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I am yours and you are mine

weekly message Nov 04, 2020

The result of this election is not what many of us hoped for. There is still a good possibility that Joe Biden wins enough electoral votes to carry the presidency. He is ahead in the popular vote by 2.5 million, but that is not what matters in our system. And, regardless, we did not receive the moral victory that so many of us were hoping for. The fact that we are as close as we are to another four years of Donald Trump is alarming. He received 4 million more votes than he did in 2016. So by this count, his popularity has increased. And even if Biden wins, the right wing of this nation has proven itself excited at the prospect of using violence and intimidation to get what it wants. And the road ahead will be vicious. Part of this is due to the fact that we seem to be living in two distinct realities. We cannot even find common sources of truth. Facts are no longer facts. And I am as guilty of this as anyone. I literally do not know how to talk to a Trump supporter. Our worldviews just seem so alien to one another. As a friend recently pointed out, even if Biden pulls out a win, we will still be two distinct nations inhabiting the same land. 

That is the political reality of our situation, but as a pastor I also view things from a theological perspective. And from where I am sitting it feels like I am watching us devolve into some form of death cult. As he lay in his deathbed, Erick Fromm asked his friend:

"Why is it that the human race prefers necrophilia to biophilia?" That is, why do we prefer the love of death to the love of life. 

I thought of this question as I woke this morning and then heard a verse from Paul Celan’s Death Fugue:

Black milk of dawn we drink you at night
we drink you at noon
death is a master from Deutschland
we drink you evenings and mornings
we drink and drink
death is a master from Deutschland 

Matthew Fox, responding years later to Fromm’s question, said religion has failed people in the West because it has been silent about pleasure, silent about the creative blessing of life. We have been taught to praise redemption, numbness, and control instead of awareness, intimacy, and Eros. We have been instructed to seek salvation, not healing. We have become a bored and violent people guided towards death, not life. 

Regardless of the political outcome of this particular cycle, we are called to fall in love, called to reject the death cult and to reconnect with the great love affair that is the ground of Being. The psalmist calls out to the lover from across the ages “...taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.” Taste and see. This is an embodied journey. A pathway of sensuality, presence, and intimacy. 

My friends, lovers of Love, the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice. As disappointed as I am with the result of this election, it matters not to our calling: we praise, we choose life over death, we know that behind all sin lies the heresy of dualism, we are not objects to each other, we are not separate from one other. Flesh of my flesh, I am yours and you are mine. And I love you.

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