“Are you saying that you believe God is Black?” Gloria said to the Peace Artist?

“I don’t care what color she/he/it was/is, or if he/she/they/it exists at all,” the Peace Artist replied.

“There is no way that God was black,” she retorted with a chuckle incredulous at the thought.

This isn’t how the conversation began however…but where it got. Allow me to start over.

The noon sun was beating the air into submission; all things that tried to live in defiance were burnt or at least scalding. The blown rubber on the Peace Artist’s road weary tennies were threatening to transform from a solid to a liquid state of matter. In the distance a red sign beckoned like a desert oasis, except this was a dessert oasis.

Gloria’s ice cream shop on the desolate country road was just what the traveller needed. Thankful for the few bucks in his pocket, the Peace Artist’s only hope was that a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream would give him a respite from the photon bombardment. The sun threatened to turn the blacktop into a solar frying pan; the Peace Artist being the main course.

Gloria welcomed him, and gave him an ample scoop that he hoped would subdue the imminent sinus explosion in his brow. She was curious about the sign emblazoned across his blue cobbler’s apron. He explained his mission, goal, and hope as succinctly as possible: World Peace. And with that she said, “Ice cream’s on the house!” At which the Peace Artist thanked her profusely.

“But you do realize there can’t be any peace apart from Jesus,” she said. “When he comes back we will have 1000 years of peace.”

“I’ve been curious about this 1000 years,” he said, “If Jesus was to come back at this exact moment, what is it you think he would do to effect world peace?”

“Well, the nature of man is not peace,” she said.

“You know, I hear that a lot. A lot of people say to me, ‘Mankind will never be peaceful.’” The Peace Artist continued, “If that is true, then why be kind to anyone. If human nature is to be evil and war like, why be kind to anyone. Why shouldn’t I hurt everyone I come into contact with, why shouldn’t I rob you? If it is all about me, and what I can get, then why not just take it to the logical extreme?”

“Well do you believe in Jesus? You aren’t an atheist are you?” she countered?

“I believe in love,” he stated simply. “I believe in every human. We all have the ability to be the peace, to be the love, to be the kindness that is often found lacking. I don’t care if it is Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Thomas Merton who exemplifies the example, they were all for peace and love.”

“Oh no, it isn’t Buddha, it is only Jesus that brings peace,” she countered.

“I haven’t found that to be true. Look at the Dalai Lama, although his people have been tortured, raped, and killed, he has only responded with peace and kindness. Unbelievably, he and the other Buddhists have even had compassion for the occupying forces of Tibet. In contradiction to that, this “Christian Nation” has bombed and killed thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan without knowing whether or not they were even to blame for the attacks of 911. Even the Old Testament says an ‘eye for an eye’. Surely, America as killed more than 3000, and extracted more damage than the twin towers cost. And yet, it was Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies’, when will this Christian nation try the approach of the man they hold in such reverence?”

“The Bible has the answers to every question, it has the only truth that I choose to believe in,” she stated.

“There are some wonderful things to be found in the Bible, I especially like where Jesus says the most important thing to know and to follow is love. But there are things that are problematic. One small example is when the armies of Israel marched around Jericho; it says that the sun and moon stood still. For that to happen, the Earth would actually have to stand still. Thus the writing is obviously wrong for the sun doesn’t orbit the Earth, but rather the Earth orbits the Sun. Secondly, if that were to have happened, everyone would have been crushed because the strength of gravity is tempered by the centripetal force of the earths spin,” he added.

“Well, we don’t know how God did it, but he did,” she answered without confronting the dilemma posed by the physics.

“However,” he continued, “There are some things on which science and the bible are in agreement. One such thing is the concept of Eve and the Mitochondrial first woman. The bible says we came from one woman, and so does science. We all descended from one black woman in Africa.”

“We are not all from a black woman!” she said insulted by the thought.

“Actually the science and the bible are in great agreement on this. The first civilizations we have found are from Mesopotamia and Eastern Africa. The bible says that Adam and Eve were kicked out and settled East of Eden in Nod. Therefore, Africa is where Eden more than likely was. This fits our mitochondrial DNA mapping as well.”

“Yes, we are all brothers and sisters, but we all didn’t come from one black woman,” she uncomfortably chuckled looking at the other white woman and her son in the shop for empathy.

“Actually, the science is very clear and concise on this matter. What would it benefit us for me to lie to you? Granted I admit that the science could be wrong, a central tenet of all science is the notion that nothing is absolute, but open to new discoveries,” he qualified.

When the human genome was mapped we discovered that although our personal DNA varies greatly, our mitochondrial DNA is very consistent. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of all our cells, have their own DNA, and are passed directly from our mothers. Therefore, you can trace slight abnormalities back to one central figure, which for lack of a better term was the mother to us all. The mitochondrial Eve lived in East Africa about 200,000 years ago. I can show you to a number or respected articles on the subject if you like?” he asked.

“There is no way that Eve was a BLACK woman,” she said defiantly.

The Peace Artist paused…

“Are you saying that you believe God is Black?” Gloria said to the Peace Artist?

“I don’t care what color she/he/it was/is, or if he/she/they/it exists at all,” the Peace Artist replied.

“There is no way that God was black,” she retorted with a chuckle incredulous at the thought.

“Well if the first humans came from Africa, and the bible was written by a bunch of sheepherders from the middle east, they were most certainly people of color do you not agree?” he asked.

He continued, “I had never even considered whether god was black or white until you just asked, but I find it fascinating to think thanks to your question about the verses in Genesis, ‘God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ Therefore as you rightly point out, if Eve was black…God most likely was too,” he thanked her for pointing out.

“But, none of this is important,” he continued. “What is important is that you loved on me. You saw how hot it was out there, 109 by your thermometer. You saw what I was doing, and you chose to love one me. You loved on me the way you and only you could. You loved on me by giving me this ice cream, which was absolutely delicious by the way. Regardless of whether the bible was/is correct, regardless of whether science is correct and mitochondrial DNA does point to a black woman progenitor…you loved on me. Thank you for that,” he said gratefully.

What matters more than love? Is there anything else on which all humans agree? Atheists love. Christians love. Muslims love. Bahai love. Wiccan love. Mormons love. Shinto love. Buddhists love. Blacks love. Whites love. Love more. Love lots more.