for others. A moral code that benefits human kind. That’s what I’m hearing.
But wait a minute, I already do enough…
I remember fundraising for the World Wildlife Federation in my early teens canvassing around neighbourhoods. I noticed a particular attitude as I approached many front doors. When asked if they would like to help a particular cause or another or another, I got back “We already do enough.” Really? If it wasn’t happening in our own backyard, it didn’t matter whether the issues were environmental, political, racial or moral. We were unaffected. The over all attitude was that if it doesn’t directly affect me, I really don’t care. Apathy at its worst. Even if it doesn’t directly affect us, we are meant to care and act accordingly. I don’t think we can turn away from the glaring social, civil and environmental issues we are all facing in this current time in history. Now that it’s in our backyards, perhaps we will pay attention and do more than just enough.
He himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14
I write in the spirit of inclusiveness, and non judgement. I write about the injustice done to multitudes of people. I take a risk at being judged. I do not like religion. I love God. The house of God dwells inside our compassionate hearts. I keep my eyes focused on the goal. I see that there should be no division between us. There should be no hostility between us. We should have no barriers between us. We should be in peace and at peace together. Because we have been given the gift of compassion, there is no room for divide. There are no laws and regulations regarding peace and love. The law is love, the law is peace. In this we have freedom and are one together. Undivided! Oneness!
My Brothers & Sisters and Our Hearts Call To Action.
So to my brothers and sisters in every city, I love you, I feel you, and I understand. I know we have so much in common. I know there is more we have alike then different. No matter where we are from, or what we do, or what colour our skin is, or who we choose to love, we are alike. We all have suffering. We all have longings. We all need love. We all want to give love. We all are seeking truth. We all want to know the reason for our existence. We are all sons and daughters.
So as I try to sort out my feelings on all of this, I review this heck of a month, and this heck of a life. We’ve been on a long and tumultuous roller-coaster ride. There has been a lot of pushing dirt uphill, and a lot of trying to carry the grand piano alone. But we actually are in this together. We get to look inward at our motives and review how we treat each other. We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters and future generations to break the patterns of prejudice. We must begin to heal our own hearts, so we can dwell in peace.
It begins here in my living room, as I ponder my heart. It begins in this conversation over a cup of coffee or breaking of bread. It begins in the actions I choose to take every day with my eyes fixed upon what we are building together. It begins with an open honest discussion where I have failed you at times, where I was believing a lie of separateness. It begins with ONE HEART. I’ll start with mine, you start with yours, and I’ll meet you here.