Tag Archives: Politics

Homeless

I’d just pulled out of the grocery store parking lot and into some mild traffic, this was early last week, when the passenger side window of the car in front of me opened and ejected what looked like a wadded up fast food bag, which came to rest on the grassy slope beyond the curb.

There was no way I could pull over to pick it up, and no way to properly express my outrage to the uncaring occupants of the vehicle in front of me.

The litter was just there, a little blot of ugliness in my both my rearview mirror and my stomach.

I found myself wondering in what sort of condition those people keep their home.

What, I wondered, was their problem?

Why not just dispose of the thing properly?

I called these folks “uncaring” a moment ago, but I don’t know that I believe that.  There has to have been some thought process, some mental calculation that would compel a person to open her car window and cast her refuse into the street.

I imagined these people as horrible slobs, leaving a trail of filth in their wake wherever they go.

But maybe they just didn’t want that trash in their car, they could, I supposed, be incredibly tidy, within their own four walls.

And there, in the midst of my conjecture, I think I may have hit upon the element that I was missing.

Home, for most people, is what we own, an area bounded by fence or walls that belongs to exclusively to us.  Everything beyond those walls is outside, outside of our control, outside of our responsibility.

I don’t really see things that way.  Walls and fences have their uses, sure, but they are temporary things, in the grand scheme, and land ownership even more so.  The land does not belong to us, we are only its caretakers.

It is, I think, far more realistic to say that we belong to the land.

And so, last Sunday when I saw garbage indiscriminately flung into the street, it felt like a blemish upon my home.

Two days later, nearly half our population flung garbage into the presidency, and for the first time in my life, I felt homeless.

In the days that have passed since that seemingly endless Tuesday night, my emotional state has shifted from anger to despondency and back again more times than I can count.  I’ve listened to the speculation about the why’s and how’s, I’ve looked through the sorry demographics of who did and didn’t, I’ve listened to the explanations from those who voted for him, and I keep coming up with the same calculation that accounts for that wadded up bag on the side of the roadway.

This society is infected with a strange breed of selfishness that prevents us from truly seeing and empathizing with the world beyond that little patch that we imagine we own.

The problems and concerns of others, their very real fears about the future…, well, that’s on them, isn’t it.

And I don’t know what we can do about that attitude.  I don’t know how we can broaden the perceptions of people beyond themselves, except to continue to be who WE are, to continue to live in their world, and to open their hearts, one by one.

I suppose it would be easier, if I could just shut my eyes to it, but I can’t.

I wouldn’t want to.  I remember when I saw the world like they do.  I remember that, although less painful, it was a pretty empty way to live.

The anger is still there, but it’s at low ebb now.

The despondency, I’ve mostly replaced that with determination.

But I worry for my friends, many of whom are likely facing hard times ahead.

I worry for those of us who practice alternative religions, now that the evangelical movement has friends in high places, who have already expressed profound misunderstandings about both the Non-Establishment Clause, and simple human decency.

Mostly though, I worry about the land.

My ancestors believed that we were all a part of the land, and that the land herself was divine.

When they chose a king, he was symbolically married to the goddess of the land.

The success or the failure of that marriage could be seen in both the fruitfulness of the land and the prosperity of the people.  A disrespectful king could bring blight to the land and ruin to the governed.

Although the actual rituals of this marriage have not been practiced in many centuries, and never on this continent (so far as I know), I do believe that some vestige of this relationship, however unknown to our leaders, must still remain.  And the thought of it, of that man in THAT spiritual role…, frankly, it makes me nauseous.

Somehow, I don’t think a man with a reputation for using women and a well documented disdain for environmental protections will be the font of a bountiful union.  And if things go too badly, the goddess of this land may very well blame the society that put him there.  We may find that we are all homeless.

Goddess Statue

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Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Traditions

Suddenly, a Witch!

Hillary Clinton, they are telling us now, is a Witch.

