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Showing posts with label election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All STATES Matter!

    If you want to piss someone off simply tell them: "You don't matter!"   Instantly you will have a fight on your hands.  We saw this when the whole "Black Lives Matter" movement came out and was met with "All Lives Matter" as a response.  Later this was followed with "Blue Lives Matter".  We all want to MATTER.  We all want to be heard and listened to and our needs met.

    The purpose of the Electoral College is very simple: To preserve the UNION.  We are the the United STATES of America and not the United Peoples of America.  That is really what is at issue here.   The states elect the President and not the PEOPLE.   The States created the Federal Government by coming together and writing the Constitution and ratifying it in their state legislatures back in 1791.   Our Constitution is about preserving our UNION of STATES pure and simple.  Our founding father recognized that not all our states are the same.   Some are more rural and some are more urban in nature.  They each have unique needs and wants that need to be balanced.   They saw the growth of the urban states.  They knew that the urban states would have a majority vote over the rural states without any care of their needs.  If left unchecked, this would eventually lead to civil war and a dissolving of our union.  In a sense, it's purpose to say to the Federal government: ALL STATES MATTER!

    To illustrate this, imagine family of five: a mother, a father, two boys and girl.  Imagine that to make decisions in the family they use a purely democratic system of voting.   It is a true statement that women have unique needs and wants that are many times different from that of men.   Let's say in our hypothetical family,  they want to decide where to go on vacation.  The males may want to go camping and fishing whereas the females may want to go to the city and see museums.   In their democratic system, the males would always out vote the females and get their way.   Year after year the women would be subjected to camping outdoors and smelly fish.  Other decisions as well during the year would not go their way.  Where they eat, what they do, what movies they see, what TV shows they watch etc would all be ruled by the men because they are in the MAJORITY.   Our Founding Fathers referred to this as the "tyranny of the majority".   The majority isn't always right and shouldn't always get their way.    In our family example, it would be better for the sake of harmony (and to prevent divorce) that the men give up their majority rights and do what the women in the family want to do.    It too is about preserving the UNION.  The union of the family in this case.

    Our country is much like this family in that the majority is not always right. All voices, like those of the rural states need to be listened to as much as those of the large urban communities.   Just like the men in the our family example aren't always right and it wouldn't hurt them to go to the city and see some museums from time to time.  So also, our country needs to listen to the right and do things their way from time to time.   It's all about preserving our UNION of STATES so we don't resort to separation because a large group of states no longer matters anymore.   Just look at the state of California.   While they are talking about seceding from the union (over an election), at the same time several northern counties in their own state are talking about seceding from the state of California to become their own state because they no longer matter either.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Joke is on US!

    The cartoonist Walt Kelly once said in his famous comic strip Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us".  The cartoon was with regard to pollution and it was posted on the first Earth Day event. He captured the essence of the problem in a way no one else could and the phrase has been used by many others (including me here) over the past decades.
    Watching the debate the other night and listening to people discuss how this election has reached an all time new low has been another eye-opening experience for me.   I have talked to people on both sides and both feel betrayed by their parties in allowing people like Trump and Hillary to be their party's nominee.   But I often reply back saying it's not Trump's or Hillary's fault.  The fault is with us!   We put them there.   We elected them.  Trump and Hillary represent what we (or at least MOST) the American people have become.  We have become two-faced autocrats that care little (if nothing at all) about the rule of law or our Constitution.  We have treated politics like some sort of blood-sport like Football or UFC fighting. My team vs. Your Team.  Winner take all.

   Hillary represents the cynical side of America.   Politics is a joke.  The law is a joke.  All that matters is winning.  We can talk about the American Dream and our "Love of Country" all the while we mean something entirely different inside.  Words are just words.   They can be made to say one thing but mean something entirely different.   To Hillary, the truth doesn't matter.   As Pilat said to Jesus, "What is TRUTH?" so also the truth to Hillary is whatever she can con you into believing to keep you on her side.   If she can con you into thinking that 3rd trimester abortions (abortions that occur in the 7th,8th or even 9th month) are not bloody and not painful to the baby they so be it.  If she can con you into thinking she only had Yoga classes and wedding plans on her email server then so be it. If she can con you into thinking that she is for the middle-class when she gets millions of dollars from Wall Street banks and Saudi princes, then so be it.

   Trump represents the Anyone-But-Hillary crowd.  He is the other side of the same coin.   He too is "connected" and he has "name recognition" like Hillary, but  Trump represents those in America who only care about appearances (which is most of us).  He is the product of Reality-TV,  Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.   He represents us: vapid, self-righteous, fake and easily distracted.  Interested in only scoring points (or "likes" and "re-tweets") but not in winning hearts and minds.

