Sunday, August 17, 2008

Religion without the spirit

Religion without the spirit it is meant to preserve can become positively irreligious: we put the weak, the wounded, the addicts, the religious "others" outside the boundaries of our perfect lives, fearful of touching what might pollute us.

Our lives of difference get muddled from others trying desperately to sterilize their lives from the ones (us) who don’t conform. Sometimes it is us who apologize and beg for forgiveness from the ones (them) trying to make us conform to do what they want us to do.

I lived half my life trying desperately to avoid arguments by giving in to what my ex wanted. The expectations of a happy family slowly changed from one that was happy, to one that was stewing and beginning to boil from her expectations. Her expectations of how her partner should, and would behave became an empty gesture of living. I began to feel boxed in by her insistence that our outward family life should be a normal as possible. I was hounded to keep my hair and nails short and I always got those ‘looks’ if I wore my earrings. She was always looking for tail-tail signs of any behaviors outside her image of the good ‘husband’. An image that was changing from a husband to eventually an image of an ‘auntie’ for my children; but I would always be their ‘father’!

Looking back on those few years, I saw a person who was withdrawn and angry. I was drinking too much and began to be start arguments. I was happy when my ex would storm out of the house if she suspected I was dressing. It was only when I truly accepted who I was and could live my life openly that I found my joy and happiness for life.

It is the ones who yell the loudest that have the greatest fear that they are just like us; who are so insecure of their sexual feelings that they strike out at the blackness of their sordid lives. They live for their past and for their sterile future without having to interact with those they see as on the ‘outside’, as ‘different’, as weak.

I see my idea of religion as one that accepts everyone, where everyone has their place, where everyone is loved for who they are. I have to get my hands 'dirty' for my religion to work. Pollution is how I work best for being showered by G-d's blessings.

Let us follow the example of Jesus and pollute our lives with those who have been cast to the outside.

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