For Good Men To Do Nothing..

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

slice8  I don’t necessarily call, at least yet, our current times evil but none the less the Edmund Burke quote above applies to where we are as a country. Too many of us decided to sit out the last election cycle and what we got is the result.  I certainly hope that this is a lesson learned and election participation increases dramatically in the coming years. We can no longer allow a radical fringe minority to choose our country’s leadership.

Good men doing nothing is basically the cause for much of the evil in the past. Hitler’s rise to power is a result of  Germans thinking that he will go away on his own.  But the stronger he got the less able they were to do anything about it.  I know many in that period who supported him say they were just stuck in the times but to me that is a pretty lame excuse much the same as those who now lament that they pulled the GOP lever the last time around.

How could people just ignore the fact that Hitler was exterminating millions in gas chambers in their backyard!! How could they do nothing!! But, there is a different lesson learned from those times and that is that we as a world have been in much deeper straights than we are presently. There are too many today who seemingly have given up that times will be better.  They have given up hope that we will continue striving to be a “Brother’s keeper” nation as Jesus demanded of us.  All we need to do is to look back at those times and then look to where Germany is today.  They are now the Europe’s leader and may someday be the world leader.

Don’t give up hope that things will get better. Instead as good men and women, rise up and do something about it. I will bookend this post with another famous quote and this one is from Gandhi.

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The Sit Back And Wait Syndrome..

One of the major problems, that is besides their political leanings, is too many evangelical churches preach the “Sit Back and Wait Syndrome”. I know, as I did so myself, that it is too easy to just ignore your Church’s current beliefs in order to preserve your “country club membership”. Taking a stand against something often times means you’re asked to leave as you don’t believe the “right” things. That can be hard on your social life but do you really want to put that ahead of your spiritual life?

The “SBAW” syndrome goes something like this:

  • Everyone of us are dreadful sinners and there is nothing we can do about that. All we can do after we accept Christ as our savior and then hunker down against the big bad world and wait for the second coming.
  • Since we are nothing but miserable sinners God doesn’t expect anything from us. He has done it all so it doesn’t matter how we act or what we do.  But if we feel like it we could try to do some good deeds and he won’t mind too much. The only thing that really matters is that we hold strong to the beliefs we have been taught by our church and then sit back and wait…
  • Since God is absolutely in control, everything that happens  is his will. We don’t need to do anything in our communities. He will do it all.  Neither do we need to do anything to bring people to Christ. All we have to do is sit back and wait for him to bring them to us in his time, not ours.

You get the idea of the “SBAW” syndrome.  It justifies doing nothing within their communities or for that matter even making any changes in their personal lives. When they are confronted with those growing mega-churches they say they are only successful because they pander to sinners and tell them that God loves them anyway so they can just keep sinning.

canstockphoto36337890.jpgOf course I, and I’m sure many other followers of Jesus, take a very different track on our spirituality. We believe Jesus’ church to be about “being and doing” and not simply believing. We are to do everything we can to make the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  We believe that Christianity is supposed to be a very active thing and is definitely not a sit back and wait proposition. Jesus clearly taught us otherwise.

My fundamental difference with the “SBAW” crowd is that they almost exclusively focus on Jesus being their saviour Whereas I focus on him as my teacher of life.  That is I study his words to find out what he expects, or maybe even as the great commission says commands, of me in this life. To me that is unquestionably to be very active in my community to love others with the love of Jesus in my heart. He no way intends us to  just sit back and wait while bemoaning the big bad world out there…

To further my alternative view on following Jesus I would suggest   http://RedLetterChristians.org

The Dreams Of The Future..

slice8.png   Thomas Jefferson is my favorite writer of all time.  He was not a good public speaker but he sure knew how to put pen to paper. He was also a very prolific writer. His archive spans thousands of letters and treatises about a wide variety of topics.  He loved studying history as his library showed but more so he loved dreaming of the future.

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. So good night! I will dream on.

