life

Republican Lives Matter

Bigotry is in full force at Penzeys Spices.

I was skimming through my inbox, minding my own business, when I read this in an e-mail from Bill Penzey, owner of Penzey’s spices:

“The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades.”

A wave of ugliness? You mean like this e-mail? You mean like a vendor insulting a customer in her own home?

He’s right, that kind of ugliness has been heretofore unseen in my inbox.

But I’m a Christian, I can turn the other cheek, cut him a little slack.

Some customers, however, must have complained because today I received another e-mail, an update from Bill:

“You may have read Tuesday Night’s email. In it I said:  “The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades. The American people are taking notice. Let’s commit to giving the people a better choice. Our kindness really is our strength.”
Since I ask you to read my emails, I feel it’s only right that I read each of your replies. In sifting through those replies it was clear that, though not intended, a good number of people seemed to sincerely believe that in my statement I was calling all Republicans racists. In the emails of those Republicans who voted for someone other than the party’s nominee, I sensed genuine pain at having the strength of character to not go along with what was happening, but nonetheless be grouped in with those who were. I apologize for writing something that caused you pain; that is not the person I want to be. You are your party’s future, and you deserve my admiration and respect, and your country’s as well.

For the rest of you, you just voted for an openly racist candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. In your defense, most of you did so without thinking of the consequences of your candidate’s racism, because for most of you the heartbreaking destruction racism causes has never been anything you or your loved ones have had to experience. But the thing is elections have their consequences. This is no longer sixty years ago. Whether any of us like it or not, for the next four years the 80% of this country who did not just vote for an openly racist candidate are going to treat you like you are the kind of person who would vote for an openly racist candidate.

Hold up, Bill, I have to interrupt for a sec.

First, this customer disagrees that our President-elect is racist. It surprises me that a businessman would offend half his customers based on hearsay. Isn’t that bad for business?

Second, “80% of this country who did not just vote for an openly racist candidate”?

You might want to brush up on your math skills and your understanding of the electoral process. It is impossible to win a presidency with 20% of the vote. And, if I may, there are not enough registered Republican voters to elect a Republican president without the help of a good number of Dems. So you might need to shame your Dem customers, too.

And third, really? Are you really going to demonstrate your great love by shaming your customers? By treating us badly? By being intolerant of us? Isn’t that bigotry?

bigotry

noun
intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself: the difficulties of combating prejudice and bigotry

But back to your e-mail:

“You can get angry at everyone else for treating you like you just did the thing you just did, or you can take responsibility for your actions and begin to make amends. If you are lucky and younger family members are still coming over for Thanksgiving, before it’s too late, take a moment and honestly think about how your actions must look through their eyes. Simply saying “I never thought he’d win” might be enough. But if you have the means, leaving a receipt from a sizable donation to the ACLU or the SPLC accidentally laying around where you carve the turkey, might go over even better.
Or, just do what you do best and volunteer… More often than not, those we meet cooking and serving food to feed those in need are Republicans. You really are a good bunch, but you just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago. Make this right. Take ownership for what you have done and begin the pathway forward.”

I feel your hate.

And this former customer respectfully requests that you leave your heaping helping of hate off my Thanksgiving table.

#percolate  #uglyisbrewingatpenzeys #feltalittlelikeabrickthroughmywindow

 

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faith, Jesus

We All Need Jesus.

“Do something uplifting today,” the hub said, as he smooched me and left for work.

“I am.” I pointed to the sweet video I was watching, posted by BJ of The River Walk.

He popped his head back through the door and said, “You don’t deserve this.”

“Aww, thank you honey.”

Those were the exact words my dad said, over the phone from Florida, after my first husband left me. And the hub knew it.

Vegetal words – planted 25 years ago by my beloved dad – blooming afresh this morning thanks to my thoughtful hub.

God took a beating on Facebook yesterday.

The depth of hate revealed – for God and for me – was quite troubling.

Vegetal hate, lying deep and dormant, springing up with a vengeance.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who encountered it.

I took the beagle for an uplifting walk in the sunshine and shook it off.

