I woke up this morning to Julia Sweeney reading on NPR.
Then, I found it here on One Good Move.
Its about 30 minutes long and well worth the time.
Last night, while eating dinner with a friend,
I had to admit something.
In the last year or so, my language,
has, well, has gone to hell.
Like the story that Julia tells,
I enjoyed my rearing in the Church.
I was a Baptist.
Many times, I remember being moved by Angel Martinez,
a traveling Baptist preacher who would come to our church
and wear a different colored jacket every time he preached.
I would listen and cry and walk down the aisle and rededicate my life
I actually would go to more sermons than my mother.
Once, my mother actually forgot to pick me up and I waited deep
into the night for her to come.
But it was a blessing, because Angel drove by and saw me
waiting in front of the darkened church
and I got my own very special audience with him.
It must have been the work of God,
in conjunction with too much scotch.
It's that mystery thing you know.
So last night, I had to confess to my friend,
that I have started doing something that I have never done before.
I now use the Word,
I used to say it only in the most rare of occasions.
Now, I use it several times a day, or maybe an hour.
It must surely be distressing to others.
I mean after all.
I am a religious man.
So last night, it occurred to me that saying God Damn
is apparently no longer taking the Lord's name in Vain.
I don't know when that happened.
George Bush had something to do with it.
But I can't blame him and his bunch for everything.
No, I think that even though I am a Christian
in the deepest and most sacred sense,
I no longer believe in God.
At least not the God that is in the mind of George and his crew.
They and the enemies of their faith are entirely too
ready to murder each other in the name of their own particular gods
to suit my taste.
Rather, I have come to know the wisdom and reality of these words:
'Truth is a pathless land'.
Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique.He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.
Man has built in himself images as a fence of security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates mans' thinking, his relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man.
And they divide man from God.
After dinner, while visiting about other teachers and those who have attempted to characterize and express the divine, I offered to my friend, that I believe in original knowledge. And that during this dark time, the bright light of truth is more readily found.
She said, "So you think that we all have access to all knowledge from within?"
"There is no Within. "
I should still clean up my language though.