The truth, of course, is that folks on the Republican side of the American political fence have been calling her a “witch” for quite some time.  I’ve heard it mixed in there, along with every other disparaging word in the misogynist’s lexicon.

But then suddenly, a couple days ago, they started talking about the capital ‘W’ kind of witch.

Specifically, some folks on Drudge and other bottom-feeder websites began claiming that Clinton was a member of a circle of blood-magic wielding, satan-worshipping, cultists.

I mean, come on guys…, I’ve got so many reasons to vote for her already.

You don’t need to sweeten the deal.

Could it be, SATAN?!

Could it be, SATAN?!

For the last year, I’ve tried to keep this blog away from the American political meltdown, providing myself (and anyone who cares to join me), a respite from the insanity.  Plus, I already get dragged into enough political flame-wars, without stoking the fires on my own site.

But it’s the last day before the election, so what the hell, while the wackier fringes of the conservative movement are off trying to prove that ducks and witches are both made of wood, I thought I might take just a brief moment to explain my very favorite thing about the 2016 Presidential Election cycle.

It’s not a hard choice really, in the last year we’ve seen a lot of really nasty thoughts and beliefs come slithering out of the darkness and into the light of day – which is, itself, a good thing really, if hard to stomach from time to time.

But there HAS been a good thing come out of this election.

The inborn hypocrisy of the evangelical christian movement has never been more prominently on display.  It’s just there, sitting boldly on a pedestal, under a spotlight, for all to see.

“The Candidate took them to a very high mountain and showed them all the kingdoms of the world, all the schools and courthouses, he showed them the supreme court and a tattered copy of the Defense of Marriage Act, and he said to them, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and vote for me…,”

And they’re doing it, in droves.

They’ll sacrifice themselves to a man that they know is not one of their own, who does not truly believe as they believe, who has built his fame and his fortune upon sin after sin, but who hands them empty promises to give them the power over our society that they so desperately crave.

These are not acts of faith or piety.

These are the votes of cowardice in the face of a world which will no longer bow to the singular lie that provides for them their only purpose.

It would be tempting to watch it happen, if for no other reason than to enjoy the whirling destruction that comes with any big train wreck.  But it is important to remember that this is a passenger train, and many of those folks didn’t know where they were bound when they boarded.

The folks who come crawling from that smoking ruin will need comfort, not condemnation.

And what better time to show them what the Witches are really like.

Get out there and vote, friends.

Our future depends upon it.

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Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Politics, Religion

Indiana Jonesing

So you’ve heard about the new law in Indiana, right?

I mean, it’s made the news here in Texas, where any news story that’s not about Texas had better be about sports, or it’ll be regarded with suspicion…, so it must be a really big and controversial story…, right?!

Okay, on the off chance that you’ve had your head buried in the sand, here’s the scoop.

A lot of people are very upset because the state of Indiana has just enacted a law which, it is claimed, allows business owners to refuse to serve homosexuals, if said business owner has a religious objection to homosexuality.

Another group of people have responded to that claim by saying, “nu uh!”

And yet a third group, is busy shouting “God Hates Fags!” at anyone who is foolish enough to wander into the comments section of any news story relating to this law, or to any news story, about almost anything.  But mother always said it was unkind to stare at those less fortunate than ourselves, so let’s turn our attention away from the ignorant hooting, and examine, instead, the actual claims about this particular bit of legislation.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Hmmm…, having read through it, I’ve got to say that, if anything, it suffers from being poorly named.

Indiana FactsWhich religious freedoms, I am forced to wonder, have been taken away, that this law is intended to restore?

Has anyone, Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, or Jew, been denied the right to worship their god or gods as they see fit?  Have any churches been shuttered?  Have the stormtroopers of vile secularism kicked in the doors of private homes and stolen away with menorahs, prayer mats, advent calendars, and the like?