It’s not like God didn’t give full disclosure when I signed on:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Now I understand why love had to be commanded in the verse just prior:

“This is my command: Love each other.”

It’s not easy to love those who have a deep-seated hate for you. It’s especially hard when they have a deep-seated hate for God.

Last night, while we were feeding the friends, the hub summed up the reason for all the ugliness on display yesterday:

“It’s all they have.”

“Father Ken is a genius!,” I replied, as it dawned on me.

“What do you mean?,” asked the hub.

I meant the genius foresight in the prayers we’ve been praying every Sunday:

“Help us renounce dependence on our culture’s false securities; let us see them as idols in which we place our highest trust when you, Christ, are our only salvation – guns, the dollar, political parties and their leaders, stock markets, human intelligence, insurance policies, the possessions and provisions we hoard, our strong bodies, our touchscreen technologies.”

“Well, yeah,” said the hub.

It just hadn’t occurred to me that a political party is all some people have. I guess because we’ve been praying this in church – where people have God, too.

I was thinking about “us” as in those of us who were praying, not “us” as in society at large.

I can be dense.

After I walked the beagle I came across a few videos of President-elect Trump being prayed over at various churches while still a candidate. Here is one of them:

I didn’t know he had been prayed over, anointed for the task. That is quite heartening.

Excellent, in fact.

I was buoyant as I headed back outside to give the hound dog his turn.

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As we walked through the woods, I looked up and was reminded that Love always breaks through.

Which had me thinking: When no one hates us it’s only because we are not currently shining the Light into any dark places.

You can quote me on that.

Or you can quote Jesus.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

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life

Heads Are Exploding.

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My daughter came home from class tonight with tales to tell.

Apparently millennial heads are exploding all over social media.

Young white people want to join hands, encircle the White House and not let Obama leave, in solidarity with their minority brethren.

Meanwhile her African American classmates shrugged their shoulders and said, “He hasn’t done anything for me.” And, “I didn’t even vote for him.”

Wrote my daughter on tumblr:

“90% of the white people I follow on social media are viciously berating anyone who didn’t vote for Hillary (all in the name of protecting minorities), meanwhile my Muslim friends voted for Gary Johnson. What a time to be alive.”

On my Facebook feed, there are lists of impending doom and it’s all the fault of Republicans/Christians. It seems “Republicans” and “Christians” are synonymous.

Except a majority of Catholics in this country are Democrats.  Plenty of Protestants are, too.

Everyone needs to simmer down.

And not bring Jesus into it.

As a sixteen year old member of the LGBT community said to my daughter today, “I’m not worried about Trump. What can he do in eight years? I don’t think people understand how our government works.”

Level-headed lad.

Wise Founding Fathers who put those checks and balances in place.

I understand thinking the world as we know it is going to end when one’s candidate is not elected.

I felt that way in 2008.

I was probably tempted to post my dismay on Facebook the next day, too.

But I didn’t.

I’m sure I didn’t because, according to my fb memories, on Nov. 5, 2008 I posted about the wonderful aroma of my squash soup.

And life went on.

Here, 8 years later I am still alive and well.

Eight years from now your exploding heads will be just fine, too.

So stop reading the fear-mongering propaganda and chill.

As President Obama said in his speech today, the sun will come up in the morning.

 

 

 

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the friends

Mr. Trump Goes to Washington?

I’m an election returns junkie and as such I have been parked in front of my tv all night.

Almost forgot my NaBloPoMo post.

I got nothin’ except a picture of my friend, supervising the making of her breakfast.

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These are the good old days.

Happy Returns, I’ll be up ’til the bitter end.

 

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Jesus, life

Most

After the final presidential debate, someone shared a Huffington Post article on Facebook. It was written by a gynecologist, the title was something along the lines of “Abortions Are Never Performed in the Ninth Month.”

I scanned the sanitized, sugar-coated, textbook description of abortion written, no doubt, in an effort to make those who support barbaric partial-birth abortion feel better about supporting it. Written, I’m guessing, by someone who has never performed one.  The author, sadly, could not resist ridiculing Donald Trump in the process, lowering the professional credibility of the article considerably.

The author succeeded, however, in making the Facebook sharer feel better about supporting a candidate who supports a cruel procedure. Her accompanying comment said just that.