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams August 1, 1816

Anyone who has been around RJsCorner know that I proudly share several of the traits above with Jefferson.  Because of my Aspergers traits I am not a good speaker. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. But I am constantly thinking and writing about what is on my mine.  I kind of let a milestone go by here in that I wrote my 3,000th post here a few months ago. I never dreamed I would occupy RJsCorner as long as I have! All my life, or at least since Mr. Shuler, my high school history teacher, got me hooked I have studied American history. Up until a few years ago the ten foot wide bookshelf here in my study was filled with history books, now I have many in e-book form on my Kindle reader.

canstockphoto22029090.jpgBut most of all I am a dreamer of the future. For that reason I refuse to believe that our current dark times are here to stay. Like so often in the past the sun will eventually come up again in America. We have many good days ahead of us. But to make that happen all of us not on the fringes of society need to take back our government processes via the vote. We can no longer allow the fringes, neither left nor right, to elect our leaders who will decide the direction we take. As being proved now, that is just too dangerous a scheme.

Most of the problems we face today including healthcare for all, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, full employment are very solvable problems once we break the gridlock that is preventing us for implementing the solutions. All we have to do is to get over our stubbornness of thinking we have to invent everything and then to look for shining examples from the rest of the world to see a path forward in these areas.

The future is bright indeed if only we take the steps necessary to make it happen.

Well Then Don’t…

canstockphoto999839.jpgThe GOP and particularly the Evangelical segment seems to be against so many things. Anything to do with below the belt issues or invented since the Victorian age they are against. You name it and they seem to be against it.  There is a simple solution to this. If you are against it then just don’t do it.

  • If you believe it is wrong to eat meat then don’t do it, but don’t expect everyone to follow suit.
  • If you think it is wrong to date and especially marry a person from another race then don’t do it, but don’t expect everyone to follow suit..
  • If you think people should not choose their gender identity then don’t do it, but don’t expect everyone to follow suit..

This list could go on and on but I suspect you get the idea. For the most part each of us, at least in a recent version of our country, has a basic freedom to choose what we want to believe and what we want to do.  No one can demand that everyone believe as they do.  In Iran then the supreme leader tells the people what to do but that doesn’t happen here. You can be against all you want as long as long as you don’t try to force others to think likewise.

Of course there are exceptions to this. The old saying that you are not allowed to yell “Fire” in a crowded theatre applies here.  Some other things we are not allowed to do are for public safety and other common corporate issues.  No one likes to stop at a STOP sign but we must do it in order to keep from killing each other.  Our Constitution demands that the “rule of law”, at least until recently, must be applied equally across all segments of our society.

Constitutional freedoms form the bedrock of our society. Quit messing around with them to fit your theological beliefs… Iran is a theocracy, we are not and hopefully never will be.

Creative Beauty

To me certain things are necessary to call something beautiful. Most often they are form, symmetry, and color. Just the right combinations of these three almost always result in something being beautiful. To add the adjective “creative” to the beautiful tag means something that didn’t exist prior to the beautiful thing. Most often that is a man-made creation.

Being a car guy the picture below is one of those objects. I was not enthusiastic about the Avanti line when it was created in the 1950s by Studebaker or when it was resurrected by the Avanti Car Company in 1963. But I have come to appreciate the creative beauty of these cars since then, especially the orange one below found in the Auburn Museum in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

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Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair

My recently adopted theme for my life is Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair 

These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in one of his many letters written in 1786. That was ten years after our Declaration of Independence and three years after it was actually obtained by a bloody war.  Jefferson was in Paris at the time as one of our first ambassadors.  It would be another year before our Constitution was ratified and put into law.  The letter was basically a very long love letter to Maria Cosway but as is often the case it reflected the feelings of his soul.  Much of the letter was written around the idea that the heart says one thing while the head says another.

I take heart in those words as they relate to our current circumstances. There are many around our country today who despair of the current times. There is a totally unqualified person in the Oval Office, a Congress has been  stuck in a total gridlock mode for several years, and so many have almost given up any hope that things can and will get better.

canstockphoto10092654.jpgBut to me “Hope is sweeter than despair”. I simply can’t live with the possibility of today becoming the new norm for our country.  When one of my fellow bloggers who I probably admire the most proclaims that “Empathy is dead in our government” it shocked me to no end. This person is usually a very upbeat soul who blogs that anyone can have a happy and satisfying retirement and then helps us to understand how to make that happen. He is now basically saying that we are all on our own as the future will be “survival of the fittest” so you have to take care of yourself.

A world without empathy is not a world I care to live in and since I don’t plan on going anywhere else for the immediate future I refuse to fret about that possibility.  I will cling to my hope that these times are an anomaly that will soon fail under its own weight. To relate that belief I will start blogging here about how we have faced dark periods in our past as a country and managed to survive them.  I will humbly try to give my readers hope to replace the despair in their lives. Yes, things are bad now but they have been bad in the past and we survived them and we will survive these current times and have much better times ahead.

