Prayers to the God of War: Mark Twain’s Ultimate truth about getting what we pray for.

Prayers to the God of War

Prayers to the God of War

I have a book on my shelf about the United States of America. It’s title is A Country Made By War (Geoffrey Perett). Regardless of the theme of the book, its title is interesting in that it seems to imply the uncomfortable truth that our nation has made gun-points and wars the basis of our relationship to the rest of the world.

Our country has repeatedly placed American troops in harm’s way, leaving military families at home with the agony of worry and conflicts in many cases as to whether or not a particular war is absolutely necessary. Some families have spoken out against the war while others, praying all the time for safety for their loved ones, have chosen to follow an unspoken code of silence and support when troops are in action.

We all pray for God’s protection for our troops. But do we ask God to protect troops from enemies or should we ask God to protect troops from war itself?

Add to that politicians who play the religion card very cynically in trying to rally believers to blindly vote for them because in either party God talk evokes patriotism. We then find ourselves with that circumstance that prompted Lincoln to say that he hoped this country was on God’s side rather than that God was on our side.

Mark Twain had strong feelings about this and a passage from his famous War Prayer is one of those literal images that continues to speak very clearly to those who literally preach that God is on our side – those who preach that America should not only end wars, but, if our “Christian in the White House” regardless of party affiiation says so, should initiate them as well.

What images come to our minds when we hear someone pray for God to bless our armies with victory? What do we really say when we ask God to protect our troops and grant victory?

From Libertystory.net:

Outraged by American military intervention in the Phillipines, Mark Twain wrote this and sent it to Harper’s Bazaar. This women’s magazine rejected it for being too radical, and it wasn’t published until after Mark Twain’s death, when World War I made it even more timely. It appeared in Harper’s Monthly, November 1916.

Consider the following excerpt from The War Prayer:

“The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,

“Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

“I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!”

The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention.

“He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken.

Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so!

You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it.

Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells;

help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;

help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain;

help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;

help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief;

help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee,

Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.)

“Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”

What would Jesus Do?

What did Jesus say?

“But I say unto you, That every idle world that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Jesus was not casual about the taking of a life. Christian pro-life advocates have never been casual about the taking of a life.

Why is it so many are willing to support any leader who is willing to wage war before war has become a last resort; who then in the name of exceptionalism displays a casual disregard for human lives of those who die innocently as collateral damage?

Why are so many willing to look the other way on the issue of war and death because they believe that political god-talk matters more than Christ-like actions?

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“actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.”

sadgirl

An excellent writing by John Pavlotvitz. There are so many valuable and worthy lines in his article, I’ll paste a couple but the only way to appreciate the fullness is to read it on his site.

Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community

This is the cost of our religion to the LGBT community. More accurately, it’s the cost of our religion to LGBT human beings. This is the painful collateral damage that comes when we see principles and ignore people; when we refuse to give them the dignity they deserve.

Apparently Love does hurt; really, really badly.

The most common defense I’ve heard over the past 14 days from Christians who believe that being gay is both chosen and sinful, has been some variation of the supposedly well-meaning, “Well, we’re just loving people by being honest with them, by giving them ‘the Truth’. Telling people the truth is loving them.”

Really?

Theology is NEVER a truth … yes, I said NEVER a truth, divine or otherwise.

Original sin is not and never was a real thing … nor was the consequential need for redemption and atonement … none of that is any kind of truth.

Theology is merely a righteousness tool most frequently used as a cudgel by people who want to FEEL morally superior in any desperate way to someone to whom they are in fact not superior in any way.

Then there are those who do passive/aggressive ostraciscm of friends and loved ones who doubt or stop believing their societal or cultural “truths.” This from John Shore:

Is this fundamentalist mother’s letter to her daughter loving, or horrible?

Or as John Pavlovitz expressed it: “actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.”

Very True … only the shallowest think we are deep divers from another place stuck here under earthly skies while being linked to the above by some doofus holy air-hose.

pantheise quotes Sagan

Revering the Universe. Caring for Nature. Celebrating Life.
Learn more about Scientific Pantheism and the World Pantheist Movement!
www.pantheism.net
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WPM Gatherings: http://facebook.com/groups/worldpantheistgatherings/
WPM Networking: http://community.pantheism.net/

… using faith to exploit an angry and ignorant populace with a collective Bible literacy that wouldn’t fill a shot glass.

Us believers gotta stick together!

Us believers gotta stick together!

This, dear readers, is mandatory reading for any American who takes his religion seriously … along with his understanding of civic duty.

