Take A Breath

breathI’m not afraid to die. I used to be frightened of the transition. But I’m not afraid to die anymore. Maybe it’s my age. I don’t know.

I had three large fears: death, failure, and being alone. Failure? Maybe that’s my age too, but one day I realized cash wasn’t the pot of the rainbow. Contentment was. So that left the fear of alone.

Well not anymore. Because I realized there is no alone. One day I realized there are other people on earth too. 7 billion of them. The people who stand beside me are here too. So I force the words past my pride and I say hello. We’ve been gathered together; synchronicity.

See I learned, once you’re emotionally unzipped, you’re free. You’re free to be truthful. You’re free to be authentic. The pressure that presses on your ribs is relieved. You can breathe with enlightened lungs. You can. Now, you’ll need to take deep breaths. But there’s a benevolence of breath. It isn’t contained by fences or borders or countries or continents. The man who walks beside you breathes alongside you. Two people standing side by side sharing the same sighs. Exhaled. Inhaled. Each taking turns. It’s as intimate as sex. Sharing body fluids. Not liquid but breezes that fluidly pass from lungs to lungs. Your breath is carried through my blood. Your hushed is in my heart. What you’ve breathed, I breathe.

Together we’re breathing Africa.

Together we’re breathing Asia.

Together we’re breathing Ireland.

Together we’re breathing Brazil.

Together we’re breathing Puerto Rico.

Together we’re breathing France.

Together we’re breathing Las Vegas.

We’re breathing hope. We’re breathing fear. We’re breathing love. We’re breathing war. We’re breathing terrorism. We’re breathing injustice.

Caught breaths and whispered worries and secondhand sorrows. Shared. We share the same aspirations; peace and love and justice and full and safe and trust and triumph. We must share those aspirations aloud. We must take a deep breath and wind those words. We’re standing here together. We’ll call it mouth-to-mouth recitation. You tell me what you’ve learned and I’ll tell you what I’ve learned. And together we’ll inspire and aspire.

Statues of Limitations

Okay surf my wave. Look let me help you out here. You can’t have it all. So. Think about it. Walk away from the cat pics. Close the porn sites and zip. Take your hands off the “share” button of your favorite pundit’s blurts. And just think about it. You can’t have it all. Things are right or they’re wrong. Something is either true or it’s false. And people who deny boundaries want permission to wander and wane.

You can’t have it all.

Pulling down statues. It’s literally a monumental problem. Hell there’s a rich history of that in the world. Hebrews pulled down false figurines. Christians pulled down indigenous idols. Protestants pulled down Roman Catholic pageantry. Germans pulled down the divisional wall. The Taliban is pulling down antithetical antiquities. Out of sight – out of mine: beliefs, symbols, expressions, words, statuaries, and ethics that differ from “mine” must be destroyed. Apparently that’s where we’re going here. You either think symbols and artifacts that represent a belief/conviction should be on public display or you don’t. You don’t get middle ground. It’s either right or wrong.

If you want a monument to The Ten Commandments at the public courthouse – then I get to have a statue of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God there too. And we’re going to erect a statue of Stalin there and the satanists get a statue, and apparently we need an impression of Kim Kardashian’s ass because there are people who think she’s worth emulating. One group doesn’t get to decide the sacred, the venerable, the idol, or the one worthy of remembrance that all citizens must genuflect before.  All or none baby.

Look. The artifacts of the Confederacy should be eliminated – not to erase history or not to pander to the politically correct – they should be eliminated because they lost. Get that? The moment they lost – they became treasonous. The Confederacy lost. They declared war on the Republic and they lost. I’m curious. Should all those who’ve declared war on our Republic get public symbols? Are Hitler statues next? Are we erecting Hideki Tojo heads and putting them on school library shelves to hold up the books? Mussolini mugs sold in souvenir shops? They lost. Traitors. Treasonous. I’ve never once viewed a trophy case and saw tributes to the losers of the games. The confederacy declared war on the United States of America – committed treasonous acts – became enemies of the state – and lost. Honoring what?

