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Why, Why, Did America Die

February 16, 2020

My apologies and thanks to Don McLean for the use and inspiration respectively of one of the greatest songs of our time. American Pie, released in 1971.

 

It doesn’t seem that long ago
Even though it’s hard to remember now
That this country was doing okay.
Things weren’t perfect by any means
Back when I was in my teens
But things have changed since that day

 

But January 2017 made us worse
That’s when we came under a curse
Fake news became a reality
Truth and facts a casualty.

 

I can’t believe things are this bad
To see democracy fall is so sad
One man who constantly lied
Has caused democracy to die.

 

Oh Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

 

Hypocrites quote the Bible with ease
To justify positions as they please
Taking verses out of context
Ignoring all the rest
They believe God is on their side
But forget why Christ died.

 

Well, I know it won’t be that long
That Trump-ets will sing a different song
Cause what they fail to remember
Is we will all vote come November.

 

Teenagers are mobilizing in mass
Signing voters, kicking ass
Politicians no longer get a pass
Maybe democracy doesn’t have to die
But we’re still singin’

 

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

 

Now, for two years they have been in control
The hate and division are taking their toll
But, that is not how it needs to be.
The clown is sitting in the Oval Office
Orange and fat, hating all of us
But now it’s up to you and me

 

While he’s spending time playing golf
Taking way, way too much time off
The voters will return
His kingdom about to burn

 

He likes to court Putin and Un
And wants us all to march to his tune
But forgets deep inside,
We will not let democracy die
We won’t be singin’

 

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

 

He wants a parade in his honor
While affordable healthcare is a goner
But his policies will not last.

 

More players will refuse to stand
When the anthem is played by the band
Until prejudice is a thing of the past

 

The classroom was filled with shattered glass
The sound of gunfire, no one had a chance
Valentine’s Day, cancel the dance
The only safe place, out on the grass.

 

The NRA stood steadfast.
Gun control will never pass
We will keep our guns at all cost
No matter how many lives were lost
And the students started singin’

 

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

 

So now we’ve come to this time and place
To ask what will the next generation face
Will democracy live again.

 

So hickory dickory dock
There is time left on the clock
The lies will come to an end
While he hides in Mar-a-Largo
It is time for him to go

 

The curtain will fall on his show
Just as winter brings the snow
And while he thought he was flying high
The voters will shoot him out of the sky
And he will crash and burn and that is why
We won’t be singin’

 

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

 

The country will no longer sing the blues
and it will be the death of all the fake news
We all can laugh and play.
The people will go to the polls
And will find their names on the rolls

 

Democracy will be here to stay
And across the land the people cheered
No hate or prejudice appeared
Not an evil word was spoken
No one seen as just a token

 

And the values we hold so dear
Truth and justice once again were clear
Across the land you could hear
Democracy had not died
The people were singing

 

’
My, my America didn’t die
Drove my Honda to the station
And gas was not high
Fascists no longer spewing hatred and lies
This will be the day
Democracy does not die.

The Night Before Impeachment

December 10, 2019

‘Twas the night before impeachment, when all through the White House

Not a politician was stirring, except Stephen Miller, the louse.

The wall was being built by money stolen from the Pentagon

In hopes that all the brown skinned immigrants would soon be gone.

 

Trump’s children were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of profits danced in their heads.

And Melania in her own room, and Trump a floor above

Poor Baron asleep, whom no one seem to love.

 

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

The Secret Service ran out to see what was the matter.

Away from the window Trump ran very fast,

Forgetting everyone else, trying to save his own ass.

 

The lights of the White House gave off a bright glow

Revealing a group on the lawn, that we all know.

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler too,

All crying in unison, “Trump we’re coming after you.”

 

With subpoenas in hand, written by the Judiciary

Trump knew his presidency was about to be temporary.

More rabid than dogs, his enemies came,

Trump tweeted and tweeted calling them names.

 

“Now Nervous Nancy! Now little Adam Schiff!

You should be after Crooked Hillary!

Go find her emails that she cleverly hid,

She is the crook, certainly it’s not me.”

 

In the blink of an eye with warrants in hand

Swarmed in the FBI shouting just one command.

 

“You’re under arrest Mr. President,

Put your hands in the air.”

Trump cowered in a corner crying,

Arrest me! You wouldn’t dare.”

 

So, they led him outside to the waiting van

Where Pompeo and Barr sat cuffed as well.

Giuliani and Pence were chained in the back

And as they drove off everyone could tell.

This was the best Christmas of all

For at last we could say to all of these crooks, “Farewell.”

