Wednesday, November 28, 2018

American Pie.

Mae West — 'I've been rich and I've been poor, and rich is better.'


I tried to post something on my facebook wall that while political was also from the heart today in regard to poor folks and refugees. I thought at least it would cause some folks to think and maybe talk about issues with real human consequences. Sadly the first comment I got from a born again Christian had little to do with the gist of my post which was how sad it is to be poor and alone. Instead it focused on a hobby horse of CNN (which I didn’t mention) and how the church feeds the poor. Which I didn’t mention.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to engage people in political discussion on facebook. It’s draining because if somebody can’t frame a good response to your argument then they just ignore what you really said and attack on things that you might have meant. The other way of course is to attack grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Dropkick me Jesus through the goalposts of life
end over end neither left nor the right…Bobby Bare


See, I always was raised to think that Jesus was the template for how we should treat others. My first real lesson in how much things have changed happened on a forum that my hometown newspaper used to run on the web several years ago. I’m from Gadsden, Alabama and at one time we had quite a little community of posters on the website. People like me that had moved away and still wanted to catch up on the old stomping grounds. Other’s who had discovered the Queen City on the Coosa River and moved or retired there. Many who had been born and raised there. We even had a Canadian who was just fascinated with small town or small city Americana. I think the beginning of the end was when somebody posted “hey let’s all meet up in downtown Gadsden and put a face to these post.” Sounded good for them as an idea but they found they didn’t always like each other in the flesh. People. Go figure.

Charles Schultz — 'I love mankind ... it's people I can't stand!!'


Anyway, there was a young man who was a committed and outspoken atheist. Actually, for an almost sterotypical southern town there was a diverse group of people interacting fairly peacefully online. Just don’t get em downtown together. But, I digress.


Eat my shorts!...Bart Simpson

Anyway, one day as conversation was going along and people were posting why they believed in God or didn’t believe in God or spelled God with a big “G.” or a little “g.” The young man said something about Jesus that while it wasn’t horrible it also wasn’t overly respectful. I knew one of the posters from real life because we went to church together way back when I was still a resident of River City as I playfully call my hometown. So, I thought “Oh boy, this committed Christian is going to tear this young atheist as we say in the south “A new Butthole!” But, crickets! Okay, I thought. Maybe I misjudged the response and even the quick wit of my old friend from back in my church days.


All Politics is local!...Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill

So, the young atheist then said something derogatory about the GOP. Just something kind of thrown out that was not pro republican. Woah! The committed Christian was wide awake now boy! It wuz ON!


You shall have no other God’s before me…God “With the big G.”


So, I thought it’s now more important to defend the conservative political movement than to stand up for the actual morals and character of Christ? Okay. New world.


Mark Twain — 'Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.'


So, I try not to get really in to politics on my facebook page. People can get nasty. Sadly, if Obama had of treated veterans and disabled and handicapped people the way Trump does the conservatives would be up in arms. But, now? All you get is a but Hillary this and Obama that. Jive and dodge and avoid the real issue.


Whatever you do to the least of these you do to me….Jesus.


So, no I don’t expect anybody to just agree with my version of politics or religion or life or anything else. But, it pains me to see otherwise good people who say they love humankind dodge and weave and even show coldness to the poor and needy and vulnerable just to make political points.


Full Disclosure: I’m not a born again Christian. I used to be and I have the T-Shirt. But, I do still have my relationship with  Spirit and I still believe it matters how we treat others. Listen, I honestly don’t care who you vote for. Well, that’s not quite true. I would love for you to vote the way I do. But, I don’t expect it. But, even though I no longer subscribe to hell fire and brimstone I still think it matters how we treat others. Especially the weak who can’t give us any power or any favors in return. I still think we are accountable as to how we spend this life but I’m not sure how to keep score. Except to follow my gut. My gut tells me to speak out once in a while. But, it’s exausting. Especially when people yell at each other and take things out of context and put politics ahead of human deceny.


I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden…Lynn Anderson.


So, life is kind of hard at times. I have honestly found that money can’t buy happiness but it sure can make the misery a little more bearable. I was a late starter and but for the grace of God I would and could maybe even should have been one of those who are struggling to eat and sleep in a warm place. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and some of them are known only to me and God. And I hope to keep it that way. But, if you can look at a poor child or even a poor adult and see the despair and the poverty and the tragedy and you don’t have a little inner shudder and a knowledge that “it could be me.” Then you are one stupid human.