Galena…

slice7  I have visited Galena Illinois four times since the picture below was taken in 1990. The town just seems frozen in time to when U.S. Grant occasionally lived there.

Galena

Since the picture was recorded on film and then rescanned it doesn’t have the resolution to be a large scale photo but that doesn’t reduce it beauty.  It was taken in the early morning sun from Grant Park which is across the river from the town center .  Now onto my story about Galena.

My wife is a gamer, not the online kind but she does spend hours each week with her “computer friends” from a DVD of card and board games.  I think she has come to know those characters better than she does me.  Another part of her gaming is playing slot machines, so we occasionally spend some time in casinos.  Although they are not my favorite places I usually play $5 at a time and then call it quits.  It so happened that the last time we were in Dubuque Iowa casino I put my $5 in and it returned  over $400 in winnings!  To celebrate we decided to stop once again in Galena on our way home.

Galena-2As usual we spent hours walking the town and enjoying its scenic beauty.  I have probably taken 200 pictures of the town and yet never run out of something new to photograph each time I go. When we stopped at a high end gallery and saw the print “Galena Winter” I knew where a good portion of my winnings would go.  That picture has resided on our wall for a few years now.

 

 

Dream On… Dream On…

I have said this before but I think it needs refreshing. You are never too old to stop dreaming.  Here I am in my seventies and still dreaming of what I want to do in my future years.  Yes, some of those dreams are unrealistic from a physical standpoint but I continue to dream them anyway. Maybe someone will invent a cure for old age? 🙂

canstockphoto21819757.jpgI have been and always will be a planner and dreams  go hand in hand with that trait. To me planning something is almost as enjoyable as actually doing it.  Sometimes plans don’t work out like my recent visit to Sauder Village in northwestern Ohio but more often than not they are much better than playing it by ear so to speak. I am in the final stages of planning a trip to the Chicago region. It will include a day at the Midway Village and Museum and the Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous in early September. I just found a website that give me a listing of all the rendezvous in the country and plan on visiting several next year. There is just something about non-violent recreators that fascinates me.  Since it makes no sense to me to celebrate our country’s wars I have no interest in the Civil War stuff which seems to predominate the reenactment category.

I am probably in my last decade of life but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. I suspect I will be on my death bed and still be dreaming in case it ends up being a false alarm. 🙂

Dream On,  Dream On….

God Whispers In Every Ear..

This is the fourth and final post of Philip Gulley’s book entitled If Grace is True. Universal Salvation is not something I intended to find during my extensive study into the words of Jesus but that is where I was led.

If Grace is trueI didn’t consider this for many years. I actually thought my experiences rare. I was one of the chosen. I was special. Now I know the truth. God whispers his love in every ear. He isn’t interested in declaring his love to a select few. He doesn’t limit his presence to Vatican City, to the halls of seminaries, to the offices of preachers, or to church altars. God doesn’t restrict his communication to the Bible. He doesn’t confine his presence to any single denomination or religion. God speaks to all people, even when they’re not inclined to listen.

Fortunately, God looks for the slightest yielding, the smallest opening, to make his love known. God doesn’t stand with his back turned until we ask for him. God doesn’t hide and expect us to seek him. God doesn’t keep his distance and await our call. God said, “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here I am, here I am’” (Isaiah 65:1). What God did for the children of Israel, God does for all. God stands at the door and knocks, and if we don’t answer, he looks for an open window.

Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James (2009-03-17). If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Plus) (pp. 18-19). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The quote above is from the time that Philip Gulley first experienced God’s Grace. I too remember the specific time when I finally stubbornly admitted that I finally get it. I felt the Holy Spirit enter my soul. So you could say I was born again if that is your thing. God chose that particular moment and method to communicate with me maybe because my stubborn resistance was at a low point. It was a very emotional moment for me.   I felt like one of the chosen; one of the special ones. God found that smallest opening and made his love known to me. But what if it is really true that God does not choose among his children but has agape love for all of us and chooses us all?

I know there are places in the Bible that seem to say something contrary but if you really look at them with an eye toward universal salvation they also make sense in that venue.