I have helped women, and even some men, pick up the pieces in the aftermath of abortion. I did so for twelve years.  And though I am not a gynecologist, I’m sure I know as much about abortion as any gynecologist who sits safely removed from the unpleasantness of it all.

I’ve listened to stories of regret, guilt, deception and coercion. Stories of women who were forced into it by their moms, brothers, boyfriends. Women who eagerly listened to the deceiver before the procedure and then heard him hiss, “Sucker!” as he slithered away after the procedure.

But not until he planted the tormenting question: “What if you can’t have children now?”

I listened to men cry because their child was aborted without their consent, sometimes without their knowledge until years later. Men who had no say in the matter, who weren’t given the opportunity to step up to the plate. I listened to a married man whose child was destroyed by its mother. By his wife. His now ex-wife because he just couldn’t reconcile it.

Any parent of an aborted child – male or female – who wanted to volunteer at the pregnancy center while I was director, was required to participate in a post-abortion recovery group prior to counseling anyone.  Just to make sure any underlying pain and regret wouldn’t make a surprise appearance in the counseling room, so it wouldn’t interfere with their client-centered counsel.

I’ll never forget the 9th-month-abortion experience one of those volunteers shared.

Testing revealed that her soon-to-be-delivered son was anencephalic.

While she was still reeling from the news, she found herself in a conference room with 21 doctors all telling her she needed to abort.  Giving birth would be too traumatic they said. It would be too hard on her to watch her son die in her arms they said. If the baby did live beyond a few hours, his handicaps would be too hard for her to abide they said.

They decided abortion would be easiest on her.

It would certainly be easier on them.

So there she lay alone in a room, on a cold table, hooked up to a saline solution. She lay there for hours while her son thrashed violently inside her. His delicate skin and his lungs burning.

Finally, mercifully, he died. And she was never the same.

She wouldn’t hurt a fly.

I hate flies. Hate them. I hate that they walk in dog poop outside and then come inside and walk on my counters. If I can shoo them out of my house, I will. But if I can’t, I have no problem whacking them.

There was a fly on the sliding screen door in my family room. I closed the heavy inner window-paned door, trapping it between the two. Then I went outside to open the screen door and set the fly free.  But once I got out there I realized the screen door was locked. Opening the heavy door to unlock the screen might release the fly into my house. So I left it trapped.

The fly buzzed frantically in its confinement.

Just hurry up and die, I thought, feeling kind of sick.

I thought of the volunteer on that table.

There I was sick over a frantic fly – a germy, gross fly.

She had to lay there alone while her precious wanted baby thrashed in pain.

No doubt she hoped he would just hurry up and die, too.

“How was laying on a table feeling him thrash in pain for hours easier than giving birth to him and cradling him gently in my arms while he died?,” she sobbed. And sobbed.

“WHY DIDN’T THEY GIVE ME TIME TO MAKE MY OWN DECISION?”

“Why didn’t they tell me I would feel him dying?”

“Why didn’t they tell me I’d be alone…”

The problem with saline abortions was that some children survived them. They were born with chemical burns to their skin, esophagus, lungs. And once born, of course, they could not legally be killed.

So saline abortions were replaced with partial-birth abortion.

Because scissors in the base of a delivered skull ensure a dead baby.

A delivered skull.

We have a wet foot/dry foot policy for Cuban immigrants.

The least we can do is have a wet head/dry head policy for babies.

If your head makes it safely through the birth canal, you get expedited citizenship and all the protections that go with it.

I sigh at the “life and health of the mother” rhetoric.

In a true medical emergency, doctors save all who can be saved.

And they lose the ones they can’t.

Skull-piercing scissors are not tools intended to save life.

Mothers who want their babies cry, “Save him!

#bridge

#horrificplankinalifedestroyingplatform

#whyIlefttheparty

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life

Ancient of Days

When news of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi was unfolding and a video was being falsely accused, my thoughts went straight to Uriah the Hittite.

You’re probably familiar with what happened to Uriah – murdered in a cover-up – but if you’re not you can read about him here.