In what circumstance, has government prohibited the free exercise of religion, in the state of Indiana, (or any of the other states where similar laws hold sway), that we need legislation, specifically enacted, to restore our lost religious liberty?

I ask because, the only examples anyone seems to be able to provide, involve bakers not wanting to produce confections for gay weddings.  I’ve studied a great many religions, over the years.  More, in fact, than I could easily name.  And I have yet to encounter one where baking constituted an act of faith.

I am open to the possibility that adherents of such a faith might be prone to die off quickly, of cholesterol poisoning most likely, thus keeping their numbers dangerously low, and their overall presence off of my religious radar.  But I have serious doubts.

So, until someone can demonstrate some other, greater need for this legislation, what we do seem to have is a law that shields from legal action, a business which refuses service to anyone, on the basis of that business owners religious belief.

Realistically, we also have a law which appears to be named in the sensationalist hope, of attracting the attention (and shall I say votes) of those very same folks, the loud hooting ones, from whom we are trying diligently, to avert our gaze.

Okay, fine.  We may think it ugly, but it’s there.  And right or wrong, the state of Indiana is getting something of a black eye because of it.

So here’s another question to consider: Is it Constitutional?

I don’t know, and the learned opinions on the matter seem to differ, but sooner or later, I think we’re going to find out.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

JonesingI don’t understand how baking a cake for a gay wedding, as long as said cake is no different than those you usually produce in the course of your business, can be abhorrent to the religious beliefs or any reasoning person.  And maybe, this is because it hasn’t been explained to me properly yet.

But in the course of my own career, I have performed technical support, designed advertising and marketing materials, built homes for, and sold actual artwork of my own creation, to people whom I have found to be reprehensible for any number of reasons, including their particular religious beliefs.  I have done this, not because I value the dollar more than my own ideals, but because I firmly believe that everyone should be equal in the marketplace.  My ancestors once had to deal with storefront signs that read ‘No Irish’, and I will never, knowingly, demean another human being in that way.

So, pending more evidence, the ‘non-establishment clause’ would seem to be out of the picture.

So what, then, about the Freedom of Association?

I’ve often heard this touted as a constitutionally mandated right, allowing certain folks the freedom to avoid contact with other folks whom they don’t like.

And that would be fine, except that it is nothing of the kind.

The right of association is not even explicitly mentioned in the constitution, but is, rather, a modern day extension of the freedom to ‘peaceably assemble’.  My research shows that the right of association came into vogue during the civil rights movement when certain groups were putting a lot of energy into either preventing meetings of the NAACP, or forcing that group to turn over lists of its membership.

In any case, the right, as it is commonly expressed, has never been one of ‘disassociation’.  The intent, as I understand it, is to make it clear that you are free to interact with whoever you want to, for whatever reason that is not already prohibited by law.  There’s nothing there about a guarantee that you will not have to interact with people that you don’t like.

In other words the freedom of association, does not give you the right to turn people away from your business, simply because you don’t like them, or their beliefs.

Am I missing something?  Is there something in the Indiana law, or any of the others (including the federal version) that cause it to pass Constitutional muster?  If so, I welcome anyone with a reasoned argument in favor of these laws, to explain it to me.

Show me, please!  Demonstrate to me that there is a very real need for these laws.  Show me that they will be useful to members of minority religions in exactly the same way they are useful to the Christian majority that feels so threatened.  Give me reason to believe that this is more than simple discrimination couched in legal terminology.

Because the alternative…,

The alternative is that these laws are put in place in the hope that they will be challenged.  Certainly, the first group of folks I mentioned at the beginning of this post are getting worked up over the prospect of a legal fight.

And the second group?  They have to know that a challenge is coming.  And another, and another, until someone lands in front of the right court at the right time, and then…,

IndianaJonesingBut, it’s not really about the court challenges at all, is it?

And it’s certainly not about some poor beleaguered baker being forced against her will to apply frosting rosettes to a cake that will be consumed following a same-sex union she will never see.

