Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

A reflection on Matthew 5:38-48

February 16, 2017

A reflection on Matthew 5:38-48 delivered during a prison communion service

We seem to be living more and more in times of division – deep division. There is a tendency, a human tendency, to group and label anyway. In scriptures we find the bad and the good, the just and the unjust, your neighbor and your enemy, the sheep and the goats.

So if we look at today’s society, we have divisions that are pretty normal. But there seems to be, now, an animosity, a distrust, a disdain, a willingness to judge rather than engage and listen.

There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in many instances. There are those who love the Packers, but hate the Patriots, love the Cardinals but hate the Cubs, love or hate Democrats or Republicans, love or hate immigrants, refugees, people of color, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, unions, Planned Parenthood, the NRA.

But don’t we live in a pluralistic society with many philosophies, many viewpoints, and many beliefs? Brothers, that should be our strength, not a crack in our foundation. I am reminded of the strength when different entities are brought together. In biblical times, mud and straw made bricks. Today, carbon fiber-reinforced compounds are used to build jet fighters.

Why shouldn’t a society made up of many separate parts be stronger, more effective, more resilient, more growthful, and more life-giving? Sometimes what is needed is more confidence in our own principles and beliefs so that we can respond to differences with more tolerance, more patience, more humility … more love … that we may all reveal ourselves to be children of our heavenly Father.

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Can’t withstand the light of day

March 26, 2014

I posted this earlier today on Facebook:

Missouri execution: another death, another grieving family. Is that what balances the scales of justice? Could it be mindless revenge instead? What are we looking for?

Five in a row … uninterrupted. Seems like we’re trying to run the table. Florida and Texas are pulling away in the race.

So, citizens of Missouri, name the man executed in November. What did he do? Then name the ones in December, January, February. What did they do?

Can’t remember? These deaths are being done in your name. Is this whole death penalty thing working for you? Are we safer? Are victims’ families happier? Has grief been dissipated? Are we more respected and admired as a state? Or do we applaud and cheer when the governor gives his “thumbs down”?

Let’s move forward. Dead-of-night and secretive taking of life that can’t withstand the light of day and accomplishes nothing awaits our collective rejection and abolishment.

I continue to hope

July 1, 2012

Fear, hatred, and bigotry. A palpable presence in our civil and political discourse. The coded language, positions taken, and policies subverted abound. Nevertheless, come Wednesday I will put up our flag and continue to hope.

Less politics, more music!

January 4, 2012

New Year’s Resolution: Less politics, more music!

I spend quite a bit of time in the car traveling to the prisons five time per month (an hour and a half each way) and driving to northern Minnesota three times each year (fourteen hours each way). About 16,000 miles per year with all the other driving.

With XM radio, I have the P.O.T.U.S.  channel on quite often, Politics of the United States for the People of the United States. Commercial-free political coverage, the only commercials are for other XM programs and channels.

I have found, even while in my office, that the days when I listen to mostly music find me more content at day’s end than when I am getting all worked up over the philosophies and behaviors of our elected officials.

So what aggravates me now?

To me, shrinking government is code for not being willing to pay any taxes which could be used to help somebody, anybody. All they need to do is work harder or save more or utilize promised tax credits or vouchers. Yeah, right.

States rights would leave any social programs  (my term, an unutterable for one party) to each and every  state … regardless of resources …  showing an indifference to the consequences of “separate and unequal” care for those who struggle in today’s economy. And what kind of care for those who continue to suffer the fallout from centuries of slavery? We are already seeing this in voter ID laws, proposals to opt out of the healthcare law, etc., Draconian laws to purge undocumented residents.

Those who want our country back are those who have enjoyed and benefited from the privilege of their race, of having access to jobs and opportunities with little to no competition from people of color. And now there is “one of them” at the helm of our country?

Taking our country back is also a reaction to having black folks living in the White House. I suppose blacks serving coffee and vacuuming are OK.

By the way, if the reader believes we are in a post-racial society, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone a little more, away from your own crowd, out of the echo chamber, out of the house. If nothing else, note who is riding in your warm car and who is waiting at the bus stops.

Bogus charges of an agenda to take our country down the path to socialism, an agenda from the GOP’s playbook much of the time. I’d love to hear an example of socialism being pursued.

Charges that Obama’s policies have made the economy worse … no evidence. That Obama has been a failure, and McCain would have accomplished what?

Charges that Obama has taken the country off track. And it is off track because …… ?

So less politics, more music!

GOP National Security Debate

November 23, 2011

Watched the entire GOP national security debate last evening. Analysts on today’s news shows wondered if Newt shot himself in the foot voicing his immigration policy.

Speaking about being kind to the “other” doesn’t go down well with the Christian, family values party … apparently. We’ll see.

I actually believe that anyone on the debate stage with whom I occasionally agree could be in big trouble with the GOP base. But you know what? Thoughtful comments spice up the debates.

An unwillingness to govern for the common good.

November 22, 2011

I have said before, and I’ll say it again: One need not fear our country’s being under a theocracy of Islamic law. What we need to be vigilant for is the prospect of a Christian theocracy. Read what GOP candidates were talking about the other day in Iowa.

This is the kind of talk that has kept me away from voting Republican for the past several years. But it does fit right in with their platform of selfish indifference and an unwillingness to govern for the common good.