Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel

I don't think that the destruction of the tower of Babel was a bad idea... after all, well, next to telling the Israelites to kill all the Canaanites, it was a peach.

A Friend said to me that he wished there was a Christ centered meeting in which New York where he could worship. Now being a rather literal fellow, I will likely be corrected on the exact words... well, yes and so I should be. I, however, think that the Tower of Babel is important to consider here.

All these posts before this about the difference between anything and our abstractions, from the image of it in our senses to the words we use to describe it. Well, that is the Tower of Babel all over. The lesson is that we are not meant to worship in the same language of God, it is part of human existence to each have a unique language in our perception. What God demands of us, is to accept and understand that in order to build, to work, to worship together, we need to go past the language that divides us, and thereby build the Tower to heaven.

I think it is better to worship in a diverse community. It teaches us to deal with the world as it was created by God. If diversity was not the intention of God, fascism would work. A society could destroy everyone who was not of the political orthodoxy and live in a Utopia. But, as we know, the remaining few would come to a different interpretation the next day and the killing would go on forever. What hubris on the part of any endeavor of humanity to believe that one could be so right, that everyone would worship or govern in the same way. It is like being so sure that one tree is the perfect strain, that one would kill off all the other plants in a forest and plant only one kind of tree. What a disaster.

The diversity after Babel is God's plan. I, for one, will try and get with the program.




At 4:31 AM, Blogger Christine Japely said...

I agree with thee, Lor. This post is very inspired. May i cut and paste it and submit it to the 15th St. Newsletter?

At 4:48 AM, Blogger *Christopher said...

Nice piece. The Tower of Babel represents for me humans trying to force our unity through imperial/domination values, and such a human unity is always built on the backs of others and seeks a uniformity of human beings.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Thanks for the comments... Yes Christine, of course thee may submit this... in the end, I think the greatest sin is certainty, how like pride it is, and how destructive of unity.


At 3:48 PM, Blogger Ruthie said...

What a wonderfully expressed set of thoughts - not dissimilar to something I read recently in "The Dignity of Difference" by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. He writes from a Jewish perspective, but talks about how God has called the Jewish people to be different and as an example to the world of living differently.

Somehow he manages to be distinctly Jewish while still speaking to people from whole manner of religious (and irreligious) people.

You might enjoy his thoughts,


At 5:29 PM, Blogger Lorcan said...

Dear Ruthie:
I will look him up, I always felt that we Hicksites may as well as be refered to as Hillelian Friends

Thyne in the light


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