It’s all about that third group, that rabid mob which is so blinkered by its own insecurity that they have rejected the Christ of the Bible, the one who would likely have embraced the homosexual with the same love and compassion he is said to have shown the prostitute and the adulterer, (perhaps even selling him a nice set of table and chairs from his step-dad’s workshop), and replaced him with the same kind of self-righteous ass, their own scriptures always show him preaching against.

My fear is that it’s really all about keeping them riled up and jonesing for a fight.

But what happens when that monster gets out of control?

Who will these laws protect, when there is blood in the streets?

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Filed under Culture, Interfaith, Modern Life, Politics, Religion

Embers

The Imbolc fire burns low.

It was a small fire this year, although it would be fair to say that the flames I kindle for Lá Fhéile Bríde are always on the smallish side.

Winter still holds us within its chill grip, but beneath the cold, there is that first fleeting hint of Spring.  I say ‘hint’ because it is nothing so sure and trustworthy as a particular smell or budding leaves in the naked canopy above, but it is there all the same, stirring at the edges of our perception.  Change, as they say, is in the air.

Imbolc, like its counterpart Lughnasadh, is a time of transition, and the energies seem uncertain.  These are times of reflection and divination, best done in the warm blush of a simple hearth.

The great roaring, spiraling column of flame will whirl its way into the space between the worlds again come Beltane, but for now, a more sensible blaze will do.

It is a small gesture of devotion to the ‘exalted one’, the sacred flame of Kildare.

The fire has burned down to embers now.

I am no flamekeeper.

The embers will cool and their dull red glow will dissipate.

And that’s okay, because I don’t believe that the flame ever really goes out.

Olympic Ritual

This was the scene in Olympia, Greece, in September of last year.   In the ruins of the ancient Temple of Hera, the priestesses called out in benediction to the solar god Apollo, while using the rays of the Sun, focused by a specially polished parabolic mirror, to ignite the sacred Olympic flame.  And in only a few days time, that same flame will arrive in Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea.

Well, not really.

The flame went out in October.  It sputtered and died and then was relit by some Russian official with a Zippo, on camera, for the world to see.  And that’s just crazy because they keep multiple spare flames, ignited from the same original flame in Greece, which are toted along in special little lanterns, to restore the “official” flame in just such an emergency.

They go through all this trouble, because the flame is important.  It’s sacred.

Well, not really.

I mean, the flame is kindled on the site of the original Olympic Games, but the circle of women calling out to Apollo and Zeus are actresses.  The ritual is a show.  It’s a fake.

Olympic Propaganda 1936For that matter, while the tradition of burning a flame during the whole of the games, is a tradition that was indeed observed by the ancients, the whole business with the torch relay bringing the flame from Greece to the host city, was concocted by the Nazis for the  1936 Games in Berlin – Hitler’s Olympics.  The relay was yet another bit of Aryan propaganda, a symbolic passing of the ‘torch of civilization’ from ancient Greece to the supposed ‘master race’.

So, I ask you: Is the flame that arrives this week in Sochi, the one born from the ‘Flick of a Bic’ any less sacred then the flame which left the Temple of Hera so many months ago?

Is there anything of the divine to be found in a ceremony conducted by paid performers?

Do the Olympics themselves mean anything beyond advertising revenues and jingoistic chest thumping?

I contemplate the embers of my own sacred fire, and I wonder.

Olympic Flame

It is easy to become discouraged.

In the whole of the world there are only a tiny fraction of people who share beliefs similar to my own.  We are a small community.  Our neighbors scoff at our efforts, if they deign to notice us at all.  Closer to home are the tolerant, the confused, and the sympathetic who quietly pray for our souls.  If we are lucky we have people in our lives who love and respect us enough to ‘go through the motions’.  Most of us are lucky if we ever meet face-to-face with more than a handful of the truly like minded.

