You can never make significant change unless you’re kind of crazy. You might need to drop some acid to get to that level of consciousness. That or read the Hebrew prophets with new eyes. Or both.
As the empire puts the crooks and destroyers of Earth in cabinet positions, and the robots in suits steal from the poor to give to the rich, and the maniacs in power can’t seem to find the eight trillion dollars the Pentagon spent on who knows what, but they need more to protect our freedoms…
As the media cheerleads and takes us on frenetic labyrinthine excursions to tell us anything but the truth…
The American people acquiesce.
If you want to create a god who is a winner, who survives, create a god who is self-obsessed and demands exclusive loyalty and takes no prisoners.
There are, of course, nuances. Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims today would not understand their own faith in such exclusive terms, and thank human reason for that.
The heart and soul of these religions is their exclusivism.
It is an exclusivism that allowed them to survive but also threatens life on Earth.
It doesn’t matter if we are religious or secular, if we “believe” the stories or not, or if we identify with them in some way or not. Even if we reject them as Bronze-Age fables, they still have power. The stories and the deity they champion are more alive than we may think, and this deity is wreaking havoc.
Desperately, we need a vision for our nation. It cannot be a vision drafted by some rich white guys. It must be a collective and collaborative vision that arises from the dispossessed. We need a vision of how to share the land, of how to live with each other, and of how to keep our home, our one planet, Earth, in good repair for future generations.
People who have done amazing things and given the world marvelous gifts do not know what they did because their lives ended before they saw the fruit of their labors. They did what they did because they saw a need and they took a first step.
It is the most radical verse in the Bible. It is the most radical statement ever made. None of our economists or jurists or legislators or executors or professors or bureaucrats or smart people in general have ever come up with anything as radical as Leviticus chapter 25.
If you want to be holy as Yahweh is holy, if you want to love your neighbor as yourself, if you want to live sustainably and survive in the land that Yahweh is renting to you, then every 50 years, redistribute. Start over and don’t cheat.
Liberation is costly. We must ask ourselves always, are we willing to pay the cost or will we simply say it is too much work, or it doesn’t matter that much, or oppression really isn’t that bad?
Even after liberation, the Hebrew people complain to Moses that at least they had food in Egypt. They will starve in the desert, they fear. Liberation is only part of the story. The hard part at times is learning how to live with a new freedom, new agency, new choices that are ours to make and not made for us.
Life is a struggle, a competition, a wrestling match, a lover’s quarrel between light and dark, yin and yang, male and female, life and death, mortality and immortality, Jacob and Yahweh.