October 2008 Archives

You Can Vote However You Like

"You Can Vote However You Like"

The Road, redux

So, I finished it. A movie of the book is coming out next year. Two sections:

What do you want to do?
Just help him, Papa. Just help him.
The man looked back up the road.
He was just hungry, Papa. He's going to die.
He's going to die anyway.
He's so scared, Papa.
The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I"m scared.
The boy didn't answer. He just sat there with his head bowed, sobbing.
You're not the one who has to worry about everything.
The boy said something but he couldnt understand him. What? he said.
He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.

He [the boy] walked back into the woods and knelt beside his father. He was wrapped in a blanket as the man has promised and the boy didn't uncover him but he sat beside him and he was crying and he couldn't stop. He cried for a long time. I'll talk to you every day, he whispered. And I wont forget. No matter what. Then he rose and turned and walked back out to the road.

The woman when she saw him put her arms around him and held him. Oh, she said, I am so glad to see you. She would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he did talk to him and he didnt forget. The woman said that was all right. She said that the breath of God was his breath yet through it pass from man to man through all of time.

Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.

Pgs. 259 and 286-287, respectively. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Tobias Haller, BSG, has written a good post on his "In a Godward Direction" blog entitled, "It's the Stupid Economy."

Here is a paragraph:

For The Economy is far from a single unified entity, but a chaotic system built up, sad to say, from the very worst in human nature: primarily greed and fear. These primitive emotions are not limited to Wall Street, but are well established on Main Street too; they find a place in every home and heart.
and ending with this:
I pray this nation will have the good sense to reject McCain’s fairy tale magic, and empty promise. The next generation will indeed pay dearly if we fall prey to the seductive promise that wealth can be universal, and cost no one anything. Rather let us ask more of those who have more, and redistribute the wealth that actually exists. That, we know, can work. And it does have the imprimatur of the Gospel in its favor.

He goes on to discuss the McCain accusations against Obama with regard to socialism, redistribution of wealth, and so on. At one point, Tobias brings up that which is ethical.

Last Sunday in my sermon I preached about that which the Church and the Christian experience seek, regardless of what we want both to seek. The Church and Christian experience seek these twin goals: Wisdom and Virtue - not necessarily Fact. The Old Testament reading for last week saw God speaking through Moses and telling His people Israel what they should and should not do and in the Gospel gives us his two great commandments. We approach Scripture and the Tradition and Reason for the purpose of gaining Wisdom and realizing Virtue. Too many Christians, both liberal and conservative, approach Scripture, the Tradition, and Reason for the purpose of proving something - proving their theory, proving the rightness of their agenda, proving their schema True, but the Scriptures, the Tradition, and even Reason in this context is not about proving something true, exact, as within the Scientific Method.

The Church and the Christian experience in this world and with God, well, we don't necessarily seek Facts or Information, we seek Wisdom and Virtue. McCain and Obama (or at least their handlers) attempt to assert Fact, negatively or positively. The seeking of verifiable, provable Facts and the seeking of Wisdom are twins aspects of Knowledge, but not identical twins. The doing-of-fact-finding and the doing-of-theology complement one another, or at least they should. Too many Christians today put them at odds, resulting in either the demand that Scripture be all factually true else they can't believe or the assertion that none of it is actually reliable so it can all be relatively dismissed. We do the same with economic theory or political theory - Socialism or Capitalism must be verifiably false or true, but they are neither. Battle back and forth if we must, but for the Christian we should seek something other - Wisdom and Virtue that allows us to live "well" within any system.

So, when it comes to the economy and politics, the Church should call for the candidates to explain how their ideas are wise and virtuous. The theories come and go, attempted in practice and only realized too late that what is on paper does not work on the ground. Wisdom, however, is beside the point of fact or exacting proof. In Wisdom, we can say that we don't know at this particular point in time and place what is best, but we know how to seek and to discern and to judge come what may. In Virtue, we can assert that in whatever system or circumstance we find ourselves, we can act in ways that benefit all. Virtue makes any system-of-this-world work better. For the Christian, whether we live in a laissez-faire capitalist economy or a socialist economy and whether we assert that either kind of system will be our salvation is beside the point, being wise and virtuous should be our goal; and the extolling of a system that is destined to fall short of the Glory of God already because, as Tobias stated, our human nature demands it, should not be our focus.

