Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Legacy of Time

It has been interesting, over the course of the past few years, to see the downfall of some of our politicians over their sexual infidelities. Here is a partial roll-call:

Newt Gingrich
John Ensign
John McCain
John Edwards
Gary Hart
Jim McGreevey
Elliot Spitzer
Gary Condit
Rudy Giuliani
Mark Sanford
David Vitter
Bob Livingston
Mark Foley
Jesse Jackson
Barney Frank
Tim Mahoney
Mike Duvall
Gavin Newsom
Arnold Schwarzenegger
… and many, many more!

Notice anything about the list? No, they are not all Republicans… They are all MEN! Power is, evidently, an aphrodisiac. Power also seems to provide access to a wider range of folks than one might find at home.

It is interesting that one doesn’t see women politicians similarly implicated. Perhaps this is because the field of female politicians is smaller than that of their male counterparts. It has also been suggested that female power is a turnoff to men; that may well be true.

What I find interesting is that all these folks are involved in policy making, and a lot of the time, while they have talked about family values and morality, the policies they have advocated do not support families, family life, children, or the environment. And then we find out the truth of their family values and moral fiber.

We elected these men (perhaps they should no longer be called gentlemen), sometimes based on speeches made during campaign tours, posing with spouses and children. Like homes that are professionally staged before being put for sale on the market, this is an advertising ploy. And we fall for it, in a big way… in fact, almost every time. Part of the “marketing” and “packaging” of a candidate is called Moral Credentialing, whereby a person establishes (or has established for him) a moral image. Once someone (male or female) has an established moral image, studies have shown that person may subsequently feel free to behave less ethically.

Now, let’s take a look at religion for a moment. Here again, there are a lot of men at the top of the heap of religious leaders. Many of these leaders have helped to maintain male domination over women in matters of work, culture, politics and religion. There seems to have thousands of years of mythmaking around the notion of a male god who created everything at the beginning of time. This, even though it is clear that there were ancient female divinities. Future generations, moving forward from the beginning of time, of male leaders were evidently turned off by the idea that feminine power could create, and so these ancient myths about female divinities were hijacked or obliterated, as far as possible.

Many people don’t realize that a universal element in creation stories is family. Everything may have been created by something divine (female or male of inclination, or both), but after that, there are children who procreate. We are a human family, however it was our species was created and has evolved—and isn’t it interesting that most of the stories have humans listed as the last of the creations?

Life is about family, revolves around family, promotes family. God should be firmly about family and about life, shouldn’t it?

Yet, we continue, as humans, to be embroiled in the constant need, even desperate desire, to have pecking orders and supremacy and authority and control over others (whomsoever others may be). And, I hate to say it, because there are a lot of terrific fellows out there, but the major players in this are men.

There is this moral image being pushed at us all the time, and over it is superimposed the false notion that the Divine is male only. To which I reply, if the Divine had been male, rather than female or even androgynous (which circumstance does appear in some creation myths), then why would there be the any need at all for female energy? If the male energy were so important and so special, why create two genders?

But, ladies, I'll let you in on the joke. The men can't handle the awful truth that women bear the children. Men can talk any kind of game they want to about creation and about the divinity being male, but they cannot change the fact that women bear the children and women hold the family together.

Women bear the legacy of time. Men have never been able to compete with that.

Maybe if men start getting pregnant, the landscape of things will change. I don’t see this happening, in either the foreseeable future or beyond.

But here is another question: What if the Divine were male and as unfaithful as some of our politicians and our religious leaders have been? Would or should anyone follow an unfaithful god? Taking it farther, would or should anyone follow policy made by unfaithful leaders? Further, should nice people (men or women) follow unfaithful men (or women)?

If the answer is not clear, then there is something wrong. 

Meanwhile, a better focus for one’s attention and energy might just be the notion that human beings, male and female, were created to be. The human family universal ought to honor the family, in all gender presentations and combinations, and in all children. Why? Because family is the evidence of the continuance of life, and life is the Holy Divine (male and female and neutral), from generation to generation. Family is the most inclusive group in the world, not that that always makes it an easy group to be in—but the point is you cannot choose your family; you come into it, whether it is your nuclear family, your community family, your regional family, your continental family, your world community. However you got here, you came into this world—to be—and wherever you are in this large picture, you have a place and a role to fulfill within this family, and that is holy!

I firmly believe that if we, as a species, could have faith in our human family as evidence of the sacredness of life, the landscape of attitudes, ethics and morals, religion and politics would truly change. Who knows, some of it might be rendered useless and go away forever. And wouldn't that be nice?

Meanwhile, the end of the world is supposed to happen on Saturday.

But, this is the way of enlightenment: I will be among the cleanup crew on Sunday.


Someone has to bear the legacy of time.

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