Tag Archives: politics

Missionary Position

Standard

boys fightingOnce upon a time, I was a new Christian determined to win the world for Jesus. I thought everyone should go to Heaven and I was the one to show them the way. I had ALL the answers to anything anyone could ever ask me about faith. Then, eight years ago, Papa John died and I didn’t have answers for MY questions, and when I finally had those pieces of life somewhat reorganized, Mama died and dumped my apple cart again. I went to a seriously dark place emotionally and mentally and almost gave up on everything.

A year later, I’m still recovering, but I’m a different person. I still believe Jesus is our savior, sacrifice, lord and the ONLY means of salvation and eternal life. (Wonder how many followers THAT lost me?) I still want to go to Heaven . . . especially if it means I’ll see Mama again. I’m still “on the firing line” as the old gospel song says, but . . . BUT, I understand a few things differently now. For instance, everyone doesn’t WANT to go to Heaven. Lots of people could care less about Heaven or Jesus too for that matter. I know there’s a difference between civil rights and religious teachings. I’m different and I’m scarred now, and because of that, I have a better missionary position than before.

I’ve developed my position around three critical ideas: a perceived interest, a perceived need, and/or an established relationship. First, I have a willingness to discuss the story of my faith in Christ and what He’s done for me with anyone who shows even the remotest interest. I believe all Christians should be willing and able to do the same because we are admonished to “always be ready to give a defense or reason for the hope we have in us.” I also think it’s important to pay attention to the person I’m talking to. If I see the reptilian haze begin to fuzz over their eyes or they seem to bristle at the name of Jesus, then it’s time to talk about the weather or football or — God forbid — politics.

Second, I’m willing to start a conversation about Christ and faith with anyone (even a stranger) who seems to be in a state of physical or emotional turmoil or pain. Some people might see that approach as intrusive or offensive, but I see such a conversation in the same light as a compassionate nurse or doctor checking on someone he saw take a tumble or having a little trouble breathing. I like to help people; I want everyone to go to Heaven, and I have the skill set for such a conversation. If they seem open, I go as far as inviting them to church one Saturday night or Sunday morning; if I sense pushback, fine – it’s a perfectly legitimate choice on their part and we’ll just leave it at that. It never hurts to care about people, though.Finally, I’ll initiate faith discussions – often intense ones – with non-believers I have an established relationship with. The key is ESTABLISHED. I’m not going to ask a person if he’s a Christian on our first meeting unless he brings it up. Football is much safer for a conversation starter. I’m talking about people I’ve known and interacted with over a lengthy period of time. It could be a friend, but I’ve also had these faith discussions with my regular waitress at restaurants I frequent. These are people who know a decent amount about me. Hopefully, they can tell I’m a Christian before I even bring it up; if they can’t, I’ve got a bigger problem because my life isn’t a reflection of Whom I serve.

Discussions like these, however, are YEARS forming and they are not without hazards – I’ve lost touch with a couple of people I considered good friends over tension between our beliefs, but such is the risk anyone who wants to point people towards God’s Kingdom must be willing to take. It doesn’t feel great and it certainly doesn’t make me some sort of martyr to lose a friend over my faith, but if you put yourself out there, it’s likely to happen at some point. In the end, all I can do is show the way; I can’t walk the path for them. My grandmother-in-law had a saying I think of often: “We must let people go to Hell in their own way.”

Now just as I have three key ideas I live by for sharing my faith, I also have three things I avoid. For one, I will NOT “debate” religion in a comments section of a website or in posts on Facebook. Text is a poor way to debate ideas because so much communication and meaning relies on non-verbal cues. It is extremely difficult to gauge someone’s state of mind or read his intent on a message board. I see online religious “discussions” as THE fastest way to obtain proof of Godwin’s Law, Poe’s Law, and – most profoundly – John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Theory, often all in a single comment or post. Remember, don’t feed the trolls.

