This is Power

in 2002, Time magazine published a cover article that related the scientific consensus regarding the end of the universe. It was a terribly depressing outcome, with iron planets and neutron stars scattered across intergalactic space, all except the matter that was vacuumed up in black holes.

I was going through a really depressed stage of my life, and faced the strong urge to rebel against that outcome. One option was to take the day off from work to lie in bed. The other was to reach for another alternative. It came to me in this way: at the core of almost every galaxy is a super-massive black hole – an “Active Galactic Nucleus.” We know that galaxies are bound together in clusters, and every now and then pass through each other. Over a long enough period of time, it seemed to me that the AGN’s will eventually collide, spewing out the matter they have absorbed to initiate a new cycle of stellar evolution.

Then I thought: “Well, if that’s how stars get made in the end, maybe that’s how they got made to begin with. Maybe stars don’t come first, and then collide to form black holes. Maybe the black holes are made first, and the quasars we see in the earliest age of the universe are the signature of the light and matter created in that process.”

Scripture offers us three kinds of wisdom:

  • Regulation, the accumulated wisdom of what does and does not work in relationships.
  • Situational ethics, describing how the Divine presence led our ancestors out of trouble when they made mistakes.
  • Meaning, revealing the evolutionary process that provides understanding to guide our investments in the future.

When I look at the situation in Congress today, I see a terrible perversion of this process. I see:

  • In our penal code and permissive gun laws, a process that segregates our population into camps based upon fear, undermining relation.
  • A “survival of the fittest” mentality that insists that poverty is a sign of unfitness and wealth a measure of greatness. People that fall ill are consigned to misery, those that cannot master rapidly changing technology are pushed aside in the workplace, and those that do not subscribe to predatory management practices are ostracized.
  • The unchecked politics of terrorism, where those that resist the changing future throw legislative Molotov cocktails, threatening their opponents with impeachment, harassing civil servants and not-for-profit leaders, and obscuring or simply denying objective truth regarding the consequences of their policies on global climate change, economics, international relations and campaign finance reform.

I would like to be able to corner Rep. Chaffetz to ask, “Mr. Chaffetz, did you ever withdraw during ejaculation? Did you ever avoid sex while your wife was ovulating? If so, then you intentionally prevented the birth of a child. When do you intend to turn yourself in for manslaughter?”

I would like to be able to confront the Biblical literalists with the insight that the whole experience of the nation of Israel from Noah to Jesus was to demonstrate the inefficacy and injustice of fixed systems of laws. The Law of Moses was authorized by God, but it is not “God’s Law” because it condones murder, contrary to the experience of Cain and the teachings of Jesus. The only law that binds a Christian is the law of love, and when you attack and demean those that serve the disadvantaged, you violate that law.

He walked up the sidewalk, his mind whirling with the pattern of creation unfolded from beginning to end. But at the periphery of the beauty were the people that brought him forth but rejected him, and the women that he would serve but that had resolved to force him to comply with convention. Those stains threatened to spread.

In his mind’s eye, a light entered the atmosphere, rushing downwards, clouds rolling away from the super-heated air in its wake. It passed over his shoulder and slammed into the hills ahead, a huge cloud of dust engulfing the spring day that he walked through. In his mind, a great cry of fear arose.

“No. No. I choose that spring day. I choose life.”

Two months later, in the home of a woman that loved him, he found a newspaper open to an inside article that documented that a planet-killer asteroid had passed between the earth and the moon two months before.

That is power. It is power that arises from looking into the things that are wounded and seeing the possibility of their healing. It is to forgo destruction of that which is broken and ugly. It is to serve those that serve, rather than to be a servant to convention.

Rather than seeking glory, it is to be regulated by the sorrows of the world.

All males are created to change things. It is far easier to change things by breaking them that it is to create something new. We indulge the former in boys. It is time for you to be men. If you don’t like tet way the world is, give us concrete and documented demonstrations of what does work.

Otherwise, get out of the way.