Now – White supremacists are in schism with God. Yeah. I said it. Yeah I’ll defend it. Why are they working against the Holy and the Good? Because Racism bears false witness against God. It denies His paternity. It denies His artistic ability. It denies His creativity. It limits His image. God places a soul in each of His aspirants. Racism judges whether God has placed a soul and where He has not and it decides that only white souls are the sole heirs of God. Racism asserts God’s preferences and puts words in His mouth and monochromism in His eyes. God made a rainbow, why assume He rationed all but one color from mankind? Racism is a reaction. The action is creation. It is neither a cultural nor a societal reaction. It’s a theological rejection. As man is created in God’s likeness and image, imagine His anger if we deem His child as less His reflection and more a defection. White supremacists are evil and work against God.

And Mark R. Trost just said so.

A Matter of Trust

Okay look. If you lie to someone – you exploit their vulnerability. The aspect our bullying society forgets: we’re all vulnerable adults. Vulnerability is all about degrees. Some people have a higher tolerance for your pain.

So listen up: you don’t get to decide which commandments are your easiest. Probity has no degrees. You’re either honest & decent or you’re not.

Liars exploit others dignity, vulnerability, and generosity.

Predators exploit emotionally, sexually, or financially.

Predators exploit; liars exploit.  Pure & simple. 

Fucking someone’s sense of trust for your own gain is prostitution. 

Love.

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I fell in love today.

I sat on an examining table and I fell in love.  She took my vitals and I fell in love with her.

I fall in love every day.

Woman.

Man.

It doesn’t matter.  It’s not sexual; it’s emotional.  It’s not biological; it’s spiritual.

I fall in love every day.

When someone shares his or her humanity with me, I fall in love.

And it’s not infatuation.  I’m no longer overwhelmed by the view.  I’m accustomed to seeing a soul. Yet the weight hasn’t lessened.  When someone shares a moment of humanity, I fall profoundly in love.

And I don’t fall in love with most people.  Most people aren’t willing to share the essence of their souls. Most people are guarded; most people are afraid; most people live closed.

I guard myself from being guarded; I fear that I’m afraid; I know I’m close to being closed.  But I take each risk.

Because when our moments of humanity and vulnerability are shared, I feel God. I feel gathered together.  I sense the synchronicity of His divinity and I fall in love.

I fall into the love of God.

And hope and love and communion are resurrected from their deaths.

I know that God has come again.

Appropriate

StPatrick1Listen up:

Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish; he was British and sent to Ireland as a slave. He escaped, returned home, became a Roman Catholic priest.

Saint Patrick wasn’t an immigrant; he was a missionary priest. Google the difference. Educate yourself.

Saint Patrick didn’t profess religious tolerance. He was an advocate of one faith: Roman Catholicism. He traveled to Ireland to CONVERT the Irish to Roman Catholicism.

Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t about Ireland: Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus. Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious Roman Catholic feast day that honors the sanctity of a faithfilled priest.

You’re either against cultural appropriation or you’re not. Grow a pair. Define your beliefs.

If you’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Feast Day today and you’re not Roman Catholic – consider yourself the Iggy Azalea or Justin Timberlake of the Christian world.

Let’s honor the Saint today and eliminate your ignorance.

Look up the definition of hypocrisy.

Look up the definition of cultural appropriation.

Look up the definition of sciolism.

You want to make political points – don’t use facts that are polar opposites of the facts.

And to all my Roman Catholic friends – happy Saint Patrick’s Feast Day.

 

American Idol

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So. Let’s do the math. Ready?

I’m a Roman Catholic. If I have a religious symbol  – (A statue of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God) in my house (a private space)– people protest my actions and tell me I worship idols.

But if someone wants to remove a religious symbol from a public space (A war memorial / cemetery) they’re protested because he’s “unchristian” and “removing God” from The United States.

What?

(Photo courtesy of  kariannphotography)