The second thing I will not do is participate in any sort of mass “direct evangelism.” For those who didn’t grow up in the South, direct evangelism is going door to door in neighborhoods, trailer parks, and shopping malls to ask random people to sit down and discuss their salvation. This kind of missionary position is not the exclusive domain of Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, but they’ve made it famous; however, I know of several “regular” churches where one night per week is “visitation night” or “outreach night.” I know this human faith wave has produced fruit, but I also know it’s created more bad press for Christians than good. No one wants to deal with telemarketers, even if the product is salvation, and knocking on the wrong doors these days is a quick way to meet Jesus in person via a 9 mm slug to the head.

My final taboo is “Christian merchandising.” My cars do not sport chrome fish or any other Christian device. I do not own a Christian t-shirt. I don’t carry a reference or study bible with me wherever I go. None of this is due to my shame at being a Christian; it’s the polar opposite. Before chrome fish, we didn’t have chrome fish with feet, chrome fish eating chrome fish with feet or vice versa, or chrome flying spaghetti monsters. Also, I know how I drive and ESPECIALLY how my Budge drives. I don’t want to embarrass Christ with our road rage. I can’t think of a worse witness for Jesus than cutting someone off with a huge chrome fish on your bumper THEN giving them the finger when they blow their horns at you.

So, that’s my take on sharing my faith. I want everyone to go to Heaven, but I’m not naïve enough to believe everyone will make it in. Hell, some days (LOTS of days) I have serious doubts about myself! Love y’all; keep those feet clean.

Ten Years or Another Lifetime? Most Nights, I Don’t Know.

Standard

Read ’em and weep. I know I did.

I was on my way to being very chipper and upbeat this morning until I looked at the calendar and saw the date was October 23. I had almost forgotten . . . the key being ALMOST.

Ten years ago this afternoon, at 1:00 PM to be precise, life handed me the mother of all lemons. Actually, that’s a little too “cutesy.” The long story is ten years ago this morning I took one of the Magnificent 7, which is my euphemism for the seven events that radically changed my life for the worse. Each of the seven were hammer blows against my emotional well-being and each of the seven — in seven different ways — shattered me mentally and emotionally as easily as a cinder block dropped from a highway overpass will shatter a vehicle’s windshield and with about as much warning. Ten years ago today, following a short and slanderous hearing at 301 Camperdown Way, I was summarily and officially dismissed from my teaching post at Woodmont High School.

The short story is I was lied to and about, publicly humiliated, then fired from teaching. I’d been exiled from the one place where I’d normally felt safest, happiest, and strongest. For the first time in my life, I had been kicked out of school.

I plan to post all the documents I still have from the hearing and the aftermath. When I do, you can read them for yourselves. I don’t have the mental energy to type out that story here. I love this blog. It’s not much, but it’s mine and I’ve tried to steer clear of controversy and painful memories, but to deny the scars is to deny the events which caused them and any event that makes you seriously question whether or not you really want to go on living in a world where things like this can happen to you is much too important to be ignored.

I haven’t had many things happen to me that have affected me as much or as long as getting fired did. It was two years before I was able to get back into teaching for good and I wouldn’t have gotten a break then except my alma mater needed an English teacher and the assistant principal had been my Geometry teacher and the principal had student taught my senior class in something or other. They knew me personally so they didn’t really look at anything from “The File.”

It wasn’t the same though. For one thing, Thomas Wolfe was absolutely right when he said, “You can’t go home again.” Teaching in what had been my AP English classroom in my senior year forced me every day for 180 straight days to confront ANOTHER one of the Magnificent 7 so when a library job opened up one district over, I took it.

So, it’s been ten years and the pain is just as fresh in my mind now as it was then. I can still taste the metallic tang of pure adrenaline fueled fear in my mouth when I think about the hearing. I can still see the faces of the “witnesses.” More than anything though, I can still hear the thunderous silence of the people I had called friends and colleagues for almost nine years. I had helped these people in more ways than I can imagine. I’d tried to be there for them, but when I was strung up and dangling, none of them . . . NOT A SINGLE ONE bothered to vouch for my character.

I remember leaving the district office with Budge in tears and Mama in a rage like I hadn’t seen on her face since I was a third grader and Ray Bates’ mother (God rest her soul) grabbed me by the collar and shook me because I had finally stood up to Ray’s bullying. People have asked me if I was angry and I always tell them I was too concerned with keeping Mama and Budge from getting locked up to be angry. I just wanted to get home.

