Vote Independent … But Maybe Not This Time

2018-07-20_11-14-38.pngI am very serious about trying to wrestle control of our political processes from the two dominant parties. I am convinced that they are just too entwined in battling each other to be focusing on what is good for those who they represent. Adding another political party is critical to changing things.  BUT, maybe not this time around.

There is one thing that should drive everything else in the political sphere in the coming election and that is to prevent #CO3 from doing any more damage to the democracies of the world. To do that Congress must be delivered to a party opposed to his madness.  I would love to think that there are enough independents running for office to do that but I am for this election very skeptical of that possibility.

So, for the coming elections, I will be voting Democratic. There just seems to be no one in the Republican party who has the courage to stand up to the executive branch. They all are deathly afraid that the fringe who put the extreme narcissist in office might turn against them out if they voice a contrary opinion to #CO3.  The only Republicans who are brave enough are the ones that are not running for re-election or are dying.

So, I will be taking off my third party hat temporarily to effect immediate change in the direction our country is headed.  Maybe it is too little too late but I have to try.

 

Cutting Taxes Is The Easy Part…

2018-04-23_18-51-12.pngAs the new header says the GOP just loves to cut taxes but that is the easy part.  They just don’t seem to be up to the more difficult part of cutting spending, or at least cutting it where a majority in Congress will agree.  They most often propose to cut entitlements as they call them.  Those are things that help the average citizen along in life. Things like Social Security, food for the poor, healthcare for those who can’t afford it are near the top of the chopping block list for them.

They don’t seem to realize that we are a nation that cares for the welfare of our citizens.  We, as our constitution says, promote the general welfare of our citizens. We care for each other.  The ironic part of the enigma related to this is that most of the GOP claim that the US is a Christian nation.  Jesus, who is the foundation of Christianity, said the two most important things in life are to love God and to love each other.  It’s hard to make anyone believe we love them while at the same time stripping a safety net out from under them.

I saw something the other day that shows that for the last forty years or so the Democrats have been more fiscally responsible than the GOP.  One of the biggest flaws of the GOP is that they can’t stop throwing money at our war machine, even when they don’t need it.

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The Enigma

2018-04-18_08-28-11I am starting yet another series this week about the giant enigma of our times. Just so we are clear on what I mean, I will give you a definition. For you who are observant, I’m sure you have already figured it out from the new header above. The Republican party was one of Will Rogers favorite subjects. He just couldn’t figure them out a hundred years ago, and not much has changed in that respect with them since then. In this series, I will take Will’s words about the GOP and see how they fit with today’s party.

canstockphoto31485978The GOP has almost always been about the most affluent among us.  There are probably hundreds of reasons for that, but I kinda think that funding politician’s careers is near the top of the heap.  Why grovel for ten thousand $10 contributions when you can get the same amount from just one person.  All you got to do is to promise that you will look out primarily for that guy and he will open his overstuffed wallet.

But the thing that really gets me about all of this is how so many folks who struggle through life are strangely in the GOP camp? It just doesn’t make sense to me.  That question will be one of the driving factors in my study of the GOP enigma in the coming weeks. In reality, I don’t think this enigma will ever end anytime soon. It will just have to be pushed aside by the rest of us.

I hope you enjoy my attempt at explaining an unexplainable enigma…

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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.

How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal

2016-03-02_18-09-28.pngWhat happened, however, wasn’t an abandonment of my faith, but a shift in my understanding of Scripture. While I had always read the Bible and knew large portions of it by memory, I had relied on the expertise of my religious mentors (some of whom were simply laypeople teaching Sunday School or Christian education classes) to help guide me through its interpretation.

The more I read the text through unfiltered eyes and the more I learned about scholarly investigation, the less sense their point of view made. Their old Jesus looked nothing like my new Jesus.

I could no longer reconcile Jesus’s calls for non-judgment, loving your enemies, and taking up your cross with many of the Religious Right’s positions on social services, women’s rights and the LGBT community. Even though I felt alone in my theological shift, I was not…

Having my worldview fall apart like a house of cards was unnerving, but it only increased my desire for knowledge about the theology of my youth. I continued to study religion, and I received my PhD in Religious Studies two years ago. Now I no longer identify as an evangelical, but I study them for a living.  Only after my doctrinal evolution did I realize I no longer aligned with the political conservatism for which I once literally campaigned. Jesus was a champion of the poor, the weak, the meek, and downtrodden. He encouraged his followers to “sell their possessions” and give them to the poor. He hung out with hookers and crooks.

My transition to the left didn’t happen overnight, and sometimes I felt like a deserter. The man whom I worked to get elected no longer represented my politics or my piety. As I continue to observe the curious twists and turns of evangelicals, particularly during this election year, I remain fascinated by the ways they reconcile their theology with their policy

My journey from Young Republican to less young Democrat did not come from a crisis of faith, it came from finding inspiration in the life of Jesus. Once I removed the dogmatic lens that had informed my biblical interpretations, I found a figure that defended a prostitute and ate with the poor. The life of Jesus simply didn’t reflect the agenda of the political right, so now neither could I.

SOURCE:  Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal.

Reading this article was almost like reading my biography. I experienced so many of the things that the author did.  While I didn’t go on to obtain a PhD in religious studies I did spend several years  reading through religious text with unfiltered eyes and came to pretty much the same conclusions.  The current evangelical community just doesn’t look anything like the face of Jesus.

I did a lot of cutting in the quote above so I would encourage you to read the entire text if this topic is of interest to you.  It’s nice to realize that I am not the only one to sit down and read religious documents with an unbiased perspective. It was an epiphany to discover the conservatism of my youth was never what I thought it was…

The Lack Of Integrity…..

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I try to follow my hero’s advice and like everyone but this is one of those times that proves difficult to do that.  Balancing the budget on the backs of the poor is a very spiteful way to even try to accomplish that task.