I watched in wonder as the debate over Notre Dame’s invitation for the President of these United States to speak at this year’s commencement hit a fever pitch of judgmental rhetoric—led by those who call themselves Christians. Fascinating stuff.
Maybe I’ve been watching the drama on Earth from too far away. I’ve obviously lost the ability to zoom in on the important stuff. I certainly missed the moment that “judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned” ceased to be central to the teachings of the radically non-religious Jewish rabbi named Yeshua. People on both sides of the issue claim to be his followers; but they clearly don’t walk his walk.
The Loud Mouth is brash enough to call out non-Christlike Christians; but the President, who consistently confronts hot topics directly, without being confrontational, delivered a speech that appealed for both sides to disagree if they must; but do it with Christ-like civility:
“I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it—indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory—the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.
“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”
As the resident bull in the china shop, let me take this debate to a place where our President couldn’t: To “The Beginning.” At the heart of the abortion issue is this: When does Life begin—and does a woman have a right to choose to give birth to an infant body?
Much of the debate rages around whether Life begins at conception or at some stage in the development of an embryo or fetus. The presumption here is that Life is physical—and that a human can give It, take It, save It, or even make It miserable. Perhaps we have forgotten what Life is—Life with a capital “L,” that is.
Have you ever seen Life with your physical eyes? Where was It? What was It doing? What did It look like? What was it wearing? Can you draw a picture of Life? Have you ever photographed It? How old was It?
What does Life look like at birth? At death? Can you describe it? Have you ever thought about it? Have you considered the possibility that we have made the words “life” and “body” synonymous?
When Life leaves a body, the body dies. Does that mean that Life is dead, too? Unless you send me evidence to the contrary, Life—like Spirit, like Soul and like God—is invisible to those in the physical world. And, unlike those in the physical world, Spirit, Soul, God, and Life have no beginning and have no end.
We have forgotten. That’s why this Memorial Day weekend, I honor the Divinity that we once knew as Life: The powerful, invincible, God-like essence that we temporarily abandoned to slip into costumes called human bodies and solve problems by disrespecting, maligning, berating, battling and killing those who disagree with us, or belong to a different army, tribe, gang, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party or religion.
I mourn the loss of our memories. We have forgotten that at “the end of the day,” our souls will not be held accountable for how others treated us—only how we treated them. If we remembered that—even if we forgot what Life really is—Memorial Day would be just another day on the tiny planet called Earth.