God tells His people, do this and don't do this. Why? So that we will grow in Wisdom and Virtue and learn to have life-to-the-full, a peaceful and joyous life despite the circumstances, despite what economic system we inhabit, despite what we desperately want to be and try to prove to be in our self-deception to be Fact.

Something like that...

When we are about living "on the ground" rather than desperately proving our point factually true... Seek Wisdom and Virtue...

The Road

I've gone from "The Summer of Harry Potter" to "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy. What a book!

From the back cover: "The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, 'each the other's world entire,' are sustained by love... The Road is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation."

"total devastation" is an understatement.

Saw, again...

So, like an idiot I went to see "Saw V" yesterday. Why? Because it is Halloween week and I'm stupid. Now, the first "Saw," while a bit disturbing because of the gore, was nevertheless a pretty good psychological thriller (if that is the right word). In its own twisted way, it was about the possibility of redemption and the dynamics that can go into realizing the stark and fatal consequences of our "sins" and our choices. This is the kind of redemption that Jesus may have offered if he suffered from 'roid-rage.

Well, really, version "V?" Did I really think that the movie would be worth seeing in its fifth sequel? No, not really, but I thought it might be cheesy enough and a "frightful" beginning to Halloween. Saw V, wasn't.

Of course, I absolutely love "The Simpson's" Halloween special episodes... can't wait!. I wonder what a "Reno 911" version of a Halloween episode might be like?

The Whole Story...

If we are to be informed voters, then we need to understand the whole story. We need to read and seek out opposing opinions, not just from those with whom we already agree. This is a bit difficult because journalism and journalists, in the aggregate, have given themselves over to political or social position promotion rather than truth telling. Nothing really new, I suspect, but in the waxing and waning of ethical behavior there are times when the reality of the wrongness is more prevalent and common.

Like the Religious Right political machine and their leaders push their agendas regardless of whether their means are ethical/moral because the end justifies all means, journalism and too many journalists are intent on pushing political and social positions/policies/theories rather than the objective reporting of news/people/events - or objective investigative journalism for the common good. Not all of them, of course, just like not all American-Evangelicals are in the thralls of the politicized, New-Conservative, Religious Right.

So, here is an opinion piece written by Orson Scott Card (or click here). For those who may not know of him, he is a writer and columnist. I first "met" him through his science fiction series begun with "Ender's Game." I've been told from a couple different sources that this book series is actually studied at the U.S. military's War College. He has also written a number of essays (or some such thing) pertaining to culture, empire, and various other national, cultural, and geo-political topics.

Here, he chastises journalists for their lack of truth-telling. He is a Democrat, according to the personal description at the beginning of the opinion piece. He is also a Mormon. I suspect not many Mormon's are Democrats, but I could be wrong. Anyway, for the sake of the whole story, this is an interesting piece to read....

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card

Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

Value Voters...

Well, the election is just days away. I can't believe it is approaching so quickly, but here in New York (at least in the City) there have been almost no campaign commercials. It doesn't seem like an election at all, aside from the debates.

Here is the latest promotional/motivational video put out by the Religious Right organization ValuesVotersUSA to "get out the vote." This tactic in the end will only come to one kind of action.

I find it strange and off putting when the image behind the statement "Judeo-Christian Values" presents a bunch of men on one knee, not genuflecting, but aiming a rifle. "Judeo-Christian values" begins with guns. Now, I know that the point is that Americans have been defending the Constitution and their rights all along and now is such a time (it is an attempt to honor those who defended OUR rights in the past and imply that this is such a time, again), but the implication of that image is not there/implied by mistake. Is it a nudging or a planting of the idea in values voters' minds that they may need to pick up arms again if Obama wins?

