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Slow-Cooked Conversion Stories

I was raised in one of those white nationalist churches,
passing itself off as a Christian evangelical Bible church,
where “evangelical” meant fundamental
and “fundamental” meant we did not interpret scripture
but accepted it as God’s literal trans-historical Word
of universal white male dominant
Bible thumping supremacy,
transcendently un-changing like…
like…
like nothing I’ve ever seen or heard
or smelled or tasted

Which is why we call not-Him-or-Her “God”
and not “SuperEgo”
or multicultural “Gaia”

Or anything else.
It turns out “God”
is a bit like not saying Valdemore’s name;
As Yahweh
is more about the ambiguously missing vowels
than their YHWH
YYXY
Either/Or-Both/And
bicameral structure.

Anyway, enough about sacred bisensory ecology.
While at People’s Bible Church
I was told, by all the white heterosexual adults
supporting and educating me
that being born again is not a gradual thing,
like growing into a pubescent body,
but instant,
like convenient oatmeal
or inferior mashed potatoes.

If I could not say,
with one hundred percent persuasion,
that I was reborn in Christ
on May 8, 1964
at 2:53 PM
Eastern Savings Time,
Just as I was originally born
on May 8, 1952
at 2:53 A.M.,
much to my mother’s inconvenience–
finished just in time to get home
to our dairy farm
for an unleisurely visit with “The Girls”
during her morning milking parlor gig–
Then the deviant
devilish mark of Satan
still clouds my not so milky white
not straight enough
not truly pure soul.

Such instant and yet resilient grace
felt unlikely to me.

I did not instantly lose hope
for a hot SantaDaddy
sliding down our family chimney
emerging from the family wood-burning furnace,
scorched of unnecessary
and superfluous clothes
to give me all the fruited manly gifts
I have felt so empty without
warm and wet accompaniment,
accomplishment.

Gradually,
over several years of neglecting this Santa myth
as cultural fantasy,
I did not wake up on May 8, 1956,
at 2:53 A.M.
and announce to all those not listening,
“I no longer believe in Santa Claus.”

De-mythification progress
seems to take me
about as long as my left-brain
dominating commodification process
took to grow into queer adolescence,
feeling unsafe,
unwanted,
with a best case possible future
of invisible insignificance,
hidden deeply beneath healthy humility.

Just as it took awhile to comfortably acclimate
to the toothlessness of myth,
It took me all my development years
on into late adolescence
to be sure that I would never safely
or resiliently convert
into a heterosexual.

When we were mutually experimenting grade school boys
during not much sleep overs
I was sure we shared the same destiny–
future heterosexuals,
Mr. Cleavers,
Mr. Smiths
not all too fascinated with Mr. Johnsons.

I didn’t suddenly realize,
“Oops. I failed to convert.”
Maybe I was a late bloomer,
just as some girls get pubes
and teats
and mensies later on
which seemed like more unfair girl pressure
than just sprouting new hair in old moist places
and growing at least somewhat less girlish voices.

Just as there was no May 8, 2:53 P.M.
of any year
when I knew,
“OK, that’s it.
It’s done growing
in both length and width.”
I had no day or night
when I said,
“OK, that’s it.
I choose to be queer”
so I can be the target of hate crimes,
bad jokes,
white Christian heterosexual predators,
bigoted employers,
homophobic police
and teachers
and parents
and siblings,
and preachers

Fully capable of witnessing against me
the exact date, time, and year
they began their life long love affair
with white male Jesus Christ,
straight (presumably) Jewish carpenter’s apprentice,
Son of God and…
and…
God,
who finished creating Earth,
and at least our entire Solar System,
exactly seven days
after He started, on May 8th
at 2:53 A.M.,
year 0000.

I have developed health-considered faith
in win/win progressive processes.
I accept that faith actively hopes in unseen relationships,
unheard communications,
unnoticed actions and reactions.

Still,
I find an always changing
transparent
vulnerable,
courageously curious difference
between left-brain statements of verbal instant faith,
and right/left-brain emerging lifeskill learnings
conversions
healings
redemptively felt economies,
salvific co-relational powers,

And I have trouble believing
that such ubiquitous differences
between slow-grown processive maturation
and imitative instant role-playing
is only accessible to queers,
white, black, brown, red, purple, green, or ultra-violet,
born on May 8, 1952
at 2:53 A.M.
much to the inconvenience
of busy heterosexual
pre-millennial dairy farmers.

