Stop Preaching To Me.
Please listen to this song carefully, heart open. The man in it is apparently exhorting Aboriginal Austrailians about his beliefs, while their chants rise in intensity and volume, thanks to the production of the song and the intent of the artist.
“All you repent people
Those that causin’ trouble…
Those that forget god will be cast into hell
I would not forget him…
I would not live a life of hatred, people
Against the word of god…
YOU. WILL. NOT. PROSPER!
But I love this Bible
It is my daily light, people
May god help you today
May the lord be merciful unto you
It’s time to do good again, people
(unintelligible) …blessed, people
Your evil works in the name of god, people…
God will not bless you like that, people
(unintelligible) …submit to this Bible…
You are no match against god almighty…”
(so very unintelligible)
--“Prosper” by Xavier Rudd
This short musical production is a telling illustration of the state of affairs in the world today, of the war for the hearts of mankind. What is at stake is no less than the survival of the human race. It’s a karmic whirlpool in which we’re all caught and that contains a fate that’s as collective as it is individual.
To this man, this religious zealot, I’d say we’ve had enough of your Bible.
Your Bible gives license to child and planet molesters. They’re saved, you say, by the “blood of Jesus.” Your bible is clear on that point. I can quote you chapter and verse if you’d like, since I taught it for decades. If you still disagree, all I have to do is point to the actions of your holy refuges, the tax-exempt churches that defend their members as weak or ill-informed or “human,” and then point again to the cross on the wall where hangs your dead god, who will somehow save you in spite of your insanity, your addiction to death and your loveless existence. Through him, they teach, your karmic wallowing is somehow erased by little more than mere lip service.
They’re right about one thing: you are human. You’re identified with all that’s related to this life at the expense of what can’t been seen with your eyes or used to fill your cavernous, growing lust for more. Your groaning bellies, your “rights” in opposition to others’, your ease, your fine, connoisseur-laden preferences. You grind on the faces of the poor, those who are conveniently kept from your view by profiteers so you can continue to do the bidding of the bottom line, your true god. And then, when the evidence of your own greed sneaks into the light, when you see those impoverished, streaked faces on late night TV, you point to the Bible for evidence that they are not favored of God. They’re cursed, having made the mistake of using the earth and a simpler existence for their gods. You call them “worldly,” not “spiritually mature,” as you are. Their filth proves their inadequacy. Their weakness in the face of your advanced technology, political will and weaponry also speaks to these points. In the end, your “might” – which does NOT come from God, as you suppose - gives you your “right”. Your manifest destiny genocide is easily justified by you; after all, they don’t believe in Jesus. Therefore, they’re not civilized, like you are. They must be taught the Bible before they can be fully human. (Note that the Aborigines of Australia were not classified as human by the occupying government until the 1970’s.)
I know you, loud sir. I know what you believe. None of this is debatable, for we, those outside your religion, see it constantly and we know your excuses well. Moreover, I was one of you and I escaped. It was the most important thing I’ve ever done in this life to this point, or that I will ever do. In fact, I believe I came here to earth to learn how to leave your society, to learn to follow my heart without regard for consequence. I stepped into a void of selfhood and belief so deep that for months I often felt as if I were physically falling. I stepped away, regardless of the consequences, because it was the right thing for me to do. After a while I realized that there was nowhere to fall and that my soul could fly - and that flight is the natural state of the soul. As soul, I am free with God and I travel the stars and the eternities, related to All.
Yours is also free, but you don’t know that.
You’re trapped in an illusion; the illusion that you are one thing and the earth and all her beauty is something else, that your dark-skinned siblings are less than you, vis-a-vis their disbelief. Otherwise they’d have been born into privilege as you are (Even your Jesus once balked at that very question when he was asked by Pharisees, “who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”). The illusion is fundamental to your distorted worldview, the malady of your misperception and your consistent ontological stumbles.
A significant portion of your illusion comes with how you view the Creation. You think, for instance, that two people started the human race less than ten thousand years ago. Some of you believe that the Garden of Eden was actually in Missouri, ignoring all modern understanding and the indisputable facts that emerge, dust-covered but not voiceless, from the Rift Valley in Africa. All the evidence coming therefrom is far older than your biblical time-frame. Let alone the fifty-thousand-year old, mummified shamanic remains from Central America. Let alone a raft of increasingly significant evidence that Genesis is a myth, never meant to be taken literally.
Somehow it doesn’t matter.
