It’s Never Going to Work

I’m going to begin this post by reiterating my stance on faith … I am not a believer. I left Christianity nearly 20 years ago and have not regretted my decision for one single moment.

Now, having said that, I want to share something that Gronda Morin wrote in one of her latest posts. In it, she talks about how Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic candidate for POTUS, has hit a nerve with the GOP by (gasp!) talking about religion.

To hear the right talk, one would think that there’s not a religious left. But there is and this has always been the case. The difference is that democrats are believers in the concept of the separation of religion and government. Then the religious left do not require that every person of faith think alike. In general they’re respectful of others practicing the dictates of their faith as long as they don’t impose their beliefs on those who aren’t of like minds. Many have left religion institutions behind because they aren’t impressed with those who claim the Christian mantel and who can blame them. Just watching White Evangelicals supporting a morally bankrupt, racist leaning president would send most sane would be Christians running in the opposite direction. But most Democrats do self -identify as being Christians.

Democrats become politically active around issues to lift peoples up, to protect their rights, to correct an injustice which is how they display their moral values.

IMO, it’s unfortunate that religion plays any part in politics. Yet there’s no argument that it does. A very MAJOR part, in fact. Particularly when Republicans are the ruling party. For them, religious issues become front and center in determining how people in this nation should live. And there can be no argument. It must be their way or no way.

Democrats, on the other hand (as Gronda points out), take a different stance. They believe religion should stand on its own. In other words, if you want to practice your religious faith, you are totally and absolutely free to do so. In fact, this is even written into the Constitution. However, attempts to impose your religious beliefs on others is a line that is not be crossed.

If we’re honest, none of us likes being told how to live our lives. It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on. This is the primary reason problems arise in relationships … and society. One side insists the other side live by their rules.

It’s never going to work.

Yet we know there are those on the Republican (religious) side who are going to do their damndest to tear down anyone who doesn’t meet their criteria.

For everyone’s sake, I hope they fail.

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The Rich, The White

The following opinion piece by David Brooks of the New York Times was in our local newspaper. I felt it was worth sharing and opening the floor for comments.

The Rich White Civil War

His piece is based on a report by Hidden Tribes (which he references), but I think you’ll find the following offers even more comprehensive information.

I trust my politically-minded followers will find all of this a worthy read.

A Message from the Republican Party

The following was posted on John Pavlovitz’s blog. The message is profound.

It is written as being “from” the Republican Party of 2018.

To the Young Men of America,

You can do whatever you want to young women.

You can disregard their humanity,
force yourself on them physically,
ignore their pleas to stop,
proceed without consent,
hurt them,
humiliate them,
indulge your urges,
treat them as property,
and silence, slander, and intimidate them after the fact.

You can do this as often as you like, to as many young girls as opportunity and your desires allow.

We will have your back (providing you are white, wealthy, and one day vote Republican).

We will marshal our every resource of finance and position and privilege in protecting and defending you.

You will receive sanctuary in our midst, regardless of the horrors you are responsible for or the recklessness and brazenness of your conduct.

We will help you in any way we can, to malign your accuser’s character, destroy their credibility, and embarrass them further.

We will blame alcohol or her memory or her behavior in the past.
We will talk about your viciousness in ways designed to make it seem commonplace.
We will paint you in as flattering a portrait as we can, so that you actually come out looking like the victim, so that the accusations are actually a help.
We will have no loyalty to the truth or to goodness or decency, if such things pose a threat to either your narrative or our prosperity.
We’ll use the invaluable resource of the Evangelical Church to even make supporting you, part of God’s will.

If no other option is available, we will simply ignore what you’ve done. (After all we installed a President that way.)

We will never allow the violence you make young women endure, to prevent you from having opportunity and advancement and success.

We can promise you that.

And to Young Women of America,

You don’t matter.

Not your trauma or your pain,
not the innocence you lose,
not the damage you sustain,
not the scars you are marked by,
not the nightmares you are haunted by,
not the peace you no longer find,
not the confidence that leaves you,
not the fear that is ever present,
not the shame that you cannot shake,
not the silence you are imprisoned by.

We simply do not see you as valuable—at least not as valuable as the status quo we’re protecting or the legislation we’re coveting or the religion we’re perpetuating or the votes we’re needing.

You are the acceptable collateral damage of our misogyny and entitlement.

Your body, your emotional health, and your sense of safety—simply aren’t worth more than a Supreme Court seat.

