The Desert and Humanity

I begin my sabbatical in the desert. The Colorado Desert at Palm Desert to be specific. I am definitely not like the desert fathers. I am staying at a Marriott timeshare. Though I miss being home and with Suzie, there is something about a semi-solitude. The unit is nice, but barren of people. I have ventured out, Saturday night at Angels Stadium and Sunday in Joshua Tree National Park.

The desert fathers left civilization to be alone with God. But when people found out about them — they went to them for spiritual advice. Even though they attempted a solitary life, they didn’t get what they wished. They were seen as special. They found that it was easier to talk to God in isolation. Some actually spent considerable time traveling to cities and taught.

I did talk to the Angels fan next to me at the game and he didn’t seem to mind sitting next to a Dodgers fan. (The Dodgers won, by the way.) A love of baseball transcends rivalry. Perhaps that is a key to human relationships. We never will agree on everything, but we can decide to be in relationship with one another despite those things that separate us.

I believe that what unites us is bigger than what divides us. With a few exceptions among us (sociopaths in particular), we want love and respect and self-worth and inclusion. But we live in a society that seems to value what separates us. Talking heads on radio and TV make a lot of money by telling half-truths to work people up to oppose"them" (who ever "them" is). They are evil. They are the anti-Christ. The reason they are the anti-Christ is that Jesus preached love and respect for all people. They are prompting the opposite. They promote hate and exclusion. If they say they are Christian, then they are worse — they are liars and hypocrites. Jesus hated hypocrites more than any other group of people.

In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Why can’t we all just get along?" If such a flawed human being as Rodney King can get it right why can’t the rest of us?

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