  • Luke 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
  • Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

I Was Betrayed by Republican Religion: What my years as a Christian fundamentalist taught me about right-wing faith – 

It is one of the great ironies of of contemporary American politics that, while The New Testament is further to the left than “The Communist Manifesto,” somehow the book and much of the religion it created have been subsumed by the cruelest, most selfish conservative politics I’ve seen in my lifetime, replete with outright hatred toward poor people, immigrants and every other unwashed commoner for which Jesus professed his most intimate love.

Claiming to be spiritually informed by Jesus, politicians pretending to Christian morals, aided and abetted by media more interested in viewer interest that civic and religious honesty, these pretenders have built what Lyngar calls a “media construct” … something that is not real. This media construct is presented to the gullibles as part of the effort to encourage a mass unconscious conspiracy to consider a lie the truth.

The political version of Christianity is first and foremost a media construct, like so much of our lives these days. It’s championed by Fox News, the 700 Club and a parade of has-beens and never-weres, selling the “prosperity gospel” like so much snake oil. It’s a powerful and toxic stew that is as relevant to Jesus as professional wrestling or a discarded Playboy. 

Lyngar:

I could fill a dozen essays with examples of Bible verses that contradict the core ideas and statements of conservative candidates, politicians and talking heads, but it’s a waste of time. No matter what the politicians and pundits claim to believe, they are only using faith to exploit an angry and ignorant populace with a collective Bible literacy that wouldn’t fill a shot glass.

We attended a Sunday service at the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church. You might know them as that liberal religion that had the gall to go against the self-righteous public religious norm and openly invite non-traditional believers to come worship and dine at the Lord’s table with them.

I found a business-sized card that I now carry in my wallet. It begins with What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?:

Well, for starters …

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Not one dang thing wrong with any of that. We met several impressive individuals, several of which have never formally joined the UU church but whose personal spirituality and belief in goodness for the sake of goodness has nothing to do with religious orthodoxy, born again moments or accepting a mythical god as a personal savior.

I felt like I had encountered a religious organization to whom I would entrust my family to be taught goodness for the sake of goodness, charity for the sake of charity and love for the sake of love.

So who really “owns” Jesus? What does social and political activism in the name of Jesus really look like?

Before one lets the candidates and parties tell you what God wants of you, think about what it means to be Christian in America.

Think about the revised “tradition” of belief and attitude that is being pushed in this country at the expense of social justice, equality and compassion:

Who wants mandatory prayer in school?

Who wants to weaken separation of church and state?

Who wants censorship?

Who wants literal interpretation of Religious Scripture?

Who opposes women’s rights?

Who rejects the theory of evolution?

Who favored on invasion of Iraq?

Who opposes gay rights?

Who opposes contraceptives?

Who opposes sex education?

Who favors corporal punishment?

Who declares that there is only one TRUE God?

Who declares that dissent is disloyalty?

Who looks the other way when torture and murder happen – especially if it is the torture and murder of non-citizens?

Who favors the death penalty?

One answer to the above questions: Osama Bin Laden

Anyone else come to mind?

And finally this from my own cultural heritage … how I was raised to think … and I remind my cultural brethren who take the pretenders far more seriously than they ought:

Book of Mormon: Mosiah chapter 4:

13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

25 And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

to know God as God is

The Second is like unto the First.

The Second is like unto the First.

Whether Jesus was real or mythical, if we try to live by shallow view of the life of Jesus we may very much limiting ourselves to the idea that we never measure up to the traditional theological notions about who Jesus was and is. We, for example, then see the ideas and concepts that Jesus teaches about our relationship to God as our being stricken with some consequence of original sin or possessing inherent evil. Both are in fact nothing more than old sectarian notions. Regardless of anyone’s convictions, the reality of original sin and a need for redemption … isn’t.

Were we in fact not in possession of the capacity to know God as God is because of an inability to measure up, we then cannot relate one-to-one with Jesus who – according to mere theology – was not born guilty of original sin or possessing inherent evil. This if we follow the logic of those who insist that Jesus in the most unique and powerful way, was and is God.

Our relationship to the God, however is the same as Jesus’ relationship to the God.

less to do with salvation and its assumed requirements and more to do with …

Jesus’ gift of salvation – as a gift – is one given without conditions. A gift once given is like bread cast on the water. We no longer own the gift and its belongs to the recipient to enjoy. Otherwise, it’s a contractual loan.

Striving to be and live the life of a Christ-like person could then be founded on the idea of Jesus’ love for humanity

… an unconditionally given gift that has less to do with salvation and its assumed requirements and more to do with having learn to see things as Jesus saw them and know things as Jesus knew them.

grounded in a truthful spirit

I think we should be grounded in a truthful spirit that is honest enough to desire instruction, correction and enlightenment from the Compassionate God. We then can “judge” ourselves by considering our ways.

