Mixing Ice Cream With Horse Manure…

One of the things that finally drove me away from organized religion was the political side of it. Maybe the pastor was not the leader of this but he certainly didn’t try to contain it either. The politics of religion just poisoned me to it. So, when I came across the article from Red Letter Christians it got my immediate attention.

2016-07-24_08-00-44.pngAs my friend Tony Campolo likes to say, “Mixing Christianity up with a political party is like trying to mix ice-cream with horse manure. It doesn’t do much damage to the manure, but it sure messes up the ice-cream.”

Christianity becomes toxic when we lose track of Jesus….

We begin to see pastors talking more about their favorite candidate than their Savior. We begin to hear crowds chanting Trump or Hillary instead of Hosanna. We start to sing the praises of other names than the name above all names.

So I want to simply invite those of us who claim to be Christians to PAUSE. And to set our minds on Jesus.

When we lose our focus on Christ, we begin to talk a lot about stuff Jesus didn’t say much about, and we don’t talk much about the things Jesus had a whole lot to say about.

SOURCE:  Red, White & Blue People – Red Letter Christians

These are my feeling exactly!  Too much politics and hypocrisy, too little Jesus.

I am going to borrow a phrase from my previous pastor which he received from his son who was a pastor before him.  “Just give them Jesus”. The most stringent application of these words were probably from Thomas Jefferson’s Bible.  He spent years making a bible around just the words of Jesus. He ignored all the rules that Paul invented and even the miracles that Jesus supposedly performed as not being germane to Christianity.

I have a copy of the Jefferson Bible on my computer and find myself reading it on a regular basis. To me it gives me pure ice-cream. It is amazing that I have been unable to find any religious denomination that even comes close to concentrating on the purity of Jesus’ words. Too many seem to concentrate more on the rules of St. Paul than on the words of Jesus.  Too many invent totally unnecessary rules to live by that have nothing to do with Jesus’ words.

I am sad to say but I think there is just too much manure mixed with Christian ice-cream in too many places that take the mantel of Christianity.

Just Give Them Jesus.

Street Art…

I think I am developing another fascination in my life. I have had many of them as they come and go but this one seems to be particularly strong at this young stage of its life.  That fascination is street art, or commonly known as graffiti. I admit that I have not been exposed to very much of it so this is a new and unique thing for me.

It is only in the past few decades that street art has become a somewhat accepted art form. Most often it was something to be power washed off.  Just like any other art form there are degrees of acceptance and beauty. Some of it is down right vulgar and destructive but then there is also some that rivals the masters of the Renaissance for artistic talent.

When we visited NYC during our four year stay in New Jersey last last century:)  I saw a lot of graffiti on old buildings and particularly rail cars and such. It was not until I visited Canada in 2011 that I appreciated the art form of the medium. While in Quebec we came across some shown in the pictures here. This was definitely not the defacing form and probably took months if not years to accomplish.  I just couldn’t get over the beauty of them then and still can’t even now. I did add one beautiful art form here that was not painted on the side of a building:)

(As usual, click on any picture to see a larger version slideshow)

I am doing what I can to develop this passion, of course the usual collection of books have been ordered so that I can be more informed in this new arena.  Up till now about the only graffiti I know in any detail is the movie “American Graffiti” which chronicles my generation. I  also hope to become much more aware of it during my micro-RV trips in the future. It could even be a destination for some of the trips!

Its nice to be exposed to different things even in your old age. You are never to old to learn new, sometimes radically new things.  Wish me luck on this new endeavor and if you want to come along on the journey visit RJsCorner in the coming months to see what I discover….

Convention Report – A Wrap Up…

I am so relieved that the GOP conventions is finally over. Perhaps this will be their last one. Who knows?? As pointed by the quote below Mr. Trump sees a vastly different America than I do. But then again he probably sees EVERYTHING vastly different than I do.

Throughout this campaign, whenever he has talked about America, it’s only been to claim that the country is a bottomless pit of suffering and despair. The unemployment rate is over 40 percent! Crime is skyrocketing! Terrorists are everywhere! Illegal aliens are pouring over our borders like never before! We don’t make anything! We never win anymore! The whole world is laughing at us!…

And that’s what he served up Thursday night: a litany of horrors, painting a picture of the dark present which only he and he alone can deliver us from, all presented with over an hour of relentless, loud, sweaty shouting….

