Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Declaring their “CANADA-cy”

I’m changing my vote!

 

 

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We Have No Use for Them

I says to myself, “Self, don’t do it.  Just don’t do it.”

But then myself did it anyway.  How does that work?  How does it work that when your brain tells you one thing you up and do another?  My brain is a real asshole sometimes.

I don’t even post to facebook very much and I rarely get into discussions.  It leads to nowhere.  As my blog buddy Swarn Gill said in his fine post, Social Media, Fear, Change, and Love, “either I’m utterly awful and changing people’s mind, or social media just isn’t the place to do it.  Or maybe it’s both.  Either way the result is the same.  My sanity and well-being is more important, because being bombarded with the kind of people there are out there just drains me of my strength.”

Anyway, I’m sorry Michael Mock for littering up your facebook post with my brain assholery.

Michael posted this:

So, apparently the Bible was right: perfect fear casts out love. That *is* how that verse goes, isn’t it?
::is depressed::

To which I posted a comment:

Right, my knee-jerk reaction had been, “Not accept refugees?!? Are you kidding me? How unAmerican? What’s next internment camps for the refugees we have already accepted? Tracking devices for a particlar religous sect? What happened to freedom of religion? Shut down mosques? Are Christian churches next?” Having had time to absorb all the fear-based rhetoric has made me re-think accepting refugees here. The backlash they might face would only increase their anymosity and create a whole ‘nother set of problems. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I think we should accept them, but I don’t think a lot of Americans are prepared or even capable of doing that. ::is depressed, too::

And what followed was even more depressing.  I didn’t expect what I said to get a pass.  But I didn’t expect a response like this, either:

Why not just feed them there, where they live?

Which is where I should have left it.  But did I? Nooooooo.  Because….well…my brain. Did I mention my brain?

So I responded(bad move):

They aren’t running because they don’t have food. They’re running from attacks on every side. Let’s see; I can either eat a bomb or a sword. Seems like a good selection to choose from. Where they live? They have no home anymore. They are displaced. They don’t have an address.

It only devolved from there.  I should have seen when the respondent said this…

…Ultimately- these people need to handle their shit- the 75% of them that are young men need to return and fight for their homeland, as men are expected to do. The women and children may remain in refugee camps locally.

But we as a population have no use for them, no reason to bring them over here, and no imaginable benefit– hell, their fellow syrians who immigrated her years ago don’t want them (and i don’t blame them- most of the Syrians over here are Syrian Christians, with some VERY interesting stories about their peaceful neighbors.(emphasis mine)

…that he had no interest in being compassionate, nor accurate facts.

This went back and forth for way longer than it should have.  I should have just stopped, dead in my tracks, right there.  We have no use for them.  There is no imaginable benefit.

I did provide some facts, to which he provided some of his own skewed facts.  We were using the same website to get them.  But even when I showed him the nature in which they were skewed he replied with:

Did you not see the stats I just posted were also from the UN? *shrug* To be honest? It doesn’t matter one way or the other- this still doesn’t address the question of why we’re paying to fly people here instead of leaving them In Situ.

Meh….facts, schmacts.  Doesn’t matter.  Facts are stupid.  No facts will change my mind.

It did take him quite a while to invoke Jesus’ name:

These people need food, and shelter, and safety and comfort- frankly, even Jesus Christ doesn’t require us to do more than that. The Good Samaritan didn’t find the man on the side of a road a job in Samaria- he helped him, paid for his treatment, and they both went on in their lives.

What is this twisted interpretation of those scriptures?  Suddenly the Parable of the Good Samaritan is a maxim on foreign policy and an analogy for doing only what’s required.  Somehow I thought that parable meant exactly the opposite.

I left it here because that part of my brain that isn’t an asshole kicked in and told me to get out:

The whole point of resettlement, not only in America(we would be taking relatively few in comparison to the total number) but around the world, was to help these people become self suffient and get back on their feet. Teaching them to fish, so to speak. But since they are of no use to us, perhaps it is better just to throw them their daily fish. My concern is that we will be doing that forever which will be far more expensive than plane tickets. In a few years we’ll be bitching about paying their way, too. I guess we can agree to disagree.

His parting shot:

*shrug* to be honest? Jesus commands us to help our neighbors. I have no idea, as an intelligent person or as a Christian, why the hell this is our issue- any of it. From helping the Afghanis fight communism to invading Iraq to this. The middle east is like this, it always has been like this, it always will be like this. All we can do is kick the can down the road- but as the Euros have seen- bring them in, and they keep fighting their ancient wars in your cities.

Sigh…we have no use for them. I wish I could say that this has been taken out of context, but I really don’t think it has.  Ugly is out there and I know it full well.  Yet each time I encounter it I’m just as surprised and dismayed.

::is depressed::


21 Comments

Manufacturing Malice

The more extreme right side of Christianity has drawn attention to a certain red cup.  Now the media is being blamed for this supposed war because…wait for it….they reported on it.  redcup

Even The Donald has gotten in on the action.  When he’s president everyone will say “Merry Christmas!”.  I’m not sure how he’s going to accomplish that, but okay.