But we are not to judge anybody else. We can consider their ways and determine our own comportment toward them accordingly but without condemnation.

If we then are desirous to know God as God is and perhaps come to understand how we are in God and God is in us, we become unshackled from the self-judging and often self-condemning mind set that comes from too much theology and not enough search, ponder and pray by one’s own methods whatever those methods be.

“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
― Meister Eckhart, Sermons of Meister Eckhart

Speaking of Pat Robertson: Me and Jesus Once Had a Conversation Ourselves

03/26/2008
Guess who showed up in my office

I’m right here honey

If you’ve seen the movie GHOST and remember the scenes where Whoopi Goldberg tries to convince Demi Moore that she (Whoopi) has actually spoken to Patrick Swayze, you may have a sense of what it was like the day an internationally known psychic walked into my office announcing that God would shortly grant an interview,adding,

“You’re all God’s got so He has to use YOU.”

Needless to say, I closed the door to my office lest a few ears could hear any other fantastic drivel spill from her lips.

“I’m glad you brought me in here. It makes it easier to set up the interview,” she said as I closed the door.

“You mean you are going to produce God himself? Are we going to have some sort of ‘crossing over’ here?”

“Oh, heavens no! Uh, pardon the expression.” (With a whisper, she continued,) “I used to say ‘hell no’ but since linking with Mr. Big himself, I don’t dare use the phrase. Now Arthur, God wants you in this room tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. SHARP and says that the rest will be handled for you.

You just be here!”

“You’d better explain yourself.” I told her, thinking of how to get a 911 responder to believe my reason for calling.

She explained. Article space is precious and it would take up too much  to relate how she convinced me to at least give God a chance to show up at the appointed time. Since tomorrow morning I had planned to start work on my next article before turning on The View,  I decided to get up real early so as to humor the lady. Assuming God would not show, I could still get some work done.

Next morning I was no sooner in my office and reaching for the light when the light switch activated before I could touch it.

And there was light.

A voice, not loud, not soft, not a whisper but then not a shout either … spoke quite forcefully.

“Sit down son. After turning on your light for you, I’m only going to give you one other miracle.”

There wasn’t time to go through any theatrics of shock and awe. I heard the quite command and I obeyed. As I sat down at my desk, I suddenly spied a shape in the side chair opposite my desk. The shape clarified itself and I found myself staring at a distinguished old man dressed in a long white robe with gold edging casually sitting in my side chair.

Old Wrathful

Old Wrathful

There was no pillar of fire or light and no aura around him but I knew somehow that He was either legitimate or Steven Spielberg’s special effects crew had snuck into my office and set up shop in the middle of the night.

Now I felt it … I really KNEW who was sitting there.

I remembered one time a child’s story about new arrivals in heaven not recognizing their Savior when they met him. It was explained to me that only the righteous will recognize Him instantly. Well, I knew instantly that I was looking at God. There was no time to be astonished. One minute there was nothing and the next I found myself no longer alone in my office.
God was sitting in my side chair looking directly into my eyes … and I exclaimed, managing only a quivering whisper,

“You really are … God! I somehow know it to be true. You are … you are!”

Then God turned in His chair, facing me from another angle. And my wild eyes saw a woman; graceful, elegant and wise, smiling gently all the while.

elegant ... wise ... knowing

elegant … wise … knowing

She shifted again and I saw a young man looking exactly like a Michelangelo David

… who moved again and I found myself looking at my 13-year-old granddaughter who, I knew, was 150 miles away sound asleep.

“I … I think I get your point. You’re telling me … you’re revealing to me that you are …”

“I’m not revealing anything that all of humanity does not already know inside. Now, let’s get this going and be done with it.
Son, I’m not a meddler, but things have gone so far in the wrong direction that something must be done. You people need to redirect the path everyone seems determined to march down.”

My granddaughter was back and pointing at my legal pad.

“You do some asking and I’ll do some telling. As things progress you’ll realize a few things without asking. Other things won’t come to you as answers from me, but as understandings … if you pay attention and let your thoughts run free.”

I was convinced … or hallucinating … or delusional like Uncle Pat. robertsonassassinateChavez

God was talking to me. No doubt about it. I can’t and won’t launch into any speculation as to why God chose me. I appreciate John Denver’s role with George Burns even more now. And somehow I know that it’s not relevant to me whether some or all disbelieve what I write. What is relevant is that I know and God knows that I know.

The wise old woman was back only this time she looked like an older Queen Latifa.

“Start the interview young man.” was all she said.

I did and managed to come up with a question.

ARTHUR: Why didn’t you appear on a mount or in a mega church before one of the prominent Christian celebrities or even in Salt Lake?

