Last night I posted the following to my facebook page:
I voted. I don’t have the heart to watch election returns. Tomorrow will be what it will be. No matter the outcome(s) I do have the heart to keep on loving the hell out of this world.
Today the results are in and my outlook hasn’t changed. My job is still the same: to love the hell out of the world. More than a hip sound bite, it’s a profound and important theological statement.
To love the hell out of the world means that we must acknowledge that there is hell in the world, places of torment and suffering. The damned are placed in hell because of who they are or by circumstances largely beyond their control, placed in hell by virtue of the color of their skin or country of origin or gender identity or sexual orientation or by virtue of having the misfortune to be born poor with all the cards stacked against them.
Others are chosen, pre-ordained, if you will, for lives of wealth and privilege that isn’t earned but is given by the sheer accident of being born into it.
My faith tradition of Unitarian Universalism has long rejected theologies that divide humanity into the saved and the damned, in this life or the next. When these rejected theologies become manifest in our world, we are called to speak and act with the moral authority of our religious convictions. To remain silent is to cede moral ground to narrow religious views that define morality only in terms of sexuality and reproduction.
The demonic forces of greed, fear, and duplicity create the hell in the world – out and out lies designed to manipulate us into selling our souls in order to feel safe and secure.
To love the hell out of the world means that we need to find our strong and brave heart. The word courage comes from the Latin, cor, meaning heart. We need to find our courageous heart, the same heart that gets us through illness, chemotherapy, and surgery, the same heart that gets us through death, divorce, and loss of a job.
No elected official or political party can save us. Democracy takes the work of the people. Our work doesn’t end on Election Day. We need the courage of our convictions to speak out and name the evils present in our world today: mass incarceration, glorification of militarization and violence, subjugation of women, ecological destruction, racial discrimination and profiling, marginalization of sexual minorities, neglecting the basic needs of children, gross income inequality – to name just a few.
We need the heart to stay together and not let ourselves become polarized by issues or by political parties. We know the forces that create hell can’t also remove it. Fear, hatred, and division can only be countered by love. And this takes courage.
We need each other if we are to remain strong hearted for the work ahead. Bending the arc of the universe toward justice takes strength. Strong is what we make each other.
Will you join me in loving the hell out of the world?