Invader

It is said that the shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was concerned about “invaders” coming to the US in the migrant caravans. He thought Jewish people were assisting those in the migrant caravans and that was not okay with him.  He was a deeply hateful anti-Semite.

Can you imagine what the members of the Tree of Life synagogue are experiencing right now because of one man’s hatred?  I can’t imagine how devastating this would be for them, for anyone to be attacked in such a way, and to watch loved ones being killed.

I looked at his picture.  He’s white.  I’m white.  Obviously our ancestors crossed the pond at some point making both of us the descendants of invaders as well.

What makes someone like him the judge and jury of who can come to America for a better life?

Looking around at Trump’s Christian fan base, they seem ignorant to the fact that our country is crumbling by the day.  A portion of Trump’s Christian fan base thinks other issues are much more urgent, such as those who would celebrate that Satanic holiday Halloween.  I love Halloween, so take from that what you will.

My country becomes more baffling and broken each day.  This hatred festering in our country has got to stop.

 

Sacrifice Something

The internet moves at light speed from one topic to another. Everyone must pick a side, and of course their side is always right.

I’ve been thinking about Colin Kaepernick for a while. Now I am thinking about Colin Kaepernick and Nike. Maybe what bothers me is that it just another talking point in someone’s Twitter feed or Facebook.

Where I live no one admits they voted for Trump. We pat ourselves on the back talking about how fabulously progressive we are. We voted for Obama! We’ll probably never ever stop talking about that.

Our town has a dirty little secret though. Instead of talking about what we could do for the disadvantaged, our school district worried about placating people of privilege who didn’t want their children exposed to gangbangers, the illiterate and people of color. They couldn’t entirely avoid the undesirables of course. The big point of contention was that the special people had to have a new high school built for their little precious angels. They were going to tell the school district how big the school could be and who could attend it.  For reals. They couldn’t take a chance on having their kids go to school on our side of town. My husband and I aren’t University professors! We have no books in our house. People on our side of town engage in gunfights as the children get off the school bus.

Of course all these allegations were ludicrous. These parents were very careful in official channels about how they delivered their message, since by and large they were highly educated registered Democrats speaking to a school board of mostly the same type of people. It was fun at times to watch a few of these people struggle to deliver their coded messages at school board meetings while they sweat, sputtered and spit.

Our school board spent YEARS on this issue, worrying about catering to the elite.

What is my point?  Instead of these sorts of hypocrites laughing at the Trump supporters who would burn their Nikes, maybe they should go SACRIFICE something. They could attend local government meetings and advocate for the disadvantaged.

My son’s football team played the new precious high school’s team and our team won.  I am sure the parents of the precious were fuming.

Somehow though as Friday Night Lights turns into College Football Saturday in our town, I doubt I will see anyone newly motivated to sacrifice something. The best and the brightest in our town will be getting drunk, pissing and vomiting on private property as they trudge toward the stadium. Students and grown ass folks alike.

This is my little corner of America. Yours may be different. If you think “sacrifice everything” is the ultimate message , make it a message of action not just a talking point.

What Would Dad Say?

My dad has been gone for a long time.  I often wonder what he would say about certain events.  He died previously to September 11, 2001, and that was one of the first times I’d had that thought.

My dad had been a lifelong Republican, but I don’t think he would recognize the party as it is today.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day.  My mom is beginning to have some memory problems but she still watches the news.  She was talking about all of Trump’s criminal associates but stumbled to remember their names.  I supplied the names as I could, Manafort and Cohen.

After our converation ended, there was a notification on my phone that John McCain had passed away.  My dad, like McCain, was a Navy man.  My dad of course did not graduate from Annapolis, he was an enlisted man.

A few years ago, when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero or not, because he’d been captured, I felt my dad roll over in his grave.  What would my dad have said about Trump’s remarks.  What would he have said about such a man who would  mock a veteran?

What would he say about Trump, a sitting President, whose behavior has been so egregious, he has not been invited to the funeral of Senator John McCain.

What would he say when it was other politicians across the aisle who would come to the defense of John McCain.

I don’t think my dad could imagine such disgraceful behavior.  For the people that still support Trump, how do you reconcile yourself with such disgraceful behavior.

 

Independence Day

This week the United States of America will celebrate Independence Day, on July 4.  242 years old.