We complain incessantly about the politics, the divisiveness, and corruption (of one sort or another) within our community.  In many ways these are the same kinds of arguments I have heard people make against the Olympics.

“It’s all about politics and propaganda,” they say.

“Everyone,” we are told, “is in it seeking money or power or attention, and no one really cares about the sanctity or sport or the high ideals of cooperation and universal brotherhood.”

So which is it?

Are we all just a bunch of misguided frauds?

Or is the idea bigger than the day to day reality in which we find ourselves?

Jesse Owens 1936The Berlin Games and the Olympic Torch Relay were used as a platform to express a horrific ideology.  And what we got instead was the triumph of Jesse Owens – the perfect expression of the Olympic Ideal.

Don’t tell me that there is no power there.

Certainly the Sochi Games have had controversies of their own, mostly related to the issue of Gay Rights within the Russian Federation.  Maybe the power of the Olympic Ideal will overcome Vladimir Putin’s nationalistic agenda.

One may always hope.

And what about those very few of us who choose to honor the gods of our ancient ancestors?  When the one public ritual that is performed in their honor, before the eyes of the gathered world, is little more than a choreographed performance…, does that ritual have any true meaning?

If an actress recites a prayer and if I believe in it, am moved by it, does it have power?

The flames of our ancestors burned out long ago.

Others came, and relit them for their own reasons.

But still they burn, and the embers of those old fires have been awakened.

We need only fan the flames.

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Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Religion, Spiritual Journey, Sports, The Gods, Traditions

Seeking my inner patriot.

Perhaps you have heard of “Christmas Depression”.

It’s a fairly well known condition that seems to be caused by a combination of lowering winter daylight levels and increased social pressures associated with the holiday season.  In other words: you already feel miserable and everyone’s expectation that you should feel “jolly” only manages to make things worse.

I’ve seen polls that show almost half of the population has experienced these “holiday doldrums” to some degree.

Typically, as the holiday season recedes, and the days grow longer through the seasonal shift from winter to spring to summer, the depression also dulls, replaced by a happier attitude.

In rare cases, this cycle seems to be reversed and longer days bring darker moods.

So here it is…,

I have a hard time with Independence Day.

There, I admitted it, and it’s not an easy admission to make.

There are so many pressures to get out there and furiously wave our little flags and declare for all to hear our unabashed love of country.

Are you not grateful for the many freedoms you possess?

Have you no honor for the thousands who have died to defend your liberty?

Have you no national pride?

And I do feel some measure of pride to be sure, but it is a pride more focused on the individual than on the institution.  I am proud of those who have, over the years, stood up and fought against a system that seems hell-bent on denying liberty and equal-rights to all.  Yet, for every measure of pride I feel, there is a much greater quantity of sorrow and shame that these battles must be fought at all.

And then fought again, and again, and again.

As I sit up through the late hours of the evening to watch a woman filibuster the Texas legislature, whatever pride I feel in her efforts is overwhelmed by disgust as I watch lawmakers breaking their own rules and then falsifying their own records in an attempt to ram through a law that their constituents never asked for and which is itself, a lie of the worst order.

When, on the following morning, I hear the happy news that DOMA has been struck down by the Supreme Court, my pleasure is tempered as scores of religious demagogues begin to shout and bluster that the end-times must truly be upon us.

Sorry folks, the combination of dirty, religion soaked politics and blistering Texas heat, do not put me in the mood for a heaping slice of apple pie.

And yet, I know that my spirits should be lifted in these days.

The forces arrayed against us may curse and cheat and wave their flags in our faces until the fabric begins to shred, but the smell coming off of them in these hot Summer days is not one of conviction.

It is the stink of fear.

As they begin to see more clearly that the tides turned are against them, that fear will only grow, and like our friends in Austin, they will do all they can to turn back the clock.

July 4th Parade

And so I say to all those who love the Summer sun, and who are roused by parades and picnics and the red, the white, and the blue, to you I wish a happy and peaceful Independence Day.