The biggest tragedy of this part of your make-believe world is the illusion that humanity was cast out of the Garden, separated from God, and that Nature is now the enemy in many instances. At least she has no inherent value other than what you assign it as a “steward”.
Some stewardship, brother.
I’d never heard of “tilapia” or “swai” when I was growing up. We ate red snapper, trout and salmon – the same species of salmon that once clogged Mill Creek in downtown Salem every Autumn. Unfortunately, your “civilized” values have allowed the decimation of the fisheries. There are no salmon running there anymore. Therefore, we are reduced to eating fish we once considered unpalatable and that are often unsafe, feeding as they do from polluted ocean floors or in water farms far inland. This is not to speak of the polluted skies, the changing weather, the leveled forests and extinct species.
Oh, that’s not the fault of Christianity? It most certainly is.
You don’t get to wave the flag of Christ when you somehow look like God’s chosen and then blame someone else when it’s obvious that you worship the God of death, which, by your actions, you do. When it comes to religion and ethics, the bottom denominator is the key. Throughout the ages, Christianity has shown that there IS no bottom denominator. Rather, it's a null set.
The biggest hint to those who are beginning to suspect that something may be amiss with your institutional spirituality is the lack of consistency. You decry a loss of spiritual connection among humanity while protecting and enhancing institutions that kill the soul. You support your "right wing" politicians and then complain that they have no values when, time after time, they are exposed as the cads they are. You say you love freedom, but you won't allow legislation that mandates GMO food labeling, diminishing our freedom to know what we're putting in our bodies. You didn't like the Beatles, especially when John Lennon correctly observed they were more popular than Jesus (among Christians, in particular). After all, they had long hair. Rather, you prefer the incestuous, child-marrying Jerry Lee Lewis. You love clean water, but not if it hinders business. Cheap oil, gas, and electricity are the political gold standard, no matter what it does to the indigenous people and species that are killed, displaced or poisoned to give it to you. You simply don't care enough to stop your sacred right to consume as much and as cheaply as possible.
And you've fallen to new lows with the President you've elected; a misogynist dictator with neither the foresight or wisdom to do anything but bring more of the worst of everything that American has become - all while insisting he's making it "Great Again". The wall he says he's going to build is the best metaphor I can name for who he, and his supporters, are.
On the other hand, A soulful, connected, beautiful human will only fall so far and will disrespect very little, no matter the form life takes. He sees inherent beauty and value everywhere, in all of life, regardless of what it gives him directly. He sees separation between his egoic wants and his selfless soul, and owns that difference when they manifest as greed, lust and avarice.
But you aren’t like that, sir.
Because of your view of “nature over there, man (that looks like me) over here”, there’s no bottom to your genocides, which continue to this day all over the world, under the flag of the United States or the Prince of Peace from Galilee – which to many of you are the same thing. What you do that’s “good,” then, is highly suspect for good reason. After all, even the devil will shake your hand. This you well know, having set up ruthless puppet dictators the world over – not because you believe in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” that “all men are created equal” or even “democracy” or “free-trade”. Rather, you act to “protect your interests abroad”… which are mainly the interests of the wealthy, all Life be damned. It was set up that way by the founders of this nation.
Moreover, you seem to believe that the government “owns” this land. Thoughtless patriotism, then, is acceptable to you. It makes no difference to you how it was taken, how blood-soaked and slave-ridden the process was – or is.
For these and many, many more reasons, I reject your country, your religion and your Bible – at least in the ways you’d have me use or view them. Furthermore, I believe Jesus would as well. The Jesus I love was a man of peace living among an occupying nation, as I am. He did not take up arms against his oppressors, but spent his time with those that were not good enough for the rulers. I don’t need the Bible to know Jesus, nor do I care about the bookends of his life – the virgin birth or the resurrection. All I care about is how he dealt with the homeless and the hookers, the addicts and the arrogant. I can read the gospels, flawed as they are, and tell you that he wouldn’t care what I say I believe, as long as I treated my less-fortunate siblings as I would want to be treated, as long as I helped him feed the sparrows and praised the flowers of the field, who he said are as arrayed as Solomon.
My advice is that you put down your silly guns and your misinterpreted Bible, my lost and confused friend. Rather, reach into your heart. Crawl into a sweat lodge. Fast for a few days in nature and see what your Jesus says then about who you are. Let Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery of the Lakota, teach you about the majesty of your unburdened soul, the perfection of nature, the oracle of her non-human inhabitants with whom we share this glorious land.
And stop preaching to me.
It’s getting seriously old.