Monday, July 23, 2007

negative view of faith among some progressives

The misbehavior of the religious right in this country and the shameful acts of religious extremeists in other parts of the world, now and throughout history, have caused many in the strictly secular community to view all religions the same way. Many of us who struggle to have the spiritual a part of who we are share many of the same concerns. Judgements about who we are should't be limited to those, who because of human frailty to the more sinister, have fallen away from the dictates of their faith community.

We don't all belong in one box and it's not progressive to put people there.

The best cure for ignorance and prejudice is a little bit of knowledge. Many of todays far right conservatives love wallowing in their ignorance and wrap themselves up in prejudice as if it were a warm fuzzy blanket. Progressives strive to do better when confronted with their own misconceptions. Although many people of all stripes love that warm fuzzy blanket making it hard to come out from under it and greet the world afresh.

After the Fall: Why America Needs a Spiritual Left
Rabbi Michael Lerner
a simple lesson so hard to accept

Monday, July 16, 2007


I just ran into a short conversation with a good Catholic man on the war. The usual right-wing stuff. Christians and Jews against the Muslems. Its all so sad really and another example why the propaganda merchants need to be held accountable for the lies and distortions they've helped the Neocon war machine diseminate.

For the Grace to Desire Peace

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Literal Interpretation of Creation

Well it came out today that the majority of Republicans believe in the literal interpretation of Creation. Hardly surprising.

Not excepting evolution leads many to distrust a multiple number of scientific disciplines besides biology. Geologist can’t be right because of what they say about the age of the Earth. Archeologist and anthropologist can’t be trusted because they use carbon dating which geologists also use to date the Earth. Astronomers and astronomical physicists can’t be trusted because of what they say about the distance of the stars and how long it takes their light to reach us. How can doctors really know what they’re doing when they believe in evolution? Literalist interpretation of the Bible means science is not to be trusted.

Religion is a faith and has no business in scientific disciplines. I do believe that science is slowly unraveling the beauty and sheer genius of creation. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit that when all things are said and done science will have proven the existence of God. Science must be allowed to be science or it will cease to be science at all.

Literalist makes God more of a magician than the artistic master weaver He really is. God is more marvelous than we can imagine and if they’re successful in intruding into science it would keep us from realizing and appreciating it. Literalist interpretation of the Bible does a disservice to God because their faith is on sandy soil locked up into a childish over simplistic view of the workings of God in our Earthly history and lives.

Many conservative fundamentalists also tend to view the Constitution and the Koran through these same clouded eyes creating many problems for our country and the Islamic world. Fundamentalists Moslems, Hindus, and others who view their religious writings with a strict literalist interpretation are creating their own sets of problems in their parts of the world. When they clash it just creates problems everywhere.
The Simpsons 1721 The Monkey Suit

Monday, June 11, 2007

Christian nation? We would have to act like one.

We are not a Christian nation.

It doesn’t matter what our founding fathers believed about their own personal faith. To be a Christian nation we would have to act like one. We would have to be the servant of all and as a nation make meaningful sacrifices for the good of all people. We would have to love those who hate us and wish to do us harm , pray for them, ask that they be blessed, forgive them and do good things for them as well.

Far too many times we Christians have excused crimes against humanity done in our name. Our nation has too often placed into power or supported dictators guilty of many human rights atrocities for what is perceived as some short term foreign policy benefit. Often these arrangements are made for the profit of powerful international corporations.

A short list of sins against our neighbors would include; detention of innocents, accepting the use of torture, tolerance of the killing of innocent women and children as just a casualty of war, participating in and profiting from the arms trade, and supporting cruel and unjust economic policies in the third world.

‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.

This poor little boy explains all there is to explain why this war is so horrible.
Actually, like the little naked girl napalm victim running and crying down the road in Vietnam, it’s an indictment of all war.
She is also the reason why the Neocons don’t want any casualty photos from Iraq. It’s also why the ‘mainstream corporate news media’ are guilty of selling this war to the American people. None of these photos makes it into the American press because it would hurt the administrations war effort and limit the press’s access to administration briefing and social functions. When all this is finally over it’s also, why when war crime trials are begun and punishments dealt out, the leading media people should be included for their willful misleading of the American public. Propaganda in the support of war crimes isn’t news it’s a crime. Rush and Hannity and Fox and all their associated cohorts deserve the disgrace, humiliation and fate shared by other such monsters as Goebbels.

Criticizing the nation is not criticizing God, it is criticizing us. All Christians should be familiar with doing regular examinations of their consciences. We should also apply this same examination to our country on a regular basis.

It would seem to me that if you believe the United States is a Christian nation then you should be striving to conform the country to all Christian values not just the small handful that are precious to the hypocritical right.

We have a huge beam to remove from our own eye before we can go about removing the beam from the eyes of other countries. Then maybe we’ll be able to see clearly enough to help with everyone else’s eye obstructions.
Mikey Weinstein Tackles the Evangelical Coup in America's Military
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Wed, 06/13/2007 - 5:00pm.
Whenever a virulent form of any religion has engaged the machinery of the state -– and by that, I’m talking about the armed forces, where the sticks and stones are that break our bones -- we end up with oceans and oceans of blood. And it’s happening again now.
-- Michael "Mikey" L. Weinstein, President, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
more at...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wake up to impeachment!!!