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Dear Evangelical Brother

Dear Brother,

When we were children
adults often asked us
What do you hope to be
when you grow up?

But, our brothers and sisters
were more likely,
and probably more wise,
to ask
Who would you most hope to become?
To be like?

Which implies, to my unformed ear
and eye,
Which of these adults you know,
or know of,
do you like best
as a mentor
for your own happiest and healthiest,
and most prosperous
future?

I am about to finish reading Iain McGilchrist’s
“The Master and his Emissary.”
And, if I had known Master McGilchrist
as a sixteen year old,
I would probably have said
I want his life
and that’s the guy I want for my BigBrother!
I would be his most zealous emissary.
He’s the one I would become
just alike,
twins if possible.

Twin careers.
Twin ideas.
Twin knowledge and wisdom.
Twin naturality and spirituality
and natural law
and ordered sacredness,
emotionally intelligent communion.

But, that was then
and this is now.
And I wonder if I ever asked you,
not what kind of evangelical Christian
white privileged Western capitalist
doctrinaire thing do you hope to proficiently do
when you finally grow up?

But, instead,
to find the courage to ask you
Who would you,
embodied in Christ,
become like
when you are suffering servanting
in your thirties?

We might have had a lifelong dialogue,
not about creeds and dogma
and theological departures from win/win co-redemptive
cooperative economies,
compared to win/lose capitalist business as secularly usual,
compared to lose/lose degeneratively devilish and bearish economies,
more disempowering long-term climate trends
than empowering hope
faith
love.

We might have thought out loud together
about how Suffering Public and Private Servants
are like a Messiah
like a Bodhisattva Peace Warrior
like a PermaCulture CoOperative Designer
like a Restorative Justice and Win/Win Peace Advocate
like a Green STEAM architect,
a resilient engineer,
or prolific teacher
and skilled listener,

We might hope to combine
gospel references to right-hemisphere Revelationary Sacred Rapture
and healthy left-hemisphere climate preferences
for Evolutionary Secular Promise,

A promised return to sacred/secular
RightWing and LeftWing
become whom we would most like to hear
as faithful health scientists and wealth musicians,

Disciples of sacred wealthy
best means secular healthy
reborn again
reweaving
returning
resiliently recombining
global green Body of Christ experience,
feeling,
thought,
optimally appealing.

I’m sorry for not asking
how I could be a healthier and wiser
gay Christian-Taoist-ZenBuddhist-Native Nature/Spirit Wisdom
inspired and inspiring
younger brother,
more sure with your trust
and inner truths
than without you.

I’m sorry distant homophobic fears
and perhaps anger?
envy?
repulsion?
fear of predation?
(this part remains unclear)
seem to have kept us from mutually asking,
Who would we most like to become like together
when we are in our sixties
and seventies?

And now,
When this question seems more plausible,
and immediate,
I wonder how different, and yet the same,
are our opportunities to experience
this sacred potential
for re-creating loving Earth, together,
fertile,
healthiest wealth of HolySpirit embodiment
celebrating Her sacred historical birth Brother,

Unlike Jacob and Esau,
reconnected by sacred Matriarchal Wombs
culminating in reborn virginal brothers
saved/not-not saved from lose/lose perdition,
partition,
through both universal-human/unitarian-divine
natural Messianic win/win Spirit,
consiliently sacred,
resiliently secular,

Heavenly stardust Fog
embracing global oceanic dark waves,
currents of timeless
flowing potential color and multicultures,
rhythms and patterns and flow designs,
Living Waters,
truth with trust,
Wombs with Ways toward necessary Light,
nights and co-redemptive days

More WiseElder for sinister sacred Right retributive Judge
and golden secular Left restorative Advocate,
still listening compassionately together,
less fundamentally apart,
with good evangelical humor,
more than bad.

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Mama’s MasonJar Theology

My mother-in-law
drinks her morning gin
out of a pint-size Mason jar,
and self-righteously prides herself
for not wasting water by adding any in
and for not pouring or drinking
before her biscuit and red-gravy breakfast,
usually about eight a.m.
now that she’s long retired
from abusing victims of public housing mismanagement,
where she was the chief resident mismanager.