Thirty minutes after leaving the pillory, I went back to the school and to the room I’d called home for so long. It was a mess because the string of subs who had kept the class during my six weeks suspension while I awaited a hearing hadn’t been able to control my hellions or my brilliant AP History students. While I was gathering my things, the assistant principal who had been the main “detective / witch hunter” for my case came into the room and asked me “So how’d things go?” I still thank God and 300 mg of Effexor CR for not decking her in her smug little mouth right then. As it was, I snatched my posters from the wall, took a few folders from my filing cabinet, and collected my most prized belongings from my beautiful desk that my friend Brian Ashley had helped me restore five summers before , then I walked out.

I’ve never been back.

Now as a sorry excuse for a Christian, I do not believe in karma, but sometimes it is tempting when I consider this. None of the three students whose complaints against me triggered the whole debacle ever graduated from high school. The principal who threw me under the bus didn’t make it through the year herself but was dismissed in disgrace partly because parents complained to the district office about her attending home football games about “two and a half sheets to the wind” as we say in the country. The superintendent who was such a jerk over the entire thing was fired by the school board within a year, partly over allegations of misconduct with a couple of female principals and partly for just basically being an ass of the 33rd degree. Finally, the district lawyer who prosecuted my case was fired and arrested a few years later after a district computer technician found alleged child pornography on the computer in the lawyer’s office. The child porn charges were eventually dropped because no one could prove the boys were underage, but the computer crimes stuck and he may still go to jail.

Coincidence or karma? You decide.

Love y’all. Keep the faith and the feet clean.

My Completely Amateur Punditesque Thoughts on the SC Primary Results

Standard

I realize I’m late to the game in chiming in on Saturday’s GOP primary results here in my home state. I want to start by saying Stephen Colbert should stop being such a tease and run. If you have the cajones and the deniro to offer to pay for the entire primary, you have enough to run for POTUS and who among us does not salivate at the prospect of a Stephen Colbert / Jon Stewart ticket? Really, how much worse could they screw things up?

Honestly though, I REALLY don’t want a POTUS named “Newt”. Even if he decides to act older than the perpetual horn-dog teenager he seems to be and goes by Newton, he’s still going to have the worst Presidential moniker since good ol’ Millard Fillmore (1850–1853). (Just as a historical aside, I realize the aforementioned M. F. doesn’t get a lot of high marks for his performance as President, but being a former librarian and lover of books, he will always be near to my heart for founding the White House Presidential Library.)

 

I would like to make this observation, however. Recently, a subspecies of Japanese Fire-Belly Newts was discovered that can regrow its eyes up to 18 times in 16 years. That leads me to believe “Newt” might be a pretty good nickname for Mr. Gingrich. After all, the only thing more changeable over 16 years than a Japanese Fire-Belly Newt’s eyes are Newt Gingrich’s spouses, lovers, religious denominations . . . oh yeah, and his political ideals as well.

 

Survivior 2012: Washington, DC

Standard

As much as I hated to see it come, another Presidential election year has arrived. For the next twelve months, the American people will be inundated by ads on television, radio, Twitter, and probably Facebook telling us how great this candidate is and how horrible all his (or her) opponents are. Whoever comes out of the Republican Survivor Series gets to face off against the reigning champion / President, one Barack Obama.

Here is where it gets wildly interesting because ALL the Republican pundits from Glenn “Cry Me a River in my Sweater Vest” Beck to Rush “more Oxy than Billy Mays” Limbaugh are predicting a huge landslide win for the Republican candidate — whoever that turns out to be.

I highly doubt it.

Now let me get one thing straight from the beginning. I am not a political expert or commentator. I’m writing this post because I’m sick of the endless Republican presidential Debates ALREADY. People haven’t really started putting out yard signs and wearing bumper stickers yet and I’m already OVER IT. So I just want to point out why I think things are not going to turn out the way all the “experts” believe they will.