It's time for the people to push the agenda and put impeachment on the table. It's time for a certain Madame Speaker from San Fran to wake up to the people's demands.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

When Christians speak do Christians listen ?


part of the Pope's Easter sermon
How many wounds, how much suffering there is in the world! Natural calamities and human tragedies that cause innumerable victims and enormous material destruction are not lacking. My thoughts go to recent events in Madagascar, in the Solomon Islands, in Latin America and in other regions of the world. I am thinking of the scourge of hunger, of incurable diseases, of terrorism and kidnapping of people, of the thousand faces of violence, which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion, of contempt for life, of the violation of human rights and the exploitation of persons. I look with apprehension at the conditions prevailing in several regions of Africa. In Darfur and in the neighboring countries there is a catastrophic, and sadly to say underestimated, humanitarian situation. In Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo the violence and looting of the past weeks raises fears for the future of the Congolese democratic process and the reconstruction of the country. In Somalia the renewed fighting has driven away the prospect of peace and worsened a regional crisis, especially with regard to the displacement of populations and the traffic of arms. Zimbabwe is in the grip of a grievous crisis and for this reason the Bishops of that country in a recent document indicated prayer and a shared commitment for the common good as the only way forward.
Likewise the population of East Timor stands in need of reconciliation and peace as it prepares to hold important elections. Elsewhere, too, peace is sorely needed: in Sri Lanka only a negotiated solution can put an end to the conflict that causes so much bloodshed; Afghanistan is marked by growing unrest and instability; in the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees. In Lebanon the paralysis of the country's political institutions threatens the role that the country is called to play in the Middle East and puts its future seriously in jeopardy. Finally, I cannot forget the difficulties faced daily by the Christian communities and the exodus of Christians from that blessed Land which is the cradle of our faith. I affectionately renew to these populations the expression of my spiritual closeness.
Dear brothers and sisters, through the wounds of the Risen Christ we can see the evils which afflict humanity with the eyes of hope. In fact, by his rising the Lord has not taken away suffering and evil from the world but has vanquished them at their roots by the superabundance of his grace. He has countered the arrogance of evil with the supremacy of his love. He has left us the love that does not fear death, as the way to peace and joy. "Even as I have loved you he said to his disciples before his death so you must also love one another" (cf. John 13:34).

Pope Benidict, 8 Apr 07
Recently I have come to believe that there should be an Eighth Deadly Sin…….
The belief that we’re so close to God that He is on our side, that all our ways our His ways, that we deserve all earthly and spiritual blessings while others warrant punishment, that we deserve His mercy while others earn retribution, and that we deserve Heaven while others merit Hell.
All Souls’ Day--- Teresa Healy

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

18 “If you find that the world hates you, know it
has hated me before you.
19 If you belonged to the world,
it would love you as its own;
the reason it hates you
is that you do not belong to the world.
But I chose you out of the world.
20 Remember what I told you:
no slave is greater than his master.
They will harry you
as they harried me.
They will respect your words
As much as they respected mine.
21 All this they will do to you because of my name,
for they know nothing of him who sent me.
(JOHN 15)
please read.....
John Ch. 13

from Jesus Christ Superstar.....

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy Week begins; a simple lesson so hard to accept

For Christians of most every stripe among the western churches today is Palm Sunday. Palms are present along with the first reading of the Passion of Christ during this ‘Holy Week’.

The Passion for so many centuries has been used incorrectly to justify anti-Semitism. The Jews didn’t kill Christ. Power, feeling threatened killed Jesus. The Religious authority threatened by His popularity and expressed ideas feared He would bring unfavorably dangerous attention to them and their community from occupation powers. But most of all they feared and loathed the challenge to their authority. The politically unpopular occupation appointed governor feared any threat to his power or negative attention from occupation rulers. The occupation administrator of the land feared for local instability and any career-ending negative attention upon himself. When the people were granted the traditional holiday choice of freeing a prisoner they choose the violent insurrectionist, their freedom fighter, over the man of love and peace.

Those were the choices that resulted in the death penalty for Jesus. We’re wrestling with these same choices to this very day in our land and around the globe.

The corrupt self-centeredness of power is not surprising but why do people so often willingly chose violent ways over that of peace. The people who yelled for the insurrectionist undoubtedly felt they were in fact loyal followers of their faith who, living under an unjust occupation and feeling threatened, were making the proper patriotic choice of God and country.

Who would you scream for?

Outside of legitimate self defense it seems to me there’s always a leader functioning as the catalysts who stirs up the people by boisterously exclaiming the dangers poised by some nation or group, the justification for vengeance or the economic and political advantage of conquest, suppression and ill-treatment. Next, there’s the citizens tied to those in charge who cast their lot in with them regardless of what they are proclaiming because they find benefit from doing so. Then there’s the blind sheep; who have a history of following those in charge and continue to do so unquestioningly, while some are swept up by the passion of conflict and follow along aimlessly, while still others are intellectually inclined to be duped into following along because of their own voluntary ignorance or apathy, and some are in fear of going against what seems popular with their peers causing them to halt any questions they may have floating around in their conscience.

Woe to those whose spirit compels them to speak against the flood of popular vengeance. The desire to strike back against a foe is so strong anyone trying to quell the rising tsunami of violence is flooded with anger, revulsion and distrust. The courage it takes to express legitimate descent is ignored as is their deep felt loyalty and patriotism. Throughout history their lot has been plagued with torture, exile and death.

Nailed to a hunk of wood in the hot sun bleeding to death He forgave those who put Him there. A spear pierced His heart to insure He was dead. It’s the deep love contained in that same Precious Bleeding Heart we celebrate this week.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Matthew Chapter 5

Monday, March 26, 2007

fed up with these Stooges

Sooner or later you get fed up enough with the Stooges that it’s time to fire them. You don’t decide to keep them because they’re the ones that began the job so they should be the ones best able to complete it. After enough pies thrown, eyes gouged and things broken when they respond to your misgivings with, “Well what would you do?” sounds a bit lame. The most logical answer would be to say, “We’ll figure it out without your incompetent help” and “Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out”.
Some guys, like our president and his administration, just beg to be fired. To do otherwise would be ignorance surrendering to stupidity in the name of gullibility.
The president has given those who engage in loyal dissent a name, ‘disruptors’. An honorable tag for those who love the United States to possess because Fascist objectives must always be disrupted everywhere it raises from the hell it belongs.
It would be a great honor for our nation to have the distinction of facing fascism and peacefully defeating it within the political realm using our freedoms so wisely conceived and fought for by our ancestors.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bushies refuse to learn from the past

Excerpts of letters to the editor I wrote in the Biloxi, MS paper The Sun Herald’

I applaud the Anglican Bishops from Central America on their statements concerning U.S. involvement in their region.

