For a variety of reasons having to do with caregiving for a wife with cancer the last eight years, some of my own health monitoring took a back seat, so to speak.
So it is high time to get the lowdown with a colonoscopy. You know the drill. Drink the juice. Crap your brains out for 48 hours to cleanse your colon. Then the doctor goes up there with scope to check for polyps and remove them.
My eldest brother lectured me a year ago about the importance of getting the procedure done. See, the stuff that lies around in our colons and intestinal tract can be toxic stuff. “What?” in intoned. “You’ve never eaten a Slim Jim?”
The interesting aspect of going through this procedure is that the preparation sort of works in reverse of what you’d expect. For the last week or so before the scope goes in you’re supposed to avoid high fiber foods or anything else that might stick around and interferes with the doctor’s ability to see polyps.
Basically scoping the colon is like playing a video game in which the physician wanders through the piping picking off the enemy. Hopefully they don’t find anything too large, which could indicate a growth containing cancer. That’s also how cancers escape from the colon to invade the rest of the body. To coin a phrase, you don’t want that kind of crap going on.
It’s pretty easy to take our intestinal tract for granted. That is, until you have trouble with it. People who run and ride and swim have an intensified relationship with their bowels. They must be moved before a workout or competition lest we face (and I do not choose that word lightly) the consequences.
The most urgent need in the world before a race is to take a dump. You don’t want to be distracted by that pressing feeling of Turtlehood impinging on your race efforts. Because when it comes, and it often does if you’re at all regular in the Dumper Department, there is almost no stopping it.
We’ve all been forced to pull it over and take care of business. If you’re lucky you’re near a gas station. There happens to be just such a station on our winter running route for Experience Triathlon. That station’s employees and management are some of the nicest, most tolerant businesspeople in the world. They watch a regular parade of runners going in and out of their station, not buying a thing, and using their restaurant.
It brings to mind the recent case of discrimination put into law with Indiana Bill 101. If that business chooses to discriminate against runners by not allowing them to use their restaurant, there will be hundreds of people each day who suffer from that decision. Absolutely the owners have a right to limit access to the building for paying customers. We all get that the letter of the law gives business owners all kinds of “rights” to discriminate.
Yet the community spirit that business shows in serving runners in need is evidence that social tolerance can and does work for good. It so happens that station owner is from either India or Pakistan. I have not asked. But I have conversed with him and expressed gratitude on behalf of all the runners that come through his door with their ass cheeks pinched together. “It’s very nice of you to allow us to use your restroom,” I told him. “I’m going to come fill up my gas tank here one of these days to return the favor.”
Having real faith
I think it’s interesting that there’s a religious connection of sorts here as well. For 18 years my late wife taught Pre-K at the Christian preschool at our church. At times there would be people of other faiths or no faith at all that enrolled their children in the school. Some protested when teachers taught their children about faith. It’s like they did not get the concept that a Christian preschool would actually talk about the life of Jesus.
Yet there were several people of East Indian background that enrolled their children in the preschool. Some were Hindu. At one point my wife had the opportunity ask one of these mothers if it bothered her that her child was being taught about Christianity. “There are many paths to God,” she replied.
Indeed there are. Of course come devout Christians would argue that the Christian faith is bound by the words of Jesus to view him as the only path to salvation. Yet even Jesus had something to say about turning the faith of love into law. It happens to tie together quite closely with our theme of the day––which is what comes out of your rear end.
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[d] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Bible does not avoid even the earthiest of topics. In fact it calls us closer to the earth. Jesus taught using parables dependent on organic symbolism. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind…”
His disciples questioned him about these methods. And I paraphrase… “Why do you teach using parables?” they asked him. “Why not just tell them straight up what you mean?”
Jesus responded, “Are you so dull?”
The heart of the matter
The Bible explains: “Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth to speak in parables; I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”
In other words, the Bible and scripture are never to be understood out of the context of the fullness of creation. Even the shit that comes out of our asses has a tale to tell, a lesson to give. And especially if you’re talking shit because you don’t understand the true roots of faith, the organic connection with all the world and how love functions within it, then you are separated from the real roots of heaven. That’s what Jesus told the Pharisees. He revealed their falsehood from the inside out.
Indiana Bill 101
That’s what’s going on in Indiana and other places these days. Modern day Pharisees with their holier than thou attitudes, seeking to impose a so-called Christian will on the nation in the name of so-called religious liberty, are breaching the very foundations of faith with laws of intolerance and misguided politics. They are also spitting on the Constitution and telling us that it’s raining righteousness.
Here’s why I’m so cynical about efforts to install religious liberty laws. It’s no different than the flaws found in affirmative action. It’s an imperfect to attempt to promote equality. I get the need to protect religious rights, but there’s the ugly truth. The people so often fighting for those rights have the ugliest interpretation of faith possible.
These include creationists trying to deny science based on no scientific evidence at all asw well as people seeking to install intelligent design as an equal alternative to the theory of evolution. This is not religious freedom. It is ignorance as an ideology.
That goes for people claiming there is a gay or black or women’s agenda when all those people want is equal protection to live freely under the law.
Scripture denies the right to impose your version of religion on others
So we’ll put it plainly here. We’ve already illustrated our point using a parable from the Bible that explains why shitting on other people to make yourself feel better, or to confer social advantage, is a lousy, sinful thing to do.
Indiana Bill 101 is a bad idea. It’s not Christian. It’s not moral. It’s not Constitutional. It’s not respectful. It’s not a sign of “religious freedom” but a symptom of religious abuse. It’s not American.
Where the sun don’t shine
So Indiana can take that law and shove it right back up their ass where the sun don’t shine. And if they’re lucky, maybe a doctor will send a scope up there and excise the egregious tumor of intolerance it represents. Zealotry of that nature is a cancer upon the nation. It’s no coincidence that a bunch of assholes thought it up and turned into law. That’s what assholes do. Even Jesus knew that.
As for the fear of homosexuality and claims that being gay is against the laws of nature? Jesus said nothing at all in the Bible about being gay or not. He was opposed to sexual immorality, yes. The Bible regularly preaches against wanton sexuality. Gays are subject to the same standards as straight people when it comes to that sort of behavior.
But that’s not where efforts to approve gay marriage are headed. We’re moving toward a normalization, as it were, of gay relationships. Where’s the sin in that?
Modern day Sodomites: Not who you think
Significantly, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was not about gay sex, but about immoral abuse of other people in a town where laws stated that it was okay to discriminate and abuse strangers. Sodom had laws that said you could rape and abuse strangers found after twilight. Nice huh?
That’s essentially the discriminatory nature of what is happening in states like Indiana today, where anyone considered “the other” is fair game for ostracization.
But let’s remember something critical and biblical: God took action against Sodom not because of gay sex, but because of laws allowing abuse of the rights of strangers.
Not a clue
That’s all lost on the modern day Sodomites who view themselves as above the real lessons of scripture. Always on the lookout for a scapegoat or a victim on which they focus their falsely righteous rage, they cannot see, just like the Pharisees and the Sodomites, that the laws they pass to discriminate are what God hates most in this world. That’s true from the inside out as well as the outside in.