I don’t really care who wins because none of the candidates or President Obama share my views. I’m an Anarchist in the V for Vendetta mode. Read the book, you’ll understand.

Anyway, here goes my amateur breakdown of the upcoming Republican defeat. If I’m wrong, please comment. Also, I don’t usually ask this, but pass this one along because I’m SICK and TIRED of hearing all this politico-babble.

First, and this is the big elephant in the room people don’t want to talk about but, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that President Barack Obama is the first African-American / person of color / Black POTUS. Now I know he’s actually biracial. My wife’s FOURTH graders know he’s biracial. That doesn’t really matter. He’s the first non-lily white man to get elected and a BIG chunk of the population of the USA is REALLY proud of that fact, and they have every right to be. Obama is THEIR man. If you don’t believe it, look at Herman Cain’s “numbers” among Black voters. Small single digits.  The people of color in this country are going to vote for Obama.

Second, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that this country has many, many more poor people than rich people. Also, “rich” is relative; to a man living in a van down by the river eating government cheese, I’m probably looking like Warren B. himself. Anyway, all those great unwashed masses of poor people VOTE for President. They might not vote in off-year elections or any other election from Senator on down to dog-catcher, but they will vote for Presidents.

Didn't anyone tell those people what "tea bag" means before they picked the name for their movement? I mean, c'mon people, Wikipedia is your friend.

Now poor people — deserving and undeserving — have a vested interest in making sure all the entitlements stay in place. Word is starting to get around that the candidates who are going against Prez O want to mess with those entitlements. That’s messing wit’ they check! You ever been to a post office in a small town on “check day” third of the month? All those people standing in front of open PO boxes waiting for “they check” WILL vote in 2012 and they ain’t voting for someone who might “mess up they check.” Poor people are going to vote for Obama.

Third, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that this country has as many — if not more now — OLD PEOPLE than young people. Old people LIKE Social Security. After all, “they paid into Social Security all their lives and THEY DESERVE TO GET THEIR MONEY!” Now, you and I know that Social Security doesn’t really work that way and who they were paying for were the retirees of 20 years ago and such. Most old folk don’t know that AND they don’t care to learn it. All they know is people like Romney and Co. are CONSIDERING fooling around with Social Security. Heck, they might even DO AWAY with Social Security and if they do that “I’ll lose all that money I put in over the years!” Old people are going to vote for Obama.

Let me interject a bit of knowledge here so you’ll know that I’m not a dumb as I sound sometimes. The Teabaggers, rabid Conservatives, and even I know that the welfare entitlements and Social Security are slowly but surely bankrupting the country. They aren’t doing it alone, I know, but they are a big chunk of the problem. I hear people all the time on TV talking about “don’t these people know the country can’t sustain this level of paying out?” To answer that question — NO, they don’t know that AND if they DID, they wouldn’t CARE.

Have you looked at Greece lately? It’s been in the news when they needed something to pull away from the pressing drama that is the “Penn State Sex Scandal” or the all important latest doings of one or more Kardashians. Greece is FLAT BROKE. They are just BARELY paying their bills. They are about to go under. As a result, the Greek parliament has passed “austerity measures” designed to cut spending and they’ve raised taxes some. Do you think the Greek people have jumped on board and agreed to tighten their collective belts to help ensure their country’s solvency? HADES NO! They are rioting in the streets! Those people are PISSED! They don’t CARE if the country is broke as long as “they get they check.” What will happen when they check stops because the country is BANKRUPT?

Told you! I ain't lying.

Think fire. Lots and lots of fire. For some reason, pissed off people like to burn stuff.

Does anyone REALLY think the people of America are going to be any better as we near economic collapse? No. Most people in America have no idea what country-wide economic collapse IS. All they know is “they got to get they check” on the third so they can make a payment on the trailer so they won’t have to live in the van down by the river. You tell them it’s going to mean higher taxes and THEY DON’T CARE because THEY DON’T PAY TAXES ANYWAY! Zero increased by 50% is still ZERO.

