Sunday, June 05, 2005

Godlessness

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

to God.

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,

God Damn.

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?"

I said,

"There is no Within. "

I should still clean up my language though.


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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say that my theology has changed thanks to Bush and Company and it is mainly how I state it. Or maybe it's just that he was the straw that broke the camel's back. If you believe in Bush's God you will have a hard time with your conscience or something.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe we are just sitting back and letting Bush take us all back to the 50s or earlier. Listen honey, we got a problem.

4:48 PM  
Blogger memo said...

My theology changed long before any serious exposure to any politician. I was raised in the Baptist church also, and attended more tent revivals than I could ever hope to purge from my psyche. I do know that W and I must have learned different lessons in sunday school.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post is very mystical and one that changes in meaning as I read it.

9:40 PM  
Blogger OZ said...

After all of these thousands of years of civilization, we are still killing each other for the same old reasons, We want somthing that belongs to some one else and in order to take it, we need to be able to say that god said it was OK. Otherwise, we would not be civilized. They are the barbarians, with the wrong god, funny clothes, and funny habits and beliefs about culture and the proper way to live your life on this earth.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Damn President. God Damn Disappointments. God Damn Rabbits. (I have a garden)

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, to me it's like if we were attending that 7 or 8 o'clock class we never liked because the professor is far behind on his theory and we know from the beginning that we are not going to learn anything new...Worse thing is, he is still the professor and there is no negotiation with attendance. Damn!...I'm a catholic.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I'm not going to let George W. and the religious right taint my faith in nor love of God and Jesus just because they look and sound like "clashing cymbals."

Along this same line, I raised my American flag and wore my little flag pin on Memorial Day. GW can't sway my love for my country by making it look bad. He's driving the car, but he's NOT the car.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We must transcend these ancient ideas of nationalism. Put your flag pin up and remember fondly when you thought being a so and so was smart and healthy.

1:41 PM  

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