A Light Into the Darkness

November 8, 2019

The conflict had come to an end.

The wall of division had come down.

The actors had left the stage, and then

Cruel fate, unrelenting, stepped in.

 

The tension had been released.

Both sides agreed to step down.

Finally, a real chance for peace

‘Til the ray of hope was ceased.

 

The feet had come to a halt

The banners had been laid down.

Brotherhood seemingly bought.

Then again chaos was wrought.

 

Three souls had met their end

Long ago committed to the ground.

So now a darkness o’er the land reigns

So only one question remains.

 

Who will step up and put this darkness down?

 

 

 

The New Declaration of Independence.

October 21, 2019

rawImageWhen in the course of current events, it becomes necessary for the people to dissolve the political incompetents who have arisen, and to assume for the protection of the earth, and a respect for common decency, the requirement that they declare the reasons which impel them to this action.

We hold these truths to be unshakeable, that all persons are created equal, that all have unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights and reclaim them from the current political chaos, we need to change the self seeking imbecile currently in the White House.

When one man becomes as destructive to democracy as this megalomaniac, it is the right of the people to impeach him and replace him with someone who will respect the institutions in place and secure the Safety and Happiness of all. Prudence dictates that governments shall not be changed lightly and especially not for personal gain. But when a long train of abuses and lies, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Nepotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such imbeciles, and to provide new candidates for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the citizens of this country; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter those in government. The history of the present so-called President is a history of repeated injuries and lies, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good, by refusing, and encouraging his subordinates to refuse, to co-operate with investigations.

He has forbidden the Senators in his pocket to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has colluded with foreign governments to influence the outcome of our national election, and gone out of his way to cover up that collusion.

He has appointed heads to his Cabinet posts who are incompetent and are doing all they can to dismantle the very institutions they oversee.

He has put forth federal judges uniquely unqualified, yet loyal to his beliefs.

He has refused to accept or discuss the scientifically proven danger of climate change and has isolated our country from those who are working to heal the planet.

He has been accused, and bought off some of his accusers, of not only sexual harassment, but of rape.

He has ridiculed anyone who either disagrees with him or criticizes him in any way.

He has blatantly put family members in government positions allowing them to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation.

He has randomly placed tariffs on foreign goods, harming farmers, business owners, and the population of the nation as a whole.

He has abandoned our allies in favor of brutal dictators, leaving those who have fought with us to die en masse.

He has accepted the word of dictators over our own intelligence community and tried to undermine the work of our investigative bodies such as the CIA and FBI.

He has opened land for mining, oil exploration, and deforesting to the detriment of our environment.

He has diverted funds from an already struggling military to a useless border wall for an idea based on conspiracy theories, putting our national security at risk.

He is allowing a foreign government to purchase our military, essentially turning our fighting force into mercenaries.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, causing our nation to divide rather than work for the common good.

He has violated, and continues to violate, Article 1,Section 9, Paragraph 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the emoluments clause.

He has conspired with a foreign government which is actively paying to have our military personnel killed.

He has ignored the scientific community regarding the current pandemic, allowing over one-hundred thousand Americans to die needlessly.

In every stage of these Oppressions, we have looked to Congress for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated outcries have been answered only by repeated inaction. A President whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

We, therefore, the people of the United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good people of this country, solemnly publish and declare, That this pseudo-president be impeached and that the United States return to a government for the people and by the people. And that any and all who have colluded or aided in this President’s shenanigans be removed from public office and incarcerated along with him. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our vote, our taxes and our sacred Honor.

Signed by the

People of the United States of America

 

M.A.G.A.: Making America Go Awry

April 1, 2019

The past two years have been great fodder for comedians like Stephen Colbert and shows like Saturday Night Live. For those of us who enjoy satire the past two years have been the mother lode. I have written several poems and blogs about the chaos our current president has caused and also some about current issues. Some of these were tongue-in-cheek, some serious.

I have put some of my best, and some new material, in a book by the same title as this blog. The description is–

MakingAmericaGoAwryTwitter  Ever wonder what Trump will put in his letter to his successor?

Are you ready for the New Pledge of Allegiance?

Did God put Trump in office? Is Democracy dead?

With a mix of humor and some facts, this collection looks at the last two years and the political upheaval our nation has faced.

The intention is to make you laugh, possibly weep, and hopefully think.

You can grab a copy from Amazon

Let me know what you think!.

