Heartbeat

Another barbaric murder in the name of obscurantism and religion. How do we combat the darkness inside the head?

We are one beat away,
on the forest path that skirts the cliff,
from sea of leaves
and sea of cold and rocky waves.
We are the sail
that brushes the edge of the storm,
in the wind veering to reefs or harbour.

We are all one beat away from the void,
the untying of the threads
that bind us to all living things,
and yet there are hands in the wind,
and along the cliff path they loiter,
those who would decide in our name
which way we fall.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

36 thoughts on “Heartbeat”

      1. The world has probably always had its share of evil, but some seem determined to stay in a time when decapitating teachers in the street is just punishment for blasphemers, and that they are the ones to deal out that punishment.

      2. Yes but it’s one person’s blasphemy is another’s statement of fact. Well God in any of his/her incarnations my forgive the murders , I find it harder. 💜

      3. The law is not dictated by religion, any religion, not here anyway. There is freedom of religious belief and freedom of expression. People are free to believe in whatever fantasy they want, but they are not free to murder those who criticise it.

    1. I am so sick of listening to these people declaring what they will and what they will not accept to be taught in the schools. Tries to teach their children about liberty of expression and their teacher is decapitated and that’s fine, he asked for it. Who the f*ck do they think they are?

      1. I can see it’s harder to keep religion out of the public space in a country that is openly religious, but France isn’t. It’s a secular society where all religions are authorised as long as they keep to the private domain. There is no excuse for tolerating this kind of pressure on schools not to teach what certain parents might find problematic, like gender equality, freedom of expression, parts of history (Shoah). If it was just fanatics, it would be easier to deal with, but this is mainstream belief.

      2. Well here we’re supposed to be a country where religion is not part of the public space, but some people insist it is, and some of them want to keep material out of schools, too. No beheadings though–yet.

      1. Yes, that’s very true, but all the wars of religion past and present have been condoned and fueled by the religious leaders too. There weren’t politicians before democracy, just institutions of which the Church was at the top of the heap. It’s the separation of Church and State that has helped dampen the warmongering of church leaders.

      2. Thanks for discussing this, Jane. Power grabbing church leaders are NOT following Jesus’ call to humble service. Unfortunately, there is no separation of church and state in Islamic culture.

      3. From the beginnings of Christianity, its earliest and most authentic teachings, right up until the Reformation it was the Church Militant, proselytising and converting by force and massacring where there was resistance, After the Reformation it was Protestant and Catholic taking it in turns to burn and butcher dissenters. In some parts of the world, the only thing that keeps them away from one another’s throats is the rule of secular law.
        This idea of humble service is a modern one, and I don’t see where it’s applied. We see a lot of televangelists supporting power-grabbing politicians who promote racist and misogynist laws just as imams in Islamic countries support their own power-grabbing politicians.
        Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia all have separation of church and state and it makes no difference.

  1. The Christian fanatics here love Trump because he reminds them of their god–petty, vindictive and with no moral compass. I suppose it’s the same with all religious extremists. But each time something like this happens you are right–its another step closer to no civilization at all. (K)

    1. It’s not the fanatics I’m afraid of. It’s the mass who may not pick up the hatchet themselves (yet) but who approve and make veiled threats, and say, well, what do you expect? They are not a handful of fanatics, they are millions.

  2. A very moving and thought provoking response. The step towards such brutality is indeed dark as not even in war or with others brutality all around, unless virtual is affecting more individual acts.

    1. Thank you. It’s frightening knowing that there are people around you who would think nothing of obliterating you because they have decided you don’t fit into their scheme of things. The same people who claim the defence of the law refuse others any defence against their law of intolerance.

      1. It’s true that if you live in an area deprived of jobs and all the social amenities, you’re more likely to turn to petty criminality. But not this. There’s no reason for this.

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