Mr. Christian woke up, thanked God for the air, his wife, and the Republican party. He told his stupid kids to hurry the hell up as they were leaving for church; he told his wife to wash off her make up as she looked like a whore, then told her to put it back on when he realized she was covering her bruises.
On the way to church he stopped by McDonalds to get coffee and tell the sinners they shouldn’t work on the Lord’s day. Then, he told them to get real jobs and stop living off his taxes.
When the Christian family got to church they hugged, shook hands and sat together in the third pew back, left side. They sat rigid unmoving smiles on and sang the required songs. They stood and sat when told to–doing just enough without making a fuss of an amen or a testimony as that took up too much lunch time before the Sunday afternoon game.
They thanked the Pastor and paid their tithe. Mr. Christian signed his wife up to teach Sunday school, teach Vacation Bible School, and lead the bake sales for the next quarter. She worked full time as he did, but he knew she’d figure it out, and if she got stressed, no problem. He’d yell at her, telling her not to sign up for so much stuff.
Mr. Christian got home and sat in his favorite chair while wife and kids fixed dinner. When he got up to move to the table and sit down, everything wasn’t ready, so he yelled at his wife “Why won’t you just sit down already so I can ‘say grace’ and start eating.
Then she had to get back up and finish her work (hopefully before he wanted what she was getting ready) or he would yell, “Oh, I guess we don’t have any…. Honey, why did you let us run out of…. Then, he would shovel a few plates full down his gullet before getting up complaining of being exhausted and sit down to watch TV. Of course, he wouldn’t help clean up lunch. That wasn’t his job. He worked!
The fact that she worked full time as well did not even register with him. If the kids ever followed him into the living room, he would smack them and tell them to go help their mother. Yes, God was good. His team was winning. He was a white man in White America. The new president promised to get rid of non-whites, Muslims and queers. Things were looking up for Mr. Christian.
[James Merritt is a frequent contributor to Columnist with a View. His satirical and short, macabre vignettes illustrate views that are often overlooked. He lives in Maryland.]
A PASTOR DESCENDED FROM ROBERT E. LEE FORCED TO LEAVE CHURCH AFTER SPEAKING OUT AGAINST RACISM by Ursula Faw
A descendant of Robert E. Lee spoke these words at the MTV Video Awards last month in the immediate aftermath of Charlottesville:
“My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.
“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on. We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched int he Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.”
Long story short, his North Carolina congregants didn’t like what he had to say on national television and they decided to take a vote on whether he should remain as their pastor. Lee took the hint and issued this statement:
“I regret that speaking out has caused concern and pain to my church. For this is [sic] I offer my heartfelt apology. I understand that my views could be considered to be controversial. I never sought this sort of attention. But, I do believe in God’s role in calling out for positive social change for the good of all.
We are all called by God to speak out against hate and evil in all its many forms. There are so many good things going on with this congregation and I do not want my fight to detract from the mission. If the recent media attention causes concern with my church, I reluctantly offer my resignation.”
Lee’s congregants emphatically did not like the world wide media attention. Washington Post:
“Lee did not describe specific responses he received from congregants. But the comments section on an article about his VMA speech in the Winston-Salem Journal gives some sense of the backlash. One commenter wrote that there was “no way” Lee was a Christian and that “it seems anybody that wants to protect our country is a racist, or white supremacist. …It’s a sin to use your position to name-call and judge.” Another commenter wrote that rather than appear on television, Lee should devote his time to ministering: “You have how many faithful members? Maybe if you spent more time around the church that number would increase.”
“In an Aug. 18 interview with BBC News, Lee argued that statues of his ancestor honor white supremacy and endorse a system in which it is acceptable to be racist in America. He pointed to the complete lack of markers to fascists in Europe following World War II as evidence that there is a way to “remember your history and not commemorate it.” Lee talked of how he had spoken with a descendant of a slave owned by the Lee family, describing his heartbreak over hearing the firsthand experiences of those “hurt and oppressed by statues.”
“Lee has spoken openly about how he arrived at his own conclusions about his lineage, saying he has at once felt pride in the fact that Lee family members signed the Declaration of Independence and shame over Robert E. Lee’s leadership over the Confederacy. In one NPR interview, he spoke of how he was often given mixed messages on whether the elder Lee was a proponent of slavery or states’ rights.”
Rev. Lee is quite courageous. He is in a small, yet gradually increasing group of courageous pastors, notably John Pavlovitz and William Barber, who are unequivocally standing up for what is right in America. They truly are moral leaders in troubled times when churches and congregations are reflecting the divisions and turmoil that exist all over our country. Their moral compass is strong and we are fortunate. When Rev. Lee was asked “was it worth it,” he replied, “Unequivocally yes.”
[This article first appeared in Daily Kos on September 5, 2017. It was re-blogged by “Support the Dream Defenders,” “Street Prophets,” and “Daily Kos Liberation League.”]
This yogi in his dhoti in Benares
stood on one leg.
