|a beautiful illustration by artist/illustrator: Nelleke Verhoeff|
of Red Cheeks Factory
prayer from the author, Paul Boynton, from Begin with Yes
"There are times when there is so much darkness, so much hate and anger and so much hopelessness that we can barely breath much less make sense of it. It is as if darkest of all clouds has finally prevailed and we feel helpless and afraid. During these times we must open our hearts and our arms and remind ourselves and each other that there are more candles than guns, more love than hate and much more light, stronger, brighter and more powerful than any evil that may swirl around us. And at the darkness moments, we must, through our thoughts, prayers and actions remind each other of the ultimate truth that light, hope and most of all love always wins. Forever and ever. Amen."
|beautiful and poignant graphic created by Jean Jullien and which is becoming|
the symbol of hope and support for the recent nightmare in Paris
I have 567 friends on Facebook. I don't think a single one of you is a hater. Maybe you have a hater among your friends, though. If you do, think about what to say to haters, today, and every day. Here are my thoughts for today:
There will be fear-mongering. There will be hate-mongering. It’s already started.
But before falling into the trap of religious hatred (in other words, today, deciding to hate Islam because it appears to lie behind yesterday’s hateful acts), let’s remember that religion is a tool of hate, not the other way around. Religion gets mongered up by hate. Hate is what lies behind these acts; not religion.
Love is what all religious arguments should be spreading. Love, however does not arm its arguments. Love does not use violence or force. And it never will. Anyone who arms for religion is arming for hate, not love.
Both love and hate are inherent to us; they are written in our DNA. The first time I was boiling mad at my own child, I recognized, in ways that had never been so clear to me before, that hate is not just taught, it needs to be untaught.
Don’t confuse ISIS for Islam. Don’t confuse Westboro for Christianity. They are hate, masquerading as religion, which is to say that they are hate masquerading as love.
In the Christian duality there is God, which is Love, and Satan who is Hate. I don’t believe in Satan and I don’t really believe in God. But I do believe in love and I know that hate is real. If you believe in God, and spew hate, remember that in so doing, you stop doing God’s work and start doing what you of what you believe is God’s antithesis.
To date, I have lost no one in hateful acts. I cannot speak from personal experience. But I know that at some point in my life I may be challenged to not hate because of a love stolen from me by a hateful act. Or maybe a random, accidental occurrence. Whatever the source of that loss of love – which we all face – I hope I have practiced enough love to overcome the hate that, like the everyday rising of the sun, will well up in me."
|Powerful insight regarding the Paris attacks from George Takei.|
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” ― Carl Sagan,
Love is the spirit of this church,
and service is its law;
this is our great covenant:
to dwell together in peace,
to seek the truth in love,
and to help one another.
James Vila Blake, 1894