Sometimes I can forget about it for a while. Most of the time I can act normal. Sometimes I can even convince myself that it doesn’t bother me. But not at times like this, when my state legislature presumptuously deems itself a sufficient authority to rule on my value. Not times like this.
We humans run into a great deal of trouble when we try to turn God into an objective reality. When we try to say, “This is what God looks like, and feels like, and sounds like, and says. This is what the experience of God should be like for everyone. If your experience of God is not like this, then you are not experiencing God.” This is a lethal game. Ever since people started trying to turn God into an objective reality (and I wonder if there was ever a time when we did not try to do this) we have constantly suffered in the throes of religious wars, crusades, inquisitions, holocausts, ethnic cleansings, and terror campaigns. That is exactly where objectifying God takes us. This lethal game is one that we humans, in our unquenchable thirst for full comprehension, and in our aversion to mystery, continue to play, year after year, civilization after civilization.
In order to create lasting change one has to have a broad understanding of the constituency that will have to participate in the change. Not just conservatives, but liberals and conservatives and everyone in between. This broad understanding is necessary because creating change requires the consent and willing participation of MOST PEOPLE. You are not involved in a society made up exclusively of conservatives. So conservatives cannot create lasting change by simply banding together and attacking the people viewed as the opposition.
An Open Letter to the Congregation and Leadership of East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis
And, yeah, I’m a little stirred up. Because you aren’t being honest with yourselves when you say you are “a church that loves all people.” I can’t help but think if you were actually honest, and said, “We are a church that loves all people, except gay people,” it wouldn’t feel right coming from your lips and you would try to love better.
In May, 2013, Studio Ninety-Six, Christian Theological Seminary, and St. Luke’s UMC staged a multi-media exhibition exploring the theme, “Risk of Faith.” They graciously included my piece, “Surrender” in the exhibition. I was happy to be afforded the opportunity to try and put into words the very real risk I feel as I attempt to live into what I am learning in my life.
Let’s make sure our reaction to this is not about our own anxious projections of danger. Let’s make sure we are reacting two to little booths and a few annoying people at IndyPride, and not reacting to years of spiritual wounding at the hands of other Christians.
Yesterday, in Newtown, some guy goes into an elementary school and shoots six year olds. And we can’t believe it. We don’t know how something like that could happen. We say, “He must have been insane.” And I’ll tell you why we say that. Because that lets us, individually and collectively OFF THE HOOK. He was insane. So there’s nothing we could have done about it.
Which is bullshit.
When you walk into this work you walk into an ancient cave, or a tight circle of trees in the deep woods, or a secret hidden grotto. It’s full of, well, stories. It’s full of images and words and colors and textures and like a little kid said today when she walked in, “Wow. It’s so coo1! And kinda spooky. But cool too.” I love observing people observing art. I can’t count the number of times while I was setting up alone that I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, or felt like someone was standing near me, or turned to talk to someone walking around in the room (but no one was). Spooky cool alright.
The Higgs Boson was a particle that had been proposed, but never found. Scientists thought it might exist because it was just the thing they needed to tie all the divergent theories of sub-atomic particle physics together. The big picture theory of these little tiny things is called The Standard Model. Without the Higgs Boson The Standard Model was just a bunch of sub-theories that all looked good, but didn’t work together.
So eventually I stopped. I looked around and realized that I must have been wrong about something, where I was, where the trail was, something. Then I started back the way I had come. When I hadn’t gotten back to the access road in twenty minutes I stopped again. Looked around. Realized that I was good and lost, and I may have been following the deer trails in circles, for all I knew, and I was now in a part of the woods I was unfamiliar with.