We commit, allow and turn our backs away from many atrocities because we want to better our position in the third world. Our government puts the best spin on these episodes whenever they see the light of day and claim it’s all in an effort to fight communism. But are we truly any better when we endorse the same human rights abuses as our foes? Does it matter what side of the fence the bullet came from when you lie dying?

Personally, I suspect the fight against communism is more often a fight for economic influence disguised as a fight for freedom. When we support a country whose government mutilates human rights we hand an ideological victory and propaganda tools for the insurrectionists to use against us. Where they suppress speech we should encourage it. Where they use violence we should react with kindness, food and medical care.

We should never provide military assistance or have close diplomatic ties with any country that violates the civil liberties of its citizens.
We have economic ties with China and listening posts into Russia. These benefits evidently carry more weight than the blood spilled by democratic students. Policies such as this soil the Stars and Stripes far more than any match.
11 Feb 90

We have absolutely no business putting troops on Saudi soil in support of oil interests and countries with no respect for human rights. We are not there in support of human rights. We are not there in support of freedom because freedom doesn’t exist there and never has.

Our men and women will be spilling their blood in the sand because we have no energy policy. The Reagan administration abandoned all of President Carter’s energy programs and our dependence on foreign oil has increased ever since. The oil companies have fought every incentive for decreasing our dependence on foreign oil and now they want our troops to protect their interests and our gluttonous appetite for black gold. This soon-to-be war is about money, greed, power of the elite and foreign oil consumption.
26 Aug 90

Too often it seems many people of this country view world relations as a football game, us against them, with absolutely no consideration of how we arrived in our present situation and to whether our conduct was and is ethical or in the best interests of all parties involved. If you raise any questions or concerns about how your team plays the game, you are branded as ‘unloyal’. The other team is dehumanized to ease our feelings as we ‘tromp’ them.

International policy is not a game. Real lives are at stake. We must truthfully analyze our involvement, past, present and future. It is our duty as Americans to express our concerns to our elected officials regarding how we feel about U.S. support for tyrants.
20 Dec 90

It is immoral to keep a people held hostage under a dictator by providing him the weapons and money he needs to stay in power, then turn around and wage war against these same people because the tyrant becomes unacceptable. This same situation in Panama left hundreds if not thousands of civilians dead. We face the same situation in Iraq. This makes the war immoral and any targeting of noncombatants is sinful.

For these reasons I will not and cannot support this war. If backing our troops means I believe this war is right then I don’t back them. If supporting our troops means I pray for peace, for their safe return, for few casualties in the event of war and for the families at home, then I do support them.
18 Jan 91

This wasn’t a moral or just war. Our past involvement in the region has us holding much of the blame for the conditions which led to this fiasco. The people of Iraq, who have been held hostage by Saddam Hussein for many years, were victimized by him……and now they have been victimized by the United States.

Possessing the ability to carry out a decisive military victory does not justify our actions; rather the results of this war vividly illustrate the moral bankruptcy of war. Our victory was incomplete with the only positive outcome the liberation of Kuwait from a tyrant and the restoration of its’ original corrupt government.

Sanctions would have accomplished this goal, but instead our lack of national patience spread devastation across the region. The people of Iraq have suffered extensive physical damage and loss of life into the tens of thousands. Devastated, bankrupt nations are unable to make war reparations. Peace could have been reached before the fighting started if the president hadn’t insisted on reparations to Kuwait which are unlikely now and would be immoral and unjust if forced. A civil war encouraged by President Bush has led to the slaughter of thousands with no help or aid from the United States when it was desperately needed.

The president’s recent decision to aid and protect the Kurds is too little, too late, but welcomed just the same. We are responsible for this disaster. We are losing the peace and if we hope to turn it around we cannot walk away from the situation we put in place.
10 May 91

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fallacy of Individual Responsibility

'then let them die and decrease the surplus population'

People do have, however they vision it, a responsibility for themselves, family, community, country and God, as they see God, but for a variety of reasons both legitimate and illegitimate within ones control and outside of it, these responsibilities may become compromised. The conservative Republican mantra of ‘individual responsibility’ is designed to absolve oneself of any responsibility except for those so conveniently cherry-picked while easily lowering the dignity and humanity of those in need.

Individual responsibility means everyone else’s responsibility but mine. It’s an ideological principal embraced by modern conservatives that is designed to protect the conscience of the individual or group from social or religious liability. It’s used to absolve one from long held Judeo-Christian principles such as ‘by the grace of God go I’ and ‘to those who have been given much, much is expected’. It implies that the gifts from God which we all possess in one form or another have been distributed in equal measure with similar qualities. It’s been used as an excuse from responsibility from everything from the homeless addict to the poor and those with mental and physical illnesses, to such extremes as victims of natural disaster.

I remember hearing of a painting where Jesus was depicted as a junky. I never saw the painting and I don’t care to or need to because I’ve embellished on it in my mind. I picture a Christ-like figure in a urine soaked alley with empty liquor bottles and needles nearby. I consider it a holy image. Why? Because I think we should insult Christ or say He’s something He’s not? No! It reminds me that we are supposed to see the suffering Christ in the most lowly of individuals. That Jesus is served best when we show love, mercy, and caring for all those in society especially those who, for whatever reason, are most looked down on or deemed unacceptable.