A number of my Christian friends have seen through the red cup controversy.  They see how silly it is.  They see what a caricature it makes them out to be.  The arguments are endless about it, still, with some saying it’s not just about the cup.  It’s that it’s just one more way that the left is winning.  It’s one more way that their freedoms are being eroded.

Because I’ve also been seeing this in my facebook newsfeed – a lot:

merrychristmas

Since when can we not say, “Merry Christmas?”  I do not know one.single.person. who calls a Christmas tree a holiday tree. What a crock, indeed.  If it did offend me, though, where would I go?  I’m American, too, afterall.  There are times like this, however, when I’d really rather whisper that than say it out loud because this is just embarrassing.

I’m not a Christian.  I do celebrate Christmas.  I put up a Christmas tree.  Not a holiday tree, a Christmas tree.

When I greet people at Christmastime I say, “Merry Christmas!”  When it’s New Year’s I say, “Happy New Year’s!”  Sometimes, when it’s someone I know I won’t see in between Christmas and New Year’s I say, “Happy Holidays!”  Because, well, there’s a lot of holiday packed in a short period of time and they are holidays, for crying out loud.

Do you know what has never, ever, ever happened?  I have never been corrected on any of that.  I’ve never been told I shouldn’t or couldn’t say, “Merry Christmas!”  I’ve never heard anybody say that it shouldn’t be said.

I understand why stores celebrate with “Happy Holidays!”  It’s not a war on Christmas.  It’s not eroding anyone’s freedom to say it, either.  Or celebrate it, for that matter.  It’s because this is a diverse society with any number of Jewish, Muslim, and Christians celebrating various holidays at the same time of year.  Who doesn’t understand that?

If you want to manufacture malice you really need to do it about something else.  You’re making yourselves look like a bunch of narcissists who think the only holidays that should be important to everyone else are yours.


60 Comments

God Honors Laws of Man

Panorama_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_Building_at_Dusk

From my facebook files:

Man can create laws, but God already has his laws in place and there is no higher court capable of overturning or revising those laws. Make no mistake…God will not honor any laws created by man. Have no fear, He is still on His throne! And He still loves all sinners….me included.

Dear facebook friend,

It is fortunate for you that what you have been and done for your whole life isn’t illegal. That somehow makes your past not so…sinful. Sure, you’re straight. But you got knocked up out of wedlock. And, like me, you’re divorced and remarried.   And, really, I think you have that whole thing about God not honoring the laws of man all wrong.  Your Good Book says:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Romans 13: 1-10(NIV)

 

Sounds like God approves of marriage(that’s what we’re calling it now).  So please stop making the baby Jesus cry.  Show your neighbors some love and respect, will ya?


45 Comments

On Bitterness

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This cute little gopher tortoise showed up in our garden!

: having a strong and often unpleasant flavor that is the opposite of sweet

: causing painful emotions : felt or experienced in a strong and unpleasant way

: angry and unhappy because of unfair treatment

Am I bitter?  I’ve been told that I am.  Okay.  Maybe.  It depends on which of these definitions you use.

Have there been experiences in my life that have left a bitter taste in my mouth?  Who hasn’t?  That might be a shorter list.

Have I had experiences that were painful or that I felt in a strong or unpleasant way?  Who hasn’t?  That might be a shorter list.

Usually, though, when someone calls you bitter it’s that last bit of the definition they’re alluding to.  Am I angry and unhappy because of unfair treatment?  The short answer is no.  At least I don’t see myself that way. Then again, we often have trouble seeing ourselves as we truly are.  But I don’t feel angry or unhappy.

Having said that, I do get angry sometimes when certain topics come up based on my experiences.  For instance, when someone – be it a man or a woman – says that a wife’s submission is the bee’s knees and that it’s a perfect plan for harmony within a marriage.  It’s God’s plan afterall.

You know what?  I’m not totally opposed to submission.  The way I experienced it had horrific results.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone ever.  Sometimes men choose to submit, too.  Sometimes people just want all the little details taken care of and never to have to make any decisions.  If the two people involved are cool with that then who am I to say that submission is a terrible idea?

In fact, there are many relationships where one is submissive and the other more dominant.  And they aren’t all religious.  If it’s a free choice made because a person knows themselves well then I think it can make for a mutually beneficial relationship.

However, if the submission is based on coercion (i.e. lording religious precepts over one’s head)?  That’s where I can become angry.  If, based on your religious beliefs, you want to submit to your spouse, by all means go right ahead and do that.  But if, based on your husband’s religious convictions he forces submission by continually reminding you it is your wifely duty, that you are sinning if you don’t, or threatens you in any way – emotionally or physically – it isn’t willful or chosen freely.

In fact, if your husband is doing any of those things you might be in an abusive relationship.  The teachings on submission within religions are but mere weapons in the arsenal of an already abusive person.  Anyone who uses scripture to guilt you into doing things to suit them is being abusive, be they male or female.