  • What if we got this eternal damnation thing wrong?  After all it wasn’t really even formalized until the tenth century.
  • Are we wasting our time trying to get others to see Jesus when he already has a plan for revealing himself to each of us?  Could we be spending our time doing something that God has already worked out?
  • If grace is true then why isn’t it true for everyone?
  • Instead of trying to save souls maybe we should be teaching others about Jesus and how to follow his ways?
  • Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we all concentrated on doing the work that Jesus told us to do?

These are the questions I have been asking myself lately.  God doesn’t turn his back to us until we ask for him. He doesn’t lay back waiting for us to call his name.  He patiently keeps coming to us until we set aside our stubbornness and pride and see him as he truly is. God loves us all; I will leave universal salvation up to him to make that happen. I know he can if he wants to and he told us he wants all of us to have his love.

Can it really be as simple as that? I have come to believe so…

A Gardening I Will Go…

I have been fascinated by gardens just about all of my life.  I think it started with Mrs. Forester when I was six years old.  She was a very old lady, at least in six year old terms, who lived next to us in urban Indianapolis.  I don’t know if she was widowed or just a spinster but she was always nice to me even though I was probably a pretty hyperactive kid that most old people have little tolerance for.

Mrs. Forseter’s back yard seemed like it was a palatial estate when in reality it was probably no more than 20 x30 feet. Her larkspurs seems to tower as high as the mighty redwoods of California. She also had a vegetable patch with things I had never seen like cauliflower and broccoli.  I was fascinated by the sight of her back yard.

It wouldn’t be long before I had my own garden even if it was only an 8 x 8 feet patch.  I proudly harvested the radishes and leaf lettuce for a family salad.  My first “real” garden wouldn’t happen until I was about 14 years old.  By then my mother had left for greener pastures taking my older brother with her.  That left Dad, me, and my younger brother.  Dad was pretty much a meat and potatoes guy typical of his generation so this country garden was mainly made up potatoes, corn and green onions along with some green beans and a few other simple veggies.

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My first trip to Mount Vernon and Monticello was with my class for a senior trip in high school.  The gardens there were simply amazing. During that trip in 1965 there was little mention of the fact that the gardens were maintained by slaves, that recognition would come about  twenty years later on my second of three trips.  I found that I was much like Thomas Jefferson in that I like to experiment with crops I had never grown.

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For the score of years between 1965 and 1986 there was little opportunity for a garden as I lived in apartments and a condo but I did have tomato plants and such on the deck. When the married version of myself finally got a stand alone home I decided to “do it up right” as far as a garden was concerned. This one had a fence around it and raised beds with paths of mulch.  It was my most picturesque garden but certainly not my last.

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When I retired in 2000 and moved to our current 2 1/2 acre homestead one of the first things I did was to buy a rear tine tiller at an auction and proceed to make a 25 x 50 feet veggie garden.  It would be the most productive garden I ever had and would continue for about ten years until my body started rebelling against all the bending over to maintain it.  I now have a 10 x 32 feet version with heavy duty landscape fabric on about 80% of it.  It is pretty much weed free without a lot of effort.

 

A Story Behind Every Picture..

slice7.png  I have over 20,000 pictures in my current photo portfolio and there is a story behind every one of them.  Given that I am again reaching my breaking point concerning today’s politics I thought I would drop back into my cave and tell a few of those stories.  To that end I spent a couple of days this week going through my pictures of my life.

One of the criteria for this new category it that the pic needs to be “artsy” at least to a degree and the other is that I can describe a story behind the picture.  I don’t know how long it will take before I have the stomach to return to this maddening world but I won’t likely run out of picture stories for quite some time. So let’s get started. 🙂 

In The Beginning….

No I am not going to recite Bible verses here. That practice is way overused as far as I am concerned.  Instead I am talking about the beginning of my marriage. I know that since I didn’t get married until almost 40 that is not really the beginning but it did start a new and very different phase of my life. Anyway that is enough of the pre-story. Let’s look at a couple of pictures.

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I never dreamed I would ever get married let alone in the whirlwind pace that it happened.  My Aspie traits prevented me from having much luck with the dating scene. I just could not figure out what girls wanted. I had a few dates in high school and college but the relationships were all short-lived. After college I seriously tried to have a meaningful relationship for a while but again not much luck.

Then came that day in December 1985 when someone asked me  if I wanted to go with them to a company party. I reluctantly said yes. By that time I have  pretty much given up  the idea of a female relationship so I guess the stress was off. After the party we ended up talking until the wee hours of the morning. She didn’t seem to mind that I only occasionally had eye contact with her and that I was probably not asking the “right” questions.