In a world with a superabundance of information, but which paradoxically finds it so difficult to communicate and where living conditions are scandalously unequal, it is important to spare no effort to ensure that everyone feels responsible for the growth and happiness of all. Our future is at stake. An unemployed young person, a handicapped person who is marginalized, elderly people who are uncared for, countries which are captives of hunger and poverty: these situations all too often make people despair and fall prey to the temptation either of closing in on themselves or of resorting to violence.....

"NO TO SELFISHNESS"! In other words, to all that impels man to protect himself inside the cocoon of a privileged social class or a cultural comfort which excludes others. The life-style of the prosperous, their patterns of consumption, must be reviewed in the light of their repercussions on other countries. Let us mention for example the problem of water resources, which the United Nations Organization has asked us all to consider during this year 2003. Selfishness is also the indifference of prosperous nations towards nations left out in the cold. All peoples are entitled to receive a fair share of the goods of this world and of the know-how of the more advanced countries. How can we fail to think here, for example, of the access of everyone to generic medicines, needed to continue the fight against current pandemics, an access — alas — often thwarted by short-term economic considerations?
Pope John Paul II

1 Woe to those who enact unjust statutes and who write oppressive decrees,
2 Depriving the needy of judgment and robbing my people's poor of their rights, Making widows their plunder, and orphans their prey!
3 What will you do on the day of punishment, when ruin comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth
Isaiah Chapter 10

31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,

32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40 And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
45 He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew: Chapter 25

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Loathsome voice of fascist Christianity

I wrote about Ms.Coulter once before after she made some attention getting statement. This time she used the derogatory word of ‘faggot’ to describe John Edwards. What are fascinating about her and the others who spill this swill are the accolades they receive from those who call themselves good Christians among the religious conservative community.

Ann Coulter is one of the more Loathsome voices of fascist Christianity. It’s an incredible distortion of the Gospel that’s being openly preached by right wing religious conservatives. It’s a heresy that’s always bad. They’re quite happy to be seen as defenders of the ‘faith’, a corrupt distortion of that faith, which can be used to their benefit. I’d like to say that no members of my particular faith community (Catholics) were involved in this nonsense but some like so many others are also capable of being willing victims of this profanation.

Sadly, I read someplace and I’m afraid it may be true that only 25% of Catholics believe the Church is right about all torture being wrong. I never wanted to believe; in fact I was very resistant to the fact that many Christians embraced or were at least sympathetic to tolerant of fascism during 1930’s Europe. I’m seeing it happen now before my eyes and shamefully before all the eyes of the world.

From a slightly more paranoid perspective, only because I believe ( I hope) the American people won’t allow events to get this far; the more power they gain the more they will expect others to conform to their ideology. For example, they see their concept of what ‘idolatry’ is to be as great an evil as abortion and homosexuality that will also bring great displeasure upon our nation from God. Theocratic leaders would expect all to conform. They won’t be just satisfied with ridding the nation of religious statues and paintings either because they see, what is cherished by all Catholics, the Eucharist, as the ultimate form of idolatry. Don’t be so ignorant to believe its okay to ignore because by the time they come for us there will be lots of others to help stop them so why worry. Or will there be anyone left?

I really believe their extreme autocratic nature is hazardous to all of us. Why is such hate filled ignorant simplicity so tempting to so many different people of different cultures in so many different lands throughout our shared histories?

The only good “****“ is a dead “****“.

Political scientists and historians will probably come up with a better more accurate and descriptive term for what is happening in our nation right now but, for us, for now, fascism is a good term.

Some things from Coulters’ heart and soul:

Yes, I am a Christian and that is simply a fact. And just by the way, Christianity, um, this isn't what my book is about, ended the practice of churches--I mean it basically ended religion. With Christianity, it is, Christ came and died for our sins. We no longer get to heaven by good works, no matter how many times we go to church, by how much we do this or that, or eating certain meals or not eating certain meals, or praying at certain times. The very essence of being a Christian is that it is not something man gives up. God has given it to us.
June , 2006"

My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."
8 Feb, 97

The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet--it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars -- that's the Biblical view."
12 Oct, 2000

"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"
20 Jun, 01

"We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."
13 Sept, 01

"When we were fighting communism, OK, they had mass murderers and gulags, but they were white men and they were sane. Now we're up against absolutely insane savages."
16 Aug, 04"

Which brings me to this week's scandal about No Such Agency spying on "Americans." I have difficulty ginning up much interest in this story inasmuch as I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo."
21 Dec, 05
Americans United
Beware 'Christian nationalism'