There were no interesting turns of phrase, no themes introduced and repeated, no rhythm, no emotional crescendo, and certainly nothing to suggest that its authors gave the barest thought to trying to persuade any voter who hasn’t already bought his “Trump That Bitch” t-shirt.

But it will be remembered nonetheless, for how well it captured Donald Trump’s personality and campaign. It was ugly and blunt and narcissistic and frightening, and if it had nothing but bad things to say about America? Well what could describe Donald Trump’s candidacy better than that?

Source: Donald Trump’s acceptance speech was both ghastly and absurd. How fitting.

The last four days have been very depressing, I can’t imagine what they would have been like if I hadn’t limited my exposure to a severe degree.  No, I don’t think we are on the verge of total destruction as he describes. Actually we are in infinitely better straits than we were eight years ago. No, not everything is perfect and some have been pretty much left behind in the prosperity but it is nothing that can’t be fixed without totally taking down the system.

At the end of these four days there is one thing that I gained and that is faith.

I have faith:

  • that the vast majority see Trump for what he is and will not buy into his false rants and accusations.
  • that all those he has been alienating  will turn up at the polls in November to officially register their dislike for him.
  • that we will not allow the hatred that permeate so many in that convention center  to result in us throwing away our underlying values and decency. Party over Principles is DEAD WRONG.
  • that most of us embrace our diversity as a nation as a good thing, not something to be shut down.
  • that we will overthrow the GOP propagated fear that surrounds us.

For these reasons I have vowed not to worry about the coming election. We will continue to live up to our dreams and principles despite a narcissist egomaniac who managed to hijack one of our political parties…. he will be gone soon enough…

Hate Personified….

The one glimmer of hope I found in the GOP convention just ended was the number of empty seats in the Cleveland arena. It seems that HATE is not a big selling point for many. But that is what was spewed out in large quantities during their four day travesty.

2016-07-21_10-49-32.pngBut then Lucifer messed with the program. Inexplicably, a charged-up Dr. Ben Carson, a vanquished Trump rival with a narrow range of vision, was given prime time real estate to pull out phrases that meant something only to a slab of the Republican base. He abandoned his prepared remarks. He implied that Hillary Clinton was in a league with the devil. Her hero, he said, was Saul Alinsky, dropping the name of an obscure socialist labor organizer as if he were Bono….

Christie had the audience cheering, over and over, “Lock her up, Lock her up.” His speech was mean, and over the top, and it violated the norms of politics, but his party knows that the only way their nominee can win is if millions of Americans who plan to vote for her decide instead that her conduct in office disqualifies her from being president. For what Republicans needed to do, it was effective. And many, many fewer people saw it than who might have.

Source: An unconventional disaster for Donald Trump

2016-07-21_10-51-11.pngI  have faith that hate is not the primary agenda for the mass who usually vote Republican. Yes, they have conservative principles that I might disagree with, some even strongly, but I am convinced that they are loving people who see hate as a vitriol destruction of their valued principles rather than a politically winning strategy. Most of them do NOT put their party above their principles.

I have hope that come November 5 Mr. Trump and his fellow hate-mongers will quickly slide into the losing annals of history and the “real” Republicans will then begin  to recapture their party. What we saw for the last four days has nothing to do with conservative principles. NOTHING…. I hope that is clear to many who usually vote Republican…

Now it is on the the Democratic convention next week. It will be interesting to compare it to what we just endured.  In my mind ANYTHING would be better…

What’s Wrong With These Pictures…

 

The pictures above are six different views of the floor of the 2016 GOP Convention. Can you figure out what is wrong with them? Go ahead and click on any of the pictures to see a large view; maybe that will help.

2016-07-20_10-25-11Let me give you a hint:

  • One-third of U.S. citizens are people of color.
  • How many of that population do you find in all these pictures?

I didn’t look at absolutely every face but I could only find one out the hundreds shown there.  Maybe that is a primary reason why the GOP is in the straits they are. The GOP, especially today’s version, is all about exclusion!  Keep them out; BUILD A WALL..   If Donald Trump is now the face of the GOP it seems likely that George W. Bush’s premonition that he will be the last Republican president will ring true in the coming years.  I just hope whatever replaces them is more inclusive and welcoming but in reality that is a very low bar.

