The devil stops by as guest in Seth Meyers Weekend Update in this SNL sketch commenting on Westboro Baptist Church members who were protesting about "God Hating Gays". The devil goes on to stay… “First of all, God doesn’t hate gay people — God doesn’t hate anyone, that’s his whole thing. God doesn’t even hate me! I mean, he’s disappointed in me, you know, but he doesn’t hate me.”
It is truly sinister how people take such a concept as God out of context and use him towards detestable means. The church in so many instances a more than embarrassing illustration.
Below an excerpt by Henry Ward Beecher that might ignite a small fragment of what God is by way of Jesus, because if we wish to put God on a human level, we must do so through Jesus´ teachings. God, who is infinite does not entirely fit into a mortal mind. Jesus, being the person who brought such concepts into human consciousness; first being man, living as Son of Man and Son of God by example, is our closest platform. The passage also an exemplification of what we’ve forgotten and misunderstood.
The spirituality of God, the fact that religion is an affection of the soul, and not a routine of action, that God is a universal God, the same everywhere, accessible to all of every nation without other labor than that of lifting up pure thoughts to him, and that he dwells in the heavens yet is present everywhere, so that no one need seek him on the high mountain, nor in any special temple, but may find him near, in their very hearts, this was taught by the prophets, by Samuel as really as by Isaiah, by Moses as clearly as by his successors.
But the knowledge was practically lost. If the clearer minds of a few discerned it, yet it was to the many indistinct, being veiled, and even buried, by the ritual, the priestly offices, and the superstitious sanctity given to temples and altars. Men felt in some
mysterious way they derived a fitness to approach God by what the altar, the priest, or the influences of the sacred place did for them. That a holy God demanded purity in those who approached him, they knew; but they did not realize that he himself purified -by his very presence- those who came to him.
The filial relationship of every human heart to God did not enter moral consciousness of men until they learned it in Jesus Christ. In him every man became a priest, his heart an altar, and his love the only offering required. Men were loosed from the ministration of ordinances, of rituals, of days, moons, and the whole paraphernalia of a gorgeous and laborious external system, and henceforth the poor, the untaught, the sinful, had a God near at hand and easy of access. He was no longer to be regarded as a monarch, but as a Father. No longer was it to be taught that he reigned to levy exactions, but to pour boundless treasure out of his own heart upon the needy. God sought those who before sought him. The priest stood no nearer to God than the humblest peasant.
-All the expedients of external worship in this world are but crutches to a weak soul. The true worship is in Spirit. It requires neither altar, nor priest, nor uttered prayer, but only the grateful heart, open before HIm who knows better than anyone can tell HIm all that men would say.-
The Life of Jesus The Christ
Henry Ward Beecher
* The poor being those who are weak in mind, heart, spirit, body.
* The sinful those who live in prolonged falseness.
* Grateful being someone elated about being alive, a heart full of life, isn’t life after all what makes us brothers?
I mention the Westboro Baptist Church protests that have btw been going on since 1991!!! to depict in an extreme way how in MAN institutions have failed, Beecher makes clear note, he implies how many have missed the central message of what Jesus came to do, it’s astounding how 2012 years after some still have an obscure notion. And the church, seriously??? It’s like an institution founded on universal love promoting hate - killing for power, or a free country promoting censorship – killing for power, or a country oblivious to present civil war – killing for power.
A B S U R D, right?
I'll leave each of you to further questioning.
Coming back to the point of the church and so I don’t get too dark, I’d be inclined to think a lot of people had no idea how straightforward the whole thing is and should be. No rituals, no ceremonies, no asceticism required to have direct contact with God if one seeks him out with an honest heart. (I sound like an infomercial) All too easy? It is. So why have we screwed it up? I have a theory.
Beecher underlines the base idea in Jesus´ teaching:
The conciliation of God and Man.
How man approached God a priori of Jesus, since his coming, takes a radical shift. We are invited through love to direct contact with God without artifice, as fellow brothers of Jesus and each other, as fellow sons of God. Why has man then been so keen on taking pure ideas as freedom, equality, love and misconstrue them into power and control? Does he not feel reconciled? Is his heart not sincere? ... I find it curious when I hear people blame institutions or each other for personal failures, the church, government, education, family, the etcetera line is too long. Has anyone ever asked themselves who created and subscribed to for centuries to these manmade institutions?
