Tagged: racism

The marriage between religious fundamentalists and political right; due for a divorce

“It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”-Rev. Billy Graham

Funny how “Mr. Conservative” Sen. Barry Goldwater felt the same way.

Alas, first Democrats lost the South when they supported civil rights & integration, Nixon & Reagan both went with a “Southern Strategy,” then, around 1983 or so white Southern evangelicals realized they could use abortion as a wedge issue, even though many religious groups had actually supported the Roe decision.

I am by no stretch of the imagination “pro-abortion,” but I for one am tired of that issue being used as a cover for racism, injustice, inequality and most recently authoritarianism, conspiracies, lies and insurrection. I don’t want to make an idol out of the Democratic party, but I sure am praying that God will wipe the scales from the eyes of our fellow believers on the political right.


Let us confess our sin


None of us wants to admit our fear, our prejudice, our anxiety, our… sin. Our racism, whether latent and denied, or overt and defended as a right. The shooter in Dayton had a list of women he wanted to rape. That’s male privilege. The shooter in El Paso had a manifesto wherein he traveled 2 hours because he wanted Hispanic targets. That’s white privilege. He also had a social media banner with the president’s name made out of guns. That’s hate. So okay. We’re all innocent. We’re all exonerated. We’re all entitled to support whomever we want no matter what they incite in others or how much support they garner from other people who happen to be racist, or misogynistic, or indulgent or entitled , or selfish. And don’t bring it up because THEN you’re being too divisive, even radical. You might make people upset.

This isn’t how things are supposed to be

It seems to me that on the one hand, we’ve become so tribal and collective in out thinking that criticism of any politician or party with whom we’ve identified ourselves becomes a personal “attack” impugning our own integrity- while at the same time, we’ve become so individualistic, that we refuse to take any corporate responsibility for injustices perpetrated by those politicians, parties, celebrities, groups, subcultures, etc. with witch we’ve identified ourselves.
Lets be clear, you don’t hate all law enforcement officers because you believe there’s systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Likewise, we get that you’re not a hateful Klan member even though you want to MAGA, be that as it may- as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
I want my Facebook friends, family, and followers to know that I’m not accusing any of you of anything when I post, re-post or comment on what I do here, I’m sharing MY concerns and my perspectives. But I gotta tell ya, it does frighten and confound me that so many people I love, appreciate, and respect seem desensitized to what I perceive as corruption, injustice or threatening.
Maybe it’s my personality type that I both want what’s best for everyone and yet want to avoid conflict, but I often wish we had a three-party or multi-party system. Like while driving on the interstate; I with there were three lanes and not just two because the fast lane goes too fast for me but the slow lane goes too slow. I wish all my Republican friends would denounce and stand up to Trump without feeling like they were admitting to some heinous crime or denying all their other deeply help principles. Meanwhile I wish I could speak out for the progressive issues that align with my personal, political and religious convictions without people accusing me of being “Socialist” or trying to destroy America.
So there it is. In religion I believe that Jesus taught that His #1 priority is love. In history & government, I believe that the U.S. is exceptional because it was a republic dedicated to equality, basic human rights, and a participatory form of democracy through federalism intended to offer a process through which ALL people could acquire justice.
This isn’t how either America nor Christianity are supposed to work, friends. It’s instinctive to be defensive or to “fight” for what we believe is right. But we’re living in a time that requires us to be creatively maladjusted. When MLK said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.,” he was alluding to Leviticus 19: 1-2; 17-18; 33-34, Romans 12:17-21 and Matthew 5: 38-48.
Lefties will admonish me for not being tough enough against hate, but if I hate people who don’t believe they are being hateful- they’re only going to dig in their heels or feel like I’m the one doing the hating.
What’s the answer? Be humble and kind? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Don’t just repeat what your tribe/echo chambers recite to you but read for yourself?
Read Scripture for yourself. Ever read the book of Amos or 2nd Samuel? With all due respect to the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) have you read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5)? Any of the Psalms?
Read many of America’s founding documents since high school Government class? I get that the Federalist Papers and the Constitution can be a little daunting (and dry), so how about the Declaration of Independence? The Gettysburg Address? The Bill of Rights? They’re all easy to find on your phone.
John Adams advocated for free universal public schools so that voters could read for themselves. Martin Luther encouraged broad, public education so that believers could read the Bible for themselves.
So, I’m sorry if I frustrate of offend you by my being frustrated or offended by things our government officials do which you don’t have a problem with, but it’s just because I love my country.

Let us love one another

My New Year’s resolution is to try to live by this (1 John 4:7-21, that is). I challenge everyone to do the same.
Verse 18 may be particularly challenging, these are anxious times we live in and angst can be a formidable foe. v.20-21 can be challenging too- don’t assume that “brothers and sisters” are only blood family. Granted, I’m not a trained theologian not linguist, but I think it would be antithetical to Jesus’ teachings to assume that these are only people who believe like us. I believe our brothers and sisters are ALL humans created by God. If we are afraid of them, deny them rights, assert our power or alleged superiority over them, I believe that we fail to follow Jesus’ example and His command. Not gonna lie, I fail at this plenty- So don’t think I’m trying to judge others indignantly.
Consider too what Nelson Mandela once said (especially next November on election day): “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

God’s Love and Ours 1 John 4:7-21

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Why, why, why?


Sad and unnerving to see neighbors flying Confederate flags today, probably in protest of So.Carolina decision. Our first amendment protects individuals’ rights to display it, this was a state government’s decision not to fly it on that government’s property. Sure, some see it as symbolic of rebelling against what they see as encroaching governmental tyranny- but let’s face it, for far more, it represents White supremacy and no matter how you try to slice it, that automatically implies racism. I can understand how those flying it today are trying to make a statement about independence and libertarianism, but what they don’t realize is that they’re unintentionally sending the message that they’re main values are anger and hatred. It also confuses me since there are maybe a whole 4 black people in our tiny town of 500+ and this is Iowa, not South Carolina and it may have been a wave of Nation-wide public opinion that added pressure to South Carolinian State legislators, but it wasn’t the Federal government that required it. Oh yeah, Iowa was a member of the Union 150 years ago, and the Union won… Anyway. Sad and scary.

Confession: I was about to post this on Facebook, but since both these rebels flying the stars & bars are only a block away on my same street- I want to keep my home and children safe. Best case scenario, they’re just coincidentally like minded Steve King fans who unfurled their rebel flags as soon as they heard about the decision on Facebook or FOX News, but I’m not convinced that the Klan is dead. Call me a coward, but anger, hate, racism and resistance are all a lot more volatile and violent than the grace, mercy, peace and diversity that I adhere to.