This Bears Repeating

We are locking up asylum seekers, intentionally traumatizing their children in order to traumatize their parents, and then calling it “security.”

Forgive the length but this bears repeating:

Trump overwhelmingly won the Catholic and evangelical votes. They were warned about this. Prophetically. The man in the White House is not a man of God nor even a Christian (at the very least you have to believe you need redemption to be one). They voted for him anyway. Some it appears lusted for power (and now feel some sense of it, read racists). Others were single issue voters on issues like abortion. I said this election and presidency would be one long civics lesson for these people and I was right. This is what you get when you vote for a sociopath. Kids forcibly removed from their parents, locked in cages by the dozens, hundreds.

A sociopath is “a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.” This certainly applies to Trump. He is not “the lesser of two evils.” Hillary was. But that’s like saying speeding is the lesser of two evils when compared to driving your car into a crowd of protestors. (And spare me the canard of abortion. It’s legal now and it’s going to stay quite legal for decades to come given the trends in women running for office. Trends instigated by you know who.)

Our nation has always done evil like this: slavery, Wounded Knee, the Tuskegee Experiment, and so on. No nation is God. Evil exists everywhere and in all of us. In particular, racism and greed are at root in this situation. And that makes our nation much like Sodom which BTW was not turned to ash for having gay pride parades:

Ezekiel 16:49 (NABre)
“Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy.”

We are locking up asylum seekers, intentionally traumatizing their children in order to traumatize their parents, and then calling it “security.” Was such wonton callousness secure for Sodom?

For those who voted for Trump, you bear responsibility for this. For those who I know personally, understand that this is not a political issue. It’s a moral one (for me it always has been). Support for this tells me who you are. I will be watching.

I Just Want to Do God’s Will

This MLK Day, I read someone comment on King’s optimism and how it animated his work, basically him as the Dreamer. But he was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and God is what animated him. He did not mince words about this. The night before he died he said,

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!

And the next day he was shot and killed.

Sweet Home Alabama

Truth is spoken in the barber shop…

The TRUTH is spoken in the barber shop…

Loving Your Neighbor is Communal

This conservative “Christian” idea that the Bible demands individual acts of charity and this government programs aimed at social and economic justice is flat out idolatry. Jesus himself spoke communally about justice and Judgment.

This conservative “Christian” idea that the Bible demands individual acts of charity and thus government programs aimed at social and economic justice can be resisted is flat out idolatry. Jesus himself spoke communally about justice and Judgment.

Mark 7:6-13 (NABre)

[Jesus] responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me;

In vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines human precepts.’

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ Yet you say, ‘If a person says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”

And in one of the few places where Jesus condemns people to hell:

Matthew 25:31-33,41-46 (NABre)

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left…Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

In a country where government is of the people, by the people and for the people, the people are responsible for its morality. If your are Christian, as in an actual follower of Christ, then the government must act in certain ways for you to support it. If you want it to ban abortion, you better accept it should provide poor children with healthcare. Otherwise stop pretending to be a follower of Christ.

Pragmatism

AL governor shows us what happens when the pragmatic politics shoe is on the other foot.

In the presidential election of 2016, I was harangued and admonished for balking at voting for Hillary Clinton because she was disingenuous about combatting police brutality. Having a son in a country where police are excused from shooting black children made that issue a singular one for me. Folks couldn’t really argue against that so I as told to subordinate that for pragmatic gain. Clinton would ensure a liberal SCOTUS and that would have far reaching effects on police brutality among other issues. Well, Governor Ivey has taught us that sword cuts both ways…

“I will cast my ballot on December the 12,” [Alabama governor] Ivey told reporters. “And I do believe that the nominee of the party is the one I will vote for.”

She attributed her decision to a desire to preserve the advantage Republicans hold over Democrats in the Senate, which has enabled them to advance key judicial nominations and other elements of the GOP agenda.

Alabama’s GOP governor says she plans to vote for Roy Moore – The Washington Post

Republicans look for exit strategy in Roy Moore saga – CNNPolitics

Republicans across Congress unleashed forceful condemnations urging Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore to abandon his bid. But they’re not sure what to do next

Source: Republicans look for exit strategy in Roy Moore saga – CNNPolitics

Republicans look for exit strategy in Roy Moore saga – CNNPolitics

Popcorn!

Sen. Cory Gardner was quick out the gate to say Moore should be expelled if he ends up in the Senate — something that requires a two-thirds majority vote and hasn’t been done in 155 years. Gardner, head of the Senate Republican campaign committee, released a stunning statement, stating clearly that if Moore “refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him.”

Source: Republicans look for exit strategy in Roy Moore saga – CNNPolitics

Professor resigns after allegations he sexually abused minors as a priest – CNN

In a statement last week, the Diocese of Brooklyn included him in a list of those who had been “dispensed from the clerical state.” The decree was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric.”

Professor resigns after allegations he sexually abused minors as a priest – CNN

It’s Complicated

The WaPo recently reported on Trump’s latest attempt to squirm out of his impossible campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border paid for by Mexico. It is equal parts clown action and cynical maneuvering.

An import tax is pure clown action because any tax that we impose Mexico can as well in retaliation. They are a sovereign nation able to levy any taxes they wish. And they’ve said that they will do exactly that and even go beyond. According to the WaPo:

Mexico’s economy secretary, Ildefonso Guajardo, said this week that Mexico is prepared to “mirror” any action by the United States to raise tariffs or impose taxes on imports. Guajardo has also said it might be necessary for Mexico to walk away from NAFTA — a once-unthinkable idea — if there was no benefit in the negotiations for his country.

And it’s not like we are immune to such retaliatory action:

Every day, goods valued at $1.4 billion cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and millions of jobs are linked to trade on both sides. Mexico is the world’s second-largest customer for American-made products, and 80 percent of Mexican exports — automobiles, flat-screen TVs, avocados — are sold to the United States.

So that $600 flat screen will now cost the American customer $720. That’s $600 plus $120 to pay the 20% import tax Trump imposed. After all is Best Buy or the TV manufacturer going to eat that cost? No. We are. And not just at the cash register. Try American jobs as well. Which brings me to the cynical maneuvering part of this story.

Trump knows damn well Mexico will not pay an import tax. Americans will. Sure such a tax hurts Mexican exports but Mexico can do much of the same damage to us. That’s why no one wins in a trade war, except perhaps the tax man, surely a high GOP priority. With Americans paying the import tax, Trump is attempting to bamboozle his supporters into thinking Mexico is paying for the wall in a “complicated form.” And like any con, the mark is always the only one who pays. Unfortunately, because marks can vote, we are along for the ride.

Defeating Abortion

A more important driver of the declining abortion rate, Jones said, appears to be improved access to contraception, particularly long-acting birth control options like IUDs. She noted that women in the United States have been using the highly effective devices in growing numbers for more than a decade, and said the declining birthrate suggests more women are preventing unwanted pregnancies.

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

And that’s why I support effective contraception 100%. This issue is where the Church has lost just about all moral authority. Not only is next to no one listening for practical reasons. It’s schizophrenia over the obvious moral need for birth control (not frankly ridiculous euphemisms like “birth spacing”) and trying to call “artificial” contraception evil, leave even fewer listening on moral grounds. The fruits are clear. Even with sexually active couples who wouldn’t abort, using birth control reduces those (hundreds? thousands?) of conceived children that fail to implant. Why should we support more of that given the choice?

If the Church really wants to talk about the theology of the body, let’s talk about those conscious decisions about using our bodies in God’s service honestly, intentionally, and responsibly rather than playing games with birth control efficacy natural or otherwise or euphemisms designed to hide the truth about what we are doing.