Mark 11:33

So their answer to Jesus was – “We do not know.”

“Then I,” replied Jesus, “refuse to tell you what authority I have to do these things.”


in the end empire falls
every so-called system
carries its own subterfuge
with each new after-the-fact rule
protecting each next privilege
we end not knowing
what we’ve always known

lost in a cloud of not knowing
we can’t unknow our certainty
without losing every control
of our ill-founded hope
grabbing the tighter
the little we yet have
walls go up moats go around

stuck inside a little circle
while larger longer arcs play
we hang our head
up our dose of Lexapro
just enough to not ask
if this is all it is about
and no Alfie left to ask


Bratcher362 notes:

In Tzeltal there is an interesting idiomatic way of disclaiming knowledge, namely, “What shall we say!”—an expression which fits this context perfectly, for it was not ignorance but unwillingness to answer which dictated the reply of the authorities.

It is this unwillingness to respond with what one knows to be true when they are most integrous that leads leaders of every time and place to what is meant by “moral injury”. All too often we elect good people to positions where they will need to make decisions that run contrary to their heart and what they know deep within it.

Little-by-little, one compromise after another leads to an internal wariness, weariness, and fear of getting caught out. Excuses about being able to do some good and keep the worst bad at bay cover this for awhile. Eventually, all decisions look like a trap and whatever inspiration initiated an intention to service ends up being challenged by the very folks intended to be helped.

Whatever religious or civic organizations you are connected with are likely being influenced by the same dynamic in which these religious leaders found themselves. It is only with life-sustaining partnership that we can support and challenge one another past the divides of authority. This is particularly real for those who have a G*D component to their authority. A G*D factor can enter inappropriate considerations of eternity and emphasize any judgmental quality that would allow cleansing the face of the earth of all opponents.

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