Any candidate — Presidential or otherwise — who runs on a platform of cutting entitlements or changing Social Security is NOT going to get elected or re-elected and politicians are all about the elections because being up on “The Hill” is a pretty sweet gig if you can get it. The hours are good, the pay is good, and the retirement is phenomenal! In all, being a politician is a great way to “get a check,” and we all know that no one — politicians included — wants ANYBODY to “mess with they check.”

Love y’all. Keep the faith and the feet clean.

Illegal Hypocrisy

Standard

I tolerate much offensive behavior without protest, but four things consistently anger me beyond my ability to remain silent. They are — in no particular order — lying, abuse of the helpless (elderly, children, and animals), Clemson football play calling, and bald-faced hypocrisy. At the moment, I’m pretty well pissed because  too many politicians and people are such hypocrites on illegal immigration. Immigration hasn’t out front lately with all the media coverage going to the “debt crisis.” (Debt crisis! Come to my house; I’ll SHOW you a debt crisis) Yesterday, though, I saw some stuff on Facebook in the comments section of President Obama’s page that remind me of how ugly this debate really is.

Here’s the problem as I see it; the story of Europeans in America is a story of raping and robbing, of deceit and destruction. When English Pilgrims and Jamestowners got off the boats, they would have ALL died if not for the grace of God and the kindness of the natives. How they repaid God’s grace is a matter for theological debate, but how they thanked the Indians is a matter of historical record: smallpox infected blankets, blatant disregard for Indian culture, and complete dishonesty in treaty after treaty. Sure doesn’t say much for people who founded a country supposedly based on “equality of all mankind.” (Of course they meant all free, white, male, landowning, and educated kind.)

Down South America / Central America way, the Spanish were at least honest. A conquistador would simply ask “Do you have gold? Good, we will take it all. Thank you. Now, you are my slave; 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 immediately and live or cling to your stupid backward ways (that built at least 3 flourishing empires) and we’ll torture you until you beg to convert then kill you so you can go straight to Heaven.”

By the end of the 20th Century, Indians controlled less than 10% of the continents they kept and tended so well for thousands of years. One would think they were just waiting to be discovered and exploited by the white man. Deemed savages because they didn’t understand or practice ownership of land and didn’t worship the Christian’s God — at least not by that name anyway — they were worthy of extermination as in “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Well, folks, karma is an ill-tempered bitch with a long memory. If the Hindu reference bothers you, then how about a Christian reference?  Apostle Paul in Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, he will reap.” For 500 years, European “immigrants” have destroyed and exploited the native people. Now their descendents want some of it back.

Thus begins the hypocrisy.

We took this land by force with the fervent belief it was our Manifest Destiny. Now people are pissed off at people, mostly brown people from Mexico, who want a piece of the pie. We wanted, nay, demanded, the whole cupboard and pantry yet begrudge them the crusts they want. Here’s the deal, our ancestors set out in rickety ships to “find a better life.” The new wave of illegal immigrants walk across deserts with no water while avoiding crazy, trigger-happy “Minutemen”  to do what?

“Find a better life.”

What made our ancestors so right and the new “illegals” so wrong? We didn’t feel the need to obey native laws or customs, so why do we cry foul when what went around has come back around?

I know people will want to say “that was different.” How was it different, exactly? Some will go on about how a lot of the illegals are criminals and represent a danger to our safety. Really? Well,  a lot of Indians died because Europeans wanted land, so I’d say the Indians were in danger, but apparently that’s okay with everyone .

Rash Limburger and his ilk love to blather about how, “They’ll take (or they’re taking) all our jobs!” Really? When is the last time you saw an illegal looking Latino individual working a white-collar job? Just exactly what jobs are these people stealing? Let’s see . . . landscaping? I’m sure hundreds of Anglo-Americans will line up to fill all the landscaping jobs once we deport the illegals. I mean, who doesn’t want to spread mulch, cut grass, and dig irrigation trenches in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity? How about highway construction? Sign me up to stand behind a dump truck full of 600 degree semi-molten tar and rock ready to spread it with a shovel! Household staff (aka “maids”)? Custodians? Slaughterhouse workers? Dish washers? The fact is, suspected illegals fill jobs Anglo-Americans have mostly abandoned but still need doing! Why begrudge someone a job you don’t want?