So, the long answer to the question of whether or not I’m bitter depends on whether you believe that a person’s life experiences informing their ethics makes them bitter.  If you learn nothing from the experiences you’ve had, if you can’t recognize what you’ve been through and honor that with future life choices and held values without being labeled bitter it is likely that there is something wrong with the label maker – not the labeled.

That is all.


58 Comments

Coming Out of the Dark….

…Ages, that is.

“When evil is called good, darkness is ushered into the land. And with the darkness comes a threat to our freedoms,”  says Janet Porter, author of the Faith2Action documentary, The Criminalization of Christianity, as she walks into view in the darkness under a moonlit forest, the tree branches bare.

What is this evil, you might ask?  The gays.  It’s always the gays.

Conservative Christians are alleging all sorts of actions by the “gay agenda”, such as making it illegal for a business that has an owner who has Biblical principles from opening in specific locations. Mike Huckabee has this to say:

What kind of freedom of speech do we have, if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can’t open their business in a location?”

Yes, there has been much controversy over wedding services providers refusing service to LGBT couples.  Nowhere has anyone been told that if they have a Biblical viewpoint they cannot open their business. They have been told that they may not discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation.  In turn, businesses have screamed loud and long about having the right to refuse service to anyone they see fit.  It’s quite reminiscent of the days when businesses could refuse service to people based on the color of their skin.

In response to the upholding of non-discrimination laws some businesses have opted to shut their businesses down.  Not really.  They close their storefronts and then continue to operate out of their homes.

Another Conservative Christian pastor has this to say:

...homosexual activists get everything they want. Nothing less than criminalization of Christianity.

Listen, conservatives, it’s not that hard.  No one is forcing homosexuality on you.  The legalization of homosexual marriage in no way forces you to be homosexual.  How is that so hard to comprehend?    What you don’t seem to recognize is that what you want to do absolutely is forcing your lifestyle on others.  If you get to dictate whether or not consenting adults can marry then it is you who is cramming your morality down the throats of those who do not agree with you.


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Atheist Outrage: Checking your Christian Privilege

I see things.  Things I’d rather look away from.  But it’s like a train wreck.  I know I should but I can’t.  A facebook “friend” posted this and it showed up in my news feed.

Atheists Outraged After NASCAR Legend Says This About God and Salvation

I clicked on the article to read about this atheist outrage.  The article never even addresses it.  Nowhere in the article is any atheist quoted, nor even mentioned, as having been outraged.  This is the kind of propaganda unbelievers are up against in the U.S.

Let’s set the scene, why don’t we? It was at the National Prayer Breakfast where NASCAR legend, Darrell Waltrip, was the keynote speaker.  What was that again?  The National Prayer Breakfast.  The United States hosts, at taxpayer expense, a National Prayer Breakfast which is, to my understanding, intended to unite the leaders of the various world religions.

According to Wikipedia The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a Christ-centered organization.  Every keynote speaker since 1973 except for last year when Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, who practices Hinduism has been a Christian.

Here is the excerpt of Waltrip’s address which was supposedly the source of all the outrage:

Christians everywhere are giving Waltrip atta-boys and pats on the back for having the courage to share his beliefs at an event where sharing beliefs and faith is expected.  I do not take issue with his speech.  That’s what he was invited there to do.  What I take exception to is the gross mischaracterization of atheists.  The outrage, which is the subject of the title of the article, is not even addressed!  What outrage?

What I find so very ironic about the whole thing is the Christian outrage that has poured out over President Barack Obama’s comments:

You don’t have to look very far to see Christians condemning his remarks.  Here’s an article in The Washington Post:

Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast

and another here from The Week:

The folly of Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast comments

How dare the President speak the truth?  How dare he compare the Crusades and the Inquisition to ISIS’ terrorism?  How dare he point out that horrific acts, like slavery and discrimination, had their roots in religion – specifically Christianity?  Christians are outraged that the President could make such comparisons because Christians have evolved.  They’ve improved and progressed whereas ISIS is going backward.

Have fundamentalist Christians really improved so much?  All one has to do is a Google search for exorcism, Christian child discipline, or Christians rejecting medical attention in favor of prayer, to see that it most assuredly is still possible for Christians to be radicalized.  Granted the rejection of medical attention is not considered terrorism, but what about in cases where a child is the one who is ill and the parents make the decision to pray away critical illness?  What about the brand of child discipline endorsed, no advocated, by Mike and Debi Pearl and practiced by a large portion of society?  What about recent exorcisms which have resulted in the death of the recipient of such treatment?  Not to mention the psychological harm done in the name of Christ!

Christian privilege dictates that nothing negative be said about the Christian faith.  Christian privilege says, “it’s them, not us.”  “We’re nothing like those savages.”  Christian privilege is outraged that the President could point out the failures of their religion.

If we do not learn from history we are most assuredly doomed to repeat it.  Crucify the President.