Southern Girl, Liberal Heart

May God Forgive Us

Image result for Easter images
One of my favorite hymns begins ♫ “O God, our help in ages past,  our hope for years to come” ♪.  One of the biggest comforts in life is that God is always with us, available to us and waiting for us.

When my father died, I was 23 and it was a devastating blow.  All my life I had been taught that “these things happen for a reason” and “God does not give us more than we can handle” but those suddenly sounded like silly cliches.  A dear friend, and my boss at the time, gave me the book. “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold S. Kushner and the notion that we are not just chess pieces on a board to God came home to me.

The world today is more and more confusing.  Keeping the faith, and staying the course has never been harder.  From the heretics preaching the “Prosperity Gospel” to the marriage of politics and the evangelical church, it is harder and harder to see Jesus in Christians.

I have very much enjoyed the writings of the modern polemic, John Pavlovitz. He takes on those who have moved Jesus and his teachings from the main mission to instead elect Republicans and push for more inequality, punitive immigration and refugee treatment and harmful dismantling of the safety nets because they ignore the teachings of Jesus. That Christians found a way to proudly vote for Trump was the final revelation of how far afield many Christian churches have gone.
JohnPavlovitz.com

I have not yet found a way to get comfortable with sitting in a church or Sunday School with those I know chose Trump and defend what I find indefensible and not in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I have found comfort in reading more of Adam Hamilton, who also gets it.  As David Gushee,  says in this book review: “Frances FitzGerald on how evangelicals lost their way”: “Evangelicals very badly lost their way. And they did so because their gospel stopped being about the love of God in Jesus Christ, demonstrated most profoundly at the cross, and instead became a reactionary jeremiad about saving America by electing Republican politicians and fighting culture wars.”

“…The Christian faith is not fundamentally about shaping America or any other country. It is fundamentally about nurturing a community of human beings who will faithfully follow Jesus. This is where American evangelicals went wrong.”
http://religionnews.com/2017/04/12/how-evangelicals-lost-their-way/

There are many writers and bloggers also tackling the issue of the unholy marriage of politics and church and the damage being done.

So this Easter, I pray that God touches the heart of his church and clears the Temple again before Christians kill Christianity.  If not, I am comfortable without a pew to sit in.

Donnie in the Room

I wish I was half this clever, I love this effort and you should follow “The Weekly Sift”. Please enjoy!

The Weekly Sift

(with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Republicans that day.
They’d promised for six years that they’d repeal the ACA.
But when the caucus gathered, and they looked from man to man
They knew that not a one of them had ever had a plan.

“I’d counted on a veto,” said a rep from Tennessee.
“The blame Obama always took would fall on Hillary.
Then Pennsylvania went for Trump, and Michigan the same.
And now we run the government, we can’t just play a game.”

A colleague from Wyoming was equally concerned.
Shaking his head sadly, he stated what he’d learned.
“My hopes from the beginning always had one little flaw.
I’d pictured making speeches, never thought I’d write a law.”

Neither had the others, though they often said they would.
They knew what programs shouldn’t do, but not the things they should.
Then said…

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Another Good Read!

This is turning into an embarrassment of riches kind of day.  FINALLY someone who understands free speech does not mean quietly respecting hate and racism.  This is so well done I wanted to stand and applaud a blog post!

http://www.thetattooedprof.com/2017/03/16/middlebury-murray-and-the-problem-of-false-equivalence/#more-747

The Tattooed Professor

Another excellent commentary on how history and current events collide.  Please read.

Source: A Response to Shaun King’s Essay about Presidents Who Owned Slaves

One of the real pleasures and treasure of Facebook is when you find something you did not even know you were looking for!

As someone who left my church of too many Trump supporters and defenders after the election of 2016, I have been spiritually unconnected in ways I have been trying to fix.  I have some progressive Christian sites, some religious friends and many secular sites and information sources, as well as regular liberal friends and family so I am not alone.  Trump even managed to turn my apolitical husband into a politically motivated man!

Because of my loss, I very much appreciate it when I find a light in the darkness I feel or a voice that calls to me “come home”!  I found just such a voice today when a Facebook friend shared one of his commentaries and it has renewed my soul.

Faith is a special thing and it has to be nourished and nurtured not beaten and forced.  It is important that those who seek to enlighten know how to do it.  You cannot bring people to God by making God seem mean and low.

Give a read to Pastor John Pavlovitz and see if you find some balm too.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/03/16/the-christian-right-was-right/#comment-220060

Learn Things!

As a young mother, I was bent on doing my part to change the world my children would inherit. I went to PTA Meetings, School Board Meetings, Board of Supervisors Meetings, and Democratic Committee Meetings like a fiend, never afraid to use my 3 minutes to speak, writing letters and commentary in the local papers, even started the liberal side column still seen in the Bedford Bulletin paper now written by Rick Howell. I am working class and have worked in the construction industry for over 20 years. So if there is ANYTHING I know, it is what the people I live and work with think and feel.

I was among those that helped get Bedford County elected school boards, helped Tom Perriello get elected to the very conservative 5th District. Elected Doug Wilder, Chuck Robb, supported Mary Sue Terry as our first female governor, and Clinton-Gore, which laid the ground work for Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Terry McAuliffe and yes, Barack Obama.
So for those who want to tell me that I do not know enough about how this party should go or what we need to do to win elections that we have been losing so badly for the past decade, I tell you to kiss my ass and move on.

For those still with me, please read this thoughtful and IMO spot on analysis of what we, as a party need to come to grips with before we can move forward and be successful. We won for good reasons and now we have lost, and God help us, lost big, for real reasons too! We can change, or we can die.

http://bluevirginia.us/2017/02/hollerin-in-the-holler

2016

So well done and well worth the time to read! Elizabeth Catte is a firebrand!

elizabeth catte

Over at the New Republic, Sarah Jones has a blistering take on J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, the social analysis of Appalachia’s “forgotten” white working class masquerading as a regional memoir and current favored text for understanding the inner lives of economically precarious white voters. Her piece works better than most because it attends not only to the central themes and lessons of Elegy, but also to the media oversaturation of Vance as a white working class whisperer and his eagerness to embrace the role of political analyst during and after the election.

From local papers to the national press, from Fox News to NPR, from the lecterns of state schools and business schools, Vance has served up “straight talk” about the white working class that both conservatives and liberals are eager to consume. For conservatives, Vance’s rags-to-riches story – from his broken childhood in rural Ohio…

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