Why I Play Golf

July 9, 2018

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One of the funniest comedy routines I have ever heard is Robin Williams explaining the origins of golf.  If you have never listened to it, take a moment and do, then come back. Even the name Golf is funny. Legend says that originally it meant, Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. Some believe it came about because all the other four-letter words were taken. If you have ever played, you can relate. The actual origin is a bit more complex and likely came from a word meaning “club”. In any event, to play golf, you need a sense of humor.

There is a story about JC Penney, that when he would interview prospective managers, he would do so over lunch. If they salted their food before tasting it, he would not hire them. If I were to be in a position to hire someone, I would play a round of golf with them. I can think of nothing better as a test of one’s temperament. If you have ever watched the pros play, you have heard four-letter words even from them.

A few years back a friend and I played and being only two they put us with another player. When we got to the third hole, a long par four, it was backed up because someone had a heart attack about halfway down the fairway. The medics were there already. The guy with us starting cussing and telling the people ahead of us to go ahead and tee off, they could just play around the medics. At that point, my friend and I excused ourselves and said we would play another time. Golf can bring out the best or the worst in people.

969070_10151720270399131_1279878903_nGolf requires patience, concentration, honesty, and above all else it is humbling. Over the years I have been lucky enough to have two holes in one, but I have also caught two of my drives off the tee. The first hole in one was the first hole at Sunnyvale Gardens, a par 3, 155 yards. The second at Deep Cliff in Cupertino, a par three, 120 yards. The first drive that I caught was when the ball hit a tree and came straight back, the second hit a fence rail and came back. The point of me telling you this is golf can be rewarding and extremely frustrating.

What I like most about it, is it is an individual sport. Anyone can play it, it is a leveler of differences in age, athletic ability, and gender. People who are good at other sports can either be good or bad at golf. Like any sport, it does take practice, but even then most of us are mediocre at best. Just when you think you have mastered it, you watch your ball disappear into water, or grass so high you will never find it.

Playing eighteen holes usually takes about four hours. That is four hours of being out in fresh air, getting some exercise, and spending time with your spouse and friends. Some people think that golf is expensive. This is only partially true. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on equipment and courses like Pebble Beach, but you can also spend less than say a ski trip to the mountains. And best of all, in California at least, you can play pretty much year round.

The game is a metaphor for life. You do your best, the results are not always good, but no matter where the ball lands, you have the potential of what the next shot will bring. They say golf is eighty percent mental and twenty percent skill. Golf and life are more about one’s attitude than anything else. Both require a positive mindset if you are going to enjoy either.

I started this with Robin Williams and to end, I offer another hilarious view of golf.  The majority of us will never be at the level of Tiger Woods or any of the professional golfers, so all we can do is hope to play bad golf well. Leslie Nielsen made a film about just that.

So keep your head down, count all your strokes, and enjoy life, even if you never play the game of golf.

 

The Great Tea Adventure!

July 2, 2018

cg49VTy4hZQjJYpFj93W7RU9HJW3YQ_iwVae8j6PHTEiCGMgl2YdCF9xUfZN0DmdgRHK2w=s170To my surprise, after over fifty years of drinking coffee, I was able to kick the coffee habit and switch to green tea. Coffee used to be my kick-start every day. We had an electric pot that I could preset, so that every morning a fresh pot was ready when we got out of bed. My habit was to drink a few cups at home and continue drinking at work until 9 am.

I drank my coffee strong and black, buying ground beans that were a combination of expresso and dark Colombian roast. Guests in our home would always comment on how strong our coffee was. I tried once before to quit, but the intensity of the headaches that followed were too much, I gave in.  This time I weaned myself slowly, decreasing the amount each day until I switched completely to green tea.

5666EB8A-ABC4-E28A-4C90-94D0F94436E6-5278We buy Yogi Pure Green Tea now and I don’t miss coffee. If we go out for breakfast we bring tea bags and the temptation to have coffee has disappeared. While we originally bought our tea at places like Whole Foods, I discovered a better price through Amazon. We could buy six boxes, and being Prime members received our order in two days.

At least that was until my last order. For whatever reason, the order was filled by ProDepot and not direct from Amazon. The order was placed on June 11 and since this was not Prime, the shipping estimate was for the week of the 23rd. This was not a problem as we had a couple boxes left. The week of the 23rd came and went and still no tea. We ran out, but I luckily our local store carries it.  We then received a new estimate of delivery of July 5th.

This was nuts! I contacted the seller and said why is this taking so long, only to get a reply that said that was how I had ordered. What? My first thought was maybe they were making each teabag by hand, handcrafted especially for me in China, boxed in the Philippines, and shipped by row boat into San Francisco where the package would be transferred to a delivery service using bicycles to ride down Highway 1 to our house.