When I tell her I am joining a Unitarian-Universalist faith community,
she is curious to know what kind of Christian church that could be
with such a high-flautin’ pretentious name.

Another true and undisputed,
yet unfortunate,
fact about my mother-in-law,
is her unquestionable faith
she is Tyler Perry’s sole and soul inspiration
for Medea,
but more of an Anniston, Alabama version,
where even Reverend King feared he would meet his Maker
without being sufficiently medicated on HolySpirit gin
from a faithful morning Mason jar.

“Universally what” she wants to know.
“Universally white folks crazy for jihad
or a crusade for Christ
or a great Inquisition,
or whatever you call
these terrifying strange fruit days
and cross-burning nights.”

No, kind of the opposite of jihad.
The Universalist side of our hypenated aisle
came from New England Enlightenment Age roots,
giving voice to ecstatic experiences
of universal salvation.
We are all wounded sinners
but we are also all following our healthy trust and truth paths
toward cooperatively universal self and other forgiving light
despite
co-creating this wounded EarthTribal life
together.

“Get behind me Devil!”
“If we’re all saved
then why haven’t the KKK
and the white nationalist NRA
and the sanctimonious RightWing white evangelists
and universal voter registration denouncing preachers
in Washington
got the HolySpirit’s good news yet?”

Well, that’s a good question.
I suppose that’s because they haven’t yet experienced
the other side of our hypenated aisle,
the Unitarian,
interdependent WinWin cooperative healthy-wealth
of Earth’s radically democratic passion
for compassionate ego/eco-liberal love relationships–
Like a mother’s womb
for her unitarian-universalizing temporary resident.

“It’s probably just the gin,
but you’re finally starting to talk some sense.
Or not.
I need a refill in this Mason jar.
So, what do you believe in,
besides universal integrity’s health potential?”

We have seven principles,
beginning with defending global ego-rights
to be cooperatively held and celebrated
in equal dignity and respect,

And ending with our active hope
that healthy life is
and should be
and would be
and could be an interdependently compassionate experience
if we had less wounded egos
and felt more ecologically and theologically connected
to all living webs
transubstantiating all past and future health-wealth regenerators.

“Like a good buzz
without the hangover.”

And, like a healthy impulse
without the compulsive long-term addictive side-effects.

“Now was that your Universal judgment speaking
or your Unitarian compassion?”

Like health and wealth,
and yang and yin,
and light and dark,
universal and unitarian invite best cooperatively together
and not pushing each other competitively apart.

“Like a good universal buzz
with a unitarian hang together
to not hang strange fruit apartheid,
just like Jesus said.”

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Kleptocracy

I’m reading this book about germs and guns and steel
and pre-history
and human history,
predators and prey,
and people praying they won’t be predatored.

You know,
light bedtime reading.

So, this guy who wrote the book…

No, not the Daniel Quinn thing.
Quinn thinks the beginning and end of our nutritional civilization story
is food production.
He forgets we can also hear cooperative health
and overly-rabid pathologies,
like CEOs calling “bleed the poor to feed those already too rich”
“tax cuts”.

I mean,
I guess they are tax cuts
if you happen to be in the top 20% US income bracket,
but that seems to miss the healthier democratic point
that Lower 80% Lives Matter Too.

No, not Quinn,
it is this younger guy,
Jared Diamond,
who probably never even met Thomas Merton.

Diamond mentions “kleptocracy”
where I would have used “plutocracy”
or “aristocracy”
rather than “democracy”
but this sounded too kleptomanic
to nutritiously feed integrity
of national health
and personal
and family
and non-elite wealth.

So I had to look up this kleptocracy word
to see if it might be the economist’s view
of the political scientist’s view
of plutocracy.

And, sure enough,
here it is,
right, but feeling very wrong,
on dictionary.com:
“A government or state in which
those in power exploit national resources
and steal”

This sounds familiar
from the Declaration of Independence,
in which the original USA forefathers
informed the British aristocracy
that we are all done
with the stealing of natural and human resources
thing they called “taxes” and “fees”
and the white male property owners
(including slaveowners)
called tribute
and extortion.

