First off… A friend is putting together a presentation about Love and wanted to reach out to people beyond our known community for more input on what we believe Love is and what it is all about. So, if you could spare a few moments, please take the time to do the survey linked HERE.
Thanks! Are you back now?
Ok, well, I want to share my answer to the first question of the survey before I move on to rant mode: For me, Love is God, and God is Love. It is the “force” in the universe which compels me to want to be a better person, love my neighbor, and save the Earth. (Please forgive Star Wars reference.)
I also really wanted to share my rant in either of my spiritual/religious fellowships, but I hesitate. It is not that I am ignorant, but sometimes I do feel that way among folks who should be my peers on many levels. I guess I tow that line between the intellectuals and the idiocracy. I am of the “pop culture” variety, thus the Star Wars reference above. And because of this, many times it is best to just STFU (shut the f* up) rather than potentially reveal oneself as less than totally knowledgeable about whatever is the topic of the day.
Today’s topic I was mostly ignorant of, that being the Anthropocene (to my new yet vague understanding this is the name for the period of time we are currently in geologically and potentially the beginning of the sixth great worldwide extinction based on sciency stuff) and stewardship as seen from a Christian perspective. And it was a Christian who shared this topic. That is all well and good. And after service I did get a chance to share my particular brand of crazy with the speaker privately by bringing up the Zika virus that is making its way around the world and causing birth defects and pregnancy complications as potentially being a scourge of God or Mother Nature, whatever, to clue us into our population growth being at ridiculous levels. But hey, never said I was sane. Nonetheless, I think I got the gist of what the speaker was sharing, but I am not so sure the rest of the congregation got it… the discussion portion seemed to break down into “why does everything have to come from a patriarchal Christian perspective?” from more than one source.
WARNING — HERE IS THE RANT!
WTF intellectual peoples? Dude just said he was planning to share this same topic at the Episcopal church he attends. Duh, Christian much? So, you were given fair warning of the bent of this conversation before it began and had ample time to politely just leave the room, but Nooooo…. And here we are. The speaker was basically very politely (read: sarcastically) attacked for his religious affiliation, and when he couldn’t argue against the topic of patriarchy, he was accused of “mansplaining” to the little girls in the audience. Heck, I thought we were talking about mass extinction and stewardship of Mother Earth, and frankly, I was completely lost when the subject changed to path-bashing and man-hating. Help!
So, I may not be so smart, but as I stated before, I am not totally ignorant. (And there is that crazy thing, too, but I digress.) All of this brings me to the topic of this post, “Love”. And that will be next week’s service topic, so please pray for us. I, personally, feel that if we approach conversations and other interactions with Love in our hearts, minds, and mouths, then so many people would NOT be offended for a change. And yes, I too fall short of the Glory of a Loving Being, but I am human afterall. I don’t look for a reason to argue and listen as much as I can when I am in fellowship. (I think I may have a point on the Zika virus, even if I am the only one who sees it.) I suppose that is why I don’t speak out much: I don’t want to argue and I don’t want to appear uneducated. (plus anxiety)
I have been doing a Bible reading plan (yes, some witches read that book too!) that focuses on “Loving like Jesus”, so that may be where my head was when I suddenly got way offended at my fellow congregants. You don’t have to be Christian to love like Jesus. I was raised Christian, but identify primarily as Pagan, and I am trying to love like Jesus, hell, just LOVE. I don’t like being afraid of people or situations, I don’t like being caught in the middle of nonsensical admonitions of misogyny that have nothing to do with anything else in the conversation, but here I am.
My apologies, dear Readers, but I feel the wind has gone out of my sails and I am just repeating myself. Here are some final thoughts I want to share:
- It is possible to love one another even if you don’t have the same faith or even no faith at all, and we should love one another.
- When having an idea expressed to you, listen to the idea first and foremost (stay on topic!), and if you must judge the person sharing the idea, save it for later in the private space of your own home. We don’t need the extra negativity in public space.
- I love all y’all, even when I don’t agree with you. And boy howdy, there is much I don’t agree with in this world.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
Mahalo. And May the Force be with You!