Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can Anybody Tell Me...

1. To what degree a government can provide services to 100% of its people, and to what percent it can tax the income of its working people to pay for these services, before it has to change its name from Capitalist to Socialist?

2. Why shouldn’t capital gains be taxed at a hefty rate?

3. Why we are still fighting over abortion? Before you answer, consider this... I have a friend who is newly pregnant. She is frightened. Her IUD failed. She and her husband have no money and already have 5 children. He works and she gave up her job to stay home with a medically fragile child. Without charitable support, her only options are abortion or adoption. Wouldn’t it be great if this troubled mother could avoid turing to social programs because some pro-life family or families decided to adopt her and her family. Let me know if you’re interested.

4. Who believes that complete de-regulation would not result in massive environmental and food supply pollution, financial rip-offs, and dangerous working conditions?

5. Where do you draw the line between a social safety net and a social hammock?

6. Why are we still fighting over same-sex marriage? (Some of my favorite people are... OMG, don’t say it!!!!!! gay. I do not believe their relationships are in any way negatively affecting my life or the lives of my children. And I don’t think they can do any more damage to the institution of marriage than we hetros have already done.)

7. What annual pre-tax income for a family of 4 would you consider to be rich? Now I know where you live, or rather where our imaginary family lives, makes a difference so go ahead and use your own region.

8. What is the highest percentage of combined Federal and State income taxes that you would consider fair for any working person to pay?

9. Why are we allowing American companies to take their resources and new jobs overseas without penalty?

10. Where is all the lottery income going? (Wasn’t it supposed to fund school budgets?)

11. Who watched the GOP debate in Vegas and wasn’t left awestruck by the lack of decent leadership available for us to choose from?

12. Does anyone truly believe that Obama won’t wipe the floor with Romney’s suave grin during the debates if Romney is selected as the GOP nominee?

13. And, just to make this a baker’s dozen, would you pay $16 for a breakfast muffin?

I am honestly interested in your answers to any or all of the questions. But please keep the discourse polite... we hear enough political nastiness on MSNBC and FOX News.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A GOP Nominee of Our Own

With the glasses and the ponytail, I think she looks like her. She's stubborn, opinionated, and well-spoken like her. Could it be that I am raising SP’s mini-me?



(My husband says, “Nope.” ... said he sees no resemblance at all. Really?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crushing on Nietzsche

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies” -- Nietzsche.

TK and I were driving back from the mall today and she wondered aloud why “Satanists” would choose to be Satanists. “After all,” she mused, “Satan only exists if you believe in God, and if you believe in the existence of God, why would you choose the loser?”

Then she rambled on that maybe you would choose Satan if you believed that stupid Italian poet who wrote about the seven circles of Hell where people get to pig out and have sex all the time.

I opened the window, poked my head out, and yelled up into the air, “Did you hear that, Dante? She called you stupid!”

“Well don’t you think he was?” She asked.

“I think you need to read The Inferno,” I replied.

Then I expounded on Dante’s brilliance all the rest of the way home. I promised to fish out The Inferno for her which is how I found myself in the garage digging through boxes of my books, stumbling upon Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human...

I abandoned my search for Dante (there are a lot of boxes out there, let me tell ya) and offered her the Nietzsche book as an entertaining substitute for now. She opened it up and read me the quote above. “What does he mean?” she asked me.

As I explained my take on his words, yesterday’s post came to mind. Oh yes, our convictions certainly are more deadly to the Truth than any simple lie could ever be. Lies are easy for the Christian to see through, but our convictions can twist the path to the Truth, our convictions can lead us to hurt each other, and our convictions can turn people away from God.

(Note: There are actually nine circles in Dante’s poetic vision of Hell... perhaps she had it confused with the seven deadly sins...)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Fuk Off & Pray"

That’s how he signed his FB note to me. (Are you not allowed to spell fuck correctly on FB?) I laughed when I read it, such an odd combination of commands... but I wasn’t surprised or fazed in the least. After all, he hates me and God, and I have known this for the last 15 years because he is very obvious about it. Our connection in life is that we are both TK’s step-parents.

That line solidified some thoughts I have been struggling with for some time now. I have a hard time forgiving Christians, and I realized, in those words, partially why this is. I expect Christians to act like... well... my preconceived notions of Christians, and when they don’t, I am not just hurt or angry but also hardened against them. (Um, yes, I know this is very unChristian of me.) When a declared God-hater is aggressive and hurtful toward me, I find it easy to let it roll off because I expect that from him. But I assume Christians pray when they have things to consider and when they hand me a “fuk off” attitude, I am thinking that there is no way God told them to do that, so either a. They forgot to pray or b. They forgot to wait for a reply.

I wrote a while ago about a crisis of belief I experienced when we returned from Ukraine with our newly adopted daughters. There were so many complicated factors behind that period of suspended belief... personal ones, and public ones. My husband and I had been involved with our church for 9 years, and the relationship was souring leaving him cold and me heartbroken. Before this church, we had attended a different, very small, church for about 7 years. The more involved we became with church number one, the more blemishes we saw... policy rivalries, clicks, gossiping, pressures to take a side... we started shopping around for a new church. I naively thought that the issue of having issues was unique to that first church.

It was not. Humans are human, and by last October that realization was dawning brightly in my mind. (Might I say here that I am the first to admit that I am not the role-model Christian and part of why this blog started off anonymously was so that I could explore my weaknesses publicly in private, or rather privately in a public space.)

When Kimani was born, everything changed for me. God took me places I did not want to go. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...” (Psa 23:4) By that time I was already working for the church, and a shadow was just beginning to rise. Christians I looked up to and respected visited or chose not to visit for reasons unrelated to why I was actually sitting in the NICU. Work-related commitments and agreements made to and with me were broken and I had no strength or drive to care.

And like the stock market crash of that summer, things never went back to the way they were, and the seeds of anger and disillusionment took root deep in my heart. I confess, I let them grow. Because I have a hard time forgiving Christians. “Fuk off & pray”... that message encompasses what I have felt for three years now. I heard it behind closed doors in meetings of all sizes, and I saw it rolled out in how we approach our congregation and in our expectations of how they should desire to interact with us.

Now to be fair, I firmly believe that our pastor is one of the greatest preachers of our time. I am convinced that our elders make prayerful choices. I know that one of our long-term leaders is one of the most “Christian” Christians I have ever known.

However, men like that don’t a mega-church make and when your growth numbers don’t match your goals, you need a different kind of man to get the job done. And thanks to that and one of my least favorite bippity-boppity-boo-God-hates-you associates, I will remember to pray before I "tell" someone to “fuk off” and I will remember to ask others to pray for and about me before they "tell" me to “fuk off”.

As for that forgiveness issue I have? Yeah, I’ll work on that and when you think of me, pray that God moves my heart in this area.

(When writing this post, I may have chosen option c. Don’t pray about it because who wants God to interfere with their imperfect and ugly human emotions? No really, I did run it by Him quickly and my computer did not spontaneously combust, so here it is.)