Saturday, February 24, 2007

intentional right-wing ignorance

--Hey what’s goin’ on?
--Oh! It’s so nice I’ve got a bit of spring fever. So, I’m Just gettin’ these weeds outa here to get ready for the wife’s flowers this year.
--No, I mean with that little upside down flag in the window.
--Well the big one flying there is for the country and our troops and....
--No that little one; it’s wrong to do that; it’s disrespectful.
--That ones for our president and his administration. The country is in distress. The Neocons are fascist. You do know that right.
--Bull, you liberals are traitors. The president is protecting us. He Listens to God who is on our side against the evil terrorists who hate our freedom, us; you and your family.
--Just who are the terrorists?
--Who were the Muslims that attacked us?
--ALL OF THEM, Saddam insane, Bin Laden, all of them they’ve been attacking us for years and Clinton didn’t do anything about it. Finally Bush is kicking some ass now.
--First off the people who attacked the World Trade Center and the African embassies under Clinton are all serving life sentences and Saddam Hussein didn’t have anything to do with 9-11. Those guys were primarily Saudis trained in Afghanistan in camps run by Bin Laden. We ran away from catching Al Qaeda and the ones who did attack us when we went into Iraq.
--What! The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center are all dead. Don’t who watch TV? We’ve been attacked over and over again and Clinton didn’t do nothin’ except Monica. Iraq is the center of the war on terrorism. They were a threat to us. And we kicked they’re butts ALL OVER THE PLACE. Fox showed the statue come down. I saw it. Where were you? ALL YOU CUT AND RUN LIBERALS WANT TO DO IS CUT AND RUN CUT AND RUN.
--No, we want to get back on track; your Neocons stole the war on terror. Bush and Cheney ran away from Bin Laden. They let him go and they’re still not trying to get him. We want to be over the horizon so we can quit running the military down in a civil war and get back to fighting the war against Al Qaeda who did attack us and prot….
--What? Alright, go ahead and dehumanize me. At least care about the troo….
Bull, you can’t support the troops unless you support the war and the president. If you don’t support Bush you support the insurrectionists you side with the enemies and you just hate our President Bush.
--Who are the insurrectionists? Just exactly who are we fighting and why?
--The damn Jiadists terrorists who hate our freedom and hate me and you and your family. They want to kill you and destroy Christianity and make us all like them and make your wife and daughter cover all the way up. They cut the heads off any one who’s not like them, you know. Do you want that to happen? We have to fight them over there so we won’t have to fight them here.
--Slow down and take a breath just….
--What would you be like without your oil?
--Listen please; there is no one grand enemy in Iraq. There are political, religious and cultural divisions within the people of Iraq that has led to a violent and down right brutal multifaceted civil war. ‘Outside the country fighters’ are few. The Iraqi’s seem to have many old scores to settle, power to be grabbed and a lot of revenge for current atrocities. Our guys and gals do not belong in the middle of all this; they’re being shot up from all sides. Those of us against this knew this would happen, we said it, protested about it and we were right and we weren’t listened to and you really should listen to us now because this has been a huge military and foreign policy blunder that could have……
--We need victory and to fight them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here. The Islamofascist are everywhere and you liberal traitors are helping them. Do you want to fight them in your backyard? Because if we cut and run that’s where they will be in all our back yards cutting off all our heads and it will be all you filthy cowardly liberals fault. We would have won if it wasn’t for you liberal scum and Iran. We need to bomb Iran off the face of the map too.
--We haven’t bombed anyone off the face of the map. People will always fight for their home even if they hate their leaders. It always takes ground troops. It always leads to a guerilla war and it always ends in much death that still needs diplomacy to solve a problem that could have avoided all the needless bloodshed if everyone just deployed a little diplomacy.
--Conspiracies all conspiracies Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Santorum said so….
--That was a lie and one of the many reasons he wasn’t reelec……
--and they were going to nuke us and they did harbor Al Qaeda and they are all our enemy, their children are our enemy, they all are our enemy and they will kill us if we don’t bomb them into dust. Iran is helping them and they must be nuked. Nuke them to dust; it’s them or us; kill them all let God sort them out AND ALL YOU DAMN TRAITOR LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND ALL THE MOSLEMS AND ALL OF YOU NEED TO BE THROWN INTO GITMO AND TORTURED TILL YOU DIE AND YOUR BONES TURN TO DUST AND ALL YOUR TRAITOROUS FAMILIES WITH YOU. GITMO, GITMO, GITMO FOR ALL LIBERAL SCUM. GOD BLESS AMERICA! PRAISE THE LORD ALLELUIA!
The man walks quickly away leaving the person working in the garden dumbfounded by the ignorance so puffed up by hate. This is why Fox news and right wing hate radio along with some of the corporate media are guilty of war crimes by pushing the propaganda and why there’s shame upon the mainstream media for being so weak-kneed.Hate driven ignorance mixed with fear is difficult to overcome. But, that's what we have to do. Here and abroad.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Lenten Reflection

Today is, Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I received this today in the weekday email, Joy Notes, I receive from Sister Patricia. It seems to go well with what I've been writing lately, so here it is.

A Lenten Reflection

Give up complaining----focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism----become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments----think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry----trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement----be full of hope.
Give up bitterness----turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred----return good for evil.
Give up negativism----be positive.
Give up anger----be more patient.
Give up pettiness----become mature.
Give up gloom----enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy----pray for trust.
Give up gossiping----control your tongue.
Give up sin----turn to virtue.
Give up giving up----hang in there!

> Poor Clare Sisters

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Willful Misinterpretation of Revelations

The willful misinterpretation of the Book of Revelations is behind much of current conservative Christian right-wing fundamentalist speculation, not only about this country but the Middle East and the world as well. Too, often this speculation is used to incorrectly determine who is on God’s side; the countries, its leaders and citizens, who are feared to be in league with the end time desires of Satan and as a result, the enemy of the ‘Christian Nation of the United States of America.

Some are being tempted to aid or bring about a world situation, that they believe, will lead to the rapture by executing some grand design to force the hand of God to the will of those who would like to steal His plans to justify their own limited vision and corrupt goals.

Accepting incorrect speculation about the ‘end times’ unfortunately causes some highly impressionable Christians to willingly yield, whether through ignorance or fear of losing worldly comforts, whatever spiritual virtues or values they’ve gained from the Gospels to the whims of Power, its control, greed, discrimination and destruction

This misinformation (which I believe the educated leaders absolutely know to be untrue) is used to violate what Christ explained to us was the second most important commandment, ‘to love one another’. Fear, ignorance and paranoia are, and have always been, the ultimate tools of evil and can and often do exist on all sides of any conflict. Evil does exist but it is an action not a person or group of people.

