Tag Archives: current-events

Immigration Hypocrisy Makes Me Sick

Standard

Silence is deafening, isn’t it?

I can tolerate all manner of offensive behavior without much protest, but three things will consistently anger me beyond my ability to remain silent. They are, in no certain order, lying, abuse of animals, old people, or children, and bald-faced hypocrisy. From what I keep reading in the news day after day, I firmly believe many politicians and American citizens are out-and-out hypocrites on the subject of illegal immigration.

The English Pilgrims and Jamestown colonists got off the boat in modern-day Massachusetts and Virginia, respectively, and they would have died to a man if not for the grace of God and the kindness of the native Indians of their regions. How they repaid God’s grace is a matter of debate, but how they thanked the Indians is a matter of historical record. Smallpox infected blankets, lies upon lies, and blatant disregard for Indian culture and natural rights. Down south, the Spaniards were much more direct. A conquistador would simply ask “Do you have gold? Good, we will take it all. Thank you. Now, you are our slaves, carry your, I mean, my gold to the ship.” Then, a wonderfully pious priest would ask, “Do you believe in God? Who is that? He isn’t the real god. Convert and we’ll let you live or cling to your stupid backward ways and we’ll torture you until you convert then kill you so you can go straight to Heaven.”

That was just the 16th Century.

Deemed savages because they didn’t understand or practice ownership of land and didn’t worship the Christian’s God, by that name anyway, they were worthy of extermination. The cry of the public was “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.” By the 21st Century, Indians controlled less than 1% of the continent they once stewarded and tended. Well, folk, karma is a bitch. If the Hindu reference bothers you, then how about a Christian reference from the Apostle Paul in Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.” That’s where the hypocrisy begins.

We took this land by force in the fervent belief that it was our Destiny and now some of us are pissed off people from all over the world, but mostly from Mexico, want a piece of the pie. We stole the whole cupboard and pantry and we grudge others the crumbs. Our ancestors set out in rickety ships to “find a better life” and they brave burning deserts with no water to do what? “Find a better life.” What made our ancestors so right and the new “illegals” so wrong?

People want to say, “Well, if they want to come here they should go about it ‘the right way.”” Why? Why exactly should they follow any of our laws and customs? We didn’t follow any native laws or customs to take what we wanted from them? Why do we howl so loudly now that what went around has come around? People want to say, “but that was different.” How was it different, exactly? Because they were brown instead of white? Because they weren’t “cultured?” That doesn’t fly.

It’s “different” because THEY AREN’T US.

The big argument people love to use is “They’re taking all our jobs!” Really? Just exactly what jobs are these people stealing? When is the last time you saw an illegal looking Latino individual (whatever that means) working a job you would want to have? Let’s see, landscaping? I’m sure hundreds of good strong Americans are just lined up to fill all the landscaping jobs once we deport the illegal Hispanics. I mean, who among us doesn’t want to spread truckloads of mulch, cut grass, and dig irrigation trenches in 100 degree heat?

The fact is, the only jobs the vast majority of so-called illegals are filling are the jobs business owners can’t fill with anyone else. I have an acquaintance who owns his own full service car wash. It’s not pleasant work. Wiping off cars on a slab of concrete in blazing heat and freezing cold with dampness all around is my picture of misery. He’s in his 33rd year of business. According to him, the first twenty years he filled his lines with college students home for the summer or high school dropouts learning a hard lesson.  The last ten years, though, he can’t get the college students or the dropouts. The work is “too hard.”

So, he fills all his positions with Hispanics and adores them. Both men and women are always neat, clean, prompt, and hard-working. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much supervision as he once did because all his workers are a community. They live together, eat together, and go to and from work together. They police themselves, and as he puts it, “They push a lot of cars through and make me a lot of money.”

Speaking of them being “together,” I have listened to so many good Christian people make fun of some Hispanics because they pack three and four families into a single wide trailer or a ridiculous number of them ride in a single car. Okay, riddle me this then all you stand up comedians, what kind of life and living conditions are these people LEAVING where being packed up like sardines, surviving off whatever they can get in cash, and generally being looked down upon by the people they serve is BETTER? If how they have to live here is BETTER, what in the name of all that’s holy are they getting away from?

The bottom line is this country was founded on the idea you could come here with nothing, work your fingers to the bone for a long time, and eventually “have something”. It’s called The American Dream. Why are we, a country of rebels and entrepreneurs, so incensed at a newer, hungrier wave of people coming in to grab a share of the pie? At least, we can be relatively certain they don’t plan to exterminate us as we did those who were here before us.

Something to think about. Love y’all and keep those feet clean.

 

Advertisements

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Leave the Bunker

Standard
Pope Benedict XVI is set to retire 28 February 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI is set to retire 28 February 2013.

