I’d rather be woke than asleep. I was awake when I read the Press Herald’s recent article about how the national culture wars have come to Maine school districts (June 5).

And I’ve stayed awake, long into the night, as far-right activists met in the basement of an evangelical church in Gray to attack everything and everyone who doesn’t agree with what they believe. By the way, the church where these far-right activists met states on its website that they do not believe in the Theory of Evolution. They believe the Bible is “error free” and the Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally.

I was awake when I attended Union Theological Seminary and studied the Bible and church history. At a school where I trusted my professors to teach me facts, I learned that there are in fact two contradictory accounts of creation in Genesis, written by two different authors. Biblical scholars refer to these two different accounts of creation as the Yahwist text and the Priestly text. The Y text consists of Genesis (1:1-2:3) and the P text consists of Genesis (2:4-3:23) The accounts are contradictory. To just name one minor detail, in the Y text, there is no story of Adam or Eve or Eden. God made humans all at once and in God’s likeness. In the P text, you get the story of the Garden of Eden and about Eve eating, with Adam’s urging, from the Tree of Knowledge.

Eve has always been a good role-model for me because I’ve been eating from the Tree of Knowledge my whole life. Like my Christian teachers, (see Reinhold Niebuhr, James Cone, Allison Smith) I can call myself a Christian and believe in evolution and all sorts of things that science tells me is true – like the fact that the atoms in my body came from the stars and that I am made of stardust. Sometimes I look up into the night sky and feel a sense of awe when I think that a long time ago, something essential about me was up there, too, looking down from above. When I wish upon a star, I am truly wishing upon myself.

And what am I wishing for? I wish to always have the courage to push back against those who would divide us from each other, who cannot see that fundamentally we are sourced from a great mystery, a great love.

I do believe in love and I do believe in the existence of evil. I define evil as actions and words that seek to distort another person’s validity, another person’s ability to freely exist and love and shine.


And what’s tough is that I also seek to love the far right activists-active fascists who congregate in a church basement in Gray. I don’t mean to sound condescending but something about these fundamentalists is fundamentally broken. What type of society are they trying to create? What should my Christian response be to their bullying and hatred?

I am not a touchy feely person but if given the opportunity, I would take the active fascists bowling and say:

“Hi, my name is Gregory. You have been vilifying people in our community and I have sinned in vilifying you. We have taken our star nature too far and instead of providing warmth, have rejoiced in burning each other up. I ask forgiveness. Sometimes I forget that we are each a wave of creation, part of the eternal ocean of spirit.”

May each of us strive to make our brief journey in life as a gentle wave that finally comes to rest on a sandy shore. And may the big waves remember that no matter how much they smash and destroy, they too will eventually dissipate, disappear, and be welcomed home.

— Special to the Press Herald

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