Am I My Brother’s Keeper and Who Is My Neighbor?

This is the frenzied religio-politico ideology that some people defend as being a cultural, civil right to practice– sure, within its own cultural bubble, it’s a shame, at the least, to witness from the outside. But to aggressively desire to import such a culture into one’s own nation, and to demonize anyone who blanches at its ramifications, is to present oneself as either a lunatic or an enemy. To tolerate, to welcome their misbegotten ideologies and politics into a classically liberal culture, to never require assimilation into one’s shared culture of mutual respect, is no badge of honor nor proof of compassion. It is unhealthy.

For every Christian friend who would upbraid others for their lack of compassion for “immigrants” I suggest you get busy on a personal, relational level, to convert such “immigrants” for the Kingdom of God as quickly as possible. Because they are NOT going to tolerate your culture, nor respect your person (women are not persons), nor your God.

This is not xenophobia: to know and understand another culture and its complete desire to subjugate your own. It doesn’t need to foment fear or hate, it merely needs to foster sobriety of thought.

We share our Christian life within a nation of people who are preserved by our prayers …and our deeds. We have a responsibility to our neighbors who live beside us in an expectation of peace. Sure, we live in the Kingdom culture. Obviously, we are willing to love our enemies even at the cost of our lives. Of course, we fear no evil that we haven’t had to face, the kind that Asia Bibi is facing.

But to foist upon our neighbor, in the name of our God, a people who will bring them, not peace, but an upheaval, is something that I must prayerfully approach. My neighbor’s children also should have an expectation of safety and peace, that I am not harboring, in my heartfelt zeal, otherwise “nice folk” who believe that girls are for grooming for a life of rape, and that everything not approved is blasphemy. Why would I force my neighbor, whatever else he may be, to pay the price for my own convictions? If he loses his job because he has voiced an unpopular concern, should I upbraid his un-Christian intolerance? Too bad he couldn’t move on, grow in grace, embrace upheaval as a Good, leave behind his ignorance…

Is this a valid question? Perhaps my own obedience calls me to open my own doors wide at night and declare that whatever evil comes in and steals my children is from His hand. I’m free to fiercely believe that, but I’m not free to make make my neighbor live out my convictions.

Maybe my neighbor is actually my… you know… next door neighbor. Maybe he doesn’t need or want this:

Pray for Aasia. And rebuke and reprove the ignorance and darkness of her oppressors.

40 Days of Rest From Politics

2Chron 7:14

The kingdoms of this world shall pass away, each in its time. Let the world turn without my comment on its politics. For Lent, I shall seek wisdom, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for our own nation, and refrain from thinking the world can’t survive unless I’m in charge of it. I may post occasionally on other, more beautiful things or thoughtful ruminations.

For those who observe Lent, may you be blessed in your disciplines. May you find strength in denial and a deeper meaning in your faith.

The rest of you? Don’t shut up! Keep the pressure on the criminal gang in D.C. and know that there are quieter strengths that move mountains, and they have your six.

From Freedom’s Holy Light to Free Stuff!

Verse Four of Samuel Joe Smith’s My Country, ‘Tis of Thee reads thus:

Our father’s God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

In an age that increasingly seeks to usurp what is holy and exalt what is profane I found this verse quite stirring as we warbled it out during Sunday morning’s prayer service.

Is freedom a holy illumination, available only to those who have sought divine guidance? How quaint! How  precious.As though a rational people couldn’t rule their lives and fortunes without the silly and repressive fairy tales?

That entire peoples or countries have sought liberation from oppression is not new; it’s as old as Exodus, at least. But this idea of an individual destiny and personal possibility used to be a thing won by individual might and tyranny. It was not a “given”, or self-evident truth.

The idea of individual freedom is only 200+ years old. On the linear scale of history, that makes Freedom young, hip and now. It was missed for so many milennia, and only in recent history did it come to be an Idea worth dying for. And now that is slipping past us. What is necessary for Freedom to thrive, or at this point, survive?