The truth became even stranger. According to the shipping information, the package of green tea was on its way via FedEx from the ProDepot facility in Michigan. Having a tracking number, I was now able to follow the progress of the package and here is where things got weird.

The package supposedly left ProDepot on June 12 but did not arrive at the first shipping point until June 22. The first shipping point was in Livonia, Michigan. Why did it take ten days to start the journey, who knows? Did shipping and receiving at ProDepot print a shipping label and forget to give it to FedEx? Did the employees decide to drink the tea and had to refill the order when the new stock arrived? Did the FedEx driver leave the package on his truck behind his seat under his winter coat he hadn’t used since the last snow? Whatever, this was not the strangest part of the tea’s journey.

The package left Livonia at 10:21 pm on the 22nd and arrived at the next stop at 1:21 am on the 23rd in Perrysburg, Ohio. Now according to Google Maps this is a one hour nineteen minute drive, it took three hours. Maybe Gilligan was driving the truck.

At 8:12 am on the 23rd the package left Perrysburg and arrived in New Berlin, Wisconsin on the 25th at 5:58 pm. I guess the drivers don’t work on the weekends as this is about a five hour drive.

Here is where things get even stranger. Originally, as I tracked this package it left Wisconsin, went back to Illinois, then to Kansas, to Texas, to New Mexico, and finally to California. Why in the world it went back to Illinois, I have no idea. Now, when I look at the history, it shows it left Wisconsin on the 26th, arriving in Sacramento, California on the 29th, and delivered to me on the 30th. Why the history changed from the day to day tracking I have no clue other than to assume it was fake news.

We did receive the package on the 30th at least. So it took nineteen days to get green tea from Michigan to California. Needless to say, I won’t be ordering from ProDepot again and if I do order from Amazon, I will make sure it is coming from them direct and not a secondary source.

What a headache! Almost makes me wish I had a cup of coffee!

I Wasn’t Supposed To Be Left Handed!

February 17, 2018

Fathers often see themselves in their sons. Hoping the son can be what the father wanted but never became. While my dad was good at baseball, he played for recreation. In me, he saw the potential of going beyond the sandlot.

His vision was for me to be a pitcher. He also knew that left handed pitchers have an advantage. They not only have a natural curve, but can throw to first base faster to catch a runner off the bag. So he made sure that I am left handed.

It wasn’t that long ago teachers, parents, and society felt there was something wrong with being left handed and many potential lefties were turned into righties.  After all 85-90 per cent of people are right handed, let’s make the kid go with the flow. Not my dad.

To his dismay, I was terrible at baseball. I have to give him E for effort as he tried his best to turn me into a Sandy Koufax. We would go out on the front lawn and play catch. After warming me up, he would get into a catcher’s stance and tell me to fire away. Some of my pitches were close enough for him to catch, but after about five or six going over his head or left/right, he would throw his glove down and go back in the house.

59635_10151202356794235_1349089457_nStill, he had high hopes. When spring came and I was old enough for little league, he had me try out and even agreed to coach the team. What he forgot to tell me was that pitchers in a real game pitch off a mound. My front yard was flat. None of my try out pitches made it to home plate, unless you discount the first bounce.

Deciding pitching was not my forte’, and being the only left-hander on the team, they put me at first base. The only problem with that is the first basemen needs to be able to catch throws to first. My catching ability was a hair better than my pitching, but after letting too many runners find second base, my days of playing in the infield were over.

So into the outfield I went. Now the outfield is a cool place, you are out there in your area with no one to bother you and you can contemplate the meaning of life. Unfortunately, every once in a while a batter from the opposing team would hit a ball far enough to head my way. If it was on the ground, no problem, my dad had taught me to drop in front if it and not let it shoot through my legs. But at times a good hitter would hit a fly ball high and in my direction.

There must be a gene missing in my DNA, the one that lets your eye track a ball in the air well enough so you have an idea where it is coming down. I could see the ball against the sky and would wait for it to come down, only to find myself about thirty feet from where it landed behind me. Now when I missed a ball playing first, the worst thing was the runner got to second or maybe third. Missing a ball in the outfield, scrambling back to get it, and throwing to the second baseman, usually meant someone would be crossing home plate.

So after my pitching career ended, my first base stint was over, and my outfielding skills were apparent, my dad found a position for me that I could handle. The nice thing about warming the bench was being able to yell at the other team’s pitcher, rattling his cage. Thanks to my dad, and my early training, I have always been really good at rattling cages.