I will keep to myself in a nice shady spot, away from the crowds and the bluster.  Perhaps I will watch the fireworks from a distance, (it’s the one tradition associated with this time of year that I have always enjoyed) and I will do my best not to rain on anyone’s parade.

Oh, but gods, what I wouldn’t give for a nice refreshing rain, just about now!

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Filed under Holidays, Modern Life, Politics

Drone on, and on, and on…,

Last week a man stood up in front of the United States Senate and spoke passionately for nearly thirteen hours, and while he spoke, as his voice began to grow hoarse and America turned its attention momentarily toward those hallowed chambers in the District of Columbia, nothing continued to happen.

Nothing has a way of happening in Washington these days.  Nothing happens, depending upon the particulars of the occasion, with either style and decorum or with bluster and bombast, but be assured, nothing is happening.

These last few years, nothing has been the special provence of the U.S. congress, which is why, when a man stands up from the midst of that august body and announces that he will bring the business of Congress to a halt through the power of the filibuster, by the gods that’s the kind of thing that grabs peoples attention!  We never expected to see the Congress move faster, but just imagine what it would take to actually slow it down even further.  Would such a thing even be possible?!

Let me take a step back to explain.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this last week, or just had better things to do, you likely already know that the courageous hero in this story is Senator Rand Paul.  The subject of his glorious stand was the possibility of Drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.

It's simply chilling!  Read with the lights on.

Click to read the whole thing.

In particular, he seems to be somewhat vexed with this letter which he received from Attorney General, Eric Holder.  I’ll let you read the letter if you like, and I’ve taken the liberty of circling the bit which has Senator Paul in such a conniption.

Now over the years I have often heard people complain that the good folks we elect to Congress have a bad habit of not fully reading the bills that they are called to vote on.  In light of recent events, I begin to wonder if that habit is really such a bad thing.

In what delusional paranoid’s nightmare interpretation does…,

“The President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”

Translate into…,

“I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in bowling green, Kentucky, is an abomination.”

—from the transcript of Senator Paul’s opening speech

Ummm…, okay.

It’s frankly no wonder that the administration took a while to respond to that.

How do you frame a rational response to irrational arguments which have almost no resemblance to what you actually said?  Do you use smaller words, maybe?  Perhaps you present your response in crayon drawings done in soothing colors?

Am I being unfair in my critique of the good Senator from the State of Kentucky?  Does my underlying suggestion that he is a paranoid buffoon strike you as offensive?

I’m okay with that, because the Senator offends me.

He has the gall to stand there for hour after hour patting himself on the back for “protecting American lives” when that hypothetical American of his, sitting in a cafe in San Francisco, stands a vastly superior chance of being killed right where he sits, by random gun violence, than by a targeted strike launched from some government drone.  Yet the Honorable Rand Paul will fight tooth and nail against any legislation that might make that fate less likely.

As I write this, more than 2,590 American men, women and children have been killed in gun violence, just since the Newtown massacre on December 14th of last year.

Gun Deaths in America

Who, may I ask, is filibustering for them?

Which starry eyed politician will throw himself into the cogs of government and bring the whole miserable works to a shuddering halt until we have an answer to THAT question?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The frightening thing to me is how many of the people I know honestly think this guy is a hero.  “Oh, he filibustered the Senate until he got an answer!”  “Rand Paul is the only one willing to stand up for the Constitution.”  “Rand Paul will be the best choice for President in 2016.”

One of these three is not like the others.

He’s not a hero.  He’s a freaking Don Quixote wannabe.

I’d actually feel better if Don Quixote was a candidate in the next election.  Sure, he’s a fictional character, but I’m pretty sure you stand a greater chance of being killed by a windmill on American soil than you do a drone attack, and our old friend Alonso really knows how to deal with that kind of threat.

