Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Els, snakes and +Gene

My friend Els sent me this story:

I was out camping with my family and our friends from Maui .

Greer’s Ferry Lake has been way above normal water levels since early spring, which caused many of the parks to close and an influx of campers in the furthest Northern park where we have camped for now 30 years. My quiet park was packed! One afternoon, while sitting around with the 2 year old son of my god-daughter Mikel, I heard this scream: Snake!!!. All around us there was this yelling and before I knew what was happening, right in front of our camping spot were numerous men, women and their children with axes and shovels, all ready to attack a very small, very colorful snake which totally ignorant of the excitement it was causing, was slithering across the road on its way to enter the ground and trees behind my tent.

I asked the leader, the one up front with the biggest ax if the snake was harmful. What exactly had the snake done to provoke all this?

The guy looked at me as if I was the nut. Should we not kill all snakes? All were ignorant in even identifying a poisonous from non-poisonous, still the mob lynch mentality had totally taken over and there was an excitement in the air for killing something which had an equal or maybe bigger right in being there.

Poisonous or not.

The leader of the pack finally shrugged and told me since it was heading to my tent it was no longer his problem.

I watched the snake for a while comforting 2 year old Nainoa Mountain Love, my god daughter’s son who with a name like that you know is raised in a peaceful world (Nikki told us upon hearing his name that it reeked of tree-huggers). Nainoa did not fear the snake but was scared by the unexplainable anger and close death of something that caused no harm to the earth, instead only added color.

I think of this and wonder if what is done to Bishop Gene Robinson does not come from the same ignorance our world lives in.

Mob mentality based on something our bible scared us from with only a simple word.


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