It's 11:22 Mountain Time June 27, 2013 as I start this post.
All my life I've thought there was an epic battle going on between good and evil in the world. Here are the good people, and here are the bad people, and we are us and they are them. And this battle, you know, was played out on so many levels, from religion to political parties and race and even gender. But no matter how the battle lines were drawn, there has always been this assumption that I was the good and someone else was the evil. Because I went to church, you see.
But then came along this intersection in my life where I decided to really study Christianity through the 12 Step process. And I've learned that a significant part of the fellowship of Christ is honoring and respecting equality. And I know that's a buzzy, charged word right now, but it still remains the best one I can use. And I think of it in the manner it's used in the Book of Mormon:
"And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be equality among all men; That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support."
(Mosiah 27:3-4 emphasis added)
I was taught recently that the opposite of equality is iniquity "Immoral or grossly unfair behavior." I've always thought of that word as a general term for sin, but it makes a lot of sense to me that all sin is rooted in inequality. Iniquity is sin started from a belief in inequality. I am the most unhappy when I believe that I am not as good as, or better than someone else and that unhappiness can set of a chain of consequences--from spending too much money, over eating, going into debt, to losing my love for my neighbor entirely.
So really, the only epic battle is the one inside of me. It's the daily fight of letting go all the many, many things, ownerships, ideas, behaviors, attitudes, desires and ambitions that falsely lure me into thinking I am better than someone else. (Or everyone else, if I'm being super delusional...) The battle between good and evil isn't something that exists between me and anyone else, it's between me and my human heart. It's not us vs. them, it's me vs. me.
And my religion preaches something that is very dear to me these days, we declare that we "hope all things"--a phrase that swept into my bedroom as I made my bed this morning. I think it's an invitation to replace iniquity (or inequality) with hope.
I hope the Supreme Court rulings yesterday bring peace to many people.
I hope those who found yesterdays rulings upsetting will also find peace.
I hope someday I will understand what I don't understand.
I hope my children will understand more than me.
I hope I can forgive.
I hope I will be forgiven.
I hope when I die my funeral will be a declaration of what I believed and wanted to live. And not much more. But please don't serve funeral potatoes thank you.
Anyway, arguments written by intelligent people have swept across this digital space for years and years and I've found myself lost in the sea of it all. You see, I've been looking for that battle in blogs and facebook posts and podcasts. I've been hoping to land myself on the forefront, bravely earning shiny awards for moral courage. But that battle is a trick, all smoke and mirrors, a false legend serving my lust to be right. I've only ever wanted to be right...or more right than someone else.
And all along that battle has been waging--bloody carnage and a tremendous amount of casualties, I'm afraid--right here in the corridors of my own heart. What does it serve me to be right if many of my relationships have to die at that expense? And how can Christ heal these severe wounds if I continue to fight this relentless war with my pride?
I wave my white flag.