An Easter Meditation from Turtle Whisperer

“I will rise, like Jesus did, when he rose above the status quo and challenged the religious leaders of his day.

I will rise, like Jesus did, when he rose above the temptations to compromise his integrity.

I will rise, like Jesus did, when he rose above the fears his own followers projected upon him.

I will rise, like Jesus did, when he rose above the betrayal of a friend.

I will rise, like Jesus did, when he rose above his grief and faced his calling.

To the Christian who rises like this, I believe you follow your Christ.

To the Christian who expects death to be the highest form of resurrection, I beg you to consider rising like him in your life, rather than dying like him in your death.

This master teacher deserves our attention and emulation in creativity, civility, courage and leadership. 

Rise, today… in deed. 

Indeed, the rest is entirely out of our hands and surpasses our understanding.

Aho!”

~

snapping turtle in color

A word from the Turtle Whisperer, Gail Dickert. These are my words.

To learn more about Gail’s upcoming book, “Enlightened-ish,” follow her on YouTube and Facebook

The Gayest Story Ever Told: Part 3

In private and in public, it’s become clear to me that the statements that I make and the process that I am engaged in has an offensive tone, which is why I warned you earlier this week that this would be a little extreme. I mean, referring to Jesus’ death and resurrection as the “gayest story ever told” could be viewed as inflammatory…

Unless of course, you’re gay! (or sympathetic to what LGBTQ people experience)

If you’re gay, reframing the story of Jesus Christ as similar to coming out of the closet or being gay allows you to get an extra dose of redemption. (Taking what has harmed you and reframing it is essential to healing!) And if you haven’t noticed, dosing out redemption is exactly what this blog is about so in the end, if it’s a little hard to stomach the way I process my recovery from Fundamentalist Christianity, you have 3 options:

  1. Make room for a new brand of sacred journey.
  2. Grow a pair.
  3. Don’t read.

That said, I’ll take one more stab at the Jesus story before it all gets blown out of proportion by the missing body tomorrow morning.

Wait? What happens tomorrow morning? Oh nothing… just that Jesus’ body is gone and all of the posturing begins about Jesus being the best and his followers, being the only ones who can know “Truth.” No body? Well then, our god is cooler and our god can kick any other god’s ass. Ours rose from the dead! Beat that!

Am I calling the resurrection story nothing more than folklore? A metaphor? A lie? (Oh no she didn’t! Snap, snap and finger wave)

No, I’m actually refusing to say whether or not I believe in the resurrection because for me, getting tangled up in the conversation of what is behind the stone that was rolled away ignores the fact that Jesus’ body could be laid out on the lawn of the White House on Monday with all the Easter Eggs and the truth about his life would still be enough to establish a following.

Whether he was a human who could heal the blind or a god who could walk on water doesn’t determine whether or not he deserves our attention.

Whether he was a god who could drive away demons or a human who could rise from the dead doesn’t determine whether or not he deserves our admiration.

He deserves our attention and our admiration because more than anything, Jesus lived a selfless life of wisdom, had authentic relationships, engaged in community action, worked to overcome religious oppression and loved in a way that clearly surpasses all of our understanding. We’ve been arguing about him for over 2000 years because of our theologies when we should be following him because of his spirituality. His life is to be examined and our lives would be better if we examined them in light of his. That’s the bottom line for me, about Jesus. The dude has the market cornered on exemplary love and yet in his name, the church has the market cornered on hate.

Unacceptable.

Furthermore, I don’t need magic tricks from god to believe in god… and I don’t need a savior from hell to believe in heaven. And you know what else? I don’t need a resurrected body to believe that suffering is worth it. It’s not like Jesus wrote the book on suffering. Long before him, it was the teachings of Buddha that showed us that suffering is a valuable tool to attaining self-awareness, empathy and for ingraining us with a sense of gratitude.

So for me, what makes the story of Jesus’ life and resurrection the “gayest story ever told” is that just like coming out, people get caught up in all of the details about what is true and they miss the importance of the love that motivated the man.

That is what is true of homosexuality and the comparison is striking. In the end, if we focus on love, who can argue with that and why would anyone argue with love?

This Easter, I’m going to do something a little different to reclaim the season. I’m going to go to a sunrise service, which I haven’t done in over a decade and I’m going to there looking not for a reason to end suffering… not for a reason to start a religion… not for a reason to be awe-struck by god’s way of defying nature…

I’m going to go and look for a reason to love.

Because nothing is more important to the gay community than love. Don’t be mislead… it’s the reason we fight for equality. It’s the right to love and be loved.

And I think Jesus would die for a similar cause… and maybe he did…

~~

Thank you again to the Christians who are speaking out for equality. I’ve spent a majority of the week humbled by the fact that some Christians see equality as a cause Jesus would take up and I confess, you are the people who make it hard for me to discount Christianity altogether! Through Facebook and this blog, I’ve been meeting the people who make Jesus look like the guy I first fell in love with… you’ve made this a holy week.