I’ve been studying my roots.  I have new appreciation for the struggle my ancestors had to move to what they thought was the greatest country on earth.  I’m sure the rest of the world’s view changes day by day as Trump continues in his bizarre, irrational presidency.

All of my ancestors were Christians of one sort or another.  They were allowed to come to the US to pursue a better life.  Somehow though, the portion of American Christianity that helped elect Trump doesn’t think we need to extend this same kindness to our neighbors South of the Border.  How can these Christians reconcile the brutal behavior of the Trump administration with the teachings of Jesus?

We can do better.28085916085_11763ff751_c

Bubble

I was ill recently.  I spent a lot of time sleeping when I wasn’t coughing.  Between being borderline hypoxic and dehydrated I felt as though my mind was playing tricks on me with the strangest of dreams.  When I finally felt better and emerged from the bubble of illness, reality was even stranger.  The orange man, Trump, was talking about shitholes.  People were encouraging Oprah to run for president. I thought America had decided TV stars with no political experience weren’t allowed to run for office.  Oh America, how fickle, strange and sometimes ugly you are.

Confused with Christianity

I was raised Catholic.  Though I certainly have some issues with Catholicism, the brand I was raised with didn’t seem withdrawn from the world at large.

It seems many Christians are huddled in their own little corners, worrying about same sex marriage, female submission or drivel like the Nashville Statement.  Don’t know what the Nashville Statement is?  It is a statement crafted by small minded men focusing especially on sexual morality.

Do the people who dote on issues of sexual immorality think they should ever take a breather for a while and see what is happening in the world?  When did we as Christians decide we should be deaf to the cries of those in need.

So many Christians seem silent on issues like the Charlottesville Riots, hurricaine relief, and DACA?   While I certainly was taught about sexual immorality back in the day, I always felt encouraged in some way that it was our duty to help those less fortunate than us.  Whether it was attempting to feed the hungry, help the elderly, or going to a protest to speak out on Trump’s attempts to end DACA, that spark was always there.

While certainly all Christians don’t fall into this camp, the world is making me sad right now.

Have we forgotten the words of Jesus?

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Carrying on the momentum of the march….education would be a good place to start

I’ve heard a lot of messages come out of the Womens’ March.  I wonder which, if any of them, will gain any sort of momentum, and result in real change and better lives for the most marginalized in our society.  I believe education would be a great place to start.

I have to say though, I’m skeptical.  I live in a progressive, liberal university town.  No Republicans need run for local office.  That doesn’t stop property developers from trying to run a small scale Trump empire though.  Said property developers, might vote liberally, but they still have the ethics of Trump.  Our city council bends over backwards to make it easy for them to do business here.  Oh wait that it isn’t about education, I digress.

As someone who attended Catholic school for 12 years, I assumed the public school system offered a noble ideal of equality of opportunity for all.  The reality, this simply isn’t so.

There is a notion being floated in the aftermath of the march that feminist means you are free of prejudice toward others.  Or perhaps feminists are equating themselves as a group who deeply care about those less fortunate than they are. I don’t see it play out like that in my community though.   The racism and classism might be more covert, but it is there.   The liberal white university employed mother often lobbies for a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  I don’t mean that just in terms of money when I speak about rich and poor.

What to do to improve education?  I don’t have the answer.  It probably won’t be glamorous. It might mean hard work. It might mean writing to elected officials. Elected officials that might not answer back. It might mean going to school board meetings to offer commentary.  If you have deep pockets you could donate to arts and sports programs at struggling schools. Or you could use those deep pockets to purchase band and orchestra instruments  for those who cannot afford them. If you know a lot about science, perhaps you could be involved in the curriculum review committee the next time the school district is looking to purchase textbooks.  The suggestions of what any one individual could do to help improve education are probably endless.

This is a post I wrote about how I see education in my little part of the United States.  It might not be the most well written post, but I stand behind the message.  After the election in 2016, I reposted my thoughts with additional commentary.  My thoughts were inspired by going to my son’s basketball game.  As I watch my son and his peers, some of whom he has known since kindergarten, I wonder what the world holds in store for him. While these kids were all little boys once upon a time, and now are teens, many of whom are taller than me now…this still amazes me…despite their size, we still need to look after them.   We can do better, for our daughters, sons, and all the children in out country.