Holy shit when anyone believed “God hates Gays”, yes even those out there who are in fact gay and believed something you didn’t personally explore. How well do we know what we’re professing, let alone sustaining such a repulsive sense upon? And it goes both ways, either the church towards gays or gays toward the church. Let´s keep in mind that it is in any manifestation of ignorance where hate may arise.
In what moment did you give anyone-anything the power over your soul?
* If you´re still reading, you do in fact believe in a soul, if you wish to put it in somewhat tangible terms, the soul is the recipient of your conscious, unconscious, subconscious, and preconscious. It differs from the Spirit, which I believe to be a collective oneness.
It is evident we are the ones who either enter into something ignorantly or are too rigid, critical or arrogant to view it in sincere subjective objectivity. We went to automated church, stayed at some job, voted for whomever, enrolled at this school, married that person, supported that ideology, and even dared to blame a God we didn’t believe in. And what seems even more astounding is information is there, today more than ever, the mind can be easily quenched, the heart- ideally be open, body-evidently, the Spirit first and foremost; we have it all, yet we still place the blame outside. I don’t say this for us to fall upon guilt or self-victimization, but to wake up to a notion of acceptance - we are the ones to be held accountable, denial or transference is no longer an option. We have made this, and in us lives the possibility of anything different. It is not some invisible evil person behind a desk, or some church, it is us.
We live in a world where everything or a good part of everything hasn’t lived up to our perfect expectations. Today what makes us think we can do any better? In my eyes the answer is simple: If we demand democracy, liberty, love, equality, justice, honesty; we must put it forth in equal measure. First in ourselves, then in others and other endeavors. Basic math. We might fail at first, but trying our best will bring us closer. What’s at fault is we’ve demanded way more than what we’ve given, our structures are obviously imbalanced. Responsibility is essential, in acknowledging individual responsibility however small, some true sense of collective change may come to spark.
Behind these grandiose ideas of love, equality, freedom, peace, lie the foundations where most institutions were built, there IS truth -we are the ones who also figured those out, but the road toward such truths are journeys, never destinations. Journeys willing to shift over time in perspective and inclusion, protected from personal and/or mutual cynicism and passions. In a transitory world such as the one we live, absolutes destroy more than edify. When man has fallen comfortable in his place of power it is in such comforts where corruption nests.
I would think of how does one makes an un-absolute-something-anything-everything, one containing infinite or gleams of infinite knowledge, wisdom, love, grace. A hint is it’s already inherent in every single man and it’s not something we can acquire, buy, or make, but it is something we can enhance, brighten, and polish. In each of us the DECISION to stop living falsely through hate, indifference, idleness, corruption, ego.
This is once more an invitation to evaluate what you think you know. Inform yourself. Think for yourself. Be free of the proscriptions of a half dead society. Look deeper, don’t conform to the surface of anything, not even your pretty little selves. After you’ve done this in all humility and honesty, ask where haven’t YOU lived up to what you believe in and see how that has taken a major toll on everything around you.
The teachings of Jesus came to bring freedom to the conditioned heart set by certain establishments, to undo the automated hegemonies of the manmade institution. I mention his example in hope of remembering and taking as living reference what true revolutionaries and prophets do; singlehandedly “confront the false spirit of the age”. I believe we are at a time where enough blood of innocents, geniuses, prophets, saviours has been shed. It is our turn.
We have been marked by a generation who turned us on to individualism, but a negative one; one that is egotistical and feels autonomous from others, we are the resented generation. What if this individualism, which would no longer be called “individualism”, balanced and leaned towards its positive pole? We’re already halfway there.
*All of the previous has 90% base in the Bible, specifically Romans and the four gospels, The Life of Jesus the Christ by Henry Ward Beecher, and popular culture (in that order), in case anyone wishes to not take my word for it, which is what I’d encourage you to do.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Painting by Dennis Wojtkiewicz
“In a state of grace, one sometimes perceives the deep beauty, hitherto unattainable, of another person. And everything acquires a kind of halo which is not imaginary: it comes from the splendor of the almost mathematical light emanating from people and things. One starts to feel that everything in existence—whether people or things—breathes and exhales the subtle light of energy. The world’s truth is impalpable.”—Clarice Lispector
via. but does it float