Sunday, April 26, 2015

May I be a fool

Some have wondered how a person who claims Jesus, wear's his name...highly indoctrinated & educated...and still claims faith...yet looks & acts in everyday life...quite a bit like any common street bitch... doesn't that make me a hypocrite?

I write this not in defense...for the Creator is my witness & the truth reveals itself...the following is a rough draft paragraph of a chapter in my childhood experience of "christian"...

"A big colorful school bus named the “Joy Bus” came through every Sunday morning & Wednesday evening, collecting neighborhood children, and taking them for indoctrination at McArthur Park Church of Christ.
At that time, they were a moderately growing congregation off Loop 410 in San Antonio TX. The bus was fun, the adults at first were pleasant, we sang songs & got treats & prizes for right answers & approved of behavior. I later returned as a young mother to discover the same indoctrination of a much larger Mega church version of the same said congregation. I learned to memorize my bible books and various verses. I learned the old old stories, from a particular point of view, of course. As it so happened, as Jim (father) had set precedent, the church reinforced that I was indeed valueless, a worthless sinner not deserving of the love of even that which created me. And boy did we try, they baptized me at least twice before we moved.

I learned to read scripture in such a way that it was fact, and that the moral lessons & laws that applied to keep the bad people in line. If the bad people listen to God followed all the rules, written & unwritten, revealed & hidden, and did so properly then they would be rewarded with Gods unconditional love and the proof would be that life would be wonderful, easy, happy & pain free. I was among the bad people, I never quite understood why I was, but I was."

I don't typically quote scripture for a number of reasons, primarily it was never meant to be read as a "how to book" or weapon but the following are a few of my favorites...

Galatians...vs from chp 3 & 5 ..."now that faith has come we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in (by/because) Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith...there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in (by/because) Christ Jesus...For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery."

Corinthians...vs from chp 1..."For since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation (announcement - not judgement, not contempt, not control, not enforcement, not guilt & browbeating, not guilt tripping or any other form of coercion) to save (salvation was a term that also was about mercy, justice, healing & wholeness not simply an afterlife) those who believe....God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not to reduce to nothing things that are so that no flesh might boast in the presence of God for God is the source of your life..."

Corinthians...vs from chp 13..."If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Love never ends.......and now faith, hope and love abide, these tree; and the greatest of these is love.

I'm Happy to make clear...I still live among and am one of the "bad" people that where given value in the fact of their creation...As it turns out Jesus himself was most critical of the religious...he preached about justice & mercy, feeding & healing, walking, eating and partying with the "sinners" actively & publicly in defiance of the purity laws & customs of the day. Jesus lived among, befriended, made family of all the riff-raff...from tax collector, to hoe, from beggar to leaper...all those He Loved wink emoticon

If I be a fool may I be a fool as my bro for m
hypocrisy...that is for you to decide
smile emoticon

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When doing what looks Wrong...Because it is Right

As I have experienced the world, we are bombarded with rules, written & unwritten... Codes of conduct, culture & familial embedded & reinforced in such a way that making the “right” choice to honor one set of rules directly contradicts another set of rules…

One example includes a short trip to the Federal Social Security Administration in Las Vegas NV.  When one needs to replace identification...which is required to for instance... driving or getting a job, renting housing temporary or can not go to federal jurisdiction to get a copy of the social security card... required for getting local identification...not to mention not being able to access the funds to pay the fees to acquire said identification.

Mind you...we live in a technological age when with a few key strokes one can be quickly identified when one is caught on the “wrong” side of said rules.

Another example is discovering that the institutions of the “church” have allowed themselves to be co opted in such a way, that it is also illegal to feed the poor without proper identification & bureaucratic structure, for fear that some who are hungry might also “take advantage”...Oh God forbid in a country that wastes more food than it can consume?!?!  For some the justification is “for the sake of good order.”

So I cry out… with the Laments of old & new...from the Psalms of the Hebrews such as Ps 88...the one ps with no praise... to the expressed pain of street reality which is sung through gangsta Rap...From Native prayer & drums crying out for the healing of Mother the numerous religious & cultural expressions crying out for world peace, justice & freedom.  

And so I look to see what was & what could be…It occurs to me that history cycles around to teach...if we allow her wisdom to sink in…

In Genesis chapter 38, the first text of the Pentateuch or Hebrew Torah…”In the Beginning…”, there is a story of one woman’s perspective.  

Her Name Tamar...insignificant by all accounts...her name is in reference to the “palm tree.”  She is acquired & given in marriage to Judah’s (one of the twelve sons of Israel) first born son Er as a wife.  By rights she is now set to receive her promise...the thing that gives value & status to a woman at that time...children with birth rights.  It was set to guarantee her provisions.  However, Judah’s sons choose darker paths.  Er dies of what appears to be Karma, or God’s punishment for his “wickedness”.  Onan is next in line, but wants to preserve his inheritance & economic advantage, so “drops his seed,” in short get’s his rocks off for free, while denying Tamar her due place.  Karma kicks his ass for it, but Judah blames Tamar for being a “black widow,” which results in putting Tamar in a state of Limbo...she is sent to live in her father’s house, denying her “breeding rights” which he is obligated to perform himself, while also denying her the freedom of other widows to “remarry” in such cases of childlessness.

Tamar wisely takes matters into her own hands.  She set it up in such a way that Judah unwittingly & unknowingly fulfills his obligations.  For all appearances, she looks to have played the slut & he is going to cover his self-righteous ass by condemning her to death...UNTIL she hands him the proof of his own guilt...his own seal & staff returned in her hands.

Confronted with the mirror of Truth, Judah repents...changes direction...he owns his part & honors her rights & justifies her actions, in so doing restores justice...and is rewarded...Karma? perhaps...with two more sons, twins.  Perez heading the lineage that leads to King David, and further down the line to the one known as Jesus of Nazareth.

It occurs to me that sometimes the “rules” aren’t the problem.  Perhaps the challenge is that we let the rules think for us, excuse our behavior or justify our cruelty.  It occurs to me that some of the most powerful lovers in history...Jesus himself at the top of my list... Loved by re-framing the rules...and demanding & creating the possibility of merciful Justice that promotes peace, hope & freedom!