The landscape of freedom has been allowed to go feral and wild, like a renters’ unkempt lawn. Lack of vigilance reveals a lack of ownership. Our leaders have devalued the uniqueness of our Freedom, treating it like it runs on air instead of hard work, wisdom and careful accountability. They have taken the ownership of our corporate fate out of the picture and replaced it with comfort and entitlement and …indentured slavery to the State.

The parable says, the Shepherd cares for and defends his sheep, and the hireling runs away from danger because he has no investment in the life of the sheep. We’ve invited hirelings to rule over us, whose only care for us is not our eternal soul, nor or our temporal freedom, but the promise of lining their pockets with cash.

Worst of all, our legislators have mocked Truth right out of the picture, time and again. Spinelessly and selfishly have they awarded sloth by cloaking it with “compassion” and they’ve depreciated human value in the process. They have usurped the warmth and parentage of the family and replaced it with something so cold, thin, and short-sighted as to enslave an entire generation to dependence and slavery. But they’ve sold it as caring and helpful, so how could it be a Lie? Time and again they’ve rewarded the externals of race and color and tenure, and have failed to require an account of what has been so freely given and received.

Mostly, they have mocked the Truth out of Life itself and have offered… what? in its stead? A thin veneer of personal freedom and choice that quickly fades as the years progress.

Our leaders and public servants neither lead nor serve, and now tell jaw-dropping, easily refuted lies with the temerity of tyrants. The Lie is First and the Truth lags behind, trying to be heard over the din of the sound bite. Our leaders are footling creatures who know that nothing succeeds like success, no matter how it’s earned. Lie first. Lie fast. Lie loud,and Truth will die, one lie at a time.

Not to speak of the echo chamber of their lies, the incurious Media, as indoctrinated by our schools. And our schools, as indoctrinated by tenured liars, safe in their ivory towers of soul-sucking delusion. There they live and work, like vivisectionists of our culture, who find upon dismantling it that it has died on the table.

Like it or not, our country was founded on a moral Absolute. Without this vital ingredient, the concept of Freedom cannot stand. Lacking the sense of our birthright of Freedom and lacking the conviction that it is endowed by a greater Truth, we will lapse quickly back into tribalism and penury. Law, founded on that birthright and Truth will lapse into the manipulative and capricious creature it is quickly becoming.

Truth came before Freedom, and Freedom, that delicate notion, cannot stand on its own without it.

Lies flower, Truth withers, and while the good and the decent are vilifed as contemptible hypocrites, the selfish and unserious are voted into office on their promise of Free Stuff.

That’s how far we’ve fallen. From the sacred (unique and set-apart) heights of Freedom to the common flatlands filled with uninvested renters of the corporate weal, a land of tenured hirelings, afraid of the wolves now threatening at the door as economic Night is falling.

We are rejecting the Author and Source of Freedom’s Light as a mere fantasy. Out of the fear of appearing foolish, like some two-dimensional caricature of religion as portrayed by those (upright and pure of heart!) Hollywood moguls who love our country so much, we reject it all without so much as a reasoned thought of how it came to be. The answer is not as easy as you think. How did this fragile notion, so unique in the world, fall into our laps?

“Wait. Don’t answer that. Look! Free stuff!”

Long may our land be bright…

[Re-posted from Jan 8, 2009]

I’m thinking. . . Paraguay.

Or Russia, actually. Something about all the anarchy in the rest of the world makes my Teutonic underpinnings pine for some Nanny state that isn’t a pussy about its place in the world. Plus, vodka. [I keep changing my choices. Check back.] [From the comments: Bolivia!]

How ’bout you?

Nah, you’re not gonna shoot your neighbor, and you know it, tough guys. You’re going to pay your taxes, get your annual checkup, comply, comply, comply. Because this is home. Or it was.

Home, and all that word implies, is still quite dear. Your oligarchs know it.

