A Holiday Message From a Progressive
A quote for the season: Nature was not something outside the human world. The reverse is true. Nature is the real world, and humanity exists on islands within it.
Consider the acceptance of humility in that statement that humankind nor any portion of it cannot ultimately take dominion over all the Earth. For the essential truth it states is that the grand civilizations we believe dominate the earth are all a part, a small part of a vaster biosphere that encompasses us.
We can do great damage to that biosphere, we could go even drive many flora and fauna extinct, including our own species if we continue down the path we have chosen, but in a million years the earth would still be producing life, and there would be no trace of our existence left.
For those Fundamentalists of Christianity and Islam and Judaism who believe we are in the end times or that the 12th Imam is about to return or that the Temple is about to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, who believe your own statements that God is Judging us for our sins, consider for a moment that the greatest sin is pride.
It was pride that led to Lucifer's Fall from Grace according to the Christian tradition. It is your arrogance and pride and those of your fellow travelers on the right who hate and justify wars and glorify each other for the superiority of your beliefs that are being judged by all of us and found wanting in the balance. All of you on the right who despise the poor, the meek, the diseased, the homosexuals and bisexuals and transgendered folks, and people without white skin like yours are the sinners.
All of you who think greed is good and capitalism can do no wrong, who believe the rich deserve the wealth they squeeze out of the earth and the bodies and souls of their fellow human beings, it is you who are to blame for our current condition.
It is all those who seek to demonize scientists for simply stating the facts about the devastation humanity as a whole is wreaking upon this planet who are the villains.
It is everyone who believe that the right to bear arms and the rights of property exceed the human rights to free speech, to make their own decisions about their bodies, to live where they please, to not be subject to police abuse and arrest because of their ethnicity or race or sexual orientation or political beliefs or because they follow a religion different than your own who are the evil-doers.
It is all those who believe health care is not a right, nor pensions, nor social security, nor the right to join unions and bargain collectively with the managers of large corporations for better wages and working conditions, who have caused untold pain and suffering on your fellow Americans.
It is you, those who are filled with pride and seek to dominate the earth and all those who live upon it, who are satisfied as long as there is one person beneath them who they can spit upon and look at with disdain, who are the problem.
Two thousand years ago a man was persecuted and killed because he didn't strictly follow the rules, because he defended the poor and the prostitutes and all those who were reviled in his society.
He preached a message of non-violence and compassion for everyone and you have corrupted his teachings into justifications for killing without remorse anyone you judge to be an enemy, whether old or young, parent or child. You have taken his words blessing the meek and glorified untold greed. You have made him the defender of those who are destroying the earth and all of its creatures. You have turned him into a God that loves only you, his true believers, instead of all humankind, and much of the suffering is the result of your deadly pride in your Faith.
Think about that, I implore you, in the coming year, for in your pride you hurt yourself as well as all the rest of us. I am not ashamed to to make known my beliefs. I believe that non-violence, not war and repression, is the better path to follow for individuals and for nations.
I believe that all people regardless of their religion or race, their gender or sexuality, their age or their youth, their wealth or their health, are my brothers and sisters and deserving of love, not condemnation.
I believe that greed is bad, and sharing the bounty all produce in an equitable fashion is better.
I believe that the right to own a gun or follow the dogma of a particular religion does not trump the right for each person to make his or her own decisions, to be free from harm by his neighbors and to speak up against wrongs done by those who would allow the sick to die and the air and water of the world to be poisoned for the sake of mere profits for a few.
I believe compassion and love are not just words but actions that we should practice daily, and not just pay lip service to on "Holy Days."
I believe the world we share with all life is larger than any one person or civilization, larger than all of our selfish, short term desires, and deserves our respect and our protection.
I believe that I do not know everything, that I can still learn from honest debates with those who may not share my belief, but I also know that the bedrock principles of equality for all, compassion and aid for the weakest among us, democracy for all and freedom for every individual, not just those with property or wealth, should not be abandoned out of fear or for political expediency or from the corruption of our rulers.
I believe hatred begets more hatred, and violence more violence and selfishness more selfishness until the world we know is nothing more than an ugly morass of unsustainable insanity in which everyone will lose.
I believe in the power of cooperation and community. We are stronger together than we are apart seeking our own individual fortunes at the expense of others.
I love all of you. I wish more of you felt the same way. If any of you, who consider yourself my enemy because of my beliefs, take anything away from this message, please consider in your hearts what your own pride is doing to you and to others and to this planet we call home.
I ask you to consider the possibility that you may be wrong. Doubt is no sin, but arrogance and hubris are; pride is no virtue, but humility is.
And peace is not an dirty word.