This has been in the making for some time. I was inspired to write a book. I was disturbed enough to try. For the past few years I have been hard at work developing the themes and concepts I wish to discuss, and integrating them into a model of the book. The book itself was too complex to write in one go. I had to build a model of it, to help me see what I was trying to say.
In some ways, the book has been a healthy diversion from life’s problems. I have a form of muscular dystrophy that makes things quite challenging. Several years ago I was forced to quit the working world, and deal head on with this. It took a lot of effort to learn how to live with failing strength. But I have. Recently I moved from Arizona to North Carolina. Soon I will move from an apartment into a home. This was unthinkable three and four years ago. But think it I did and now here I am.
Last year, at the beginning of summer, I made my first road trip, on my own. I went to the 29th annual Pima Writers Workshop, in Tucson. I submitted a manuscript to be critiqued by an agent. First time doing that. The guy likes my writing, but not as a book. This did not stop me. But it got me thinking about the scope of what I am trying to describe. I have an awful lot of material that contradicts our understanding of ourselves.
One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year was to write for an audience. Begin publishing. This blog has been on and off the back burner since its inception. It has been difficult to keep this up while dealing with everything else. But when I found the home, it occurred to me that I had achieved a goal I had set when I first could no longer work. I had gotten myself out of one living situation I could no longer handle physically, and into one that I could. A couple weeks ago I met at the house with a contractor to get a quote on a wheelchair ramp and a front deck, to replace the wooden staircase leading to the front door. Afterwards, getting back in my van, I had to pause for a vision. Something was telling me that I could finally pick up the blog again, and sustain it.
We live in a world gone mad. I have been following the problem of radical Islam with intense disturbed fascination. My writing interests have converged with world events. I have spent my life finding the words to describe a phenomenon that regularly now is making the news. Then, in the past few days, news broke of the pending executions of 14 pro-democracy demonstrators in Saudi Arabia. As a writer, I feel a need to do something. It is time to put an end to this madness.
My goal is to stop these executions from happening, by bringing attention to their plight. But this is a short term goal. Long term, my goal is to challenge our understanding of God, so that radical Islam loses its power. My method will be to counter the narrative of radical Islam by describing it in new terms. Religions like Islam and Christianity present a false view of God. I am building a case. We need a new understanding. Something rational. Because we have reached the limits of faith.