Meanwhile I was listening to the Cohen testimony
about some plutocratic kleptocrat
racist extortionist
buying and selling his white privileged way
into our way too WhiteHouse
extolling the unabashed value of WinLose capitalism,
so long as those born into “Win” households
remain unfettered from their colonizing
and extorting
and racist
and homophobic
and xenophobic lack
of any semblance
of traditional Christian virtues
or Islamic virtues,
or Buddhist virtues,
or Taoist virtues,
or Hindu virtues,
or Jewish virtues,
or democratic constitutional well-being
and prosperity virtues.

So, there you go,
I’ve already learned my new word for this plutocratic day
and kleptocratic nightmare.

Who knew?
We have words for everything
someone might ever need
to slice and dice
and serve up,
like food production
to grow less healthy
uncivilized undemocracies.

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Thy Kingdom Come

Because you choose to wait
for Jesus to return to Earth,

Because you choose to wait
for your self-righteous Rapture,
our Great Transitional End
of naturally sinful,
unspiritual
carnal
mortal Earth,

Which do you also choose to do while you wait
to die
so you can Paradise live divinely,
timelessly,
cooperatively,
with fullest possible integrity
of Earth nearly become,
yet denied,
Heaven?

Do you choose
a life lived in communion
with God your Father of creative love,
like sunshine
blessing lily splattered green meadows,
embracing isolated willow trees
producing modest yellow spring blossoms
caressed by healing butterflies
and bees?

Or do you choose
a more LeftBrain dominant life
of capitalized Ego-autonomy,
a dying paranoid Win/Lose life trend
toward isolation
and Lose/Lose helplessness?

Do you too often choose mono-egotistic competition
despite long-term health risks?
Over-extended tragedy
for all potential future children
of all organic EarthTribe,
communal polypaths
inviting resilient multipurposed Paradise
of Health today

Reforesting
healing
planting and harvesting
communing with secular/sacred Earth,

Especially when sun shine calls
to ultra-violet daydream rainbows,
crescent stars shine
bright night
extended family
crystal communions,
story-telling fire-circle flames,
songs of full theological disclosure
and nature’s liturgical spirit dance,

Bicamerally exploding
peaceful sufficiency of messianic return,

Because you choose not to wait
to return to messianic/bodhisattva wealth
of Win/Win health
and ecopolitical reforestations,
anciently awaiting
anxious transubstantiations

Secular here
with sacred Now,
Earth’s healthing space
within bilateral Time.

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Perennial Adventure

Advent,
older, and more pervasive, than Christmas
I presume.

Why so?

Advent’s lack of glaring light
feels more of an invite
to prepare for winter’s new year planning
by reviewing what went toxically wrong
and occasionally
mysteriously right.

A time not yet for sorting ecstatic harvest seeds
of early year insight
but deeper hibernating
into all not not quite entirely wrong potentials,
where cooperative perennial images delight
while capital’s mortal reasoning
remains logistically wrong,
a song
too soon sadly sung
in nihilistic
dissonant keys
of double-binding night,
approaching terrorizing fright
vigorously denied
before adventurously accepting
heuristic gains of ultra-violet bright

Into Advent darkness
recomposing next year’s nurture lights,
ecologically learned evolving cycles
of nutrition
theologically deep revolutionary recycles
speaking healthy wealth of Advent’s
annual 2020 resolutions.

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Green Empathy

You’ve heard that self-unfulfilling prophecy?
“I love humanity–
it’s just people I can’t stand.”

I love healthy humanity–
it’s just wealthy and/or snooty people I can’t stand

I love cooperative humanity–
it’s just overly-competitive individuals I can’t stand.

Not so distant from,
I love U.S. society
and nationalistic patriotic jingoistic culture,
absence of non-bully matriarchal-power culture,
or whatever I don’t feel like thinking too historically
or too systematically,
or too health systemically about pathology today,
it’s just Trump as President we all should politically adore.