   Trump and Hillary are reflections of who we have become in America.  They didn't pop out of a laboratory somewhere like Frankenstein's monster.  No.  They took their cues from us the American people.  Like a child learning to talk and taking it's language and ideas from their parents, so also Trump and Hillary learned their behavior from us.   Most of America doesn't care about hearing the truth so they don't bother telling us the truth.  Most of America doesn't care about the law, so they don't care about the law.   Most of America doesn't care about the Constitution so they don't care about the Constitution.  Most of America is vapid, fake and heartless so they become vapid, fake and heartless.  Most of America is godless so they are godless.

    Lament all you want about your choices this election but know you had a part in creating them.  They both truly do represent us the American people.

   What is funny, is that we laugh at them when Saturday Night Live comedians satirize them and poke fun at them .   It's all great fun watching Alec Baldwin squint and push out his lower lip to try to resemble Donald.  But the joke is really on us because the real buffoons are not the candidates up on the debate stage.  Instead it's us, the American people.

   We have met the enemy and they is us.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Thy Will Be Done!

    These are probably 4 of the most difficult words to utter in the Lord's Prayer.  In these words we completely surrender our desires and goals to that which God's desires and goals for us.  Jesus prayed a similar petition on Good Friday in the garden of Gethsemane.  He prayed, "Father if it is your will to take this cup from me, but not my will but your will be done".   Shortly after praying this Jesus gets his answer.   The mob is in the garden and they are there to arrest him.  Jesus knew all the pain of the scourging , beatings and crucifixion  that awaited him but yet he prayed "your will be done".   He surrenders himself to the crowd and then to the Sanhedrin and later to Pontius Pilate himself. Ultimately he surrenders his will to the cross as the soldiers nail him to it.  At any moment he could summon a legion of angels to rescue him but he doesn't.   He could yell "Damn you all" and in a moment his enemies would be thrown into hell, but he doesn't.

    We often pray this petition with our fingers crossed and hoping that God doesn't take it too seriously with us or that he goes easy on us.  But that is not always the case.   As I have written in some previous blogs, God's will is to save as many people as he can.   That is his ULTIMATE WILL.  But to do so often  requires pain and suffering.   CS Lewis once wrote
"Pain is God's megaphone to a deaf world"
   We don't listen too well when the times are good.   We are too busy doing our own thing and thinking that THIS is our heaven and it will all keep going on as it always has.   Pain shakes us to our core.  It focuses the mind in ways that enjoyment can't.   I challenge you to put a small tack in the bottom of your shoe and try to walk around for a day.  It will drive you mad!

    I think a great economic collapse is coming our way.   We know that we can't debt our way to economic stability.   The bills will eventually come due and we will all have to pay the price for our indulgences.  I think God will work tremendously when that day comes.  Some are hoping it comes later rather than sooner.   I am quite the opposite.   I want to see people flee their idols of money, wealth and power and run towards a loving God wanting to spare them.   For I see a hopeless generation seeking meaning but not finding any that is only too arrogant to acknowledge how wrong and blind they are.  Sad to say this, but many of these people are in the church as well.   They look at God's word as some sort of heavenly "vending machine" that if we say the right things, do the right actions, vote the right way God will smile upon us and give us peace, security and a full stomach.  They perform rituals like "Washington Prayer Breakfasts" and other pseudo-religious actions in hopes to get God to grant our country favor in his eyes.   Yes we as individuals are called to pray for our leaders and those in power but God does not deign for us to from Super-PACs to accomplish his will. God already knows what he is going to do.   He just wants us to ask for it to be done among us and through us as well.

    As with our economy, so also, many people are looking at this upcoming election with fear and anxiousness.  Some are asking "How did our country slide from past presidents like Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan to a choice between Hillary (a untrustworthy liar and hypocrite) and Trump (an obnoxious self-absorbed con-man)?"  I can assure you that after this election (as with all events in our world) "Gods will" will be done.  Whether it's Hillary or Trump, "God's will" will be done to allow him to reach as many people as possible.  I sometimes think God is like a great business man who must change tactics and strategies to keep his business moving forward.   He cannot keep using the same methods but must adapt to maximize his profits.  God's profits in his world is OUR SOULS which he has redeemed.   Maybe all God wanted from the U.S. was for us to invent the Internet so he can reach even more people in places too difficult by any other means.  Who knows.  But then again maybe God is not done with us yet either.

   But in the end all we can say as his followers is: "Thy will be done Lord.  Thy will be done!"

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Karl Marx was right

   I don't like to quote socialist/communists like Karl Marx but even a broken clock is right two times every day and so is Karl Marx.