So, you’re going to have to move out to somewhere, some state of being, where you don’t have to care about how your decisions impact your family or friends.

Emigrate.

Now you know what sorts of folks helped build this last century. Let’s find somewhere to build the next one.

***
Cappy-lanche! Thanks, Cap’n!

Dangerous Strays

Within the first week or two of bringing a child into the world, everything about the world changes. And you can’t help what changes come over you, your thoughts and feelings, your world view. Of course, you don’t know this has happened in the deep bliss/stupor of sleep deprivation, but you have changed deeply and forever, and so has your world.

You have become an investor in the Future of the World. You have become a Protector of the Innocent. You can’t help it, you and the wee bairn are actually one person for a brief time. It’s an indescribable time of delight and danger to realize how vulnerable you are to that red-faced bundle sleeping there in your home. He owns you, heart and soul.

Some of the mundane alteration is vividly brought home fiscally or physically but you just don’t know how deep the Primordial Parent instinct runs until some Line is crossed– its very existence an unimagined thing just days earlier.

Fortunately it was a small, but indelible event that woke the Primordial Mom in me when my own wee bairn was but two or three weeks old. I had left him napping while I went out to sweep the porch and carport in the blazing heat wave of that summer afternoon. The entrance to the back yard was wide open between the house and the back utility room, no one ever bothered to gate it, although the yard was fully enclosed otherwise. So I swept the carport as I headed toward the back yard and patio only to see a strange medium-sized dog there. It was alarmed that I was between him and his exit. He seemed rather unhappy about it, so I used my broom to make a small gesture of “Git!!” as I moved into the patio area, making sure he had plenty of room to make for the exit. No harm, no foul.

But he stood his ground and snarled at me.

Oh yes, he was claiming his ground and daring me, on my own property, to make him move! He bared his teeth and repeated the warning growl and for the merest instant I thought myself afraid. The merest of a nanosecond. . .

The full –I still don’t know what to call it– and frightening welling up of the Something inside of me that I had never met before came roaring out like. . . do I have to say it? A mama bear protecting her cub. But it wasn’t a waking thought, it wasn’t rage, it wasn’t fear. It was indignant righteous wrath. The nerve of the creature to stand within my boundaries and threaten me–and by extension, my child– as though it had some claim to the ground under its own feet was just too much.

I wish I could tell you what happened next, but suffice it to say I think I was able to quickly convince the creature of all of my intentions toward it, reciting all of my maternal rights and his infernal wrongs in a single breath of fire and fury. I barely remember how he left the yard, only coming to myself once back inside, shaking and breathing heavily as I went to check on the safe and sleeping innocent part of my very heart and soul. Of course he was fine and was never in any danger. I still marvel at the moment, these many years later.

It still scares me a bit, to know that particular and spectacular Something– that vulnerable part and that primal protector all somehow tangled up in more complex emotions and arrangements of fact– is still there. It shouldn’t be awakened needlessly nor called upon lightly.

Yet I see dangerous strays within my boundaries, their angry, snarling faces telling me that they’re going to stay no matter what. Shouting epithets at me and challenging me for the country I have worked for, paid for, paid taxes on, and cherished with all my heart, all my life. They want to grab at what many others have worked to earn and hide behind the gleaming teeth of their power-grabbing masters.

They don’t love my country, and they seek to harm it for their own ends, these strange, hireling caretakers who are allowing the Estate to crumble while they greedily steal the silver of our Industry and the golden lamps of our Liberty.

My soul is stirred. . .

It’s Dead, Jim. [Prediction made Nov. 6, 2008]

[Update: This re-post from 2008 is why the Internet hand-wringing about GOP politics bores the Hell outta me. I’m re-posting this just for the smug satisfaction I get when I read this entire series of the frustrations I typed out after the last time we felt this helpless. It only took the Blogosphere about 3.5 years to catch up. It’s lonely out here ahead of the curve. You don’t wanna know what I’m thinking about the Tea Party right now.]