The other thing that strikes me has to do with why these kinds of organizations and the people who have their psyches formed by these groups honestly believe that straight people's marriages will be doomed, or the whole institution of marriage destroyed, if same-sex couples are allowed to marry? It makes no sense. "Saving Marriage" has much more to do with straight people and THEIR attitude concerning their own marriages and the institution than anything the prospect of same-sex marriage can do. It is fear baiting. It is ridiculous, and the leaders of these groups know it. Fear mongering brings in money and fearful people remain devoted to "the cause" (read Neo-Conservativism and Christian fundamentalism) and the maintenance of the leaders' own power.

Onion News Network

Most people know of the "Onion," the satirical newspaper. They also have the "Onion News Network," a satirical "CNN."

Here is the latest coverage on the "War for the White House"

Its the commercials, stupid

I really didn't realize this until presidential debate last Wednesday. I am continually surprised when I hear that the election is so close and getting closer. Then I got it - there are no political commercials playing in New York (at least New York City)! It doesn't seem like an election. McCain gave up and ceded New York, as he did Michigan (and I suppose other places as well), so pay put money into paying for commercials, I guess.

It seems so odd...

What do they do next?

The quoted paragraph below is from the American Family Association, a very prominent Religious Right organization lead by Don Wildmon. This organization along with Focus-on-the-Family and several others are the primary forces behind the reactionary and polarizing Culture Wars in the United States.

I am truly sadden by their tactics and their short-sightedness. It came to the point several years ago where their leadership decided that political and cultural domination warranted winning at all costs and by whatever means. For them, the end justifies the means. By their rhetoric and tactics, their witness, I have a very difficult time recognizing their Christianity, despite their stated beliefs.

Here is Don's e-mail trying to rally the troops to get out and vote. His hyperbolic statements are astounding and frightening, and he does mean it literally not out of ignorance but by intent. The Religious Right and the Neo-Conservatives push for conflict and polarization, frightening whomever they can and distorting the truth in order to get their way. Others do this too, of course, but these people are supposed to be Christian. History will show, I'm convinced, that this period in American cultural and religious history will come to be profoundly damaging to the Christian witness - the cause of Christ - in this country.

Here is a paragraph from his get-out-the-vote effort to his millions of members:

Dear Friend...

If the liberals win the upcoming election, America as we have known it will no longer exist. This country that we love, founded on Judeo-Christian values, will cease to exist and will be replaced by a secular state hostile to Christianity. This “city set on a hill” which our forefathers founded, will go dark. The damage will be deep and long lasting. It cannot be turned around in the next election, or the one after that, or by any election in the future. The damage will be permanent. That is why it is so important for you to vote and to encourage friends and family to vote. This is one election where your vote really counts.

What credibility will they have when a Democrat does win and American does not "no longer exist." Did this doomsday scenario happen when the last Democrate was in office? Of course not, and if Obama wins it won't happen this time, unless the damage done by the last eight years by this failed president has set the stage for the end of empire. Frankly, I never wanted "empire" anyway, so I wouldn't be so saddened if it ends. (Of course, that all depends on what takes its place in the world - dictatorship, authoritarianism, barbarism are all possible.)

And, what is left to do by all these people who believe Wildmon and Dobson and the other Religious Right leaders? Will they take up arms for God and attempt by force to impose their vision of a "city set on a hill," a "Godly American?" What choice will they have if Obama wins, since by his winning America will be no more and real Christians will be so persecuted that they might as well be martyrs? The intentional striving for the polarization of American society by demagoguery in order to win, attain, and gain more power will come to no good end, not because of some evil liberal force taking control of their beloved geopolitical entity, but because of their own anti-democratic efforts and by their own means for imposing upon everyone in God's name their sectarian and "fundamentalist" vision (and I don't use the "f-word" willy-nilly).

Read Wildmon's whole letter below.

What to do, what to do....

I've been offered a new position. In so many aspects, it is perfect - an ideal means and place of ministry and in so many ways what I've been hoping for. Unexpectantly, and to a great degree sadly, I don't want to go! It would mean upturning my entire life and for what will probably not be a permanent place.

