God, whose presence in my heartclears my path before I start;
God, whose love within my eyekeeps my vision leveled high;
God, whose purpose in my feetmakes my journey straight and fleet;
God, whose life within my bloodgives me power of tropic flood;
God, whose breath enlivens meopens windows, shares the key;
God whose spirit’s everywherereads all thoughts as texted prayer.
A. E. P. (ED) WALL
What about split persons?
Split personalities are just what the doctor ordered if you are writing a movie script or hosting a televised talk show. But Americans especially, and many other folks, are born into a formally declared belief that all persons are created equal.
That was understood, in the 18th century, to mean that social classes are artificial, that candlemakers and cooks have just as much dignity, and are just as entitled to justice, as any lord, count, bishop, baron or princess.
The absence of equality in personal wealth, health, housing, employment and personality was known to all.
Voters, workers, capitalists and citizens of all races include the bright, the beautiful and the ugly. Nations and neighborhoods are populated by the gifted, along with sociopaths, psychopaths, thieves, killers and rapists who have jobs, shop in the supermarket, patronize the movie theater, date daughters and raise their hands when volunteers are called for.
Some are Christians, some are not, some are Republicans, some are not. Do angry sociopaths interpret Bible verses the same way smiling optimists do?
Do they hear the promises of political candidates the same way?
Everybody is created equal. The presidents of the United States and Iran, the creators of Windows and the Edsel, Italian Catholic bishops Chinese Methodists, children going to school in Japan and in Afghanistan, all find that equality is subject to definition.
Some equality is handed out, like the number of toes ordinarily provided at birth. Some has to be reached for, like the rights due to women. An equality obscured by prejudice, power and politics is everyone’s equal access beyond the sublime to the divine. Just as some believe in no religion, some believe in all religions.