No place for Pastors!

As a pastor and a Christian, I am so very disgusted with the sermons that were preached in so many conservative pulpits this last Sunday.  The article from NBC news was stunning to me and frustrating.  The only criteria seemed to be the same old evangelical voting issues: abortion and gay marriage.  Are there not other moral issues pressing in todays world?  How about hunger?  How about war?  How about corporate greed?  How about enviromentalism and global warming?  As I see it these are also huge moral issues for us as humans and, yes, as Christians.  

I think it is about time that the Christian Right find something else to bark about because in our current situation, they appear to be intentionally blinded by their religious culture from seeing things that Jesus actually spoke about (no mention in the gospels from Jesus about homosexuality or abortion).  Jesus had plenty to say about caring for the poor, feeding the hungary, visiting prisoners and taking care of widows and orphans.  They claim to be biblical but I don’t think that they are reading the same Bible that I am reading.  With the economic crisis, there are going to be many more needy, hungry, homeless and poor.

So, where was Sarah Palin???

Is there anyone else out there who finds it odd that Biden spoke of the debate for the democrats and although Sara Palin was invited she declined to speak for the Republicans, having instead Rudi Guliani?  Where is this maverick and great partner McCain keeps doting on but who has no voice?????

So why is the McCain campaign afraid to let the general press talk to Palin?  Seems fishy for such a maverick and prepared VP

My only other point from the debate was, Okay John, we got that you think you are better suited because of your years of service…but I think the younger guy has a better plan for our country than you do.  It comes through clearly that McCain doesn’t like Obama much.

McCain…unreal

John McCain has attempted one political ploy after another to try and look presidential or avangaard.  In my opinion those ploys have not helped him all that much and the help they did bring was short lived.  Consider Sarah Palin, what a big move that was and it did rally the Republican party for a bit.  But recently, the move to keep her unquestioned by the press, the foreign leaders photo shoot and her incredibly limited resume are beginning to turn around on McCain and making him look desperate. 

Now he wants to delay the debates while he goes back to Washington to deal with this crisis.  Another political stunt that will, I hope the American public will see through and will result in another downward trend in the poles, and especially the pole on November 4th.  It isn’t like he has to be there and can’t work with his staffers in Washington from a distance and still engage in a debate about foreign policy, which is supposed to be a strength. 

If he can’t work from a distance and think about multiple issues, maybe that is just another indication that he is not ready to be president.

No blank checks this time, but we would like a little accountability

As I watch the mess continue to unfold before me each evening on the news, I am getting a little pissed off that I and my fellow citizens are supposed to pay for the indiscretions of Wall Street.  So, if I am understanding things, our retirements and our home values, our ability to just pay the bills has been severely damaged by these folks and now, the same administration that promoted the whole mess by its good ol’e buddy policies, now wants the American people to take on the bad debt and pay for it with our taxes.  

Hell NO!  That is bullshit and I, for one don’t trust this president nor his policies or plans to fix the shitter that he got us into.  I think they should yank the funds out of those wall street CEO’s accounts and put that back into the pot.  Maybe a little financial depression in their direction would help them understand what they have done to regular folk.

Knowing or unknowing

There was a time when I believed that gaining knowledge would increase my faith, but over the years I have found that is not true.  More knowledge bring more awareness of all that is not known, more knowledge merely opened up to me the reality of all the sewing that must be done to knit together the doctrines we have traded for our faith.  Knowledge has brought me full circle to the place where I find that I am more convinced of God in all that does not fit together, that is not reducible, that is fundamental mystery, than all the doctrine and the theology that I thought I once knew.  

Unshackled from that knowing, I am now on a path of discovery, a path of awe and a path where knowing is no longer the goal but worshipping the mysterious God who has drawn me near to him and who sought me and humanity out in the person we call Jesus.  Here I have found freedom to think, believe, question and see the glory of God outside of the structures that have typically housed our thought as Christians.  I read Scripture now and value it more than when I battled with others over truth, jots and tittles.  It is alive and I am alive and I would never go back to the small venue that I once thought gave me view of all things.  Now I look at the immensity of all things and I see Christ at work.  For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily and we have come to fulness of life in him who is the head of all rule and authority (Paul to the Colossians).  There is freedom to discover the fullness of what that means and that freedom to some is dangerous, threatening and viewed as just plain wrong.  But so were the prophets, the disciples and all who of old and of now have embarked on that path of discovery.  Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to humanity with whom God is pleased and on whom his love rests (adapted from Lukes Narrative).