An acquaintance of mine owns his own full service car wash. He employs a large number of Hispanics, but it wasn’t always like that. According to him, in the first years he filled his staff with college students home for the summer or high school dropouts learning a hard lesson. Now the last ten years, he can’t get students or dropouts. When he asks them why they are leaving — the ones man enough to show up and tell him anyway — they say the work is “way too hard for the pay.”

He says he never has a problem with his Hispanic workers though. Men and women alike are always neat, clean, prompt, and hard-working. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much supervision as he once did because his workers are a community. Many of them 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.” He acknowledges some of them may be illegal but whenever he’s asked for it, they’ve the correct required paperwork.

This country was founded on the ideal that you could come here with nothing, work hard for a long time, and eventually “have something”. We even have a name for it. It’s called The American Dream. So why are we — a country of rebels and renegades, eccentrics and entrepreneurs — so incensed at a newer, hungrier wave of people coming in — just like our ancestors did — to grab a share of the pie we stole from them originally and have been hogged to ourselves for 200+ years? They want the same thing those early colonists wanted — a better life.

We even have one advantage over those natives’ ancestors who greeted our European progenitors; we can be relatively certain they don’t plan to exterminate or enslave us.

That’s what I think, anyway.

Love y’all and keep those feet clean!

Stop Hijacking Jesus

Standard

As a matter of good raising, I don’t normally discuss sex, religion, or politics in polite company. Lately, though, a trend has developed that has me frothing at the mouth and I’ve reached the point of putting my irritation into print.  Therefore, this post will be quite religious and political in places. So, if you are an atheist or you hate religion or you just don’t like reading or talking about spiritual things, here’s your warning. Hit the bricks now and if you still read to the bottom, don’t send me some comment about how “weak-minded” or “old-fashioned” I am to believe the Bible is real or that God is real or that Jesus is real. I’ll take my chances, thank you very much.

So, you’ve been warned.

If you’re still with me, know that what’s driving me nuts (well, MORE nuts) is the growing tendency of people in all forms of public endeavor to drag religion into everything. What has finally pushed my quarter off the table is the rash of comments in my local newspaper by people claiming to speak for Jesus. It’s on my last nerve and it has got to stop.

People need to quit hijacking Jesus.

As an example of what I mean, watch any football game from high school to pro. As soon as a player makes a

I'm pretty sure He don't care, son.

touchdown, he hits a knee or points to the sky in some obvious move to “give thanks” for his touchdown.

Really?

I am not a seminary educated theologian, but I am willing to bet on a few things in the theological sphere and one of those is I’m pretty certain Jesus Christ is not a football fan. Or a baseball fan. Or basketball. Or hockey. . . you get the picture.

See, for those who don’t know, Jesus and His dad, aka. God Almighty, have tasked themselves with the creation and maintenance of the universe. Now, even though being omnipotent makes this task vastly easier and probably does leave time to take in a few quarters of football here and there if They so choose, I just don’t picture Jesus being a football fanatic. Of course, the Saints DID win the Super Bowl last year, but I think that was more on God-given talent than any divine intervention.

Leave Jesus out of the scoring celebrations!

The proper order is "get award" THEN "get drunk!"

Another group that boils my innards and boils my blood over their misappropriation of the Lord’s Name is the lot of “award winners.” Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys. CMAs, AMAs, and Grammys. Stage, screen, or stereo. The medium that is the source of the awards show is irrelevant. They all have the same seriously annoying habit. As soon as they get up on stage and take their pot metal statuette or crystal resin miniature from the vapid, chattering host or hostess, the first thing many of them do is lean into the microphone and say, “I’d like to thank God for this award!”

Really?

Again I appeal to my admittedly self-taught body of Biblical knowledge and I feel very comfortable saying God probably doesn’t care that you won your silly award. After all, He and Jesus sit on thrones (well, technically Jesus is standing at God’s right hand for the moment) in a room vastly beautiful beyond our finite minds’ ability to comprehend. They are surrounded by seraphim and cherubim that do nothing 24/7/365 (366 on leap years) but sing songs more glorious than our greatest songwriter can dream of. Do you really think They stop listening to an angelic choir just to hear Lady GaGa warble out “Bad Romance?”