 

The Republican Party. (Wait! Get back here and sit down, dammit. You need to hear this.)

Surely, it’s no overstatement to say it committed suicide at its highest levels, and you know the military adage about striking the head, so… yeah. Dead.

Good riddance, I say. But hang in here with me.

It cannot and must not be resurrected.

Know what else is destined for the dustbin? Conservatism. (As currently derided and defined.) Dead and gone. Lemme ‘splain:

We have lost the field of ideas while touting Ideals. Here’s the setup that the opposition has very astutely arranged and that the older members of the Party cannot see:

Republicans are idiots.

If you try to swim against that immensely popular and now-ingrained cultural idiom, you will lose again and again. The delightfully puerile and simple satisfaction that unthinking citizens find in calling another citizen an idiot far outpaces the tedium of understanding the race-baiting slander, the selfishness slander, and God help us, economics and things with tangible realities.

Idiots.

It sticks very firmly to the insecure minds that have no time to sort out the complexities of Truth. It carries with it all the adherent needs to know… and ironically all they don’t know. Let’s encapsulate all of the opposition into one powerful, iconic word: Idiots.

Already, Obama’s I.Q. is being paraded around the Internet. Look, Pubbies, doesn’t that seem familiar? Democrats are smart, urban, hip, and relevant. Republicans are old doddering fools. It’s repeated over and over ad naseum on every television show,movie plot, and commercial as a throwaway line nowadays. What, dear friends, is your strategy for overcoming that?

Fear and Loathing

Nothing, not even skin color, is more feared and hated than the label, “stupid.” Chris Rock says not one white person would trade places with a black man. I’ll go him one further: not one black man would trade his place for any color if he had to carry the label, “stupid idiot” around with him.

Nobody wants to be seen as stupid. Not even people with very high I.Q.s can quite shake themselves from the fear of being perceived as one point less than they possess. Mensa membership is soaring! It’s safe in the Ivory Tower. Far above the moose-hunting rabble.

If “progessive thinkers” want to kill children like Sarah’s little Trig, what hope have you of overcoming that sort of fear and hate?

Years ago, you could dismiss a rival as an idiot, but thinking people knew it was a desperate volley and that you were just out of ideas. This is no longer true. Hollywood and the media have erected an Ivory Tower of Hate and you, my thinking friends, are the target of their Hate.

You selfish, greedy, bigoted Idiots.

And so we are left only with, Elitists, as a comeback… which used to be the Democrats’ line against Republicans until they found out that trickle-down economics really do work, and they lost members. So they dumped that insult ages ago. But to fling elitists back at the Democrats merely affirms their opinion of themselves. It’s not like they don’t know how to play this game.

The poor Republicans cling bitterly to Ideals while the devil plays havoc with the Truth. You can’t blame the voters, who are your neighbors, for believing a lie.

The devilry comes in with rejecting the Truth. Folks who do this are called congressmen.

Tell me, Republican Party leaders, how you are going to enter into the twisted world of manipulators who understand how tender and fragile the Truth is in immature minds, and shore up the Republican “brand”? Indeed, you entered into the chamber of horrors and went along to get along. It’s not for the weak minded or self-interested to uphold our Founding Ideals.

You can’t. Your brand is lost, like GM and Chrysler. Not for want of truth in those who still uphold it, but for want of mobility. It’s in the very nature of one who conserves, to be rather complacent, if not smug, in the time-tested Truth of their stand. “Surely everyone can see the beauty of Truth and Freedom, all we have to do is show them.”

No. When the most Beautiful and Redeeming Truth was in play 2000 years ago, it had a bad run-in with the local unions who saw their franchise threatened. So the Truth went underground, as it must today. More on that, in another post.

Think, Idiot Republicans! How did your ass get handed to you? It started two generations ago with the dissolution of the family unit. Women left their homes in droves and relegated care and education to the State.