So many good things about it. Great people. Good vision. Financially secure. Open. I will have (could have if accepted) a great deal of freedom and will be able to impact a good many lives for the sake of the Gospel.

I want to stay where I am (ministry) even though it will mean keeping my "day job" which sucks up my best time, even though it may well mean giving up on ever getting another opportunity to have my "dream job."

It is nice to be "in demand" - there and here. I'm truly torn.

In 5 years, no matter what decision I make, in hindsight I will know whether it was good and wise and right. Now, God may now but He isn't telling, and I'm caught in the same position I've been in so many times.

I've learned to trust that "still small voice." Yet, I know that many, many things can impede the right "hearing" of the voice. My gut tells me I want to stay where I am, yet my mind tells me that this is an opportunity that is too good to turn down.

If you want to say a prayer for me, for wisdom and good discernment, I would appreciate it.

This may sound sappy, but I believe it, I want what is best for those people in that ministry and while I feel I can do a good job I am under no illusions that I am God's gift to anyone. If at the moment I have no sense of leading to go, despite the ideal conditions, and if at the moment I desire to stay where I am, despite the less than ideal circumstances, what does that say? I really hate being in these situations!

It does them no good and it does me no good to judge these kinds of things as the "world" does. If I did, then I should jump at the opportunity, but I desire God's will (if there is a specific "will" in this case).

Hum, perhaps...

When I left Northeast Ohio to attend seminary, my state seemed to take a turn politically and socially in a direction that caused me to not recognize my own state.

Then, there is this suggestion:

Well, I would probably include Toledo and Bowling Green in the mix.

Christianity and Islam

"Bishop Geralyn Wolf of the Diocese of Rhode Island has inhibited the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding for publicly professing her adherence to the Muslim faith." Source: Episcopal News Service

The more I know about Bishop Wolf the more respect I have for her. I wish Ms. Redding the best in her faith journey and respect her decision, made with integrity. I may disagree with it, but I respect it.

Bishop Wolf's comment about the Church wanting to be diverse and inclusive is true, but there does come a point where the Church needs to say, "No." This "no" need not be made in anger or hubris, but in recognition that the directions in which we take ourselves may take us outside the umbrella of this Church. That is our freedom by our own decision, respectfully. We are Christ-followers, not Mohammad followers despite what can be learned within the Muslim system.

We are Christian, and to have a respect for and understanding of the integrity of the two faiths bring us in humility to recognize that priestly responsibilities cannot be exercised within both faiths simultaneously, the priest being so bifurcated, with esteem given to both and to those seeking Christ. Whether we like it or not, Jesus explained to us that it is through him alone that we come to his Father, God. As a priest in this Church, I am called to make such a proclamation, with respect given to those choosing to follow Mohammad. IMHO.

The more information we have...

I strongly believe that in order to form solid opinions, we need to be aware of and even seek out information even when that information will disagree with what we want to believe.

In our current political climate, the analysis of double-speak issued out of the two campaigns over anything and everything can be wearying, but to have an informed electorate (which is diminishing in quantity these days, sadly) we need to have exacting analysis of the proposals and positions of both candidates and their campaigns.

This analysis of Obama's middle-class "tax cut," from the Wall Street Journal (which is obviously more conservative and completely reliable):

Obama's 95% Illusion: It depends on what the meaning of 'tax cut' is

"Wealth transfer" or "redistribution" favored by Democrats, generally, has not been or will not be any more effective in the long run that has been the deregulated profit-at-whatever-costs policies favored by the Republicans, generally, over the last 20+ years. Taking care of the poor and needy should be the domain of the religious communities, with the assistance of government, and not the other way around.

I find it a bit ironic that during the mid-1980's and '90's when businesses and the financial industries clambered for deregulation to allow us to "flourish" and better compete on the world stage, that they now find themselves devastated and on the eve of far greater government scrutiny and control then before deregulation. Government has been complicit. On the whole, have we really flourished? Some have made lots of money, but have even they "flourished," regardless of the rest of us? When wealth and materialism are equated to "flourishing" in the minds of people, we become lessened, diminished, and made less hole.

