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Reverend Billy’s Revelations

Issue 263

Reverend Billy Talen Apr 26

Dear Billy,
I’m fully vaxxed. I’m in my mid-40s and in good health but going back out into the world still seems scary, especially the thought of being indoors around lots of people or taking off my mask in the company of other people. How do I unlearn the fear of this past year?

DONNA
Sunset Park

Donna,
Your fear is real and reasonable. But “unlearning” it isn’t realistic. Our fear of the coronavirus will be with us all of our days. In your first indoors experience with unmasked folks, all of you will be dealing with the fear and all of you will be bringing your own antidote for it, which is openness and trust.

This reunion we’re going through, well, we need each other, because we are threatened in 2021 with virus, flood, fire and pestilence … all the extreme events spinning out of the larger extinction of the Earth. Accepting all this, Donna, is not unlearning fear but relearning it. The time we live in tells us we must learn to live with fear.

Some of us had the privilege to feel safe for much of our lives. People of color, non-cisgender people, women living with sexist violence — think of those who find in COVID something to add to years of living in fear. They are our teachers now, as we go forward into the unknown. Oh, what a time we live in!

Courage, Donna!

BILLY

• • •

Rev Billy,
My 12-year-old daughter is bored and miserable with life in the pandemic. Whether she goes to school (assuming it hasn’t closed again due to COVID) or stays at home, her classes are conducted via Zoom. She sees less of her friends and when they are together, the 6-foot rule applies. How do I convince someone so young that it won’t be this way forever even if it feels that way?

OLIVER
Washington Heights

Oliver,
The big old institutions are not our leaders. You act as if you let schools make your young one’s educational choices. There is home schooling, neighborhood schooling, Coney Island schooling and Greta Thunberg schooling, which is striking every Friday for the Earth. Millions of students did just that and it impacted the curriculum, at least it did in our 11-year-old’s Brooklyn school. Oliver! Bring the change! Radicalized individuals and families have the education in them, with or without COVID. If parents are realistic about the world they are leaving their children, then they will share a political conscience with their children.

Time for a teach-in!

— REV

REVEREND BILLY IS PASTOR OF THE CHURCH OF STOP SHOPPING. HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE REVEREND? JUST EMAIL REVBILLY@INDYPENDENT.ORG AND UNBURDEN YOUR SOUL.

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