Terrorism is an example of an evil tool used by some sects of radical fundamentalist Islam. Its existence among these groups does not indicate that all followers of Islam are in league with evil as many equally radical Christian fundamentalists in this country would like us to believe. The Bible or the Koran can be and often is used by the unscrupulous to dehumanize an enemy, in a far too often, successful attempt to justify horrendous acts of violence and collateral damage against any who fall under the unforgivable label of evil. Too often, this presumptive attitude is so pervasive within this culture as to include a Calvinistic determination of who is loved by God or who is left poor, sick or disabled which may lead to a dangerous goat-like deceptive self-opinion.

I remember hearing of a painting where Jesus was depicted as a junky. I never saw the painting and I don’t care to or need to because I’ve embellished on it in my mind. I picture a Christ-like figure in a urine soaked alley with empty liquor bottles and needles nearby. I consider it a holy image. Why? Because I think we should insult Christ or say He’s something He’s not? No! It reminds me that we are supposed to see the suffering Christ in the most lowly of individuals. That Jesus is served best when we show love, mercy, and caring for all those in society especially those who, for whatever reason, are most looked down on or deemed unacceptable.
I do believe that the Book of Revelation does teach that the spiritual battle against evil is a global battle but, it’s a struggle destined to be won within the hearts and souls of the individual (each and every one of us). However, He brings about the culmination of all Earthly things it really isn’t any of our business, in fact I believe serious speculation into His business to be a serious sign of a lack of trust.

I know people are worried about that number (which I will not print) but a little faith in God should let you know He’s not going to let you sink beneath the waves of the mythological meaning of that number unaware of what you are doing. This book teaches us to relentlessly cling to the teachings of Christ, to trust what he taught and to understand that whatever worldly cost we may have to endure He will be victorious in the end.

The greater part of faith is trust.

Friday, February 09, 2007

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was a huge improvement in justice for the time. Prior to its acceptance a person might feel they were entitled to two eyes and a tooth, a few lives and maybe a couple of young maidens if he were wronged. Hammurabi's Code, which came from an ancient Sumerian world, from a region we now call Iraq, strove to be a giant step towards justice. Jewish history then brought us the concept of,” An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, which is about equality and fairness in justice; not the vengeance or revenge (or preemptive strike) so many from our present time would like to equate it.

If you are a Christian you believe that Christ took this further to subjugate justice to the concepts of love, forgiveness and mercy, as is expressed throughout the New Testament. This is why Christians should be against:

Illegal detention,

Inhumane treatment,

Cruel and unusual punishment,


The death penalty,

(Jesus Christ suffered all of the above and He offered Prayers, Mercy and Forgiveness to all involved. If the object of being Christian is to strive to be Christ-like, as much is humanly possible for our lowly state, then it would seem necessary that we should not go without noticing the examples of His Passion.)

Economic violence,
Environmental violence,

The weapons industry,

Violent Reactionary ‘solutions’,

Collateral damage,

And unjust wars, (as if there were such a thing as a just war)

to name just a few.

Jesus tells us that we are to forgive those who do us wrong 7 times 70 times a day, which means always. This even applies to our enemies.

Is He just asking too much? Does He not understand the problems of our current situation? Didn’t He tell us, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light”. We are supposed to forgive those who do us wrong 7 times 70 times a day, which means always, even to our enemies. because we should be concerned with their best interests as well as our own?

God understands that there would be nothing to forgive if you weren’t hurt and that it may be difficult. It takes the Holy Spirit to aid in forgiveness especially when the wrong done was egregious. Prayer is a necessary aid.
I know a little trick that helps, at least it's what helped me, although I must confess I continue to always struggle.

First, realize that forgiveness is a necessary requirement for the health of the soul.

Second, Level with God about having trouble doing it and be honest with yourself and Him.

Third, make a conscience acknowledgement that you desire to forgive and that you do forgive.

Fourth, pray that they be forgiven by God.

Fifth, ask that they be blessed.

Sixth, frequently repeat one through five.

I’m convinced that this act eases the pain. (Maybe this is one of the ways of finding that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.)

I know this seems really hard but remember He said His ways were foolishness to the world, and that we were supposed to at least try to trust in His ways. Trust is the greater part, the harder part, of faith.

This doesn’t mean that society has no responsibility to track down criminals and punish crime, but it does mean that the punishment should not be vindictive or cruel and that the best interests of all involved, society included, must be taken into account.

Love, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, loving our enemy, and doing good to those who hurt us are teachings of Christ that are wonderful gifts from God that we all too easily turn our back away from when we are wronged or even worse when, as a country, some financial or foreign policy benefit may be realized. The temptation to give into rationalizing away someone’s humanity is often great but it’s also always wrong; always sinful.

The Code of Hammurabi

Code of Hammurabi
From Wikipedia

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck.........

1. One cannot fight the liberal by positive means. He is a negative, and this negative must be erased from the American system, or he will forever corrupt it.

2. One cannot discuss the liberal question with the liberals. One can hardly prove to a person that one has the duty to render him harmless.

3. One cannot allow the liberal the same means one would give an honest opponent, for he is no honorable opponent. He will use generosity and nobility only to trap his enemy.

4. The liberal has nothing to say about American questions. He is a foreigner, an alien, who only enjoys the rights of a guest, rights that he always abuses.

5. The so-called religious morality of the liberals is no morality at all, rather an encouragement to betrayal. Therefore, they have no claim to protection from the state.

6. The liberal is not smarter than we are, rather only cleverer and craftier. His system cannot be defeated economically — he follows entirely different moral principles than we do. It can only be broken through political means.

7. A liberal cannot insult an American. Liberal slanders are but badges of honor for an American opponent of the liberals.

8. The more an American person or an American movement opposes the liberal, the more valuable it is. If someone is attacked by the liberals, that is a sure sign of his virtue. He who is not persecuted by the liberals, or who is praised by them, is useless and dangerous.

9. The liberal evaluates American questions from the liberal standpoint. As a result, the opposite of what he says must be true.

