The old man began to laugh. "Herein lies the peculiar thing," he said. "If sexual intimacies are bought commercially for a fee, provided by sex slaves, or professionals as they are now called, the priesthood has no objections since some of the greatest of them rely on those 'services' themselves. But if it is offered at no cost on a basis of love to meet a human need, then all hell breaks loose. Love is not allowed. The terrorism of the cross exists to deny love. What we need is a healing from that. We need to heal the terror and denial. The city of Dresden has already been rebuilt. Its wounds have been largely healed. The terror in Africa may some day stop too, and the continent may be rebuilt as well, for which a global effort is required. But most of all we need to heal the cross. We need to heal it of the terror that has been attached to it, which it now signifies. We need to turn the symbol of the cross into a symbol of universal love, because the master Christian has overcome the cross with love. This healing requires that we welcome all forms of love; that we welcome even the smallest step forward in embracing one-another in love more fully; which the nudist beach proposal is evidently designed for. It's only one small step; one tiny step. We should welcome this step. I have seen too many bombs dropped onto people. I am sick of it. We should welcome love. It is sad that our learned representative of The Cloth is incapable of love. It is my hope therefore, for our friend of The Cloth, and for us, that this inability too, may be healed some day in the flow of the healing of the cross."
The old man returned to his seat after that and sat down.
A woman with snow-white hair stood up next, an elderly woman, seated in the last row where we were seated. She bowed graciously to the Man of The Cloth. "We may deny nudism without ever having known what it is," she said. "We also stand the chance that when we die, we may do so without ever having truly lived. Where is the love with which we should cherish and uplift one another? Has it all been stomped into the ground, or been burned with the bodies of too many people? I can't believe that all of it is gone. Love is still within us, because we are human beings. We should be more daring to bring it out and to let it shine, and embrace each other in the name of all that is human."
She concluded by asking the anti-Valentine man if he had children, suggesting that he probably had none. She surmised therefore that he never had the joy in his life to witness the wonderful unfolding of a human being into something truly remarkable, with a mind that reaches far beyond what any animal can ever dream of, a mind that can envision the universe and understand it, and has the capacity to build a civilization with a rich culture, filled with art, music, literature, and technologies that give us resources that the earth itself could never provide. What creates these wonders is also a form of love, a love for what we are as human beings and are capable of. History has shown that we are capable of great love, and each single child in the world is a testament of that love. Unlike animals, human beings are conceived in love, cradled in love, held in love, and nurtured by love. Shouldn't we celebrate love and every aspect of it?"
She smiled at the man as she sat down again.
"We are Christians helping families in need," said the anti-Valentine man in response. "In hard times, especially in poor families, children can be a great burden. Such a burden is not good for the families, as well as for the children's development. In order to help both, we receive unwanted children and pay the parents money for them. Thereby, both the parents and the children are helped. There is a little effort involved, a few papers need to be signed, giving up all future claims for the assurance that the children will be well educated."
At this point the face of the woman in white hair became tight and cold in expression. In response, the anti-Valentine man stopped and sat down again.
At the instant that the anti-Valentine man sat down, the Man of The Cloth rose up again and repeated his song. "WE of the clergy, by the grace of God and devout prayer, interpret the moral will of God for humanity." He never said a word about love, much less universal love and honoring one-another as human beings. It seemed to be a forbidden subject. The Illuminati certainly would have forbidden it. He ended by saying that he had come to this community to stop the "insult to God," which he said was unfolding. He said he had come to defend God against "this filth."
"That is the open flank," said Steve to me quietly. "Go for it. Rescue the man from his role-playing. Challenge him to become a human being."
As it turned out I didn't need to say anything. A young man stood up and did this in my stead. He introduced himself as a fisherman and a student of history. He said that as a fisherman he is often alone for long periods of time, with time to think, and time to face the reality and the majesty of the universe and of the human being. He asked the Man of The Cloth why he felt he needed to defend God. He suggested that the very notion of wanting to defend God revealed a deeply rooted flaw in his reasoning.
The fisherman spoke quietly, not boastfully. He said, "you told us that God is the Supreme Being. If this is so, can't the Supreme Being defend itself? You are telling us that it can't, that it needs your help. This notion discredits the very model that your religion is based on. But I am not surprised. Your model is the Byzantine model, the old Roman imperial model that hijacked Christianity. This model puts God so high into the sky in terms of a Supreme Being that it renders humanity as equal with the dirt of the Earth, so that the two shall never meet. But the Christ tells us that God and man are one. Thus, you are denying your own religion. You have destroyed its very heart. You have taken the most profound unity that exists on the face of the Earth, and split it apart. You may have tried to put Christ into the middle, as an intermediary between God and man, but you deny love, consequently you put yourself into the middle. That's the imperial model of Christianity that Rome created and Byzantine continued. So, now you say that you must defend the Supreme Being. How curious! Which Emperor are you defending, which fondi? You imply that God is impotent and depends on your defense. In other words, you are telling us that you don't really believe in your heart that the Supreme Being that you talk about, really exists. You are defending a myth, or a lye that you tell yourself. Then, tell me, what are you really defending? Is it your Sovereign that hates love, the self-appointed ruler of an empire who is naturally impotent and needs your help indeed, as an empire has no principle. No universal principle supports the structure of empire as a form of government among men."
The Man of The Cloth stood up for a rebuttal, but the fisherman raised his hand and held him off. Since the Man of The Cloth did not sit down again, the moderator of the panel decided for the fisherman and asked him to continue. Still, together with her ruling, the moderator asked the fisherman if he was suggesting that no Supreme Being actually exists. She asked him, if he felt that the whole concept of a Supreme Being is a myth, and if so, how this would be reflected in what we regard as social morality.
The fisherman assured the moderator that the concept of a Supreme Being is not a myth, that only the Roman model of it is. "I don't believe that a Supreme Being sits high above the clouds in a far off heaven and rules the world. If this were the case it would have stopped all of our terrible wars long ago. Besides, who would want to live under such circumstances as a slave or helpless plaything of some distant deity?"
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