Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Sermon

part deux


epiphany: 1. A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
January 6, on which this feast is traditionally observed.
2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being
3. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: "I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself" (Frank Maier).

I love that word. I love the way it rolls off one's tongue. It sounds a bit like your talking with pop rocks in your mouth. I love the meaning of it even more. Especially #3.
How many epiphanies do you suppose one experiences in one's lifetime?
An epiphany is more than a simple realization. It's deeper, more intense. More often than not it's life altering.
We are born a blank slate. When infants, by instinct we trust those around us to care for us. If we're fortunate, as children we remain for the most part naive to the realities of life. Our parents, older siblings, and extended family seek to protect us from the cruelties of the outside world. As we grow and mature we learn over time the lessons that life sends our way. There is NO Santa Clause. The Easter Bunny isn't real. Not everyone loves us and there are people out there who will hurt us. Not because we're bad, but because they are. Still it is innate human nature to believe in the overall goodness of our fellowman. It is only through the process of growing up that we come to the realization that life is not always copacetic. In fact as often as not, life can be cruel. It is how we react to the realities of life that shapes our character and our morality. This is the natural process of maturation.
Epiphanies are rare. But when they come, we know it. There is no mistaking an epiphany for the everyday algorithm of life.
When I wrote yesterdays post I wasn't expressing anything I haven't said before. It's well known that I have little patience for cruelty. Of any kind. Be it human upon human or animal. There is nothing I detest more than seeing someone stronger, older, more powerful, being barbarous, inhumane, or hateful to another.
I was't just angry at what that mother had done, but at everyone on our society who has allowed people like her to make excuses for their behavior. This often puts me at odds with even my ownself. Because I am also a compassionate person. I believe in forgiveness. I believe in understanding, and in being accepting of others.
It was as I read the responses to my post that I experienced my epiphany. There are those who agree with me, but there seem to be a lot more (especially over in my political blog) who felt that while my anger was justified, I needed to see the bigger picture . "The woman is sick. She has a disease. She is to be pitied. ..."
As I read those comments, something inside of me clicked. In that moment I realized this case is a prime example of the difference between Liberals, and Conservatives. Those who are liberal leaning want to reach out to this woman and embrace her. To understand her pain, to show her compassion and understanding. To offer her forgiveness. Their belief is her crime is horrible, but she is not. She is worthy of our mercifulness.
Conservatives on the other hand, were filled with anger, and indignation. This woman had made conscious choices. She knew of her disease and she chose NOT to take the necessary medication to keep it under control. She was reckless, foolish, and willingly endangered not only herself, and her children but anyone who came into contact with her. They were tired of the endless list of excuses that people make for the evil they commit. Innocent until proven guilty? How much proof do you need? The only innocents here were the three children who lost their lives. Her crime was such that only God could offer her forgiveness and mercy. It is our place as her fellow man to see that she is held accountable in this life. God can take care of the rest.

Knowing my political stance, one would be most likely to assume that I would fall into the former catagory. For the better part of my life I've been liberally compasionate. Today, I realized I have changed. Not a fullblown, gone over to the other side change. But changed all the same.
I am sick and tired of excuses. I'm tired of hearing excuses. I'm tired of hearing , oh this is all political. Never addressing the real issues. I'm tired of hearing he/she is sick. You know what? I don't care if they're sick. I don't care if there's politics involved. If you do the crime, you do the time. The chances are if there's enough evidence to charge you with a crime, you are guilty of something. I know there are people who are falsely accused. I just happen to believe those are the exceptions not the rule.
I'm tired of people looking to someone else to take care of them. If you see a wall of water coming your way and you don't get the hell out of the way, don't whine and bitch because others can't get there in time to save all of you people who were too stupid to MOVE. If you live in a area prone to earthquakes/hurricanes/floods/tornados and your not prepared to take care of yourself until help can get to you, don't belly-ache because rescuers couldn't get to you first.
I'm tired of people having children they can't afford to take care and placing a burden on society that should be that of the individual.
If people are disabled through no fault of their own that's one thing. If they are lazy and irresponsible, that's something else entirely.
I suppose it really all comes down to personal accountablity. Being responsible for yourself, your actions, and the lives of those you bring into this world.
The bad news is there are still far to many enablers out there. The good news is there are apparently a lot more people who feel the way I do.
And if you kill your children. I hope you get a jury with twelve people who think exactly the way I do. Which is really more than you deserve.


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