There is a great Lie woven through this world we humans have built. It has so woven itself among the roots of our world that like the ancient dragon curled around the heart of the World Tree there seems no way to root it out without destroying everything. It has been there so long that very few ever even know it is there. First sin, last sin, root of violence and hatred and fear.
The Lie says they are different, dangerous, wrong; they are not like us. The Lie screams across the bright wheel of stars in the fiery tail of artillery fire; the Dragon breathes its victory. The Lie whispers in suspicious glances that turn into murmurs, that turn into shouts, raised fists raining down; the Dragon feeds. The Lie turns tragedy into justification and revenge; the Dragon breeds.
The greatest lie in the world is that there is any difference between you and the person on the other side of the line you have drawn.
We learn to do it as kids on the playground, dividing ourselves into the cool kids, the geeks, the losers, the jocks. We grow up to be takers, or makers; middle class or welfare bums. Wearing our labels with pride, flocking like geese, angrily driving away anyone who is ‘different.’ It starts there, but it doesn’t end there. It goes further until some get more scrutiny from the law because of who they are. It grows into supposedly adult, educated, intelligent people blaming, always blaming and refusing to take the first step toward, them.
It doesn’t end there. It goes further. It goes all the way past nightmare, the Lie rains warheads down on children and people ask: “Whose side are you on?” The Lie wins every time someone makes a them, they, other. While people die. There are rockets flying, right now because someone, somewhere looked up and instead of seeing another person, saw a them and said ‘they need to die.‘
They or we will win, but that’s another lie. Because anytime the Lie is in charge, everybody loses.
The Lie says that only war can bring you peace, only violence can give us security. The dragon flashes its toothy grin and coils tighter. I am naming it all: Lie, because enough is enough. Enough children gone. Enough tears. Enough fear. Enough is enough.
I don’t want the safety that your death will bring, or the security of a gun strapped to my hip; that’s the Lie making your fear into a weapon forged against your own soul. I won’t be cut by my fear anymore, cut off, other. Death can not save, or repay, or balance. Revenge’s child is revenge himself and he will go on forever that way.
Revenge all the way down.
When do we stop listening to the Lie? When do we open our eyes and see each other, groping blindly through a world filled with sunlight that we are afraid to see. When will we realize that my life, and your life, have exactly the same weight on God’s scales. I cannot trade yours for mine. None of us have that right.
Whose side are you on?
I’m over here, with humanity, every last member of humanity. Because I refuse to believe the Lie anymore, I refuse to listen to its fear, and anger, and hatred. I tell you that every soul is worthy, of enough food to fill their bellies, of a peaceful place to lay down their head. Every child deserves to play in the streets without fear.
Because every child belongs to Holy Mother, every child swam in the waters of her womb, and Her tears water this world. Weep with her. Put away the armor of righteous indignation, throw down the shield of faith, cast away the gauntlets of truth. None of them are worth the life of even one of Her little ones. Let your sword rust for the tears of everyone of us, joining the ocean of our Mother who wails as each fragile body, stops. Each dream fades into black nothing, air raid sirens wailing anger and the promise of retribution; let them be drowned by our sobs. Let us be washed by the tears of all the mothers, and fathers, daughters, and sons, who cry out in pain; and make it ours.
There is no difference between you and me on the other side of the line we have drawn. I do not want security, my heart wants love. I do not want vengeance, or justice, my hearts longs for mercy.
My heart longs.
My hearts longs
my eyes look
my ears strain
that is bought
not by blood
or by bullet
would rather die.
So at last
The impetus for this post belongs to the Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg who posted to twitter today:
Someone on FB just asked me whose side I’m on. The polarization and us/them mentality is what got us into this carnage and suffering.
— Rav Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) July 18, 2014