Everyday heroes

As I stood in line returning something at the store, I noticed the man who was next in front of me.  He was in a wheel chair.  He was there with a friend or relative and they, too, were returning something.  He was like so many others with handicaps who don’t let those challenges stop them.  I then thought that we refer to folks who rise above challenging circumstances and accomplish what should be out of reach with a very specific term: “hero.”  While the extreme nature of some situations are seen as easily warranting the use of the term Hero, these extraordinary people who choose not to be stopped or even slowed by disabilities that would cause some folks to give up, these folks are everyday heroes.  They didn’t pick their circumstances but they, daily, overcome their challenges and live their lives, contributing much to our society and living in a manner worthy of emulation.  They are an encouragement to me and they are heroes living around us everyday.

Why I am voting for Obama

The following post was my response to a friend of mine who asked why the hell he should vote for Obama .

 

I can’t tell you why you should vote for anyone.  I can tell you what motivates me to vote for Obama. 

Healthcare – I think we should all have health insurance and personal accounts won’t help the people who are with out and need it the most: not everyone is rich.  If you want to know what McCain is likely to do, there is a link to the right of this post that will navigate you to a New York Times article about just that.

Lobbiests – Obama wants to put these guys in check.  This is long overdue.

environment – rather than giving big business what they want, we should protect our environment and address global warming, holding businesses to standards that preserve our environment for our children and their children.  That just hasn’t been the republican response or voting record and I am not terribly confident that McCain will make good choices there either.  We need to get off of fossil fuels, Obama has a plan to do that.

foreign relationships – we need other countries and we need to be in relationship with them.  I believe Obama will restore our relationships.  Right now they are severely strained because of the Bush Administrations bullheadedness.

economy – 8 years of republican economics has put our economy in the shitter, I want that to change and I believe in Obama’s plan to put us on a different path.  If you want to know what that plan is, check the links to the right.

war – he will get us out of Iraq, a war we should have never entered into and focus our attention back on Afganistan where it should be to catch the bastard that attacked us on 9/11.  Bush led us into a war that wasn’t necessary and abandoned the one that was appropriate.  Obama will turn that around.

Poverty – he wants to work to help pull some of our folks out of poverty.  Poverty is a leading contributor to many of our social ills and the republican economic of the last 8 years have sunk more of us closer to that poverty line and done nothing to bring those already there anywhere closer to financial security.

Taxes – I like the idea that Obama wants to reverse the tax cuts on people making over 200,000 and leave them in place for the middle class.  I also don’t mind paying some additional taxes when my tax dollars are are going for programs and toward issues that affect the American people, and not going to some good ole buddy who is contracting with the US in Iraq or to some other rich business buddy of the president.  

Now these are just the main reasons.  I am not voting for him because of his faith and while Obama is labeled the “liberal”, McCain isn’t much more conservative theologically than Obama, being from the Episcopal church USA.  But again, I don’t vote based on abortion, gay marriage and what a candidates personal religious views are.  

In addition, should Obama find himself in the throws of some major issue with which he is not particularly experienced, I have every confidence in Biden’s ability to give good advice and to help shape policy.  And, God forbid, should something happen to Obama rendering him unable to finish his term, I am confident in Biden’s abilities, insight and determination to step in and make good choices for our country.  

Now let’s just say that I am off the planet certain that Sarah Palin couldn’t do any of the above for John McCain.  Her answers in her recent interview were tentative and obviously sourced out of much coaching so as to know what to say.  She doesn’t appear to have her own thought or views, except on religion and drilling for oil.  She was just a political choice, whom I feel is sadly incapable of leading our country should she be called upon to do so.  I know she would, but I am scared at where she would seek to lead us

There are more reasons that I am voting and supporting Obama but this is a good beginning overview.