I’m betting against it.

One other thing before I leave the entertainment industry alone and move on to the REAL target of my derision. If, after receiving your pot metal or crystal resin, you lean into the microphone and drunkenly or doped-upedly slur your thanks to the Almighty, I wouldn’t count on that thanks reaching the ceiling. I am no longer a teetotaler where faith and alcohol come together. My thought is Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning fetid water into fabulous wine. I don’t think He has a problem with a glass of wine or a cold beer after cutting grass in July in the South.

The whole drunken slurring thing though? Probably not so good. The Bible has several instances of people (usually men) getting drunk and the results are always disastrous and ugly. You may THINK you’re different, but I can pretty much assure you, you’re not.

Leave Jesus out of the “awards ceremonies!”

Now, before I begin blasting away at my most despised blasphemers, let me make clear that I think anyone anywhere can respond to and accept the Gospel, be he a self-indulgent basketball star or be she a babbling, bacon bikini wearing songbird. I have it on good authority that one of my very best friends accepted the Gospel message halfway down a 150′ ravine during the third end over end flip of his 280ZX. One of my former students, a self-proclaimed atheist, hear Jesus’ call in a fighting hole in Afghanistan right after a Taliban bullet made a crease in his armor helmet.

Any time. Anywhere. 24/7/365 (366 in leap years).

Now for my true venom. The group that I despise the most and the absolute WORST Jesus hijackers are POLITICIANS! I am at the point of getting nauseous whenever I hear some scheming, conniving, back-door-dealing Washington sewer dweller talk spout out something like “Our party won control of thus and so because God is on our side!”

Let me go puke.

This wrapping oneself in the Cross covered prayer shawl is completely bipartisan as well. Elephants and Jackasses alike invoke the name of the Lord to hopefully win the passage of some “vital” piece of legislation or, much more likely, to appeal to the “folks back home” who expect their representatives to be moral, preferably Christian, men and women.  Nowhere is this malady worse than here in my beloved Southland. We are a devout people down here. Sure, we may go out on Friday and Saturday nights each week and drink ourselves blind. We may switch from bed to bed like our heads are on fire and our butts are catching. We may swear and spit and carry on, lie, cheat, steal, etc.

But we’ll be in church come Sunday.

We expect the same from our politicians and they deliver. If I hear one more politician say “I feel this is what God would want me to do,” I may collapse into an uncontrollable conniption fit! It wouldn’t be so brazenly blasphemous and hypocritical if the politicians were not so “cafeteria” style about their so-called “heavenly mandate.” A senator can vote to increase the deficit, increase taxes, increase involvements in wars — but he’ll still get elected by a landslide as long as he claims to be staunchly against abortion! A representative can back big business, spit on the middle class, and whore-hop around Washington, DC worse than a Heidi Fleiss call-girl working on a new Ferrari, but as long as he keeps pushing a bill to get prayer back in schools, the people will support him.

535 member congregation and every single one of them is a politician! Who'd a thunk it?

So it goes on with this party claiming divine favor then that party claiming some new revelation. They’ll get up on TV with tears in their eyes as they talk about their conversion experiences in a little country church (he or she may be from Atlanta, Nashville, or Jacksonville but it’s ALWAYS a little country church) when they walked the aisle and let Jesus into their hearts.

All I know is Jesus must be pretty lonely in there since He’s the only thing in that heart.

Let’s get one thing straight and clear once and for all now and forever. Jesus Christ is not a Republican. Jesus Christ is not a Democrat. Jesus Christ is a King and not just ANY king but the King of Kings. Neither He nor His Daddy give two toots in a tornado about our petty earthly politics because They know who ACTUALLY runs this show! It doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference to Either of Them that Barak Obama defeated John McCain to become POTUS. They. Don’t. Care. They have bigger fish to fry.

