The real disease is not COVID19
I tried to get my friends, Stan and Ian, to tone it down, to step back, to try and listen and entertain the disagreement-embrace difference- the usual cliched language of some generic Masters in Conflict Management.
I even got creative, invited them to stop defending their territory of certainty and to surrender to reality that does not care a f…k what they think- recognize the imperialism of the “I” that blinds us to the territory of terror- I thought I was some brilliant latter day Lacan.
As Dr. Fauci said, the virus controls the timeline-not the President, or as my Irish Padre, Fr. Dinny McCarthy OMI used to say, whatever we may propose, God disposes. But hey, like Jared Kushner and Senator Mitchell and John Kerry in the Middle East, I seem to have failed on my peace mission for Facebook Civility. The Two State solution is as dead here as it is in Palestine.
But my parting comment surpised me too, because it applied to me, and to them, and maybe all the rest of us- be sure to wash your mind out as frequently as you wash your hands, because right now, your mind is probably even more infectiously dangerous.
The virus of fever is one thing, but the fever of the soul, that which produces hatred and abuse and war is the perennial disease of Humanity. Jesus and Buddha and Moses and the Prophet tried to seal them off but have not healed us of them, yet. Like the CDC, they give us face masks but no vaccine.
The real war is not with the virus but within our spirit. St. Paul knew that as he quoted Jesus who exposed the darkness in every human heart. He was crucified for telling that truth. Like a Captain of USS Thomas Jefferson perhaps, or a Supervisor following the WhistleBlower laws. Tell the truth and you are expendable. The system cannot tolerate difference, let alone truth. Medically, we call that sort of virus cancer.
As unprecendented as this Virus Catastrophe is, the human drama is as old as Socrates. We will kill to prove we are right, and our own funeral will be as lonely and desolate as the Virus victims whom we said were over-reacting, or the Nurses who we suspected were selling masks on E-Bay.
Remember the joke of the grave stone of the Hypochondriac that reads, “Now will you believe I am sick.” Imagine Arlington having an eternal flame of forgetfullness. A marker that says, lest we remember. Nothing worthy of memory happened here.
The epitaph of this government might well read, “Too little, too late and worst of all, too unkind.” History can forgive the first mistake, the late start, even the human lust or avarice, but when it comes to life and death, you had better be on the side of life, or you are dead.
And when you die and you are dead, and your quest was all about fame, the memory of who you were will be a curse. Father Costello- bless his soul, my crazy novice master- even he would call that Hell.
In the midst of COVID19 and Facebook wars, Hell might well be where we are driving. And we are blaming everyone else as we hold the car keys in our hands.
And if that is too much to absorb, we might remember the last sermon that MLK never got to deliver- It had the same theme-America can go to Hell- well MLK might say now, we are well on our way.
Postscript- President Obama’s Pastor Jeremiah Wright dared to say the same thing in 2001 and our brave nominee threw him under the bus. So its not a Republican or Democrat thing. We are now deep in the Human Story- like never before- Not rich or poor, not Republican or Democrat, not Chinese or American, Life or Death. Deal with it. But Can we??? Time will tell.