Even Bill Ayers learned his lesson: direct and violent opposition will not win the day. You must subvert the Young. Because if Idiocy is the nadir of their fears, Education is the zenith of their hopes. Nothing is more shameful and horrifying to the America imagination as stupidity. That is how stupid educators gain power over your pocketbook. You are too busy earning a living you stupid idiot, so that you can hand it over to the teachers. Now, get out there and work, dammit! We need your taxes!

You are NEVER going to turn that tide of working moms. Give it up. Perhaps the Conservative ideal will become bright and shiny again, when more women realize how they’ve wasted their best God-given energies in meaningless menial jobs when they could have been home, shaping a nation. What do you think the non-working welfare moms have been doing? Why would they want to give that up for a data-entry job? Hell no. In their communities and at their churches, they’ve been shaping a generation. Two generations. Ingrained now.

The only way to turn it is to create a new generation. This is something the Good Old Boys refuse to do. Like paternal units who think children should be seen and not heard, they ignored fresh young faces and propped up someone who was, “due their turn.” Republican leaders have become the absent fathers of their Party. They live in D.C. and forget their constituency and take them for granted. They never win back any concessions for their hard-working citizens, just go along with the federal leeching to prolong their careers and line their pockets.

You wanna revive that?

Until Conservatives are finally willing to give up the golf game for the church picnic, and the wave-riders and snowmachines for extra time at home and with neighbors, the insular nature of the Individualist Conservative will secure its demise from the national stage. I’m nothing if not about choice, but if Conservatives aren’t having kids, then why should they be surprised if their numbers are decreasing?

Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., there is nothing more pitiful than watching old lions who refuse to yield the scepter to younger men and women who understand their own place and time.

Idiots.

Simple goodness need never trumpet its “moral authority.”

Everyone’s seen Sarah Palin’s email to her family by now. Her simple, strong faith and goodness is a searing reproach to the nastiness we’ve mostly winked at as a society. That this email was never intended to be seen globally makes it that much more poignant, and serves as an authoritative marker for those lost in the morass of misinformation about the woman. She is a lovely and good woman, whatever else her political scorecard decide. The stunned silence of the Media goats can only leave us to imagine their cheeks burning with shame. . .

Naahhh.

You know they’re “re-loading” as they seek a fall-back position. But there is a bit of responsibility to bear in the cultural shift that has made such an unthinkable assault on a person’s character become just another day in the MSM.

Jeff Goldstein:

The truth is, we have allowed a media culture to form in this country that is rotten to its core. It is petty, spiteful, vindictive, triumphalist, arrogant, profoundly biased, and undoubtedly left-leaning. We have given this media the power to shape our narratives, inform our decisions, and — because there are few if any consequences for doing so — create and destroy individuals with the impunity of a hive minded mob embarking on a wilding.

Jeff reprints her email in full, but skip down to his remarks and read the whole thing.

 

Updated: "Civilian National Security Force"

[Repeating this from Nov. 2008. I figure it’s right about now that he’s lining this up for implementation. The GOP handed him the guy he wanted for preparing to pack the courts; he’ll be needing some authority to back up the onslaught of fiats and decrees. No time like waiting for the Republicans to get all het up about politics for Obama to quietly work his plans under the radar. All I know is that camouflage is the new chic in my decidedly Obama Democrat neighborhood. Enjoy!]

SHOCKING. Just when you think he can’t say anything more frightening. This is real, and it should stop you in your tracks; Democrat, Republican, Independent, Media, everyone. Let’s put aside our differences about who is selfish or overpaid or undeserving, and let’s agree that this is the worst idea to ever be uttered seriously on our soil:

He’s already guessed that our Armed Forces won’t carry out his Almighty and Unopposed Will, so he wants friendlies in his corner. Down the line, we’ll have a Civil War to rival them all.

Even scarier? The people present seem to know what he’s talking about, not surprised or even asking for an explanation.