Today is Ash Wednesday — at least for a couple more hours. Since Catholic ritual and Lent in particular have always fascinated me, I thought I would post on the meteoric news currently causing tsunamiesque waves in Vatican City. The news — for those who have been under a rock since Monday — is nothing short of monumental. For the first time in six centuries, the Pope — the head of the Roman Catholic Church — is going to resign instead of remaining in office until death as is customary.

To give y’all an idea of just how big of a big honking deal this announcement is, in the loooong history of the papacy, 266 men (or maybe 265 men and Pope Joan) have occupied the Holy See. Of that number, a whopping total of EIGHT have resigned. The rest served until their deaths.

The last pope to “resign” was Gregory XII way back in 1415. You read the date correctly. The last time a pope resigned, Christopher Columbus had yet to be born, much less “sailed the ocean blue.” I put resign in quotes for Gregory XII because he didn’t really want to step down but the church was in a serious hot mess called The Western Schism which saw three popes, or more correctly one pope and two antipopes, claiming the highest church office. Gregory was a decent guy or anyway had a good sense of responsibility so he took one for the team and stepped down voluntarily so the other two guys could step down and save face . . . and save the Church in the process.

Gregory XII resigned to help save the Church.

Gregory XII — Team Player

The last Vicar of Christ to step down because he jolly well wanted to was Celestine V in 1294. He had been a monk and a hermit before his election as successor to Saint Peter and he LIKED being a hermit monk. When he found out the College of Cardinals had elected him, he ran away and hid, but they found him and he ended up serving a grand total of five months during which time he impressed everyone by being the worst, most incompetent ruler of anything since Joffrey Lannister/Baratheon. Finally, the cardinals realized they should have left the poor guy alone in the woods and told him he could leave, which he did — immediately.

Now I realize all this papal trivia is wildly fascinating to most of you, but I mention it all just so I can get to the main part of the post and the reason for such a sinister title. It seems even though we dodged the Rapture in 2011 and the Mayan Apocalypse in 2012, we remain in the cross-hairs of Armageddon. It seems Pope Benedict’s resignation has the unintended negative effect of ushering in the End of the World . . . again.

What I am referring to is the swiftly trending on Google topic of The Papal Prophecy of St. Malachy. It seems a text surfaced in the 16th Century purportedly written by the mystical 12th Century Archbishop St. Malachy who was apparently some sort of Papal Nostradamus. The prophecy takes the form of a list of every pope from Celestine II, who was pope in St. Malachy’s lifetime, all the way to the last pope known simply as “Peter the Roman” who would come to power 112 pontiffs later.

Celestine V who famously whined, "But I don't wanna be Pope!"

Celestine V who famously whined, “But I don’t wanna be Pope!”

I’ll give everyone three guesses what number on the list the current Pope Benedict happens to be. Ding, ding, ding!! You guessed it! He’s number 111, which means — according to the prophecy — whomever the College of Cardinals elect to the Holy See in March will be “Peter the Roman” who by some accounts will be the Anti-Christ and by others will be the savior of the Church in “The Last Days.” Now as an NBC article points out, this new pope isn’t going to take the name of Peter II. So far, no pope has possessed the cajones — and believe it or not, the cardinals used to check to be sure — to name himself after the Fisherman from Galilee. Still, some people think whoever is next to occupy the Papal Throne is going to cause some serious upheaval in the world.

Of course, just as many if not many more people believe the “list” is about as useless as a milk bucket under a bull and about as accurate as Mitt Romney’s tax disclosure. They point to several historical inaccuracies in the “original” document as well as to the fact no one had ever heard of this whole prophecy deal thingy for over 200 years after St. Malachy died.

Well, as they used to say on the X-Files, “The truth is out there!” I’m not going to deny the whole thing creeps me out a pretty good bit. I was raised being taught the Rapture was imminent and those who didn’t go got to stay behind to face The Great Tribulation and live in a world ruled by The Anti-Christ. As a result of all the “Rapture talk” I grew up listening to from my elders, I have a bit of a phobia of “The End of Days.” I realize such a confession might make me look naive and unsophisticated in the eyes of some intellectuals and all atheists, but I’ve got a story I’ll tell later that gives credence to my fear.

Luckily, I had a thorough Biblical upbringing so even though the creep factor is high, I tend to discount any notion that a monk — however saintly and knowledgeable — could predict the End of the World accurately. I hold with Matthew 26:36 where Jesus told all the date setters around Him, “”However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” I figure if the last day is something even Jesus doesn’t know about, I have nothing to stress over.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t stress anyway!

Love y’all and keep those feet clean!

