God Speaks to Who?

The other night I plopped my butt into bed and watched John Stewart on the Daily Show.  I watched as a video of one of his media cohorts, or opponents, it depends how you look at television comedians, cropped up on-screen and starting discussing a new epiphany he has only recently received…though, perhaps he’s been obsessing about this one for a long time.  Apparently Glenn Beck, the ultra-conservative right wing pundnut has leaped over the edge of reality and decided that God is “speaking” to him.

Now you can see how much fun I’m going to have with this, don’t you?

It brings back memories from another decade when a televangelist named Oral Roberts was perched in his tower of solitude and God was telling him that his followers must send 8 million dollars, or some ludicrous amount, to his ministry or God was going to take his life.  Don’t you just love this stuff?  Suicide notes with an agenda.  Pray and pay for my life…or it’s all over…help me to help you…send $$$$$$$ NOW! 

This kind of stuff just writes itself, doesn’t it?

Well, Glenn (the extra “n” stands for nuts) is writing a new book with a plan…a plan from God.  God hasn’t revealed the plan yet but over time, Beck reports, he will be receiving from its godly author a revelation of action to help America to “refound” itself.  Yes, America has been lost and must be refound.  Beck will be one of the “refounding” fathers.  Anyone smell delusional in this?  Are we so swept up in ourselves that we have to remake the country in our own interpretive image…of course, only through the wisdom of the Creator…He is talking to Glenn, isn’t He, or is Glenn just joking?

Beck has gone so far for ratings as to call up a competitor’s wife and joke about her miscarriage.  See this link for his personal antics…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Beck#Influences

The sad truth of Beck is revealed by the lengths he will go to increase his annual salary of $23 million.  The man has more energy than the Energizer Bunny, but must he take it out of the pockets of struggling Americans through fear, conspiracy and God dialogues?

Glenn Beck is two years younger than I am…and many millions richer…but when a media personality starts spewing God talk I get very worried.  For me, it happened a long time ago in an American cult and we were told that we “would be God as God is God.”  I didn’t like it in my twenty-somethings, I don’t like it now, and I hate the formula that Beck is using…even if he thinks its humor.  Typical, everyday Americans are biting on this bait and there will be hell to pay, in a very real way, for all of Glenn Beck’s followers.

When someone starts calling himself chosen by God…run away…fast.  He’s gonna burn the virgins, crucify the country and laugh all the way to the bank.  That’s the sad truth…and God didn’t tell me that…figured it out all by myself.  The sad part of that is it took years to realize the cult I was a part of was more heretical than epiphanical.  Hope Beck figures it out.

If not…this might help.

Citizens are members of this planet…

The world we live in has changed.  We may find it difficult to blindly be patriots to our countries…we have become patriots to our planet.  The lines we have drawn with borders may have worked up until now, but they no longer seem to be working to a progressive intent.

The planet is running out of resources no matter how deep we drill.  My evidences of that are the oil burning in the Gulf of Mexico, the volcano in Iceland (or course, that’s a natural drilling) and the drilling for human blood in Afghanistan and Iraq (and other places not publicized by the news media). 

It is time to take stock in what we believe our planet, and human beings, need.  Does it really need the black lines that human beings have drawn, or does it need a revolution?

My friends we should be proud of the place that we were born…but how many of our planet’s citizenry are not?  We should know that there is a safety net for each of us as we strive for our calling, our success…our fulfillment.

For me, I was born in a northern town, moved to a big city, got educated…moved to a foreign city called Pasadena…got an education…then I moved back to a northern city…then moved back to the Los Angeles basin for a time…worked as an apprentice…then moved to a foreign northern city…worked hard as a carpenter, had a family, enjoyed the middle years of a person’s life…then went through a spiritual, personal crises…then moved again to a northern small city.

That’s when I started writing, and thinking, and realizing how much humankind still has to learn.

We still don’t have it right.  This country thing though…it has to be rectified.  Patriotism is the beginning of war…think about it.

