Narratives With Depth and Power

Spring                                                           Bee Hiving Moon

Here is why I think the ironically evangelical atheists have it wrong.

Today is Good Friday (though I’m not clear how it ever got that name), the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth.  It’s also, this year, the first night of pesach, the night Jews celebrate the angel of death passing over the first born of Jewish households enslaved in Egypt.

No matter the metaphysics you claim, no matter the beliefs you hold, no matter the faith you embrace these are powerful, heart deep and deeper stories.  They are narratives you can build a life upon.  And millions, hundreds of millions have.

Take a working class man, a man who earns his living with his hands, let’s say a Toyota mechanic.  Imagine him struck dumb one night with the power of love.  So struck that he leaves the garage behind and goes forth into the countryside and into the cities claiming that before anything else we have to love one another.

Imagine, further, that he gets a following, a few at first, maybe 12, then a few more, but finally thousands.  After three years of wandering from the fields of Illinois to the cities of the west coast, he returns, right at election time and announces he’s going to enter Washington, D.C. with a parade, a parade of love that will go right down Pennsylvania Avenue and end at the Whitehouse.

This makes a lot of folks nervous.  I mean, he could upset the elections, throw it so the other party could win.  What should we do?  Powerful politicians gather and agree he has to be stopped.  Word goes out that our mechanic is a terrorist, one with a plot to blow up the Whitehouse and overthrow the government.

The night before the march, the mechanic and his followers have gathered at a penthouse room in the Willard Hayes Hotel, a room secured for them by wealthy backers.  The mechanic is no fool, he knows what’s coming and he tells his closest followers that he loves them and hopes that they will carry on his work when he’s gone.

After the supper, he leaves and goes over to the Lincoln Monument to consider the coming day.  While he’s there, men of the Secret Service find him, tipped off by an intimate.  He’s whisked away, taken to Guantanamo and two days later executed as a traitor.

What happens next?

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Commentary on Religion, Faith and Spirituality, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant. and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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