Of course, should a pregnancy somehow be created by your violation, we will vigorously demand that you be forced to carry it, even if it exacerbates your pain and magnifies your despair. After all, we urgently need to perpetuate the appearance that we are pro-life—just not your life.

We can imagine this is less than ideal for you, but we hope you understand that this is how it has always been, and we are counting on you to indulge us one last time, and we appreciate your cooperation.

After all, we have a Patriarchy and a predatory President to protect.

So, young men and women of America, we hope you see us with clarity.
We hope that in these days, we are exposing ourselves fully.
We hope you know who we are now.

We’ll see you in November.

Sincerely,

The Republican Party of 2018

Letter to White Evangelicals

GrondaMorin.com is a blog I just recently started following. From what I’ve seen so far, the posts are primarily politically oriented with large dollops of criticism about the current administration. Although Gronda describes herself as “a person of faith,” in a recent post she worries that “peoples will judge all Christians including Evangelicals by the 80% of White Evangelicals’ lack of courage and decency to stand up for what’s right.”

She then presents a letter written by John Pavlovitz (see this article) that I felt was well worth sharing. In it, Mr. Pavlovitz addresses the Evangelicals who continue to give cover to President Trump’s abusive way of treating others and for his chronic lying.”  It’s titled“This is Why People Are Through With You.” 

Following is his letter …

Dear White Evangelicals,

I need to tell you something: People have had it with you.

They’re done.

They want nothing to do with you any longer, and here’s why:

They see your hypocrisy, your inconsistency, your incredibly selective mercy, and your thinly veiled supremacy.

For eight years they watched you relentlessly demonize a black President; a man faithfully married for 26 years; a doting father and husband without a hint of moral scandal or the slightest whiff of infidelity.

They watched you deny his personal faith convictions, argue his birthplace, and assail his character—all without cause or evidence. They saw you brandish Scriptures to malign him and use the laziest of racial stereotypes in criticizing him.

And through it all, White Evangelicals—you never once suggested that God placed him where he was,

you never publicly offered prayers for him and his family,
you never welcomed him to your Christian Universities,
you never gave him the benefit of the doubt in any instance,
you never spoke of offering him forgiveness or mercy,
your evangelists never publicly thanked God for his leadership,
your pastors never took to the pulpit to offer solidarity with him,
you never made any effort to affirm his humanity or show the love of Jesus to him in any quantifiable measure.

You violently opposed him at every single turn—without offering a single ounce of the grace you claim as the heart of your faith tradition.You jettisoned Jesus as you dispensed damnation on him.

And yet today, you openly give a “mulligan” to a white Republican man so riddled with depravity, so littered with extramarital affairs, so unapologetically vile, with such a vast resume of moral filth—that the mind boggles.

And the change in you is unmistakable. It has been an astonishing conversion to behold: a being born again.

With him, you suddenly find religion.
With him, you’re now willing to offer full absolution.
With him, all is forgiven without repentance or admission.
With him you’re suddenly able to see some invisible, deeply buried heart.
With him, sin has become unimportant, compassion no longer a requirement.
With him, you see only Providence.

And White Evangelicals, all those people who have had it with you—they see it all clearly.

They recognize the toxic source of your inconsistency.

They see that pigmentation and party are your sole deities.
They see that you aren’t interested in perpetuating the love of God or emulating the heart of Jesus.
They see that you aren’t burdened to love the least, or to be agents of compassion, or to care for your Muslim, gay, African, female, or poor neighbors as yourself.
They see that all you’re really interested in doing, is making a God in your own ivory image and demanding that the world bow down to it.
They recognize this all about white, Republican Jesus—not dark-skinned Jesus of Nazareth.

And I know you don’t realize it, but you’re digging your own grave in these days; the grave of your very faith tradition.

Your willingness to align yourself with cruelty is a costly marriage. Yes, you’ve gained a Supreme Court seat, a few months with the Presidency as a mouthpiece, and the cheap high of temporary power—but you’ve lost a whole lot more.

You’ve lost an audience with millions of wise, decent, good-hearted, faithful people with eyes to see this ugliness.
You’ve lost any moral high ground or spiritual authority with a generation.
You’ve lost any semblance of Christlikeness.
You’ve lost the plot.
And most of all you’ve lost your soul.

I know it’s likely you’ll dismiss these words. The fact that you’ve even made your bed with such malevolence, shows how far gone you are and how insulated you are from the reality in front of you.

But I had to at least try to reach you. It’s what Jesus would do.

No matter where you stand on the religious scale, I think you’ll find it difficult to disagree with this condemnation of “White Evangelicals.”