After that night I just couldn’t get her out of my mind. I very often did not get to sleep until 3am or so.  We had quite a few dates in a short period of time and then things got serious. We were engaged three months after that first date and married about three months after the engagement!

We spent a surreal honeymoon in Hawaii. The pictures here are three of about 100 hundred that we took on the trip.  I’m pretty sure they were taken in Maui. The first two were off the lanai of our hotel room and the third was a volcano on top of a mountain.

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I can’t say that our relationship in the 31 years since then has all been smooth sailing. We, like most others have had our spats. Some more serious than others.  I still struggle with my Aspie traits but at least my wife seems to understand that I really do love her even if I don’t show it as much as most husbands…

An Ounce Of Empathy & Two Ounces Of Brains

I am a dreamer, always have been and always will be.  When times are bad I dream of better times. When times are good I thank the Lord. I have always dreamed that every citizen of our country has at least an ounce of empathy and two ounces of brains.  I have come to doubt that belief, especially since the person in the Oval Office doesn’t even seem to pass the bill.  I guess this particular dream will have to wait a while before it can be realized.

canstockphoto18418248.jpgNow don’t misunderstand me, I don’t expect everyone to be overflowing with empathy, but another way to describe it is “brother’s keeper” and since that is a Christian term coming from the mouth of its founder I would hope that all of us who call ourselves Christians strive to get a little more empathy each day. But sadly then I see so many so-called Evangelicals who seem to be totally ignorant of caring for others and that is almost devastating.

canstockphoto5430637As far as brains are concerned I am talking about intelligence, not particularly the amount of grey matter you have. Where intelligence is concerned I follow another axiom and that is “If you don’t use it you lose it”. Each one of us should strive to become just a little more intelligent today than we were yesterday. But then I see so many of us who seemed to be ignorant on just how flawed the person is who they voted for president it dashes my dream in this area also.  With a minimal amount of study it was obvious to me just how deficient the one who they voted for was from the get go. How could so many be confused about what was totally obvious to the rest of us?

As a final thought, maybe even those born in the country need to pass a test to be citizens. As Thomas Jefferson said a democracy cannot succeed without an informed electorate.  I don’t enjoy saying “I TOLD YOU SO” after only 1/8 of his time in office but I told you so.

 

 

Elwood Indiana Glass Festival

OnTheRoad.png This past weekend I traveled to Elwood Indiana for a visit to the Elwood Glass Festival. While there were some bright points to the trip it was generally disappointing in that the “Glass” part of the festival has been for the most part forgotten.  In 1886 the Ball brothers were looking to build a factory for their Mason Jars and they chose Indiana. Most of you rural folks like me who can some of their garden produce use Mason jars which were originally produced in or near Elwood/Muncie. The Ball Corporation was a big deal to Elwood and the surrounding area for until the 1990s when it moved it headquarters to Colorado and sold off what little remained of its glass canning business. Here is a little about its hay days from Wikipedia:

Despite the economic panic of 1893, the company was able to produce 22 million fruit jars for the year beginning in September 1894, and 37 million jars by 1897. …

The company’s F. C. Ball machine, patented in 1898, introduced mass production into its glass-blowing process and gave it a competitive market advantage. By 1905 the company was producing 60 million canning jars per year and had acquired other glass manufacturers, expanding its operations to include seven factories in addition to its main facilities at Muncie

Now back to my recent visit. The only glass related events at the festival were a couple of small glass blowing shops that were open for viewing. I did buy a couple of glass paperweights from them. There is little left of any evidence of its Ball history.  The festival itself was pretty typical of most around today. It was made up of vendors mostly selling trinkets and such. Of course it did have a midway and the usual food vendors but nothing really to do with glass.

In some ways Elwood continues to be associated with canning in that the Red Gold Tomatoes are produced there. That is a privately owned family business that was started in 1913 which was during the Ball Corporation apex. I may be prejudice but I think their tomatoes are the best around.

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It ended up that my highlight of the weekend was the Vintage Rollers Car Club’s annual event.  Here are some pictures of that gathering. Being a “car guy” it was a natural for me.

Click on any picture to see a larger slideshow

 

The Teachings of Jesus Are Very Hard To Follow..