10. One must either affirm or reject anti-liberalism. He who defends the liberals harms his own people. One can only be a liberal lackey or a liberal opponent. Opposing the liberals is a matter of personal hygiene.

These principles give the anti- liberal movement a chance of success. Only such a movement will be taken seriously by the liberals, only such a movement will be feared by them.

The fact that he shouts and complains about such a movement therefore is only a sign that it is right. We are therefore delighted that we are constantly attacked in the liberal gazettes. They may shout about terror. We answer with Mussolini's familiar words: "Terror? Never! It is social hygiene. We take these individuals out of circulation just as a doctor does to a bacterium.

The following is how the quote was originally written along with its author.

1. One cannot fight the Jew by positive means. He is a negative, and this negative must be erased from the German system, or he will forever corrupt it.

2. One cannot discuss the Jewish question with the Jews. One can hardly prove to a person that one has the duty to render him harmless.

3. One cannot allow the Jew the same means one would give an honest opponent, for he is no honorable opponent. He will use generosity and nobility only to trap his enemy.

4. The Jew has nothing to say about German questions. He is a foreigner, an alien, who only enjoys the rights of a guest, rights that he always abuses.

5. The so-called religious morality of the Jews is no morality at all, rather an encouragement to betrayal. Therefore, they have no claim to protection from the state.

6. The Jew is not smarter than we are, rather only cleverer and craftier. His system cannot be defeated economically — he follows entirely different moral principles than we do. It can only be broken through political means.

7. A Jew cannot insult a German. Jewish slanders are but badges of honor for a German opponent of the Jews.

8. The more a German person or a German movement opposes the Jew, the more valuable it is. If someone is attacked by the Jews, that is a sure sign of his virtue. He who is not persecuted by the Jews, or who is praised by them, is useless and dangerous.

9. The Jew evaluates German questions from the Jewish standpoint. As a result, the opposite of what he says must be true.

10. One must either affirm or reject anti-Semitism. He who defends the Jews harms his own people. One can only be a Jewish lackey or a Jewish opponent. Opposing the Jews is a matter of personal hygiene.

These principles give the anti-Jewish movement a chance of success. Only such a movement will be taken seriously by the Jews, only such a movement will be feared by them.

The fact that he shouts and complains about such a movement therefore is only a sign that it is right. We are therefore delighted that we are constantly attacked in the Jewish gazettes. They may shout about terror. We answer with Mussolini's familiar words: "Terror? Never! It is social hygiene. We take these individuals out of circulation just as a doctor does to a bacterium.

Joseph Goebbels; 22 April 1929

Instead of liberal you could use Democrat, or faiths like Muslim (or substitute any religious discipline that’s not radical Evangelical-Fundamentalist).

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to use words like Environmentalist (or substitute any political cause that’s not right- wing conservative).

This current group of ‘conservatives’ and their media lackeys sound remarkably similar to fascist of old.

If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck.........

Whenever listening to right-wingers just mentally replace the word liberal or whoever the conservative pundits and talk show hosts are beating up on and substitute that name with Jew and see how they sound.

Liberals and those who are viewed to be like-minded are to current neoconservative propaganda what the Jews were to the Nazis.
Totalitarians all hate liberals, their love for free speech, public assembly, and openness are always an impediment to their selfish desires. Some totalitarians are Nazis, some are communists, some are from whatever dominate local ideology, and some are Neocons with grand desires on the US and their PNAC desires for the world. (To be the envy of Rome) The citizens (moms and dads, sisters and brothers, neighbors and townsfolk) are always the worst for it because no matter what, the powerful old manipulators of men residing in comfortable rooms decide, they are always screwed.
Of course it hurts you’re being screwed by an elephant
not original--but everyone should swipe it; don't ya think
The Age of Totalitarianism......
Nineteen Eighty-Four
© 1949 George Orwell
about Nineteen Eighty-Four
From Wikipedia

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Food Bank

We went to the food bank today.

My wife and I are both disabled with MS so were on a fixed income; we have three boys at home and sometimes the money just doesn’t stretch very far. As of Feb. 1 I'm losing my disability and for all practical purposes no more medical coverage for me either. (update-after 5 months I recieved medical coverage again. As of Nov. 07 my wife with MS who really needs medical coverage more than me has lost all of hers. Hopefully it will work out.) We’re hanging in there struggling to hold our heads above water but we’ve both learned to keep on treading (always tired). I’m just explaining a tad bit why we were there but what I really want to talk about is the food bank.

There are children and immigrants and poor of every stripe in large numbers. There are also large numbers of elderly and many disabled people some with walkers. There were four people with wheelchairs and several with walkers on one visit there. I see little excuse in our society for any of those groups to be here. None of these people would be able to make it without the food bank.

The safety net is full of holes and requires better stewardship from our nation’s leaders. I suppose the best net menders have always been Democrats. The country needs quite a few more in the Senate and executive branch to begin that mending job. Places like this little food bank of ours is a nice emergency net below the moth eaten safety net. But they in no way are able to meet the many needs of those on the bottom.

To be honest I wouldn’t mind if places that were run this well received some federal funding. Conservatives believe that families and churches should be the sole suppliers of aid to those in need and never the government. They just want to pretend to help people on the cheap and funnel tax dollars to their religious base.

We have a relatively well off parish but it would be an undo hardship on it just to take care of our disabled family. Our shots just for MS alone are $2500 a month. It would be quite a bit once you begin to take into account the rest of our medical care along with food and housing for our family. We’re just one family brought low by illness. We had disability insurance with the HMO but they made a determination that MS was not debilitating and it gets better. I wonder which party made it easier for HMO’s to screw their policy holders. (Republican)

We work best when we pitch in as a nation to solve these problems together. That way the areas of our nation of large areas of poverty are able to be helped. The radical conservative way would only mean a lot sicker under nourished people many of whom will end up on the street. I suppose the conservatives would just end up passing laws to outlaw the poor homeless then put them in a jail-type setting so they are no longer visible. If they are not visible they will be able to claim success. Remember the truth doesn’t matter to this current bunch of conservatives. All that matters is creating a perception of success to placate their supporters and those under their thumb.