One outstretched palm kept ice from melting
while the other fried an egg
Wearing nothing but a turban and a mandala
he dwelt in a Frigidaire
eight months chewing a ginseng root.
They don’t need air.
They are not dependent on the variables
that generally maintain us.
They show the autonomic nervous system who is boss.
A yogi can suck water up his anus.
swallow Kleenex and pull it out his nose.
A woman with a yogi for a lover
said he never came too soon,
yet sitting in his lotus with his thoughts on God
could spurt all afternoon.
I never met a lady yogi, but I hear they menstruate
when they please.
A yogi never laughs without deciding,
nor does he sneeze.
He makes his heart beat fast or slow, depending
on mind, not glands.
his hiccups, sweat and pupil sizes
He farts at will and never apologizes.
As a boy I tried to suck my belly under
ribs till I saw my spine.
Though I never tried a rope or cobra, I played
my ocarina for some twine.
I pounded blunt ten penny nails through plywood
and would have lain on it, no doubt,
if I could have got my weight all in one motion
evenly stretched out.
I wiggled my ears and pursed my sphincters,
crossing my eyes.
In school I sat with a stony gaze, engaged
in internal exercise.
But I surrendered as I aged
to the voluntary and involuntary
as discrete domains,
with uncontrollable regret enduring
riot in my veins,
incontinently wishing I could master
that skill or art
that could predict, if not manipulate,
the weather of my heart.
And yet my effort is no more to strengthen,
but to subdue my will,
to go through ego’s mirror and be whole.
Still you may see me sitting very still,
straining to throw off the mind’s control.
[from PUBLIC DOMAIN JUDSON JEROME published by Trunk Press, Hancock, Maryland, 1977.]
HUCKABEE SANDERS - POSTER CHILD FOR SOMETHING EVEN UGLIER THAN RACISM THAT AROSE FROM ANTEBELLUM SOUTH
What could be worse than the soul-shredding evil of racism during the era of human bondage? My answer would be creating a world of make-believe so fortified by lies that those who lived within it could believe that slaves didn’t mind it in the least when their children were sold from their trembling arms or when their wives were sexually assaulted by the plantation owner.
While the institution of forced labor was dismantled after the Civil War, the peculiar mindset that defined reality as whatever the patriarch said it was, regardless of the evidence of one’s own senses, escaped the confines of the South and spread to other areas of white working class America.
It was a worldview built on an invented moral authority. Southern evangelicals had fought the abolitionism of their northern evangelical counterparts by creating a new hermeneutics–Bible literalism. It proclaimed that anything theologians found in the world of 2,000 years ago as having made its way into the Bible could be declared sacrosanct and God-inspired. Critical thinking skills, even personal observation were disdained for the proclamations of the patriarchal leader. In that context, lies were whatever liberals said, and the truth was the patriarch’s mumblings.
White House press secretary, Sarah Huckebee Sanders, thinks of herself as a good Christian because she is faithful to the truths of Donald Trump. If this poison isn’t worse than racism, then it certainly runs a close second.
[Constance Hilliard’s article was reblogged by Daily Kos Liberation League on August 2, 2017. It is reprinted here with permission of Daily Kos.]
Before I intimate the declining state of religion in this country, let me say that it is in dismal disarray.
Thousands of churches in America, on any given Sunday morning, have a telling number of empty pews–most of them more than half-empty. An equal number (thousands) of articles have been written, asking, “Why is church membership declining?” That is not my particular concern either.
My interest is in the growing number of agnostics and atheists, in general. I well remember a time in this country when only one atheist’s voice was being heard and who name was well-know–Madalyn Murray O’Hair. O’Hair once opined, “Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea.” The remarkable, but unthinkable truth, is that she was right! Keep this thought in mind.
Before I share statistics, it is important to understand the meaning of the words “atheist” and “agnostic.” According to Dr. Phil Zuckerman, in an October 2015 issue of Psychology Today, “An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of God or gods. And agnostic is someone who isn’t sure if there is a God or not, or who doesn’t feel like he or she (or anyone) can have any valid information on the matter, and thus, thinks that it is impossible to say there is a God, or that there isn’t.”
I’ll go with Zuckerman’s definitions, but simplify them by saying that both atheists and agnostics (nonbelievers) simply have no belief in a deity, period. They are neither theists nor polytheists. They are about as willing to talk about God or gods as they are to enter into a passionate, intense discussion of unicorns or leprechauns!
Atheism and agnosticism is growing at breathtaking rates through the world. Just to share some statistics, according to the Oxford Handbook, 41 percent of the people of France (or nearly 20 million) are nonbelievers. Almost one-third of the people of the United Kingdom are nonbelievers. But, wait…
While we may not be surprised that 17 percent of the people of Russia are nonbelievers, it startles us to learn there are a little less than half that number (8 percent) in the United States. The actual number of unbelievers in the United States is 18,625,556. Compare to the population of the State of New York - 19,795,791 (2014)