By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
The Bible was either written by men, who, like everyone else then, didn't know the Earth revolved around the sun, didn't know germs caused disease, etc., or else God was intentionally misleading us about the great truths of our universe, which to me suggests he was hoping that down the line we'd realize we're supposed to grow, use our God-given sense and say, "Hey, half the stuff in this book makes no Goddamn sense whatever, thank you. What say we just cherry-pick the good parts about loving our neighbor and such, and You can keep Armageddon?"
Instead, today you've got crazy scriptureheads leading armored crusades into the Holy Land, or trying to genetically engineer a red calf and otherwise doing their best to be the Hamburger Helper to the ground beef that is the End Times. Because of religion, you've got Washington going loopy over Janet Jackson's tits while not addressing global warming, the deficit and other challenges that may make your children's lives a hell on Earth. You've got new FCC fines and legislation to further curb freedom of speech. Locally, I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before some self-righteous DA builds a case against the language in this paper, and I'll be out of a job while you'll have to go back to reading personals in the Pennysaver.
I'm interested in faith, but you could gather all the world's religions together and they'd mean less to me than a single ripe tomato. That's miracle and mystery enough. I've started attending an organic-gardening class a friend teaches in Huntington Beach, and it helps to re-instill my regard for mankind.
The author Victor Villasenor made a great argument that humanity was about to have 5,000 years of peace and cooperation because that's what we've just had. While men write history so it's full of war and empire-building, if grandmothers wrote it, you'd be reading about people helping one another, one fetching the water, another making the tortillas and another watching the children.
This class helps remind me of that kinder history because it is people who don't even know each other sharing the ways they grow things, trading knowledge and enthusiasm, and helping one another chase down the ladybugs escaping all over the room.
There are lots of little community-building, life-sharing opportunities such as that in our county, and they're a needed antidote to the feeling of resignation and impotence you get watching the news. In the garden, worm casings mean more than the bullshit in Washington. You connect with the world though its dirt. I am eating an organic tomato right now. Within a few hours, it will be part of me, our molecules mingled. Someday it will all be dirt again, which is fine, but I don't need any Rapture-ready fundamentalists hastening the day.
Drop Jim a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You might catch a fish!