Every morning I drink in his voice with my ears. He’s always singing, with that wandering, reedy tone, or humming, the songs of his soul. I’ll remember this forever, When he’s flown away, when I’m flying away, I’ll remember the liberation of being his mother . Dashiell was eating and said it was better than God, I said that’s pretty good, then. What does God feel like? He asked, trust, I said, that everything is okay, like the sun on your back in a field of wild flowers on a summer morning. I feel like God, he said. You do, I said, and you make other people feel that way, too.
This Holy day season I felt the resurgence of God. It seems that each instance when God is removed from public life, or the expression of religious faith, there is a surprisingly emotional response from people who don’t seem to be at all religious. It’s an outcry that God exists, even if we don’t know how or why, that the mystery is essential to our being. The story of God is in the present, it’s always being written and experienced, it’s private for the most part, but the history of God, like the history of every human, has many versions, the roots run deep and through every culture, so it’s all of ours’, and yet comes down to what the individual can make of it right now, today.
A friend of mine said he is an atheist, and yet when he talks about the love trees hold I feel we revel in similar ponds, but use different terms. He asked if I believe in God, and I said I don’t have to believe, because I know. I know when I hurt someone. All these social issues boil down to whether we are respecting the individual rights of someone to live an honest, positive, and productive life.
Privacy from Government and powerful institutions is a sacred right that is spiritually based, because unless you are hurting people by imposing your selfish needs on them, no one, or group, should assume they know more about living closer to God than you do. As Elvis said, “You don’t know a man’s troubles ‘til you walked a mile in his shoes.” Over and over again we observe how society has become corrupted, and that only the brave, and usually religiously inspired individual, like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi, can save us from cruelty, cowardice and ungodly immorality.
I was horrified when Mitt Romney said, at the New Hampshire debates, that he would overturn Roe V. Wade, but I smiled when Newt Gingrich talked about the media bias which doesn’t cover how under attack the Catholic Church has become. Both issues are not the federal government’s business, and if the constitution protects a woman’s right to choose, then Romney should leave it, as he said about contraception. Human beings do need guidance and forgiveness, but not from politicians. I also think Newt was correct in cautioning that we don’t need right wing social engineering any more than left wing social engineering.
The only reason so many independents and blue dog democrats are less enamored with liberalism and more curious about specific conservative principles, in my opinion, is because the government has failed the individual in this country, and we want to rebuild our lives, and in some cases, our communities, ourselves.
As far as I can see, president Obama is a Wall Street bureaucrat, and that’s the best of him, because who wouldn’t love the opportunity to have Wall Street finance their career? Give us Bill Clinton with his big ideas, love for humanity, Hillary and the joy of leadership. Give me George W. Bush with his stress on personal responsibility: “Every day’s earth day when ya own the land!”
But what we have now is not a republican or a democrat problem, because even democrats voted for the Iraq war, and we don’t know what will happen in the Middle East, we may regret not having a strong presence in Iraq. And I’ll never forget Geraldo shamelessly pounding us with “Shock and Awe”, and then giving the points of our soldiers away, and now he’s so above and against it all. Ron Paul makes sense on most issues to me, he truly wants peace and economic independence, he walks the walk, and yet the world may not be ready for his mature vision of humanity. Maybe it is too dangerous. I certainly feel that Americans, on balance, are still heroic. That this country has the potential to be, if not the hope of the Earth, as Romney arrogantly states, the Shining City On A Hill which attracts and brings out some of the greatest attributes of human kind.
Last night, Gigi, Dash and I brought a seventy year old woman who had been thrown out of her house fried chicken, blankets and dog food. The valet parkers, who had seen us delivering aid to the woman before, rushed at us, yelling out of their gaping holes to move on. “It’s still not illegal to stop and help someone, we have that right!” Gigi yelled back, the instinct of which, is evidence of God.
Perhaps there is a connection to the growing violence and anger in schools and on the streets, and the war on God, and religion, in our schools and in society. Religion is not the “sigh of the oppressed creature” as Karl Marx said, but rather a context out of which great thoughts like, “He is mindful of even the sparrows fall”, emerge to give an individual courage to take the next positive step. The feeling that you’re not alone, that you are connected through faith on your journey doesn’t make a person weaker, because those valet parkers could have been stopping us from helping their own mother, and that’s what a Godless world looks like.
This country is about faith in the individual, and God is inside each of us, so why not celebrate that with religion, with our constitution, with education, with discovering the Mysteries of life using science and technology? The story of God is written every day, in new and fascinating ways, the history of God will always be part of the creative discovery, but if we bully one another with group think we may as well live like The Lord Of The Flies.
When Dashiell came out of me I understood religion, I experienced God, I felt the meaning of humanity. I saw the plow on the field in Willa Cather’s “My Antonia”, and still the leaves around my heart rustle when I hear a good quote from the bible. I don’t go to church, because I haven’t found one I like, but I don’t have to, because when he sings, I drink in his voice with my ears.