Sunday, January 3, 2010

Truth is not Shakespeare

The truth
needs so little rehearsal.

~ Barbara Kingsolver

Truth may need little rehearsal, yet it does need silence and reflection. Discerning the truth in any matter, but particularly in matters of politics or religion, places us squarely against others whose truth is informed by other influences. When I look at the differences between the progressive and the conservative minds it is clear that what is "truth" becomes much less obvious. The conservative truth is one based on scarcity and fear where competition and the survival of the fittest becomes the metric of success. It is supported by the Luthern concept that God rewards the "good" people with material wealth (i.e. security) in this earthly existence, while He punishes the "bad" with poverty (i.e. insecurity). This "truth" also relies heavily on the acceptance of the medieval concept of the Great Chain of Being that places the King nearest God, then men, then animals, on down to insects and inanimate Earth at the bottom. It is in this paradigm of truth that capitalism was born, leading to the consumerist and wasteful existence we now all share as Americans. It is this paradigm that has allowed genocide and exploitation of indigenous peoples the world over through colonization and occupation. This truth is very rigid as were the childhoods of those most often following its dictum. There is a strong connection between the harsh, strict father who relies on the authority of the harsh, strict heavenly Father for his power over his family. This is a paradigm dependent on violence.

Progressive truth is not necessarily one of nonviolence or cooperation, but it should be. The human race is in a struggle against itself and this living ecology that supports us. While our attention is on Christmas, terrorism, war, Tiger Wood's love life or the latest Hollywood gossip, the truth is slipping away. We will soon run out of scapegoats for the failures of our social structure. The capitalist economic model is failing, we've destroyed so much of our planet it is beginning to change in ways that will make life very difficult for many millions of us and yet we continue to cling desperately to that strong father figure in our government, hoping that it will use Biblical force on those who threaten our way of life (security). I'm not calling for the eradication of religion or the end of government. But I ask believers to look more closely at their teachings. Is there no room in your religion for other people of other colors, genders, ages and yes, even other religions? Is there no room for love in your religion? How about cooperation? Or respect for this amazing planet we ride effortlessly upon?

It's time to stop. Sit in silence with your own thoughts. Let your heart wrap around the suffering caused by our own greed. Stop rehearsing and just let the truth shine.


Brook Stableford said...

This is truly inspiring. Barbara Kingsolver will be presenting writers' workshops at the San Miguel Writers Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico February 19-23 2010. I just signed up. It looks like a rare opportunity to meet her. Are you going?

Terri said...

Wish that I could, but alas I must remain in the rainy NW. Have a terrific time. I hope to hear more about the conference when you return.