    Marx once referred to the religion as the "opiate of the masses".    His view was that religion (Christianity in particular) was responsible for the masses not getting angry and mounting a massive revolt against the upper class and rulers.   With words like,
  • "Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the earth" 
  • "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God!" 
  • "Money is the root of all kinds of evil"
  • "Forgive as you have been forgiven"
  • "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and give unto God that which is God's"
      How can you get a group like that to stage a revolt?   But it's not so much a drug of religion that keeps people from revolting, but the understanding that this world is passing away and a much better one is on its way.   Like a guy driving an old clunker is not going to get too upset when it breaks down because his new BMW is being delivered and on its way.   You have a different perspective because of your faith in God.

    As I watch this election it seems to me that as our country becomes less and less Christian (and I include so-called Christians that are more concerned with their worldly wealth than with heavenly wealth) we see people becoming increasingly angry towards one another.   Everything seems to hinge on the "next election" and whether or not "their guy (or girl) gets into the White House".   No matter what after this election I can tell you this:  HALF the country will be angry and the other HALF will be elated.  One half will call the other illegitimate and the other half will be called bitter haters.  Recently I saw a story about a guy who video taped himself running over TRUMP signs on the side of the road.   He was caught by the police and he said he thought it was his "moral duty" to run over the signs.   REALLY SIR?   MORAL DUTY??  My guess he hasn't darkened the doorway of a church in his entire life (at least I hope not).  Personally I would like to see someone put their sign in front of a boulder or brick wall and see him plow his vehicle into it just to teach him a lesson in "morals".   At a TRUMP rally a man sucker punched a black man who was disruptive and was being removed by security.    Why did you have to do that??    Others have jumped on stage and hijacked a candidates microphone and taken over their speaking engagement.  Was it their "moral duty" as well?

    George Washington referred to religion as the necessary "third leg" of a 3-legged stool for Democracy to work.  In recent decades people have been taking a saw to that third leg and now it's almost gone completely and our democracy is teetering on collapse (something these leg cutters want to happen).   Each President who has taken office for the first time has paid homage to our countries ability to peacefully transition control from one leader to the next without violence (sometimes referred to as a "peaceful coup").   This "peaceful coup" is based entirely on our religious beliefs that no government provided to man is without God's will.   That's a hard concept for many (even Christians like myself) to get behind.   How can you support what we might see as an illegitimate government or leader?  

    Let's see how Jesus handles an unjust political system.  First we see Jesus himself put himself 100% in control of the government as he is taken in the night to a Jewish court called the Sanhedrin and even though it is against their own law to try someone at night he allows it to go on.   He then is sent to Pilate and allows his ruling to be decided by an angry mob rather than a just judge.  He goes to his death as it is the Father's will.  When he's on the cross in agony he summons enough energy to stand up on the nails in his feat/ankles and say "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do".   Even after he raises from the dead he doesn't tell his disciples to get even with the Romans for his wrongful death.   He moves on like it's nothing.

    In the book of Acts, we see Peter, Paul and other disciples thrown into prison as well in much the same way.   They are unjustly scourged  to teach them a lesson and they are overjoyed by God allowing them to suffer for the faith as well.   They didn't yell obscenities back at their jailers or floggers and tell them "You just wait until the power pendulum swings back our way and WE are in control!".  No, instead they sang hymns in prison knowing tomorrow they may die a horrible death on a cross like Jesus did.

    Sadly, too many Christian leaders have thrown their collars into the ring with a variety of political parties and leaders today as well.  They too have taught their followers that it's time to "take back your country".   Well last I read, taking anything is paramount to stealing.  Are we doing God's work or are we fighting against him?   Are we too focused on the things of this world and not focused on the things of God?   Paul says,
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"
    We should be spending our time praying that God's word would be effectual in the people's heart and not wasting our time praying for God to get our "guy/girl" into the White House.   We should be praying for our children's hearts and minds to not be contaminated by this worlds view on God and not be praying Hillary goes to jail (even though she deserves too).    We should be praying for Hillary and Obama that God may reach them too (even if we think their heart is too hard to listen).  We should be praying that God's will should be done and not our will.

    Let me put it this way....

    If God can reach 10 times more people with the Gospel when times are tough and money is scarce, then shouldn't we be OK with an economic collapse?   Too many Christians today want only God's blessings on them so they can have it easy.   They fear sin taking over our country because God might take his blessing (ie - protection from bad times) from them even though Jesus has already paid for all of those sins on the cross and the only sin left unpaid is unbelief in him.   If God does take his "blessing" from us it isn't to punish a long list of abominations but instead to wake up this world and drive them to their knees to repent and be saved.

    So what do you pray for when you watch the news?   Are you hinging all of your hope and faith on this years election?   If Hillary gets elected will you feel God has abandoned you?   Will you be angry at God and go off and sulk in a cave like Elijah?   Or will you move on to what God wants you to do next?