Let Us Join With Rachel As She Weeps

Standard

Rachel weeping I was all prepared to write something funny or something Christmasy as would befit the season, but this morning’s events in Connecticut have jolted me from that path and brought new sadness as well as sadness of memory to what should be the most wonderful time of the year. Earlier this morning, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza went into his mother’s 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered a kindergarten classroom in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, shot and killed his mother, and opened fire on the children. All we know for certain at the moment is 18 children — all under age ten — are dead along with eight of their teachers. Those numbers could rise. Lanza’s mother was found dead later.

This hurts me on more levels than I can adequately express. For one, I was a high school teacher in the black days of Columbine and the spate of copycat killings which followed. My colleagues and I talked about little else during that awful period because we were completely aware it could easily happen to us. We all knew students — TAUGHT students — who were ticking time bombs whom we were powerless to help. I must have run over an attack scenario in my mind hundreds of times. I even set up my classroom to provide maximum cover for students should someone think the unthinkable. The school supposedly had a plan; I know I did and I told my students if they heard gunshots they only had to remember one instruction, “follow Coach Wham.” My children knew how seriously I took the phrase in loco parentis and if anyone was getting shot, it would be me or over my dead body.

As someone who struggles with mental issues of my own, I also hurt because I KNOW this young man had to be mentally disturbed in some way, shape or form. Normal, well-adjusted people do not kill innocent babies in cold blood; they simply don’t; not even in wartime. That’s why the epithet of “baby killer” is one of the most terrible insults anyone can spew at a soldier. I have no idea what will eventually come to light, but I’m willing to bet someone somewhere is thinking right now “I KNEW this was going to happen. I saw all the signs.” I know what it feels like to cry out for help in all the wrong ways and to feel so helplessly out of control and at the mercy of my own mind. I’m just thankful that my anger has always turned inward because I can’t imagine doing something like this on the worst unmedicated day I’ve ever had, but at the same time I ache terribly for someone so consumed he could find no other means towards peace than this massacre which ended with him taking his own life.

This tragedy disturbs me and angers me as well because I am a gun owner and a gun supporter, but I know it won’t be long until some politician tries to make a name for himself by leading a crusade against firearms. First of all, it makes me want to puke whenever I see some little political worm making political hay out of a tragedy like this. It cheapens the deaths of these innocents and it paints even more innocent people with an unfairly broad brush. I will soon be 42 and been around guns all my life, but I have yet to see one that could act of its own free will. Legislators can ban anything they want but until they can ban evil and hatred from the human heart they don’t have a chance of stopping violence because laws do not affect people who have no intention of following the laws in the first place.

Most of all, however, this awful episode deeply saddens me as a Christian. I know, as surely as I know stop signs are red, people are going to start throwing out expressions like “Where’s this ‘God’ of yours now?” They’ll ask, “How could a God who’s supposed to love us let this happen to CHILDREN?” They’ll claim, “I’ll never follow or believe in a God who is powerless to stop this kind of evil.” And it will go on and on. Atheists like Richard Dawkins have a field day whenever a tragedy like this occurs because they point at it as proof God doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, too many people won’t look for answers and will believe this wrong thinking.

Where was God? He was where He’s always been — sitting on the throne of Heaven completely aware of everything that has ever happened, is happening, or ever will happen from eternity past to eternity future. The hard truth is, God knew this was going to happen before the plan ever became a thought in the poor deranged gunman’s mind. What so many people fail to realize is “knowing” something isn’t the same as “causing” something.

So, why does God “let” these things happen? That’s a have your cake question. Sure, God can “make” His creations (that’s us) do whatever He wants us to do, but that’s a one way street. Make us do something once, we’ll be made to do everything forever. It’s free will. We all praise and love the idea of “freedom” and “free will” but most of us don’t want to acknowledge the fact that “freedom” means just that — and if we’re free to do good; we’re also free to do otherwise. Without free will, we would never have anything like school shootings, but we’d never have anything like the Mona Lisa or the Empire State building either. Free will is all about choices and in order to free us to make good choices, God had to acknowledge some of us would make bad choices. We can’t have our cake and eat it too.

Finally, let me say one thing to those who can’t believe God could allow / do something like this AND to all the parents who lost their precious children in this horrible tragedy, God understands EXACTLY how you feel. He is a parent. He had an only child too — a son actually — who was also killed by hate filled, unfeeling men, with one important difference — God DID allow His Son to be killed. God knew from eternity past that His only beloved son would die, and He knew He would STAND ASIDE and allow it to happen even as that Son begged His Father for rescue. God the Eternal, Perfect Father watched His son die so that we could live. I do not pretend to understand it, but I know it is so. So for all the parents and loved ones who lost children today, understand that you are understood by the One who catches your tears in a bottle. If you will reach out to Him, even in this darkest hour, you will find Him waiting to comfort you.