Monthly Archives: November 2015

Things I am sick and tired of.

Smug, self righteous Christians who are perfectly fine with forcing their religion on other people by deciding to “vote” that they should bear risks so that the Smug and Self Righteous Christian can feel superior.  I responded there, which I will repeat here, and add the addendum I erased.

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One of those rules is, as I recall, against the bearing of false witness against your neighbor. Shame on you for violating it. Shame on you for mischaracterizing so many people, in order to erect a strawman that you may smugly knock down and proudly stand self-righteous and superior.

Tell me, Pastor. If a man is beating his wife, do you counsel her to go back to him and “Trust Jesus?” Or better yet, he beats his wife when he drinks, and he promises right now that he is going to quit drinking and never do it again, like he has many times before. Is your advice then “Trust Jesus, and go back to your husband?” Or is it more like “While marriage is an institution that should be preserved and forgiveness for past sins important, you should probably at least make sure he is in earnest and has mended his ways before you set up housekeeping with him again?”

Or perhaps I could point out that the whole “Trust Jesus and offer it up to the Lord” argument cuts two ways. I’ve noticed that this “principle,” scare quotes intended, is applied rather selectively, and that when it comes to many people’s secular politics of the kingdoms of this world this morphs into “Be the change you want to see, God isn’t a magician performing for your pleasure and works through people working for justice.”

Trust in the Lord is well and good when you are at the point of having to take that final leap of faith because you can never have absolute certainty. But the Lord also gave us reason, and repeatedly we are commanded to exercise discernment and good judgment based on that reason. Part of that includes doing due diligence to obtain more facts on which to base that discernment.

Save for a few fringe freaks talking about closing the borders to all, which are counterbalanced by the equally irrational people claiming that even a few terrorist attacks are an acceptable price to pay for “being true to our ideals,” nobody is talking about “^@#% those towel-wearing Mooselimbs. LET THEM DIE!” It’s not being said. The governors have said “We need more information, no until then.” The same thing as the most recent house bill, and it is a contemptible lie to characterize that as anything but. It is uncharitable and false witness. It is a sin against God and your brothers in Christ, and you should hang your head in shame for it.

Regardless of your politics, as there are many of this president’s own party that have come out against him – even Nancy Pelosi declined to push for a party line vote – there has been some serious underestimating of ISIS going on from the time they were referred to as “The JV Team” until mere hours before the Paris attack where Barack Obama declared ISIS to be contained. It is absurd to suggest that bipartisan groups saying “Maybe you don’t have the full handle on this you think you do” is anything but a reasonable objection. Which should be answered.

It’s well and good to talk about how well the refugees program has worked “in the past.” The past also did not include an ISIS which has pledged, and followed through, on boasts that they will exploit the crisis to insert terrorist operatives into the west.

They did just that very thing last Friday. The demonstrated the intent, will, and ability to do so.

Sir, it may be unChristian to deny aid to someone if they need it. It is not unChristian to verify that such aid is needed rather than some grifter looking to swindle you out of money or goods if that verification can be obtained through ordinary means, precisely because far too often those resources are finite, and to hand out such money or goods means that it is likely someone among the truly needy will have to be told “Sorry, the soup pot is empty and we’re out of sandwiches. God’s blessing, though, on you and your children and your empty bellies.”

I will tell you one thing that is unChristian, is having the hubris and arrogance to think that your proffered solution (or form of aid) is the only one which will do anything good. Someone is not being unChristian to suggest that Mercy Hospital rather than Downtown General will better serve someone who is sick. Someone is not being unChristian to suggest that the alcoholic with a track record of taking money to buy booze instead of food should just have a meal bought for him instead of being given a twenty. Someone is not being unChristian to suggest that help for someone should focus more on solving their problem of poverty, homelessness, or whatnot and that band-aids which do not achieve this end should have less focus on them.

GIven the changed circumstances, given the express and demonstrably credible threats, given the credible objections that this crisis has been at the very least somewhat mishandled, someone is not being unChristian to suggest that perhaps some heightened scrutiny, of exercising that discernment might be in order rather than rushing things through with no clearly articulated plan for doing so besides “Trust us, we did okay with it in different times and different realities in the past, and we promise that this time we’re on top of it.”

I’ve been to Paris, Pastor. There are many prayerful and devout people who trust in God there. And last Friday, God still left bodies littering the street. This tells me that he’s probably not promising a magic show and expects us to deal with the problems we made, much like the Dalai Lama said just this past week.

Hmm. Just a thought, maybe we could be the miracle we want to see? Are you really suggesting that “Trust God when in doubt” includes “Lead with your chin when someone is cocked back for a right cross?” Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean I need to go looking for someone to slap me around. Trust me. They will find me. Sometimes they may be lined up taking numbers. I don’t need to take out a billboard.

These objections and concerns are not invincible, either. I can think of several with casual thought which would advance assurances by leaps and bounds. “We’re going to move X resources from Y to handle quadrupling our throughput so that we can do this without cutting corners. We are linking new databases. Agencies will be ordered to share information. We will establish a refugee camp where those whose status is in doubt can live until they are vetted. We will put congress in charge of administering it. A, B, or C, conditions will shut down the program. If holes are found, we will suspend it until they are closed. We will pressure the 53 members of the OIC to start taking in refugees because thus far they have taken ZERO. Review of this will happen – say – quarterly. Christians and Yazidis will be included as refugees. People who are found abusing this program or bearing false documents will be dealt with to make an example of them. We will agree to funding this program by special legislation so we can’t petulantly threaten to shut down the government if we don’t get our way in every particular.” You know. That “compromise” everyone always claims to want, but never actually supports when the rubber meets the road.

And so on. That’s just off the top of the head.

10,000, Hell. If you’re willing to do that, and it seems achievable in real metrics, we can do 20,000 as far as I am concerned.

My family has paid a heavy price already in this war on terror. One death at the Pentagon, a cousin with a broken body, a brother with a broken soul, and other cousins with a haunted look in their eyes and a distant stare to things I shudder to think of. If we can through due diligence take steps to make a Paris here in our nation less likely, what is unChristian is forgetting the words of Our Lord to “Not Tempt The Lord Thy God.”

And let’s try a little honesty in addressing the arguments that are – you know – ACTUALLY being made.

Angry?  Damn right I’m angry.  I had the sad fortune to be out visiting my cousin one anniversary of 9/11 and she couldn’t speak for three days because every time she did, she sobbed.  It took two of us to all but carry her to the grave, and she knelt there for two hours running her fingers through the grass and making these noises in her throat that fill my eyes with tears to think of them.  A thousand yard stare that never went away. Two children scared and confused because Mommy was so distraught.

And somehow I’m “unChristian?” because I think that if we have any means at hand to make sure nobody else has to do that, we should do it?  If you really believe that, than you’re a son of a bitch who needs to hit his knees and ask the Lord to instruct you in what “Morality” is.  To have that real risk staring you in the face – the risk not just on you, but to ask that someone else will pay that kind of price over their objections based on your beliefs – isn’t just UN-Christian.  It’s ANTI-Christian.

Get thee behind us, Satan.