   I myself used to get angry listening to the news and frustrated with how the Obama administration is trying to transform our country into a socialist cesspool.  I spent hours reading news stories and watching Fox News.   I would send articles to friends on Facebook and wait for their replies.  In 2012 I was elated when the GOP regained the Senate but later dismayed as still nothing seemed to get done and Obama continued to move forward with Executive Orders.    I waited with anticipation the rulings from the Supreme Court on gay-marriage and also on ObamaCare, only to have my hopes dashed by their ridiculous rulings in which Roberts seemed to contort himself like a yoga-master to make the rulings fit the Constitution in some way.

    I came to peace when I read Jesus words,
"All authority has been give to me in heaven and in earth".   
      Those words showed me that those sitting in Washington DC are not the real rulers of this world.   Christ rules and is allowing these charlatans to fill in until he comes again.  So what if Hillary gets into the White House!   Let her have her few years of fame.  So what if the GOP collapses into a pile of crap!   God still rules and this "temporary tent" will be replaced some day.   No longer do I worry about this "next election" or if people will forget their Constitutional rights and fall to tyranny.   As for me and my house, nothing changes, we will serve the Lord.  Though we may be scoffed at and ridiculed and treated like dirt.   It's okay.  And I have good company in that view as well.   As Paul writes,
As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    This doesn't mean that I stop writing blogs or I stop looking for leaders who are good and honorable.    But I can stop fretting over what will happen if things continue to deteriorate. I will let the "opiate" of God's love and forgiveness guide me and not fall victim to the unholy angry masses who surround me. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Choosing the lesser of 2 evils .... or not

     Back in 1987 I was working in Massachusetts and I was on a company softball league of other fellow engineers.   Even though I grew playing sports, sadly that was not the case for many of my peers on the team.  We decided on a team name called : None of the Above.   To illustrate its meaning our shirts were printed with a check-off-list of items related to the question at the top that said

     "Our team can: "
  • Hit
  • Catch
  • Pitch
  • Run
  • None of the Above
     You can guess which item on the list had a check mark next to it.

     On Facebook a friend named Barbara posted, "We must select the lesser of 2 evils" to which I responded, "Would you vote for Hitler if the only other choice was Stalin?".   Their answer was simply "No".  Of course no one is calling Trump Hitler or Hillary Stalin but it goes to show you that not all choices are simply between the lesser of 2 evils and sometimes it's none-of-the-above.

    As a Christian, some often make you feel like "not-voting" or "voting for a 3rd party" is some sort of mortal and unforgivable sin.   Back in 1992, a fairly large group of disaffected voters cast their vote for an outsider by the name of  Ross Perot who had caught the eye of many Republicans for his "no-nonsense-approach" to government spending.   As this split the GOP vote, it allowed Bill Clinton to come into the White House with a dismal 42% of the vote.   And the same might happen again, only instead of the vote being split between 2 people it could be split between Trump and that other outsider candidate called "none of the above".    But if you recall, from the 1992 election what happened was of not much consequence.   We are still here.  The world still spins on its axis and God still reigns.

    People get their necks all out of joint on this issue.   They almost turn purple in the face when they say "Do you want Hillary to roll into office?", like as if the world is going to end.   Of course I don't want Hillary in office, but I won't sacrifice my morals and faith to do that.   I will still vote, but it will probably be a write-in for Ted Cruz instead.    How have we gone from George Washington, who tried as hard as he could be be ethical, moral and straight with the American people to voting for a man who lies, cheats, calls people stupid, ugly, liars, dumb, and says he can't remember asking God for forgiveness for anything.  

     Jesus said, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth".   The political system here is just a temporary system until God comes to make all things right.   The Constitution did not come down from Mount Sinai with the 10 commandments.   It's a man-made invention and an attempt to bring a just system to help us get along.  I personally think its the best one we have going so far that allows the most personal freedom, but not everyone likes freedom (sad).  God will still reign on his throne and will still accomplish his goals for our world somehow, even if Hillary becomes POTUS.  The people of Israel were often frustrated in trying to understand God's will for them.  They wanted to return back to the good old years of King David or King Solomon, but they were constantly under other peoples control.  First it was Alexander the Great and then later it was the Roman Empire.   They tried everything they could to fix the situation, but nothing seemed to change.   Yet it was through the Greek and Roman Empires that God brought the Messiah.   These empires made it possible and also easier to spread the gospel to millions of more people.   God's will was accomplished.

     Maybe our desire for a new "Reagan" is much like their need for a new "King David".   It's a selfish desire and a short-sighted goal and not in keeping with God's will at this time.

    And really, isn't God's will what it's really about in the end?