Who the hell is this man listening to, that would tell him such an idea is good for a Republic?

h/t to the SeaBlogger, who rightly calls it “Obamilitia.”


Meanwhile: Yes, I’m unafraid to link the Vman, who nails it rather succinctly.

Mike Wilson says his fashion sense has no room for an armband. Heh.

Peggy Noonan must be drinking heavily tonight. And Chrissy Buckley, too. Have they bought into “access” the way CNN did in Iraq? Are they listening to Wagner as they slip into a blissful unawareness of their weakness?

Update: Looks like Obama’s “force” already has its first bit of hardware:

The Newest Google Plane is a Fighter Jet.

 

 

The Radicalization of Christians

There are those with questionable political agendas who seek to equate Christians and the Christian faith with terrorist organizations that represent a theocratic State. It’s easy enough to sail past the details found in each, but do yourself a favor and steal a glance into what all the fuss is about; what could possibly radicalize Christians?

Well, here is the radical notion that is the Christian faith: recognize fault and trespass, ask forgiveness, pray for grace. Succinctly: daily bread and debt.  It’s really not for the faint of heart. For your consideration, herewith are the prayers, or others like them, offered by radical Christians all over the world this day, on Ash Wednesday:

“Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind,
and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We
have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved
your Holy Spirit.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of other people,

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in daily life and work,
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our
indifference to injustice and cruelty,

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who differ from us.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of
concern for those who come after us,
Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation.”

Yes, I can see why such a faith is scary to a political mindset that would rather die than admit fault or accept responsibility– or acknowledge a need that they cannot exploit– not when there’s so much at stake; why they’d have to change the way they do everything if they had the temerity to recite such prayers, much less believe that they would be heard!

Scary stuff, indeed. . .

To those of you who observe the Lenten season, you have my profound respect and best prayers that you and yours be blessed in your observances, prayers and fastings.

Kyrie eleison.


Higher Ground

Dreaming of a march on your State Capitol? Fantasies of glory and recognition at long last?Dream on. Any sort of “People’s Revolution” as defined in the modern context is the opposite of conservation; the attendant anarchy and confusion play to their masters.

Get that through your thick Tea Party heads.

Many are all aglow this morning because that epicenter of gravitas, Morning Joe, made a solid point in our favor by airing the Republican Party video of the nasty protest signs in Wisconsin. Not only that, they got a couple of smirking types to admit (tongue-in-cheek, I thought) that having just now seen it for the first time, its omission from the news cycles must be an example of left wing media bias.

I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath.

Now, think about all that you’ve written, read, seen, commented on out here in the wilds of the social media.  Now, do a quick reality check. For example: I work with  sensible, fun, gun-toting Conservative young persons who have neither seen, read, or ever commented on anything that hasn’t occurred to them by way of a major media outlet. The things we’ve been hammering on for months? No idea. Gobsmackingly clueless.

We’re losing faster than we’re winning in the information game, (we always have) and marching on the streets will NOT get a fair shake in the media. I know I’m tilting at windmills with this little blog effort, but if I can convince you to TALK IN PERSON with people you know, eye-to-eye, you will have a larger effect on the future of this country than all the hopes that the MSM will someday come around. And we call ourselves the party of reality? We’d better see ourselves as the party of Real People with Real Friends.

All the YouTwitFace* social media will morph and morph again like waves on top of the ocean. The still waters run deeper, however. As the economy collapses, as it must, the elite will lose their only friendship-generator: sweet mammon. With less of it to go around except between themselves, our so-called betters will find themselves as isolated as a Mideast dictator.

The more the social media floods the plains, the more diluted its effect. So, put in your own two cents’ worth, sure, because we can’t ever let them narrow the channels of speech. But head for the higher ground while you’re at it and pull up the others around you.

You remember the high ground, right? It’s where we first built that “shining city on a hill.”

Point the Way

* Thanks to Charles for that great mashup!