Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Do Not Steal

This is some of the finest writing and most provocative writing I've seen in quite some time.  Once again, Nick encourages me to think about what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and what kinds of impact all this has on others.  We go back a long ways, and I'm grateful.

DO NOT STEAL.  Isn't this simple teaching, maybe the very heart of Torah and Gospel, what's most needed right now...?  In churches?  In mosques?  In synagogues?  And it's not just a belief, it's not just an intellectual exercise.  It's a practice.  It's a lifestyle.  It's a commitment of the body and the heart.  DO NOT STEAL.  It implies, I think, a love for one's neighbor and a dedication to one's neighborhood.  And maybe that's the faith part.  Do we believe in one another? 

If we do, the teaching follows.  And just seems so damn holy.  DO NOT STEAL.  Don't stoke the fires of hatred, raise your kids on bigotry and self-contempt.  Don't steal their hearts.  DO NOT STEAL.  Don't march into a night club, like some kind of video game character all juked up, and steal the lives of 49 happy dancers.  DO NOT STEAL.  Don't steal the votes of congresspeople and senators with your obscene money and your vicious fear-mongering.  (I'm talking to you, NRA.)  Don't steal the communities we live in by making every street an avenue of death.  DO NOT STEAL.  Don't settle for a country in which poor kids and kids of color and immigrant kids have to settle for second-rate schools and second-rate health care and emaciated dreams.  THAT'S STEALING, PLAIN AND SIMPLEDon't steal Palestinian hilltops for illegal settlements and call it just and right.  BECAUSE THAT'S STEALING TOO

I hear Amos in the wind tonight.  I hear Hosea.  I hear Jeremiah.  DO NOT STEAL.  I hear Mary of Nazareth.  I hear Jesus her son.  I hear Moses who started it all.  And I hear Mohammed too.  Loud and clear.  DO NOT STEAL.  I hear Dorothy Day.  I hear Chief Seattle.  I hear Martin King and Malcolm X and Alicia Garza.  I hear Cesar Chavez and Harvey Milk and the lovely, lost voices of 49 dancers in OrlandoLike prophets crying out.  DO NOT STEAL.  So damn holy.