7-4: Happy 4th

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

Church and State

The letter re-posted below–with commentary–moved me.

I dislike the country’s pseudo-celebration of the colonists’ declaration of independence, because so many of our fellow citizens really do not hold to the tenets of our founders. I am a left-wing, liberal, tree hugging Christian. I am also an American who has worn the country’s uniform in combat. I believe I have the credentials to say that all Americans should be able to enjoy the same benefits of American-hood that I do. But much too often these days I hear politicians spewing racism via vicious, unwarranted xenophobia. The Daily Kos posted an open letter from John Pavlovitz a Christian blogger. “You can read his work here.” The letter began:

Dear Offended Christian,

I’m terribly sorry that your feelings are hurt again. I feel badly about that. None of us likes to be criticized, so I totally get it.

… I am really tired:

Let Me Count the Ways

“He proceeded to list all of the ways he is tired with the hypocrisy shown by so many people, wrapped up in a cross, who have seemingly forgotten to read the books they proclaim to set their moral compass to.”

I’m tired of hearing you telling gay people that they can’t simultaneously be both gay and Christian. (Who are you to tell anyone who he or she can or cannot be? If you truly follow the word of God (and that goes for you too: Muslims, Jews, Mormons, et al.) then you must realize your own shortcomings and should be working on them.)

I’m tired of having to explain what “Transgender” means to adult Christian people, who I’m quite sure have Internet access and should know better by now that it ain’t “a guy in a dress”. (Caitlyn Jenner aside, people who have suffered all their lives believing their feelings are not “honest” should be admired for their courage, not maligned because of others’ ignorance.)

I’m tired of arrogant pulpit bullies who believe they’re entitled to tell people where they can pee and who they can marry and whether they really love Jesus or not. (Me, too. Go way.)

I’m tired of you regularly dispensing damnation on the queer community, and then offering empty “thoughts and prayers” in the face of tragedy before resuming your normal schedule. (Yes, “thoughts and prayers” are expressed briefly and the victims who have been thought about and prayed for are forgotten just as quickly. Politicians in particular sully even the idea of thoughts and prayers when they vacuously invoke them–ever so briefly–and then continue their personal agendas. Victims of gun violence deserve much more than thoughts and prayers. That is not a sacrilegious rant; it is an outpouring of frustration.)

I’m tired of you being more outraged by red coffee cups and department store restrooms than by poverty and racism and gun violence and our crumbling school system. (Me, too.)

Continue reading 7-4: Happy 4th

6-16: Power of Prayer … in Context

Blogger It’s the Supreme Court, Stupid was one of many who commented on the story below, which quotes from the middle of Psalm 109.

Georgia Senator Prays for Obama’s Death — in Public

Sen. David Perdue is the junior senator from Georgia. He’s known in the Senate as a nice, modest guy — not one of the bomb throwers, by any means.

 Here is how the prayer he encouraged the audience to make for Obama continues from verses 8-14:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

The title of Psalm 109 is

“Prayer of a Person Falsely Accused”

Does the senator or his righteous followers know that? The first 8 verses read as follows:

  1. Oh God, whom I praise, do not be silent,
  2. for wicked and treacherous mouths attack me. / They speak against me with lying tongues;
  3. with hateful words they surround me, / attacking me without cause.
  4. In return for my love they slander me, / even though I prayed for them.
  5. They repay me evil for good, / hatred for my love. / My enemies say of me:
  6. “Find a lying witness, / an accuser to stand by his right hand,
  7. That he may be judged and found guilty, / that his plea may be in vain.

Perhaps the senator’s fellow Bible quoters and he would be more credible if they did not cite verses out of full context. There is an adage whose origin is unknown to me that Perdue et al. might consider: Be careful what you pray for, you might get it. Continue reading 6-16: Power of Prayer … in Context

5-10: Evangelical Hypocrisy

Missy Beattie, a former instructor at Johns Hopkins, wrote a recent piece that, at first, seemed to be a Rachel Maddow basher. But then she cited a segment on Maddow’s left-wing show that criticized evangelist Franklin Graham for “decrying” John Boehner thus: “You had no business calling Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer in the flesh’—this is an embarrassment. And it’s an embarrassment to our nation.” She went on with a rant about Graham and beyond.

“Has this hypocrite ever once demonstrated insight into the real shame of the nation? The shame of war, the shame of trampling countries, the shame of creating humanitarian crises, the shame of exterminating men, women, children to advance imperialist foreign police, (sic) and the shame of domestic inequality? No, Graham’s gift is to pontificate racism, fear, and hatred, the antithesis of the Christ’s teachings.”

Okay, for openers, Beattie disliked Boehner’s nom de guerre for Ted Cruz, whom Boehner clearly despises. Cruz, remember, was willing to close down the government while, arguably, it was Boehner’s job to keep it running. Boehner was eventually kicked out of his position as Speaker of the House which Cruz and his Tea Party allies facilitated. Continue reading 5-10: Evangelical Hypocrisy