By Anna Von ReitzAll I know is that spirituality vs religion is not the issue for Michelle, though it may be for you and others. She is just trying to uphold the published standards for public elections and she shouldn't be getting any flak, any arguments, from anyone at all for doing that. Conducting elections properly is the keystone of official capacity and a big benchmark for government competence. Forget about David Gall as a personality and realize that having a fair and honest election process is far more important than whether or not you like him as a candidate.
Candidates come and go. Election practices and standards do not.
I also know that our American Government defends the right of everyone to hold their private religious beliefs as their private beliefs, period.
If David Gall believes that Maureen is a witch and says so, that's his belief, his opinion. He's welcome to it. If she wants to call him an overbearing Luddite, she is equally welcome to do so.
What both parties need to step back from is the damage that their personal antipathies and prejudices are causing to the group and the effort as a whole, and the overall loss of respect and trust that results when the leadership of an organization resorts to name-calling like little kids on the playground. Both are guilty, in my view, of creating and allowing an unproductive atmosphere to prevail.
When our American Government was founded Jews and Muslims and Christians all came together to make it work. I have no doubt that Hindus and Buddhists and others also left their mark. They came together because the Government is not, and we believe should not be, allied to religious beliefs. It's a republican State-based government, not a theocracy.
The use of The Ten Commandments as a basic "code" for the conduct of the courts was agreeable to members of all three major western religions back in the 1780's. Whether it stays that way or we adopt some other standard, such as Universal or Natural Law (so-called), is for a Continental Congress involving all fifty States to consider and resolve. These issues are not going to be decided by California acting alone, and it is not going to be any major focus for the Assembly Process.
We have to get past this and have a common understanding of what we are doing --- what our actual mission as a State Assembly is at this point in our development. Our duty and calling is to set up the State Assembly to serve the People of California with a competent court system, well-regulated militia, public elections, an open public forum, and private business functions.
After the State Assembly is fully set up and functioning it will be able to elect its Congressional Delegation to sort out all sorts of issues, but for right now, it's important for everyone to settle down and focus on the work at hand. Don't allow yourselves to get distracted by abrasive personalities and loud voices--and don't imagine that I am encouraging or condoning any bad behavior on anyone's part at all.
If David Gall is an ass (of the braying kind), then he's an ass on his own recognizance, everyone will see that he is being a problem child and will take action to avoid him and limit his ability to impact them, in the same way that we handled bullies on the playground, or will, perhaps, see that he is trying to do something good, and support him in that.
Whatever else may be true, it is unlikely that a grown man with such determination, energy, and passion is a total waste. Finding ways to direct the flow of his energy toward positive goals for the group as a whole is perhaps a challenge, but it's a challenge California has to face among all the other challenges that Assemblies face from us less-than-perfect members of all stripes, kinds, colors, religious persuasions, ages, political backgrounds, educational levels, ethnic backgrounds and on and on and on it goes.
That is part of the beauty, the strength, and yes, the stiff challenge of being a Public Government in a diverse and ever-changing America. What unites us has to be stronger than what divides us, and we ourselves must choose to make it so.
Remember, we are all just little mortals struggling away here, trying to do good, according to the lights we see. Sure, David Gall's lights are different, but he doesn't get it wrong 100% of the time, and neither does anyone else. My experience with people like David is that the best way to handle them is to notice anything good, however small an action it may be that they do, and praise them for it. Encourage and lead them into doing more of what you want, not less.
Some people aren't very socially adept or aren't used to interacting with a lot of different kinds of people outside their own group, Make it clear to each and every newly restored Californian that this is a Public Government and it has to include everyone in the California Public. That is a very diverse group you've got there, and whether it's witches and warlocks or Buddhist priests or Ministers of God from the Church of the Nazarene -- they are all Californians and THAT is the identity that we have to focus on and give meaning to. That is the rallying point --- your State of the Union, that precious parameter of freedom and protection for all that you are called to serve and defend and preserve against all odds.
That's what I struggle for -- the unique beauty, value, potential, and strength of each and every State, all bound together for the Common Good of All.
Search in your heart for what the Common Good really is. You will quickly find that it goes beyond personalities and political differences, and beyond religious beliefs and racial and ethnic identities, too. It's universal, unwavering, and true for all times and seasons, for everyone. If you truly seek what is good for all, you will create what this country is meant to be--- not only a successful and happy melting pot, but a bastion that preserves and protects our individual peculiarities, that holds the individual however rough cut or obnoxious, to be of the highest value and greatest potential and yes --- to hold the individual to be sacred.
Our Government is the only Government in the history of the world that has ever focused the Powers of Government in support of individual people. Not Kings. Not Principalities. Not Laws. Not Religions. Not races. Not any of the things that divide us. No, what we most highly value, what we protect, are the people of California in all their varieties, so that they may all reach their highest potentials and enjoy the peace and security they deserve as co-owners of this planet.
So, again, don't let your attention be focused on false issues and false idols. Don't let the "narrative" be about personality conflicts or word choices or other differences. Forge forward, looking for what is of common concern to all the people of California, and what is good for everyone. Including David Gall. Include him, absorb him, accept him, make it work. Find the ways.
I have faith in the creativity and goodwill of the people living in California. I really do. If you set your minds on creating a vision for your State and a shared, broad, and happy vision of what it means to be a Californian, you will all be able to let go of the chains that have hitherto bound you -- and rejoice
in all that there is to discover and support and treasure in your neighbors and your own backyard.
I love you guys, I really do. It hurts me to have to be the Task Master, but, you must, among yourselves, learn to recognize the dangers and damages that can come from within, and grow beyond them. You have to keep centered on what counts and let the rest fall away like so much detritus from a sculptor's hammer. Recognize it when you are being small, petty, fearful, selfish, unkind, or unfair, then govern yourselves accordingly. Find the right notes in life's symphony. And when life sends you a David Gall, find the best in him. It's in there, somewhere, struggling to get out and play with all the rest of you.
He is part of the Public, and so are all of you.
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