GOD: I tried! I couldn’t get through. All of them were like you were yesterday, only much more dense to my touch.

A: What do you mean?

G: They are all like peas in a pod. What they inwardly imagine is the only thing they’ll accept. They have in their minds a specific image of what God is and how God communicates – by the way, most of them think I talk only with men. It’s a part of their minds that is literally stony. There wasn’t any use in appearing to them in the way they expected. Their chests would all puff out and they’d be thinking, “see? I told  you so. Now quit doubting”

swithoragYaWithUsOrAgainstUs

A: What way would that be?

G: Looking like Max Von Sydow or Jeffrey Hunter or Jim Caviezal in the movies.

A: Why not?

G: Because I’m not that way! I’m not in any way the sort of character your Christianity has made me out to be.

A: What sort of character are you … uh, Lord?

And it was my granddaughter again looking at me across my desk.

G: Do you know where I’ve come from?

A: Uh … Heaven? A Mighty Fortress?

Granddaughter laughed uproariously.

G: We’d better back up. I can see you need to have your own assumptions adjusted. You’ve noticed that I can appear as anything I want (adding with a sly smile) even an angel of light?

A: (Thinking that somewhere I’d read or been told that the devil could appear as an angel of light and that you can test the angel by touching) Would you mind shaking-

G: Yeah yeah yeah. (Young David  reached across and gave me a hard gripping hand shake. As if he’d been lifting weights.) I’m not the God you people think I am.

A: Obviously … er, Lord. But what sort of God – I mean, why do you say that?

G: Well, for heaven’s sake, pardon the pun! More than a few of you are starting to pray to the female me. Does it matter?

A: I beg your pardon?

The old woman sighed and shrugged at me.

G: No young man. I didn’t come from some heaven or a mighty fortress out there somewhere on the other side of the moon. In a way, I’ve come from your future. No, better said … I’m trying to portray your future in a way you’ll understand.

A: But doesn’t the Bible say that –

The old beardy guy was back.

Old Wrathful

Old Wrathful

G: The Bible says three things. ”
“My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, ”
“believe in me ”
“and love each other. “

The rest is 6000 years of private interpretations.

A: But your Son? He was killed and the priests say we owe him. Which of those three things expresses that?

G: All three of them do … minus the need for fear, shame and guilt.

A: But all those commandments!

G; Private interpretations son. Believe in me and love each other. Everything else will take care of itself.

Cover,bible-thumb

A: Are you telling me that –

My granddaughter was giggling.

G: Gosh Grampy, you’re being dense.

A: But what about the End Times? What about your Son coming to-

G: To kick butt and take names Grampy? What for?

A: Because of evil! Because of the war in Heaven! You and Satan are-

Granddaughter giggles again impishly.
G: You know I’m asleep 150 miles away but even I know that Satan is only a nightmare.

Adversarially Yours

A: A nightmare? Surely you know how many people have been killed because of Satan?

Young Adam smiled and took my paperweight in his hand, eyeing it with one eye.

G: Surely I know how many people have been killed because of someone else’s nightmare.

A: Is Satan real?

G: Only in the Left Behind novels.

rapture2

A: Okay, so now I’m talking to David the body-builder. You were there at the start! What about the serpent in Eden.

G: A snake. Nothing more, nothing less.

A: But he made Eve ruin everything.

That brought out the old lady again.
G: You men are such twits! Eve watched the snake as she watched all things in the garden. One day, watching the snake shed its skin and not die, she figured it out. Told Adam what she learned from the snake. They took the next step together, knowing what they were doing.

Adam the twit passed the story on … but you know how gossip grows. Years later – by the time the patriarchs took over – the story changed to a talking snake, guilty women and innocent men. Fixed in place by dullards.

She gestured to the morning light coming through the window and I knew it was time.

A: We’re about through aren’t we?

G: Yes we are.

A: They won’t believe it.

G: Well, Junior, whether they believe it or not, God is not coming to their rescue, God is not going to justify what they say or what they do and God is not going to punish their enemies or reward their self-righteousness.

A: You mean you’re just going to let –

G: I mean, sonny that humans have gotten into and out of messes for millennia without my meddling. It’s your world. It was built for you to nourish, not to treat like a rental.

A: Meddling? Aren’t you interested? Don’t you care?

G: Does a parent care for the children? Does an artist care for the creation? Oh you betcha I care young man!

She stood and moved toward the door.
G: But I may have to meddle just a little bit if things get worse.
A: And if they do?

She smiled and shrugged.

And then the body-builder was eyeing me and wiggling his pectorals.
G: I might just have to appear as you see me now, kick a few butts and take a few names. Tell them to take care about what they say and do in my name.

covjesus2