So please, all you politicians posturing on a false faith or even a genuine faith that you can’t stop ramming down people’s throats, stop. STOP!

Leave Jesus out of politics.

Love y’all and keep those feet clean.

Election ’10 is Over!

Standard

The people of America have spoken once again! I wanted to wait to add my two cents to the rest of the pundits out there, but it seems the first wave of analysis has died down so I thought I’d kick in my views.

I know that all across the country right now some are rejoicing and all but dancing in the streets while in those same cities and towns, just down the street is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I’ve heard it on the news and the godforsaken talking head shows and the even MORE godforsaken talk RADIO shows that the current election results are either a positive indication that the country is moving in the right direction OR a definite sign that the Apocalypse is finally upon us!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that pretty much what was tossed around in the LAST election?

I don’t know how any of my readers feel about the election results except for Budge and she feels the same way I do which is, so what? I have better things to do than get wrapped around the axle over one group of rich politicians leaving office to make room for another group of rich politicians to move into those offices. Yes, I voted Tuesday because it is one of the duties of a citizen and I did some research before I voted. Not everyone I voted for won and not everyone I voted for lost. In the end, though, my feelings are distinctly  . . . meh, who cares? Now I know some of you who read this blog will think I should be shot for saying that it doesn’t matter who is elected, but that is exactly what I am saying and I’ll give three reasons why:

1) No elected person, office, or group “runs the country”. Bureaucrats “run the country” and they aren’t elected, they are spawned. Just remember, no matter what party is in office, the DMV is still the DMV.

2) As a general rule, the candidates taking office aren’t that different from the candidates leaving office. One wears red and one wears blue. One rides a donkey and one rides an elephant. All that means to me is one group is a bunch of asses and the other produces a huge load of . . . stuff out the back end. All politicians are generally the same. They are wealthy enough to not have to have a real job so they have time to campaign. They are passionate about what they think is right or wrong and they have families and friends and hopes and dreams just like everyone else. (Except for Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi. I’m pretty sure they are aliens in human disguise)

3) The newly elected all have great ideas about “what they are going to do when they get to Washington!” but reality will set in for them right after the first vote on the floor of Congress. If anyone can truly be said to be in control of the US Congress, it is not the Speaker of the House or the Vice President in the Senate. Instead it is a long dead man named Henry Martyn Robert. Yes, that Robert of Robert’s Rules of Order fame. The ghost of Henry Martyn Robert will dictate who can say what and when and provide a way to block any progress at all if someone desires it.

Look at it this way. Anyone who has completed a basic course in US Civics can tell you that ANY legislation that passes through our triumvirate of branches is going to do so at roughly the same rate that pitch balls drop from the funnel in The Thomas Parnell Pitch Drop Experiment.

The US Government is woefully inefficient. A Southern Baptist church congregation can decide to change service times or musical styles faster than big, earthshaking legislation that will really affect our daily lives can pass Congress. For example, it took 79 YEARS (from 1789 to 1868) and a freaking WAR  for black people in the US to be declared citizens and even after that it took another 100 years for them to be guaranteed BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS.

It took 131 YEARS for WOMEN to be allowed to vote and they make up HALF the FREAKING POPULATION!!

Nothing gets done fast in Washington. If the Founding Fathers saw to anything, they saw to that and they had very good reason. They lived in a time when what we call dictators today were called kings and in a lot of places one man, just because of his position of birth, could have your head cut off with a single pronouncement. They knew what tyranny REALLY was and I imagine they are rolling over in their graves at the thought of a whining bunch of coddled children fussing that their government doesn’t work. Those men made sure it WOULDN’T work, except when it does.

So take a Xanax folks and be happy that we live somewhere that government change doesn’t mean riots, juntas, or widespread killings. Sure, your candidate may not have won, but I promise the Brownshirts are emphatically NOT coming for you any time soon.

For now, people, no matter WHAT any of the party pundits may say, we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stop griping and enjoy it while we still can. Remember, the Greek democracies didn’t last forever; the Roman Republic didn’t last forever . . . neither will we, but til then, it’s still the greatest country — warts and all — on the planet.

Love y’all and get those feet cleaned!