Regarding Recent Events in Charlottesville

I am deeply saddened by the violence, death, and the rhetoric of hate that has poured out in recent days. I am confused and appalled at the various attempts to justify these actions or mitigate the horrors perpetrated by people who stand opposed to our most basic beliefs. Among these are that the life and dignity of all humanity, regardless of race, gender identification, or social class is tantamount to the life and dignity of God Him/Herself and any attack on it is an attack on us all as well as the Divine.

As the leader of St. John the Baptist Narthex, I have several duties and responsibilities. None of these include speaking on behalf of the Apostolic Johannite Church or any of its clergy so let me be clear: This is just one Johannite’s thoughts on the matter.:

 

We are here for you.

If you are a victim of violence, abuse, ridicule, or hate, we are here for you. We will do all we can get you the help you need.

If you witness such horrors and stand helpless and grieved by events and need someone to talk to, we are here for you.

If you are the perpetrator of such abuses and have realized the grievous crimes of which  you are guilty , we are here for you. We will do all we can do to free you from the grip of ignorance and see that you repay your debt to your fellow human beings.

As Johannites, we believe that many distinctions that separate us are illusions cast about by entities that do not have love as their goal. Sometimes these are called Archons or Authorities. Often, they are called You and Me. We all suffer and struggle under the yolk of Ignorance but some, including Heather Heyer and 19 others in Charlottesville this week, suffer much more. Much worse, they did nothing to deserve this. It wasn’t their ignorance that hurt them but the ignorance of others.

While speaking for the church is not my place, my duties DO include introducing spiritual practices to our lay community. One that I am introducing today is a simple one.

Burn a candle.

No, it won’t change the world. It won’t bring back the dead or fill hearts with love. But it is something we can all do. When you feel that you are powerless to change the evil of the world you can still do something. You can light a candle. A candle for the repose of the dead. A candle for forgiveness and healing. A candle for a stiff spine to oppose hate in all its forms. A candle to remember.

I will be burning a candle for Charlottesville. I will be praying and meditating, but mainly, just listening. I invite you all to do the same.

 

 

We are here for you,

Brother Joe

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