“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
President Bush, May 24, 2005

We can do much better as a society in taking care of the most vulnerable among us. It’s a sinful crime the way the conservative Republican right would have the poor, sick and disabled of this nation treated. They are in dire straights and its getting worse. Katrina highlighted their hypocrisy for the entire world to see. It’s shameful.

Very good information can be found about Spokane's hungry from,
Second Harvest Inland Northwest

In cooperation with Network this was an email I sent to my own conservative Rep. Cathy McMorris ®. I added other words similar to what I wrote above and explained how much these Republican votes attacking the poor are going to hurt the people of her own district. People she is supposed to represent and care about.

As a constituent and a member of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, I urge you to cosponsor the Hunger-Free Communities Act of 2005 (H.R. 2717).

The bill calls upon Congress to:• end hunger by 2015;• give adequate funding to nutrition programs; and• preserve the entitlement nature of food programs which support children and vulnerable adults.

In this land of excess, we have a particular responsibility to provide for all of our “family” in this United States. Each night, 13 million children go to bed hungry, and 1 in 10 households either lives with, or is at risk of, hunger.

Jesus frequently fed the crowds who came to listen to him. And, He called on us to feed those in need. The early Christian communities shared all in common, and made special efforts to be sure that the elderly and others in need received sufficient food. I ask you to respond to the call of Jesus, and to follow the example of the early communities.

Thank you for your work in Congress. I look forward to your response.


This was her response.

Dear Ken:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding H.R. 2717 the Hunger Free Communities Act of 2005. I appreciate hearing from you.H.R. 2717 was introduced by Representative Tom Osborne (R-NE) on May 26, 2005 and referred to the House Agriculture Committee. This legislation strives to reduce hunger in the United States by half by 2010.It is imperative that we strive to reduce hunger in America while also helping to address the needs worldwide. I support programs like America's Second Harvest Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust as a way to help create a hunger free America and reduce hunger in the world. Approximately four million low-income children under the age of 12 experience hunger each year and an additional 9.6 million are at risk in the United States. Since 1980, poverty worldwide has been reduced from 40% to 21%. We still have work to do both at home and overseas.Without a doubt, we must do better. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this important issue and will be sure to find ways I can offer my support.Thanks again for writing. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance.

Best Wishes,
Cathy McMorris Member of CongressCMC/cmpConfirmation # 1135502

Once again the Republican response seems to indicate that if charity cannot fill the bill then these people should just go ahead and starve and decrease the surplus population.

please view.....
'So Goes America' -
by--David Kowal

Spokane has a pretty good food bank system thanks to the generosity of the local population and it is helping to keep people alive. But it’s not like this everywhere. Just across the state line in Idaho the food bank system is failing as I suspect it does in areas where the overall poverty rate is very high. The more people who must seek emergency help from the program the more stressed it becomes and the less likely it will be able to meet the minimum needs of the populace.

This is Networks description of the legislation that she would not cosponsor.

About This Legislation:5/26/2005--Introduced. Hunger-Free Communities Act of 2005 - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) Congress is committed to achieving domestic hunger goals and ending hunger by 2015; (2) Federal food and nutrition programs should receive adequate funding; and (3) the entitlement nature of the child and adult care food program, the food stamp program, the school breakfast and lunch programs, and the summer food service program should be preserved.

Directs: (1) the American Communities Survey to collect and submit food security information to the Secretary of Agriculture; and (2) the Secretary to conduct an annual study of hunger in the United States and develop recommendations on reducing domestic hunger.
Directs the Secretary to make: (1) hunger-free communities collaborative grants to eligible public food program service providers or nonprofit organizations; (2) hunger-free communities infrastructure grants to eligible emergency feeding organizations; and (3) hunger-free communities training and technical assistance grants to eligible national or regional nonprofit organizations. (States that such grants' Federal share shall not exceed 80 percent.)


Friday, January 26, 2007

The Seven Deadly Sins + 1

It’s often thought that the Seven Deadly Sins were about the loss of an individual soul and it’s true. But it’s also about the collective loss of a nation’s spirit, the sad journey to its destruction.








Recently I have come to believe that there should be an Eighth Deadly Sin…….


The belief that we’re so close to God that He is on our side, that all our ways our His ways, that we deserve all earthly and spiritual blessings while others warrant punishment, that we deserve His mercy while others earn retribution, and that we deserve Heaven while others merit Hell.
All Souls’ Day--- Teresa Healy

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who would you scream for?

Isn’t it just typical?

You’ve got the long haired guy who talks about peace and love.
“This sandal wearing self proclaimed ‘know all the secrets of
the universe’ genius” who even wants some kind of forgiveness
for our enemies, which we all know is just another word for amnesty for those who hate our freedom.

Liberals are always soft on those who wrong us. The worst part about this guy, who we all know doesn’t have a job, is he’s attracting the attention of our enemies. It’s traitorous, because he’s making us look like we’re not united, that we don’t support our leaders, and then that makes all these horrible people just fight harder and harder and harder. Why, because they think they can outlast us.

If that’s not giving aid and comfort to the enemy I don’t know what it is. He's a traitor!

You’re not stirring up trouble, you wouldn’t act like that guy, so what would you be doing?

Well………You would be cheering the freedom fighters. For the guy who stood against those who stood against God, who harassed your family, who rounded up people and locked them away, humiliated, tortured and murdered. He would be a hero for having the courage to stand against those who picked your leaders.

You would be screaming for……