Love in the Time of Corona: on Freedom.

I think that if somehow, everyone could come to comprehend and acknowledge their own essential goodness, all that other superfluous bullshit would simply fall away. “Hurt people hurt people.” Every single somebody you see doing some bullshit to hurt another human, you can bet they were hurt too. In Physics, it’s described through the Law of Conservation of Energy which, simply put, says Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it simply changes form. Do you get that? That means if you strike a child, that energy doesn’t just go into their body and dissipate. That energy is going somewhere. That also means that the energy that is enervating my hands right now in this bizarre ritual that, after having trained my mind and body to do so, I can simply think these words to you and my hands automatically do the rest. That energy, the energy that is making this happen was transferred into my body by what I’ve eaten. I consumed food that was grown and transported by other humans like me, keeping their bodies alive on the energy that is, once again as a reminder, not created or destroyed. That means that theirs is the energy of “The Big Bang” or Genesis 1:1 or whatever you need to believe in. 

Face it. Orange trees don’t produce apples. That’s science. You think. You came from something that thinks. 

My cousin lived on Space Station Alpha for a few months. (I’m the only person I know who has taken a call from space.) While in space, Jimmy lived in a different relationship to time. As Einstein’s Theory of Relatively reminds us, Time is flexible and if it is flexible it must be infinitely flexible in both directions, from the eternal moment to this very precise, right-now, point in time. Every great religious or philosophical tradition has had some teaching or practice around living in this very moment. If this is the moment of the Big Bang, this is the moment of infinite possibility. “We are created in the image, likeness of The Father” doesn’t mean we were created by a god with two eyes and a nose, it means we were created by a creative force and endowed with the power to create. 

Everyone seems to be immersed in fear right now and, as in the world of Arts and Entertainment, all the props and pyrotechnics, and the sets and costumes and scenery will appear in support of THE SCRIPT. It always happens, even when you think it’s not going to. And do you know who the writers of that script are? Us. “We the People.” 

I know you’ve seen a small animal trapped and afraid. There’s nothing more vicious on earth. It can be the littlest, scrappy, mangy, muskrat of a thing but because it is actually afraid for its life, you’d about be better off going up against a tiger. 

People are afraid right now. “They” are as afraid as “we” are. 

American politics over the past several years have been (at least) heavily influenced by Evangelical Christianity. Those people, they are essential good people. They are my people, the poor and working class Southern Christians, Black and White, who made up the world into which I was born. They are behaving based on what they’ve been told by their friends and family, and based on their experience of this life. Don’t forget everyone in Alabama isn’t stupid or for that matter un-woke. Some of the smartest kindest people I’ve known are Southern Chritians. (I’ve known some nasty ones too.) Never foget that Alabama gave us Harper Lee, Angela Davis, and Donna King.

Anne Frank said, “In spite of all things, I still believe all men are good at heart.” Was she right or was she wrong?

Donald Trump? Just a symptom of a disease. Can I say I would have turned out any differently if born into his nightmare of a family? The family that drove his brother to suicide?

I was blessed to be born Queer. It forced me into introspection much earlier than other kids growing up around me. If that one thing had been different, I might have ended up as socially and politically unaware as my straight brother. I prayed to be made straight when I was a boy. How’s the country song go? “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers?” I am so happy and grateful for my life exactly as it has happened and let me tell you brothers, sisters, and e’rbody else too, I have been through some very dark nights. There were many years when I had daily thoughts of swallowing a bullet and I am now happier than I have ever been. For that I am grateful. 

Anyway, back to the Christians. It’s just so interesting to me that things turned out the way they did because trust me, I was in church every time the doors opened. My dad was a deacon and he had the keys to the church building. Vacation Bible School and Gospel Meetings too, County-wide singings and “dinner on the grounds.” How could it have happened that those people ended up worshipping a Golden Calf? I thought I understood what we believed. 

Want to know what I’m going to do? I’m going to do my damndest to stay true to that teaching. Whether they do or not, I’m going to love my enemies. I don’t have to love what Lindsey Graham does to love his soul. I pity him. I met him you know. When I took is hand, I felt this incredible sadness wash over me. This man is terrified. Would I have turned out differently if born into his circumstance? When they asked Jesus, “Hey Master, how many time a day should we forgive our enemy? Seven?” and Jesus was like, “Naw, brah, seventy TIMES seven.” That’s 490! per DAY! Turning water into wine and all, walking on water and shit, that’s pretty cool. But I think the greatest miracle Jesus ever did was when he forgave them while they were killing him.

I want to be free, y’all.

I want to live free and I want that for other people. 

I became a Marine and offered my life because I believe in the inalienable right of all people to live free. 

I’m not free if I’m chained to hate and anger. 

I, like you, did not go through all the bullshit I had to to get to this point only to be chained to the idea that someday, somehow, it is all going to be proven and I was “right” and they were “wrong” and they’ll be punished accordingly. 

One of my smartest friends passed on some wisdom to me that had been imparted to him. His friend (knowing that my friend is MENSA qualified) said, “You know, smart as you are, it is highly unlikely that you are right about everything.” That really stuck with me. (Laughing at myself right now.) I wonder what I’m wrong about!

If it feels right and good to you, maybe you can join me in this prayer:

For all those who I have perceived as my enemies, I pray that their lessons come gently. I pray that they are surrounded by those who love them. I pray they have everything they need.  I pray that the injuries of their past be healed immediately. I pray they know Love. I pray they know Peace. A’ho. 

I don’t have to agree with someone to love them.

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