And to think he gave up a lucrative White business man career
over-invested in high end real estate,
developing and seductively marketing naked elitism
and capitalistic worshiping consumerism,
while Earth’s climate begins to burn
and flood,

Further polluting rivers
and oceans
and lakes,

Further polluting and thinning what’s left
of fertile ground soil,

Further polluting and strangling healthy food
production
and consumption,

Further stressing slippery non-conservative slopes
and neglected health care systems
and abusively ballistic non-health receiving war and terror-tool development industries
instead of cooperative gospel multiculturing messages

Further bruising and killing internal feelings
and external climates
for both ego-therapeutic
and eco-therapeutic Win/Win peace,
composure,
dignity,
loyalty,
integrity,
health,
synergetic wealth.

I’m not sure post-millennial people
with or without disabilities,
people with sacred faith in God’s diversity
reweaving natural/convex
with spiritual/concave creations
dipolar feeling authentic bicameral tensions
between nationalistic RightWing U.S. capitalism,
and retributive justice patriotism,
and also more active fear and anger
toward Don Trump as failed and bitter
and cynical bullying AntiChrist President
during the Great RedFlaming Millennial EndTimes.

In a post-millennial narrative,
we all go back to unhealthy Win/Lose capitalistic
LeftBrain dominant
ly encultured ZeroZone
competing non-cooperations.

I’m not sure about my own transmillennial ZeroZone issues
about loving U.S. RightWing economic conservators
moving toward green natural organic health choices
and love experiences of divine humanity
of and for faundamental goodnews Win/Win
non-violently communicating
Grace

which embraces all our mythic stages
EXCEPT:

Evangelistic jihad
Trump-praising and defending
Great BornAgain elite dogmatists
ignorant of experience with wealth
of Holy/Holonic
Patriarchal/Matriarchal Balancing
Harmonic Spirit

not worshiping capital idols and false gods
loyal to Win/Lose messy EarthClimate Futures,
betting against Creator PatriarchalGod of Win/Win Love.

Such dissonance is theologically troubling
because RightWing fear- and anger-mongering
elite nationalism
is so much more like pre-millennial Jealous YHWh
than post-millennial God of Green Sojourner Love,
Messiahs of Truth,
Bodhisattvas of Timeless Beauty,
Harmony,
Integrity…

Maybe we could do Win/Win better
with more green democratic
extended family choices.

I do believe Christians have special scriptural reasons
to actively search for healthier green
in organic community gardens
and permacultural cooperatively-owned and operated farms,
and poycultural EcoSchools
for natural/spiritual bilateral nutrition
before over-investing in Lose/Lose anti-eological
anti-theological capital ungreen vampire gains
toward building climate threatening and threatened
shore-front high rise,
old real estate BusinessAsUsual eyes
still blind to rainbow arcs of post-millennial windmill Paradise
as a more long-range patriotic investment choice.

Why such living green prejudice?

Because it is both historical and scriptural wisdom:
Gospel people are to be known by our love for each other,
more than our investments against each other,
especially the non-elite and at risk
of other alien nations and religions and cultures
and maybe ages
and gender
and color
and fragrance
and touch
and feelings
and language
and…

GreenGrace invites us
To include wounded children and their mothers and grandmothers,
To include residents of punishing legal systems
and insane asylums
and old age homes
and persecuted sanctuaries for our failures,
To include people with disabilities
and terrorizing spirits
and disabling inside voices
and lack of outside therapeutic choices,
hope
including healthy organic and medicinal responses
to pre-existing conditions.

Do I mean pre-existing sinful mental conditions?

Not necessarily loved quite so much
as pre-existing Win/Lose ignorance of Win/Win humane nature
divine spirit
healthier multi-lateral opportunities

But, yes,
pre-existing sinful conditions
for those who experience sin
as absence of sufficiently healthy multicultural love.
Why not open polypathic bridges
across value paradigms?

What if our love within Earth’s divine everyday humanity
teaches us to value enchanting love climates
comfortable for all green
and unseen
ultra-violet resources
rather than more Win/Lose competing disvalues
exploiting no one more chaotically in military-industrialized disarray
than disenchanted RightWing Trumpian patriarchs

Who originally intended to master longterm economic green
and serve Earth’s ecological creation stories
of GreatGreen Rapture
co-relationally EarthTribe staged
and Win/Win restoratively played
co-empathically
Humane animals and plants to the Left
with Divine people on Earth’s GreenGrace Right.

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