Everyone Has a Holy Book

Everyone has a holy book.

I’ve seen people clutch their Bibles, but worship their checkbooks, counting and covering zero after zero. Retirement plans speak louder than God most days, right?

I’ve seen people clutch their scriptures, but bow to their partisan tract, carefully edited Twitter feed, their internet-assembled philosophic convictions shared in group emails people try to opt out of but can’t because “that’s just Uncle Bob,” and sure he’s xenophobic and racist, but he’s “from a different time” as if the past is an excuse for a prejudiced present.

I’ve watched people go straight from closing their New Testaments to complaining at the diner because the waiter has too many piercings, or balking at the short-staffed reality while in their back pocket their MAGA hat pads the seat of their unvaccinated butt, confused why more people aren’t at brunch in a pandemic.

Everyone has a holy writing that they live out. Some are emblazoned on hats.

I’ve seen people pray the prayers of the church but hold Marx as their true Messiah.

I’ve seen people walk from the Mosque, but all the while they have been calculating how much they’ll pocket next year with that big tax break.

I’ve seen people humbly exit the temple and enter the sacred Holy of Holies: the Jaguar dealer, where they haggle on saving more on a sleek purchase than most cars cost outright.

They say they trust in God’s grace, but throw an extra twenty in “just in case” because checkbooks are more tangible than forgiveness.

Everyone has a Holy Book, Holy Writings, words they hold at the center of their life and being.

And it’s often not the one they claim they follow.

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