Campaign 2016

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Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Politics

A Better God

At the end of every election cycle comes that special moment when you can sit back and relax, satisfied in the knowledge that you have watched your last campaign ad.  This time around it feels as if we have been bombarded with more than ever before and however the election itself plays out, I will be very glad of the reprieve.  However, in these final hours, I ask that you indulge me by watching just one more, an ad narrated by Mike Huckabee titled “Test of Fire”.

“Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?”

If you are a Christian, Mike Huckabee is telling you not only what you should believe but who you should be voting for.  The arguments being used in this ad are not based upon a political or economic ideology but on singularly religious grounds.

Poorly hidden within all that imagery of a pretend blacksmith haphazardly pounding on forged words, is the threat of damnation for those who choose to vote the wrong way.

While most Christians seem to believe that their god created mankind with the power of free will, Mr. Huckabee and his ilk suggest that a vote for the wrong candidate could land you in hell.  These men and women would have you believe that you should vote not for the candidate of your choice, but of Gods.

What good upstanding Christian would want to defy their almighty God and risk an eternity of suffering on the off chance that someone with a low paying job my need access to inexpensive contraceptives, or that their gay friends may someday want to marry?   This despite the fact that, last I checked, their god had failed to officially endorse any candidate on the ballot.

Well, I have this to say to Mr. Huckabee and all those who believe as he does:
If your god is so small minded and petty as to condemn you to an eternity of suffering because you voted for the candidate who best represented your personal values in this, or any election, maybe you need a better god.

Some of you might suggest, at this point, that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of election season and lots of people will say some pretty crazy things to make their respective partisan points.  Political contests do tend to polarize us to a greater than normal extent.  I concede that point.

It is at times like this that we really need something to pull us together as a singular people.  If there is any silver lining to be found in the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy, it must be that a natural disaster of this magnitude can force us to put aside the insanity and join together in common purpose.

Right?

“Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years to the day of the Perfect Storm of October 30, 1991.  This was the day that President George Bush Sr. initiated the Madrid Peace Process to divide the land of Israel, including Jerusalem. America has been under God’s judgment since this event.”

—Pastor John McTernan

Or perhaps not…,

“The Great Flood in the time of Noah was triggered by the recognition of same-gender marriages.  The Lord will not bring another flood to destroy the entire world, but he could punish particular areas with a flood.”

—Rabbi Noson Leiter, discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Think I’m just singling out few token crazies to make my point?  I truly wish that these folks were alone in their hysteria, but they are not.  Among all the prayers and outpouring of support I have seen on Facebook and Twitter over the last week have been similar accusations from otherwise ordinary citizens who honestly believe that Hurricane Sandy was a punishment sent by their god against our nation.

And then, there was this:

“Destroying everything by the command of Allah, these punishing winds serve as a just recompense for their disbelief and crimes against Islam. It is the answer to the prayers of the oppressed Muslims across the globe and a response to the silent whispers of the Muslim prisoners.  So we call upon the Kuffar in the U.S. to reject their falsehood before it’s too late, embrace Islam and enter to the fold of the faithful.”

—Statement from the Al Shabaab cell of al-Qaeda

You shall know them by the company they keep.

So we have a sampling of Christians, Jews and extremists from a radical Islamic terror group who all see Hurricane Sandy as a judgement upon the decadent citizens of the United States for our collective sins against the Most High.

I suppose it’s nice to know that Christians, Jews and Muslims can still manage to find some common ground.

Allow me to say this one more time because I think it bears repeating:
If your god has aim so poor that he has to smite an entire area of the country with hardship instead of just the people he is angry with; if he is so feeble that he is unable to strike his enemies on his own or properly defend his chosen people without American military involvement; if he demands that adulterers and witches be stoned in the streets, that homosexuals do not receive the same rights and freedoms as everyone else and that rape victims carry the seed of their attackers to term; if he requires you to pass a “test of fire” when you enter the voting booth and vote for the candidate he chooses…,

Maybe you need a better god!

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