The bizarre blaming of a video before any facts were gathered; the blatant lying right into the grieving faces of the victims’ families; the callous, self-protecting “What difference, at this point, does it make?” smacked more and more and more of a desperate cover-up.

With every mention of Benghazi came thoughts of Uriah.

I thought of Abel, too, whose blood cried out from the ground.

And I hoped Ambassador Stevens’ blood and the blood of Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods was crying out from the ground, too.

David suffered consequences for killing Uriah:
The sword would never depart from his house.
He would be publicly humiliated.
The son born of the rape he was trying to hide would die.

Plus he was disqualified from rebuilding the temple because of all the violence to which he had been a party.

I’m not saying anyone killed Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods the way David killed Uriah, I’m just saying that if she did, she ought to be disqualified, too. I’m just asking God to avenge the blood of those four innocent men.

“As I looked,
thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.”  Daniel 7:9-10

#ancientofdays

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Jesus

Hell hath no fury like a politician scorned.

My pastor has stated, more than once, that God has no enemies.

I assume he means that God is no one’s enemy. And that, I think, is true.

But Enemyville is paved with both one and two way streets, and though God does not wage war against us, some of us wage war against Him.  Making some of us His enemy. And then there’s Matthew 13, beginning in verse 25.

Whoa and Woe.

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner.  Probably to vet Him.  Jesus was doing a lot of speaking and teaching at the time and He was starting to draw large crowds. A good Pharisee cannot let anyone teach to large crowds – or even small crowds – without careful vetting.

So Jesus went to dinner and He didn’t wash His hands before eating.

Whoa! The Pharisee was shocked.

Jesus, feeling the judgment that oozed from His host said, “You guys wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. Now, as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”

“Be generous to the poor and everything will be clean for you.” That’s a statement worth pondering. But not now because Jesus had more to say.

He went on to slam the Pharisees for giving a tenth of their herbs but neglecting justice and love.  It would be better, He said, to skip the tithe and focus on the other two.

He slammed them for enjoying celebrity treatment.

At this point, another guest at the table, an expert in the law, spoke up: “Hey, wait just a minute, when you dis the Pharisees you dis us, too.

“Now that you mention it,” Jesus said, turning His attention to the experts in the law, “woe to you, too, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”

Raise your hand if you go to a church that loads you down.  Raise your hand if you were reared in one.

God gave Moses ten commandments. Ten.  To those ten the “experts in the law” piled on a whole Leviticus and Deuteronomy worth of regulations and feast observances.

It’s like legalese making contracts so difficult to understand that you must pay an expert in the law.

It’s like when you have a theological discussion with a blogger who’s been to seminary and they attempt to put you in your place by pulling out words like hermeneutics…

Unlucky for them Jesus didn’t call anyone who had been to seminary to be His disciples, there wasn’t an expert in the law in the bunch. My guess is He considered it a liability.

And then there’s all the vetting that some churches do before they will allow a member to serve in any way – big or small – to prevent the slightest breach, the slightest hairline crack in their carefully crafted doctrine.

As if God is unable to repair hairline fractures.

But I digress.

Jesus said a lot more stuff about them being responsible for the deaths of the prophets and then He finished by saying, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

“They’ve taken away the key to knowledge.” Hm.

“They have not entered and hinder those who are trying to enter.” More to ponder.

After dinner the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose Jesus fiercely and to besiege Him with questions, waiting to catch Him in something He might say.

Later they plotted as to how they might kill Him.

Yep, God has enemies.

Politics.

All this vetting and pouncing and hindering and plotting and fierce opposing has turned my thoughts to our election.

Contrary to what the polls say, THIS middle-aged-white-woman (and former social worker) intends to vote for Trump.

Because what former social worker can resist rooting for the underdog; can resist standing up for the one who is being attacked from all sides – the media, the opposing party and even, shamefully, from within his own party?

What seeker of justice can reward smug, elitist, political “experts” who are arrogant enough to ignore the will of the majority of their party and desperately scrape up and push forth “independent” alternatives?

Plus, everyone in the womb is counting on me.

I’ll say no more, lest this stream of consciousness – prompted by the word “carry” – gain me some enemies.

“Woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”

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