2017-08-03_08-43-22Almost ten years ago I started my first blog called RedLetterLiving. It was about living by the words of Jesus. I was concerned that even though Christianity was founded on the idea that Jesus was the Christ few current Christian denominations seemed to put much weight on his actual words.  Little did I know that this study would go on for six years before I had fully answered my initial questions to at least my own satisfaction.

I’m not sure when the organization Red Letter Christians was started but I think it was about that same timeframe. Two much more famous Christians than me whose names are Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo opened their website RedLetterChristians.  It, unlike my site has grown tremendously since that time. I celebrate their success.

Below are some words from that cite relating to our current condition of Christianity in America.

A candidate for president of the United States initiated his candidacy on a racist conspiracy theory designed to undermine the legitimacy of America’s first black president. He announced his presidential bid with a naked appeal to anti-Mexican xenophobia and promises of a wall along America’s southern border to keep them out. He fed the basest instincts of his base by threatening to imprison his opponent by dog-whistling white supremacy and by demonizing journalists in ways reminiscent of Hitler’s attack on the “Lugenpresse.” Donald Trump assumed office as he pursued it, with attacks on the weak and marginal…

We suspect that there’s a deeper motivation that seeks to deemphasize the words of Jesus. His call to discipleship demands activism on behalf of the weak, a life-ethic of action beyond mere intellectual assent to theological propositions. Many of our fellow Christians have failed to pay proper attention to the red letters of the Bible because the teachings of Jesus have proven to be very hard to follow...

Theologies that require mental assent but leave our ethics and our politics untouched have left Evangelicalism serving as the court religion for the Republican Party. Theologies heavy on Paul but detached from their roots in Jesus and the Hebrew scriptures have inoculated discipleship from the radical lifestyle prescribed by Jesus in those red letters.

Source: Red Letter Christians v. Donald Trump’s Evangelicals – Red Letter Christians 

I find it immensely refreshing that the folks at Red Letter Christians have the guts to call out other Christians on their tepid attention to the words of Jesus.  Many of the issue that the current Evangelicals support are at least to me, very antithetical when compared to the red letters.

  • The Red Letters tell us to be our brother’s keeper, while Evangelicals support wrenching the safety net out from under the poorest of the poor.
  • The Red Letters tell us to give the shirt off our backs to those in need while Evangelicals cling to their possessions (among them their tax dollars) in the stingiest of ways.
  • The Red Letters tell us to love our enemies when that seems to be the furthest thing on the mind of Evangelicals.

How could they have possibly drifted so far astray from the words of Jesus???

I totally agree with the quote above that too much Christian, especially Protestant, theology is weighted prominently towards the words of Paul almost to the exclusion of the red letters. I agree that sticking to the red letters is probably too hard for them to do. But that is just what Jesus, the founder of Christianity, told us to do. Why are so many ignoring that basic command and seem to be inventing their own rules for calling themselves Christians?

Staying Too Long..

2011 12239.JPGI don’t know how many readers ever look at the quotes I rotate through the header of RJsCorner. I try to change them weekly but sometimes that task falls in the proverbial crack.  In the current header is a quote from Thomas Jefferson about staying too long that seems especially relative to the folks in Washington DC.

Too many in our national congress have overstayed their time there, especially in the leadership roles. I truly believe that the GOP leader in the senate is one of the basic problems with that institution’s gridlock. What will it take short of death to cause a shift in leadership?

Yes, I do believe that wisdom comes with age but there needs to be a time when even the wise turn it over to someone more youthful. Someone who agewise more closely represents their electorate.  After spending decades in congress it is inevitable that scars are formed from the battles that take place in those houses.  I think most who initially go there have noble but probably naive purposes. They want to do right and make things better for their constituents.

Speaking of Mr. McConnell in particular he seems to be the most scarred. He has spent so much time in the last seven years trying his best, or maybe I should say worst, trying to defeat anything the first black president might have accomplished. The epitome of that was to destroy the American Care Act. I’m sure this last defeat in that area will not be the final time he tries to take away healthcare to millions of us primarily due to his spite for the previous Oval Office Holder and the party he belonged to.

I’m sure the GOP thinks the same thing about Mrs. Pelosi as I do about Mr. McConnell. She has stayed too long and has too many scars herself.  To a degree I agree with them. I’m not saying that “fresh blood” is the total answer to gridlock. Ted Cruz and those like him are as toxic as anyone there.

I guess it takes a big ego to even think about being in politics today. Of course that is especially true of the current person sitting in the Oval Office.