We close the series today thinking about racism. As a people, we can barely talk about it, yet it touches virtually everything that has gone wrong in America. The love of war; the love of power by and for the few; the hatred of what is different or foreign; the hatred of real education, real food, real wages, real medicine, real women, and so much more we have considered during these last four months . . .
We are incarceration nation, apparently so full of hatred for certain people that, like crazed animals, we severely damage our whole tribe with this giant prison industry that fosters the very corrupt and violent behaviors it purports to control. Like a dragon waiting inside a cave to devour the next generation of young black and brown men, we do not see that our mouth-parts are fastened on our own body. Yet hardly any political leader of any stature or color, and hardly any religious leaders, are ever heard to say of our (very) criminal justice system that we have a problem—all of us . . .
Today, we are going to feel our way with America’s towering health care crisis. In this, we are certainly politically stuck, but we are jammed up in many other dimensions as well. Costs are out of control, our weight and our diets are out of control, fear of death and disability has control of us, for we have lost the courage of being humbly human; we want to live forever. To cap it off, unlike the rest of the industrialized world, many Americans refuse to consider health care a right, rather than a privilege . . .
According to Genesis, God gave us “dominion,” that we might “fill the earth and subdue it!” Now, this commandment is rather different from all the others in that we have performed it eagerly, to the letter of the law. The Earth: we filled it, and we subdued it. But unlike a horse or a tractor which the master takes back to the shed when its work is done, we don’t know who our master is any more, or when to rest. We are going to keep filling this earth and subduing it until it is subdone!