I would love to have had another choice than Hillary. Although she is infinitely more qualified for the Oval Office than her opponent, in some ways they are very much alike.  Sadly it is definitely the lesser of two evils this time around… Hopefully things will become 20/20  for 2020.

 

 

This Country Is Bigger Than Any Two Parties.

The foundation of RJsCorner is based on the life and philosophy of Will Rogers. So, I think it is time to inject his wisdom into our current political scene. We need something to make sense of all the foolishness. (“foolishness” is the most polite word I could come up with.)  I have been around for many presidential campaigns but this one seems to take the cake for the most absurd. They just keep getting dirtier and dirtier. Here is Will quote..

Will Rogers 6“This country is a thousand times bigger than any two men in it, or any two parties in it. These big politicians are so serious about themselves and their parties.

This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super-nation.

If by some divine act of Providence we could get rid of both parties and hired some good men, like any other big business does, why we would be sitting pretty.”

 Will Rogers, 1 November 1932

As Will says this country is a thousand times bigger than all the politicians combined.  I do agree that there is too much power in Washington DC but who can take charge of it if we push those yahoos out.  I also agree with Will that we need some “good” people  to do it. Some say Donald Trump since he is a political novice is the person to do that but I just can’t get my mind wrapped around that concept.

Donald Trump who has declared financial bankruptcy four time and abandoned marriages almost as many is not the person I want to represent our country. Simply speaking, he does not have the temperament to make critical decisions during these chaotic times!  That seems all too obvious to me when I see him irrationally ranting about so many things. A judge who can’t make decisions because he is of Mexican descent is an example. I can’t imagine what he would do if he is faced with a world wide crisis.

I do agree with Will that we need an outsider to bring some sanity back into our government but there are probably thousands of others who are infinitely more qualified to do that than Mr. Trump.  What does it take for a “good” man or woman to get control pf the current political  environment?

Mr. Trump is not the scariest person in my current thinking.  What really scares me are those citizens who think he is the answer to our problems. Have we as an electorate become so illiterate in decision making processes to fall for the hype of a carnival hawker con artist.  That is what really scares me about the presidential season.  I truly pray that my confidence in the rest of us being a thousand times bigger than the candidates proves true come November 5.

Convention Report — Republican’s Vitriol Hatred For Hillary…

I admit that I haven’t watched much of the GOP convention. I just don’t have the stomach for it I guess. But what I have seen and read is disgusting. The vitriol hatred for someone is not becoming of America. Of course you don’t have to like your party’s opponent in an campaign cycle but to spew pure hatred is almost evil in my mind.  Especially when you do it in the name of God!

We knew for days there were going to be heaping helpings of Hillary-hatred served up to the crowd at the Republican National Convention. After all, if there’s one thing that brings together establishment Republicans and tea partiers, supply-siders and neo-cons, values voters and Ayn Rand acolytes, it’s that they all hate Hillary Clinton. They don’t just think she has bad ideas on policy, or that she can’t match the limitless integrity and honesty of their nominee, or that she wouldn’t manage the federal government with sufficient dexterity. They hate her, in a deep and primal way that goes beyond anything logical or rational, much less anything having to do with issues or the challenges of the presidency….

The weird thing is, the person among them who hates Clinton the least may be Donald Trump himself. Before he started running for president, he called Clinton a friend and sang her praises to the media. But just as he intuited that the path to victory lay not in the purest expression of conservative ideology or the assemblage of concrete policy plans but in a campaign of angry white nationalism, he realized that loathing for Clinton was a powerful force just begging to be unleashed.And unleashed it most certainly is. The question now is how much farther it will go.

Source: Republican hatred of Hillary Clinton has taken a harrowing turn

My last sentence before the comment above is what perhaps stunned me the most. The hatred spewed by a South Carolina pastor toward Hillary was done in the name of Jesus!  Again and again during that abomination he told everyone to hate Hillary in the name of Jesus.   I wonder how many more people were turned away from the peace loving lessons of Jesus because of these words?

Last night was supposed to be about “Making America Great Again” but in reality it was nothing but a HATE fest. I hear that even George W. Bush made the statement that he wonders if he will be the last Republican president.  Hatred as seen on that convention stage does nothing but taint the soul. Given how things are going with the GOP maybe we all should pray that Bush’s thoughts become reality…

 

 

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