In the end, I think, they were coming not from a place of reasoned, philosophical, economic argument, but frankly greed. Yes, competition, but the financial industry wanted to do whatever it wanted to do without accountability or government oversight. "The market will take care of itself," they might have said.

Well, yes, and now we see it. The problem is that if we really want the market to take care of these kinds of the things then the swings will always be dramatic, the consequences dire. We are seeing the result. Great wealth and great disaster - the problem is that the "lest of these" are always the ones how suffer the most. Government, while not acting judiciously or often wisely, has to step in to avert even greater disaster. Now, the re-regulation or out-right control of the industry will be profound. I wonder, truly, how long it will be before the U.S. will be in the same kind of state as is Iceland?

Coupled with all this is the assertion, which I frankly find as near fact, that greed will not and does not provide for a good foundation upon which to base a sustainable and ethical economy. "Greed" is considered one of the Seven Deadly sins for a reason.

I think that we really are in a new "time," entering a new "era" of some sort. On the grand scheme of things, there is nothing new under the Sun even if the repeating-of-all-things takes centuries. We are reaping what we have sown - every one of us! Financial, political, social empires always collapse under their own weight and hubris.

I think Bush will be remembered as the President that presided over the downfall of the American Empire. I never wanted Empire, despite on the insistence by the Neo-Con's that this is exactly what Ameeeericans want or on the politicized Religious Right's insistence that this country has a divine mandate. It all is akin to the "divine right of Kings," in a new sort and by new "kings." I don't mind if this empire falls (and that does not mean that I do not want to live in a free country; just look at Canada, Switzerland or the Scandinavia countries: free, independent, and economically secure, but not empires).

So, we are in a financial crises, the latest manifestation of our deep cultural problems. We are in an ethical and moral crisis (although not as the Religious Right asserts). Because of the greed of people and the financial industry and the government's complacency or even their culpability, we find ourselves in this situation. (Yes, I know it is all very complex.) Government steps in when it is too late. We are all worse off.

Is government regulation the answer? No, not necessarily. Is laissez-faire capitalism the answer? No. Social or economic-Darwinism is not the answer, but that is were we are headed. Will we end up in a new form of barbarism? Nothing guarantees that we can remain a civilized people, nationally or world-wide. The Modernist notion of constant, forward-progression of humanity continues to be shown to be unfounded.

All of this does not mean that I or we should not be without hope. I am hopeful, I look forward to the future and come what may. But, my sense of hope does not rest in wealth or poverty, freedom or oppression, weakness or might, self-actualization or defeatism, and whatever else may fit here. As a Christian, my hope does not rest in the Systems-of-this-World. Nothing that I have witnessed or personally experienced leads me to believe that my hope is unfounded or placed in the wrong place. Life may be far more difficult, far more oppressive and I don't want that, but my hope does not rest is such things. Easy for me to say, I know, in my profoundly privileged American existence.

Simple Church

I've been thinking for a while now, dreaming actually, of a way to go forward in the midst of The Episcopal Church's continued decline. I can either continue to bemoan all the controversy, the bad management, the weird developing theologies, etc., and all that comes with the "diminishment."

More broadly, we face the decline of Christianity in the U.S. and must consider how to live effectively in an increasingly post-Christian culture. Honestly, I don't care that we are in an era that is increasingly post-Christian. It is much easier to identify those who truly desire relationship with God, reconciliation, and new life. Most of the rational behind the Culture Wars is about certain groups trying to rescue Christendom, and it will not happen without autocratic force.

In the face of diminishment, however, comes opportunity for thinking of different ways of doing all this stuff. So, perhaps I need to refocus on what's next... After all, it is the ethos of Anglicanism that is important to me, and if the structures cannot hold together then there isn't much I can do other than keep the ethos. I'm not yet vested in the Pension Fund, so what the heck.

