Conflict

Conflict is not

a battle to be won

rather

a problem to be solved

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What Has He Done?

Sometimes I read or hear comments to this effect: “Trump is a President who does things.” This is what the current White House occupant has done: He has empowered racists to crawl out from wherever they had been hiding since about 1965. He has divided families along “political” lines. He and the Republicans in Congress have changed our laws to benefit the wealthiest and take help away from the poorest. He and his advisors have twisted the Bible’s words into justifications for actions Jesus condemned in the strongest terms. It seems likely that, to “win” the 2016 election, he had help from Russian oligarchs. So do not expect this white Christian American man to defend him in any way. Nor can I remain silent any longer in the face of reports that our nation has laid hands on children (sadly, I am aware that we have also done this in the past), taken them from their parents, and lost them in bureaucratic shuffles for which we have not built a remedy.

Our nation is engaging in thuggery. We must stand against it, or we collude with it.

“Here I stand. God help me, I can do nothing else.” –Martin Luther

“We ought to obey God rather than men.” –The Book of Acts

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” –Jesus of Nazareth

Human — or Other?

Viruses are simple organisms, yet they can infect entire populations of the most advanced animal, humankind. Is it possible that the problems of violence and trafficking and bullying can be reduced to something as simple as a virus?

One common trait of those who kill, whether in war or in peacetime, is that they often see the humans they kill as “other than human.” They may not think or speak in exactly those terms; they may disguise it as feeling excluded or “racially superior” or, if they are soldiers, that they are “following orders;” yet at its heart, this perception of fellow humans being “other” is one thing that enables their killing rage. Perhaps they see others, not fully human by their standards, acting independently or receiving benefits to which they feel only they have rights, and these thoughts simmer in their minds until they boil over in violence.

And while I know of no extensive studies of those who engage in human trafficking, I hypothesize that they may also feel that the humans they “own” aren’t really human.

In the same way, bullies tend to pick on those they perceive as different and weaker; in other words, less than human.

This viral belief that “some humans aren’t human” has infected the human race for millennia. Yet because many humans have successfully purged it from their thought patterns, I believe it is not a natural part of us. If not, then by purging our minds of it, we can eliminate the intra-species violence that threatens to destroy us all.

Can it really be as simple as accepting all humans as human?

Bylaws

reNude exists to:

a. Model and teach freedom through artistic entertainment designed to expose and disrupt thought patterns about

i. our nude bodies and our love/hate relationships to them,

ii. our contradictory views of sexuality,

iii. human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, and

iv. the culture of hate.

b. Provide scholarships to transformational education.

c. Offer health care assistance to Associates within the state of Colorado.

d. Offer a network and platform for other artists and educators who share our vision of a world free from slavery of body and thoughts.

To my conservative friends who may or may not have voted for Trump: For every position he has taken that aligns with God’s Word, he seems to have taken ten that directly oppose it. For all his promises to “drain the swamp” of crony capitalism, he has invited the swamp monsters into his Cabinet. He exemplifies all of the Seven Deadly Sins. And there is an apparently valid suspicion that the election was influenced in his favor by Russian hackers.

But all this would not have admitted liberals like myself cringing in anxiety. What keeps me afraid is how Trump has emboldened white supremacists, “meninists” and others who traffic in hate and division to stand openly and speak their message plainly, and follow that with destructive action. It’s no coincidence that acts of violence against women and people of color have increased since the first of this year, especially since November 9. Civil war seems neither impossible nor unlikely.

So even though you personally live the Bible, you have allowed one who lives against it to take the highest office in our nation. Worse, you have acquiesced in the terrorizing of minorities of race, religion and sexual orientation. That is why many of us, your friends, have pledged to resist everything our President-elect is likely to do–because he is on track to make a farce of our values, including our Christian values.

February 14, 2018

Everyone’s talking about guns
again
We need more than talk!
We need to wake up

These killers
are us
our brothers
our sons
our friends

Ask them why
why they hate
why they rage
before they kill

Be love to them
even if they turn you away
Love
the only way to stop them

But first
stop idolizing
the smoking gun
the idea that guns are freedom
and power
They are tools
like the instruments I play

I didn’t play in an orchestra
before learning to use my tools
Nor should children have guns
maybe not even toy guns
before we show them
all they might do

Love Story

The story of Jesus/Y’shua is the story of Love. Love came down to become human; Love showed us Love; we killed Love; yet Love rose! Do we need Love? Look around. We need Love more than ever.

Who killed Love? We all did. Rembrandt knew this, and painted himself as one who drove the nails into Love. When we live lies rather than Love; when we hurt the ones we should be loving, or ignore people or groups that Love loves — in a way, we kill Love again. Yet the Resurrection shows how impossible it is to keep Love dead! Praise Love’s Name! Amen.