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- June, 1999
" An Open Letter from God "
(author not given)

My Dear Children ..

Believe me, that is all of you. I consider myself a pretty patient guy. I mean, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right. And about evolution - boy, nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to take place - cell by cell - and gene by gene.

And I have been patient through your fashions - your civilizations - wars and schemes - and the countless ways that you take me for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.

But on the recent Christmas occasion of my son's birthday - I want to let you know about some of the things that started ticking me off!

First of all, your religious rivalries are driving me up a wall. Enough already!

Let's get one thing straight: these are your religions - not mine! I'm the whole enchilada! I'm beyond 'em all!

Every one of your religions claims that there's only one of me - which, by the way, is absolutely true - but in the very next breath, each religion claims that it's my favorite one - and each claims that it's bible was written personally by me - that all the other bibles are man made.

Oh, me! How do I ever begin to put a stop to such utter nonsense. All right, listen up now! I am your father and mother. And I don't play favorites among my children. Also, I hate to break it to you - but I don't write! My longhand is awful and I've always been more of a doer anyway - so all of your books - including those bibles - were written by men and women. They were inspired men and women. They were remarkable people. But, they also made mistakes here and there and I made sure of that so that you would never trust a written word - rather than your own living heart!

You see, one human being, to me, even a bum on the street - is worth more than all of the Holy books in the world. That's just the kind of a guy I am.

My spirit is not an historical thing. It's alive right now - right now! As fresh as your next breath!

Holy books and religious rites are sacred and powerful - but they are not more so than the least of you. They were only meant to steer you in right direction - not keep you arguing with each other .. and certainly not to keep you from trusting your own personal connection with me.

Which brings me to my next point about your nonsense. You act like I need you and your religion to stick up for me or win souls - for my sake. Please don't do me any favors. I can stand on my own, thank you. I don't need constant credit. I just want you to be good to each other.

And another thing: I don't get all worked up over money or politics. So stop dragging my name into your dramas. For example: I swear to me that I never threatened Oral Roberts. I never rode in any of Rosnishia's Rolls Royces - AND, I NEVER told Pat Robertson to run for President. And I have never, ever had a conversation with Jim Baker, or Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggart. 'Course, come judgment day, I certainly intend to.

Now, the thing is - I want you to stop thinking of religion as some sort of a loyalty pledge to me. The true purpose of your religion is so that you can become more aware of me - not the other way around.

Believe me, I know you already. I know what is in each of your hearts. And I love you anyway - with no strings attached. So, lighten up, and enjoy me. That's what religions are for.

What you seem to forget is how mysterious I am. You look at the petty differences in your scripture and you say, "WELL, it this is the truth, then that can't be!" But instead of trying to figure out my paradoxes and unfathomable naiveté - which, by the way, you never will - why not open your hearts to the simple common threads of every religion.

You know what I'm talking about - play nice with each other. Love and respect everyone. Be kind. Even when life is scary or confusing, take courage and be of good cheer - for I'm always with you. And learn how to be quiet - so that you can hear my still small voice. I don't like to shout.

Leave the world a better place, by living your life with dignity and gracefulness, for you are my own child. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that can die, surely will. And the parts that can't - won't. So don't worry, be happy. (I stole that last line from Bobby McFerrin) - but who gave it to him in the first place?

Simple stuff now - why do you keep making it more complicated? It's like you're always looking for an excuse to be upset.

And, I am very tired of your main excuse. Do you think I care whether you call me God, or Jaway, or Jehovah, or Allah, Wakatonka, Branda, Father, Mother, even the Void of Nirvana. Do you think I care which of my special children you feel closest to: Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, or any of the others?

You can call me and my special ones any name you choose - if only you will go about my business of loving one another as I love you. How can you keep neglecting something so simple?

No, I am not telling you to abandon your religions. Enjoy your religions. Honor them. Learn from them. Just as you should enjoy, honor, and learn from your parents. But, do you walk around telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs?

Your religion - like your parents - may always have the most special place in your heart. I don't mind that at all - and I don't want you to combine all of the great traditions into one great big mess. Each religion is unique for a reason. Each has a unique style so that people can find the best path for themselves.

But my special children - the ones your religions revolve around - all live in the same place - in my heart. And they get along perfectly - I assure you. The clergy must stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where there is none.

My blessed children of Earth - the world has grown too small for your pervasive religious bigotry and confusions. The whole planet is now connected by air travel, satellite dishes, telephones, fax machines, rock concerts, diseases, and mutual needs and concerns.

Get with the program! If you really want to help me celebrate the birthday of my son Jesus - then commit yourself to figuring our how to feed your hungry, and clothe your naked, and protect you abused, and shelter your poor - and just as important: make your own everyday life a shining example of kindness and good humor.

I've given you all the resources you need - if only you abandon your fear of each other and begin living and loving and laughing together.

Finally, my children everywhere - remember who's birthday you honor on what you call Christmas Day, December 25th. And the fearlessness with which he chose to live and die. As I love him, so do I love each of you.

Now - I am not really ticked off. Not really! I just wanted to grab your attention - because I hate to see you suffer. But I gave you free will, so what can I do now - other than try to influence you through reason - persuasion - a little old fashioned guilt and manipulation. After all, you know, I am the original Jewish mother. I just want you to be happy. And I'll sit in the dark.

I really am, indeed, I swear, with you always - always - that in me.

Your one and only,


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