For example, at present, approximately 45% of all Episcopal Churches cannot afford a full-time priest or lay employee. If things continue on as they probably will, that percentage will only increase. Add to that percentage another 15% of all congregations and we have a second group of parishes that can only barely keep a full-time priest. What can be done about this? All kinds of things, actually, but...

As I've said over and over again, Anglicanism is strategically situated to the condition of and characteristics of the younger generations, if only leveraged well. (We aren't doing very well, however.)

Ancient-Future, Simple Church, simple living.

The "Simple Church" movement, also known by the name House Church movement, part of the Emergent Conversation, and on and on - is a way of being the Body of Christ in ways that resonate with an increasing number of people and is possible where money is in short supply. In the context of liturgical and sacramental Anglicanism, this can be very interesting way of doing the ministry. I can imagine that those of the Oxford Movement, if present today, would be all over it. New Monasticism, too.

For those clergy and lay people who desire "intentional community," we can live together and go out into the world for ministry - lay people into the working-world where clergy rarely go, for clergy into all those parishes and missions that cannot afford a priest. Simple living, intentional living, meeting with the faithful and those seeking. Being there. Nothing new, really, but a very old model in a very new time.

This is want we want to do in Red Hook, except the authorities-that-be say our parish cannot hire a second priest (me) - politics. And, I'm warn-out and tired of being bi-vocational. My best energy and time is taken up doing things I don't want to do, yet the job enables me to be at St. Paul's, possibly in Red Hook, in this City.

Imagine The General Theological Seminary in this kind of context. Benedictine spirituality, living in intentional community on the Close. Going out into all of The City being the representatives, the hands, the mouths of God in all levels of society. A place of excellence in learning, in worship, in encouragement and challenge. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) From this City, the influence will reach all over the world. No one can convince me that this kind of vision (not my own, but becoming my own realized through the lives and experiences of many others), no one can convince me that this kind of formation for priests and laity alike will not appeal to and enliven 150 people from around the world that want to participate in such a place. No one can convince me that there isn't money and people will be parted from their money to see such a thing happen. It takes people with strong vision and determined conviction to give up their own lives and allow God to be present in and through them. It takes leadership.

Why not? Why not? It is hard for people living in the fog of diminishment to see clearly opportunities. It is easier to fight over what's left, even as it all slips through their fingers.

More later...

Assemblies of God

Gov. Sarah Palin spent a good deal of time in the Assemblies of God, just about the largest Pentecostal denomination around the world. This is the denomination I started attending during my senior year in college, and with whom I spent the next 8 years working as a campus pastor in their campus ministries.

I departed this Christian expression in1992 for Anglicanism in 1992 1994 - I saw what was coming in the politicization of American-Evangelicalism. I'm glad I grew up Pentecostal - my developmental years where spent in The Foursquare Church, which being based in Los Angeles is a little more laid back and, well, "hip" I guess - the A/G is based in the Springfield, Missouri in the Ozarks. Hillbilly vs. Southern California. I am so glad I am not there, now!

A lot of people find it very easy to dismiss the Assemblies of God. That is a mistake. In Anglican Land, we brag about being the third largest expression of Christianity in the world with our 38 autonomous provinces and 77 million adherents.

Um, consider this:

"An Assemblies of God study from 2006 found 60 million adherents in more than 300,000 churches worldwide. About 2.8 million of these are in the U.S."

I believe it. This one denomination (with cooperative agreements in many nations with indigenous churches that came out of their missionary endeavors) is just about as large as the whole Anglican Communion! It is larger than The Episcopal Church in the U.S.

I'm just tired, really I am...

You know, I'm just tired. I'm tired of 20 plus years of the Culture Wars. I'm tired of the disunity and the false accusation against the neighbor and the manipulation of Truth that comes along with war. I'm tired of having explain that being a follow of Jesus Christ is not the same as being a follower of the Religious Right. I'm tired of identity-politics and political-correctness that deceive us into not being honest and that produces no real solutions. I'm tired of moral busybodies who can't face up to their own dysfunction and so insist on imposing themselves into the lives of everyone else.

