Voice and Vision

One Woman's WORDS AND WORKS •grapple •inspire •liberate

106: Never Ending

On the eve of Good Friday those in Tennessee’s House of Representatives in Nashville voted to expel two black Representatives and, by only one vote, retained a white woman Representative–all three of whom were passionately, articulately, protesting for laws to prevent further murder of our children. Just weeks prior, in that very city, three nine-year-olds along with three adults were shot to death at a Christian school by an intruder with guns and an assault weapon (a military weapon of war, legally though foolishly, available to ordinary citizens).

Did you know that one in twenty-five American five-year-olds will not live to see the age of forty? This statistic is four times higher than for any other wealthy nation; and half these deaths by firearms! (NYTimes). I should put an exclamation point behind every sentence I write! We should all be exclaiming as these three Representatives bravely did!

The two black men were ousted for their lack of “good taste,” “decorum,” “propriety” according to their accusers. “Propriety” means “conforming to conventionality.” How will conforming to conventionality stop gun violence?  Haven’t we been too conventional for decades by avoiding gun legislation?! Rather than conforming to conventionality, ought we not be outraged, as these three were, over the loss of children’s lives?! Had the three been white males do you think they’d have been dismissed? Of course not! White male Tennessee Representatives investigated for sexual and domestic abuse and one for urinating on a legislature chair were not expelled. But oh, my, how important to “keep the darkies down”!

Tennessee, a state I lived in for twenty years–and the state that spawned the Ku Klux Klan and killed Martin Luther King–put its blatant racism on stunning display mere hours before Good Friday. Many of those Representatives who voted to kick out two black colleagues, thereby disenfranchising thousands of voters, profess a religion that teaches “love one another.” Their ignorance of what democracy means–or what Christianity means–was made public before all the world.

Sacred days for three major religions–Christian, Muslim, and Judaism–happen to fall at the same time this year. It makes one hope that one day all adherents will come together in appreciation of each other’s diversity.

But that is not what we see now. Beside Nashville’s legislative debacle, other troubles of this holy week included:  Israeli soldiers entering, destroying a mosque following a Palestinian bombing; Myanmar persecuting Rohingya Muslims; civil unrest in Nigeria, Russia’s war in Ukraine worsening; autocracy rising; and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, democracy’s absence.

God, who created us to care for one another, must not be happy. Paul writes, “You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.” (Galatians 5:13, Common English Bible).

The God who in Christian, Judaic, and Islamic teachings, as well as in other belief systems, implores us to love, gives us now through eternity to work out our connectiveness to each other as God’s children. Even discoveries of the Webb telescope hint at the infinity of existence.

This is not the final fight for freedom in Tennessee or elsewhere, just as the crucifixion of Christ Jesus was not his end. Crucifying Jesus only enlarged his following because he proved life to be deathless. We have the divine right to work at becoming what we were made to be: God’s loving offspring. Life changes, but never ends.

Final oil w/collage and original poetry, gallery wrap,12" x 12", $675 by Gwendolyn Evans

Final oil w/collage and original poetry, gallery wrap,12″ x 12″, $675 by Gwendolyn Evans

ArtworkFinal oil w/collage and original poetry, gallery wrap,12″ x 12″, $675. This new oil, recently finished, is yet to be varnished, includes my poetry and is part of my new series combining words and painting.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2024 Voice and Vision

Theme by Anders Norén