One country goes to war and its citizens say, “It is my patriotic duty to serve my country.”

I call bullshit on this one!  Ask Ethan McCord as he went out and performed his patriotic duty.  Ask the soldiers that are returning from Iraq…”How did it go?”  The answers you receive might surprise you.  Check this out http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/2007-iraq-apache-attack-as-seen-from-the-ground/

War doesn’t work anymore.  Pride in who we are may be important to us as human entities…but must it be of a patriotic nature?

I personally, after being a “citizen of the planet” don’t believe that patriotism will help Mother Earth to survive long after we are gone.

When Climbing in the Dark…you might not reach Enlightenment.

In 1984 I had the incredible opportunity of visiting Europe for two weeks and then crossing the Mediterranean and spending about six weeks in the nations of Israel and Egypt.  I was 22 years old and ready to climb the mountain.

I was a part of a few dozen college students and archaeological tourists that were given the distinct honour to visit various biblically mentioned archaeological and historical sites from the far north of Israel to the southern expanse known as the Sinai peninsula.  This included some recreation like snorkeling in the Gulf of Aqaba, floating in the Dead Sea and, more theologically, climbing what many have claimed was the holy mountain called Sinai.

Our greatest honour was to dig at the site of the ancient City of David.  But that’s another story.

This is a story of climbing Mount Sinai during the dark hours just before sunrise and ascending to the very top of this reportedly hallowed venue.  I was only a year and a half into my newborn resolution to a faith/cult and the passionate fire that burned in my belly was reaching a climax with the excitement of rising to the top of this holy mountain, watching Old Sol rise and begin bathing us in the illuminating rays of the Middle East’s summer heat.

The climb to the top of this famous mount is not as arduous as one might think.  There are two paths that may be taken to reach the peak…we chose the steeper route that takes approximately an hour to ascend.  The 3,750 steps are a more direct route called The Path of Moses (Siket Sayidna Musa.)  This path is also called the  steps of penitence and is located in the ravine near the St. Catherine monastery with beginnings in the 4th Century A. C. E. by none other than St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great.  The monastery’s true name is The Monastery of the Transfiguration connecting itself to the Burning Bush incident that Moses reports in the Old Testament.  The proclaimed descendent of the burning tree is growing in the courtyard of the monastery.  This bush is a unique member of the rose family called Rubus Sanctus, which grows in the Sinai thereby lending a certain credence to the  claim of this burning legend to believers.


The photo above shows the almost moon-like landscape of the course of The Path of Moses as one nears the top the mountain.


This is what our group saw when the sun rose upon us as we stood atop what could be the ancient Mount Sinai of the Old Testament.

And so to my point of the cube grenade at the top of this entry.  During the course of our climb in the dark to the top of the holy mount a young woman who was to become my sister-in-law injured her knee.  I took it upon myself to almost carry her to the top…no one was going to miss this encounter with destiny.  Many a young man asked to assist us because they could see the sweat trickling down my face as step by step we climbed while the young woman nursed her knee.  We tried every means of transport from piggy-backing to crossing hands with another young fellow to allow her to sit on our human arm chair…nothing worked but to wrap her left arm around my neck and establish each stone stair with care.  Her pain seemed alleviated by this method to a greater degree…and we made it to the top.

As we stood on top of the darkened monolith, I waited.

I looked for some sort of sign.  I had climbed the steps of penitence with another human being depending on my inspired strength and now it was time for contact…verification of the chosen…evidence.

There was no burning bush, no still small voice.  There was only Old Sol rising through the haze that covers the landscape above and below and then evaporates into oblivion as the temperature rises.  For me, I had climbed the mountain.  I couldn’t scream to an eternal spirit to show his existence, I couldn’t wait for 40 days and 40 nights to hope for some sort of enlightenment.  There shining beneath the ever-increasing heat of the sun stood seven peaks surrounding the sacred mount and the Wilderness of Sin where the ancient tribes of Israel are reported to have wandered for 40 years.