I'm tired of being embarrassed by the foreign policy of this present administration. I'm tired to our hubris and the hegemonic insistence of Neo-Con's who want empire. I'm tired that the moral force for the welfare of humanity (despite our international screw-ups) that this country held in the imaginations of people all over the world has been squandered.

I'm tired of being embarrassed by my government and my culture.

I'm tired of modern day Pharacies Pharisees that would rather destroy than compromise. I'm tired of ecclesiastical battles where I find not a lot in common with either of the antagonists. I'm tired of trying to champion this wonderful thing I found called Anglicanism and all I see is leadership tearing apart this jewel for their own end. Where is sacrifice of self? Where is humility? Where is consideration for your brother or sister more than your consideration for yourself? Where is a hunger for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that goes beyond the next political or social theory or trendy dysfunction that rampages through the culture?

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by negativity and angst and frustration while trying to discover and trying to call people to something more, something stronger, something lasting far longer than the last 30 years - a whisper in time. I'm just tired, and I well understand why some people simply want to get out and be apart of something that is positive, forward looking and understanding without having to jettison all that came before. For a change. I'm tired of wondering whether there will come a point when I will need to "jump ship" or will be pushed out. I'm tired of wondering why nothing works out the way it is supposed to work, at least that is my life experience.

I certain understand when people say, "I just want to get on with things and end all this distraction."

There has always been a part of me that loves the politics, loves the battle, and would be very good in all that. There is part of me that knows that if I had gone into politics or the foreign service or stayed within American-Evangelicalism that I could have gone far, could have had a huge church if I wanted to be a pastor - I'm gifted in those ways. I also know myself well enough to realize that pride and arrogance are just under the surface. I'm tired to wondering, "When is my life going to begin?" My life, most everything has been "temporary," not knowing from year-to-year what I will be doing next. There is a bit of excitement in that, but I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of waking up at 3:30 in the morning and having all this stuff running through my head. I'm tired of my compulsion to try to find solutions. I'm physically just exhausted, too. I'm tired of my own erratic thoughts, lack of discipline, and lack of time to focus on the things I want to. I'm tired of having to function in a left-brained job when I'm a right-brained person. I'm tired of being bi-vocational.

I'm tired of not knowing where I fit. I'm too independent and rebellious to give myself over to a "party." I'm bored too easily. But, I'm tired of not fitting and trying to force myself into the shape that others expect. I'm tired of not being too forceful or leaderly because I'm trying to be sensitive and respectful. I'm tired of the rejection because I don't play "correctly." How easy it would be to be just like an American-Evangelical entrepreneur and go off and do my own thing. I would succeed. But, I took vows!

I'm tired of defeatists. I'm tired of egomaniacs.

I'm tired of watching my seminary being run into financial ruin and being brought from the only Anglican seminary in the Northern Hemisphere offering a ThD. program (Oxford on the Hudson) to becoming some sort of "community college" for people interested in religiousy stuff because of an ill conceived "vision" of the present administrator.

You know, the seminary Dean and the U.S. President have one thing in common - they both cannot recognize or admit that the policies they purse have failed and are continuing to fail.

I'm tired of the greed, the hypocrisy, and what is developing into a real Social Darwinism.

I want to be a part of making things better. How far do I go? At want point is it legitimate to just throw up your hands and say, "I give up?" Sometimes, situations and institutions are beyond saving.

As Betty Butterfield says, "I just want to sit in a pew and do it the normal way!"

Oh why, oh why, Ohio...

Well, I suppose it had to come. My home state is, well...

If the world could...

It seems the Economist magazine (an excellent news magazine, replacing Newsweek in my heart by far, although it is expensive and I don't have the time to read my subscription - drats!) is wondering aloud what would happen if the entire world had a say in the election of the President of the United States of America.

The have assigned a "Electoral College" delegates to each country of the world. People from those countries can vote for McCain or Obama. It is so lopsided it is funny (better to laugh then cry over what we've gotten ourselves into, I suppose). So far, the only country that I've come across where the vote is even close is El Salvador where the vote is 50-50.

Here is the webpage the details the results thus far!

April 2011

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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