Sorry that I've taken a while to answer your letter. With my BD coming up, and all, things here have been kinda hectic. Not the Buy One Get One stuff, mind you, more in the O Holy Night range. Fun, but busy. Plus, I've been spending a boatload of time helping ease quite a few aching hearts. This season seems to really eat at some folks' spirits, for any number of reasons. I'm finally sitting down for a sec, at Ye Heavenly Coffee Shoppe. Yup, we have 'em, too. Only much better blends than you all have. None of that Grande, Vente nonsense either, just big mugs!
So... I enjoyed your letter. And your questions. I LOL'd @ the Josh, Son of God bit. And the OCCUPY THE TEMPLE line was both hilarious, and historically accurate. I was truly PO'd with all that commercial crap going on in my Dad's house. BTW: That was the second OCCUPY moment in my life. First time was when I was a kid and had the pleasure of lecturing the old dudes. Mom was NOT happy. Nothing like a Jewish mother, and her gift for guilt trippin' to make a boy hang his head. Days and days of rants about shaming the family name. Go figure!
Your observations about organized religion seemed pretty much on point. It was never my plan, desire, or intention to create a formal structure where grown men, and sometimes women, dress up in Broadway costumes, and chant Hummuna Hummuna Hummuna, while burning insense and crafting rules for everyone to obey. And I mos' def' did not wanna see people fighting and dying to prove that their deity has bigger cajones that the other guy's. Not at all.
I only ever had two rules. 1. Love God above all things. 2. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
I'm thinking that #2 may have been a mistake. Too many people fail to love themselves appropriately, so the odds of them loving anyone else are slim. And I've had a coupla thousand years to ponder that.
So, I'm changing #2 somewhat. It now goes: Love yourself totally, even if you're a total screwup
knucklehead who just can't seem to get anything right, ever, because you are SOOOOOO innately good anyway. Then, love everybody else just like that.
It's a bit wordier, but I think it nails the heart of the matter pretty well. Feel welcome to let me know what you think. If you do agree, I wouldn't mind you getting the word out. The NEW GOOD NEWS! No other rules, just love. God. Yourself. Everybody. Not necessary to love everything God, you, or they DO. Just love the persons. Even the deific ONE. :)
Just for the record, God does NOT hate anyone. The truth is he's got far better ways to expend energy than to waste any on hatin' ons. Keeping a universe intact, moving, alive, and, loving each and every single subatomic particle in it is quite sufficient. Here's a lil secret, but you can't let it out, yours ain't the only universe in town, bro. The actual number is so whoppery, I'm not even gonna tell you the word for it. Settle for : LOTS.
I hope I've addressed your basic concerns. If so, you're welcome. If not, please share. I'll msg you my personal J-Mail tag.
Mom and Dad both said to tell you Hi, and remind you they love you. The Spirit, is, as always, out somewhere, but I'm sure he'd say the same.
Have a Merry My Birthday!