As I dressed this morning, I pondered recent news. A limerick started to form but it wasn't funny.

There's a place between heaven and hell
Where they've silenced the Liberty Bell--
Where the self-righteous lead
And the media feed
On the flesh of a final farewell.

Edit: I've changed my mind. It shouldn't even try to be a limerick. Perhaps a stretch-limo.

There's a place between heaven and hell
Where they've silenced the Liberty Bell;
Where the lawyers with greed
Help the powerless bleed;
Where the self-righteous lead,
Mixing state with their creed;
Where the bloated succeed
While the media feed
On the flesh of a final farewell.


Some of those phrases are excellent, especially the last, which is a powerful image. I don't like the second line. It's kind of a reach.

BTW, isn't writing a lot like playing jazz or doing anything that requires letting go and absorption into the moment? You find not the same vein but another that works, perhaps its cousin, only when you cease striving to return to that vanished spot in time.

Why do some people, the believers, feel compelled to press their views on the rest? I come from a tradition - which like any tradition believes it has at least something "best" about itself (or why exist?)- but which takes the explicit point of view that what others do is their business. The need to impose belief is first cousin to evil.

Yeah, the second line lacks coherence. It was in there to point to the fact that one is no longer even free to die (or to complete one's death). I guess the additional connotations of the Liberty Bell in American history are a distraction.

I've come out of a tradition where folks "know" that the benefits of imposing their beliefs on others far outweigh the rights of those people to "ruin their lives" by living or thinking the wrong way. They see it as a responsibility to love, aid and guide those who are less fortunate and unaware or uncaring of the judgement to come. Most of these believers cannot bring themselves to even consider that the constraints they want to impose and the doctrine they teach could be a negative influence. The thought that their "good" could be anybody's "evil" is quickly dismissed.

The (wryly) amusing thing is that they can look at the advance of other religions (e.g. Islam) and easily identify the evil. *sigh*

An abortion thread has been running through my college class listserv. It is impossibe to explain that people can genuinely disagree about the meaning of a fetus. In their view, it will be a human being from conception and thus killing it is murder. That other cultures and other religions don't agree is unfathomable to them. We are wrong. They are right. And therefore we must lose.

It's that last bit which troubles. All traditions of course believe in at least a degree of their superiority. What matters is how you act toward people not in your group. My tradition says essentially, "We're better. Leave us alone and do your own thing." Their tradition says, "We're better. You go away."