If left alone, would I have been left handed? I will never know. I throw left handed, write, shoot pool, and bowl left-handed. But I bat and golf right-handed. I am left eye  dominant. Give me a pair of scissors and I can’t cut with either hand. So who knows?

One thing I do is write with my left hand like a right-hander. By that I mean I don’t bend my left hand as if I am writing upside down like a lot of left handed people. This is because I learned early on to do the opposite when instructed. So when the teacher said everyone turn your paper so the top is to the left, I went right. Many lefties didn’t and so had to bend their wrists to write across the page. Only problem is my writing is so bad even I have a hard time reading it.

The only time being a leftie was an issue was when I was in the Army. You guessed it. I found myself saluting with my left hand. After being dressed down several times by officers, I did manage to break that habit. They did not like my explanation that if the salute was originally meant to show no weapon in one’s hand, it made sense for me to salute left handed as that is where I would carry a weapon. Even in the Army, I couldn’t help but rattle a few cages.

Was I meant to be left-handed? Who knows. I do know I must be left brained because I hear people say I am not in my right mind.

 

 

Why God Made Trump President

November 10, 2017

Trump

 

Imagine you have been in a coma for five years. Some of the last things you remember are: the first Hunger Games movie was out, The Dark Night Rises with Christian Bale as Batman had been released, Apple had announced the iPhone 5, there had been a mass shooting in Newton, Connecticut at an elementary school called Sandy Hook, and Barack Obama had been elected to a second term.

It’s possible the last thing you remembered was Tom Cruise being cast as Jack Reacher in the film based on the series by Lee Child. This last one may have been the reason you went into a coma, your mind could not comprehend Cruise as Reacher, a five foot-seven inch, one hundred-forty eight pound actor playing a character who is six feet-five inches, two hundred-fifty pounds.

Through the miracle of modern medicine, you have come out of your coma and it is 2017. You are going to have obvious questions about what has happened during your absence. You might ask is Christian Bale still playing Batman, only to find out that it is now Ben Affleck. As you start to fall back into a coma over that fact, you shake your head and ask about any new Apple products and are told the newest is the iPhone X.

Remembering the devastation of the Sandy Hook shooting you ask if there has been any progress on gun control. You learn that not only has there not been any changes but there have been one thousand-five hundred-fifty-eight mass shootings since. Or twenty-nine depending on one’s definition of what constitutes a mass shooting. With trepidation you ask who is the new president after Obama, and are told it is the real estate mogul and host of the Apprentice, Donald J. Trump. Realizing they are not joking, you then ask, “Why?”

Some would answer because he made campaign promises that resonated with a large part of America, people wanted change, they wanted to shake up the status quo. Others would say it was a backlash against Obama and people not wanting a woman as president. And then there are those that say God made Trump president.

Paula White, the leader of the New Destiny Christian Centre in Orlando Florida said, “Because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority, it is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down….Do I believe God raises up authority? Do I believe he sets one up and puts one down? I don’t believe that just for Trump, I believe that had Hillary [Clinton] been in. I believe that for [Barack] Obama.”

Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham, said, “I don’t have any scientific information. I don’t have a stack of emails to read to you. But I have an opinion: I believe it was God….He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land who had been praying for this country.”

Former Minnesota congresswoman, Michelle Bachman went even further by saying God made Trump president to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

The most dramatic statement came from Pat Robertson when he said that anyone opposing Trump was revolting against God.

Even Trump, in a speech to the students at Liberty College said that he had been elected with God’s help.

While the extreme right wing of Christianity is rejoicing over the man they believe God appointed as savior for the United States, I am going to propose that maybe God did put Trump in the oval office, but for a different reason. My reasoning is more in tune with  Obasanjo, the two time head of state of Nigeria. In a speech at the French embassy in South Africa he said, “The fact that America can produce a Trump in this day and age, it means Americans are as human as we are….Trump has come by Divine Will so that America can be humbled, and we can also learn a lesson.” I would add, so we can learn several lessons. What better way to show the world who and what we should be than by giving us the extreme opposite.

Proverbs 6:16-19 says —

“16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Trump is narcissistic, a liar, divisive, misogynistic, a con man, and has no empathy for others. If God did put him in charge, is He trying to teach us something?

The first lesson being just who are we‎ as humans and what is our responsibility to the planet we call home. Trump claimed that climate change was a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese. He has appointed climate change deniers to his cabinet, and is doing all he can to strip away environmental protections. He is adamant about bringing back coal and has backed out of the Paris agreement where the rest of the world had agreed to reduce emissions. This is the exact opposite of what God intended.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28, KJV).

Humans were given dominion over the earth. Unfortunately, the word dominion is often taken to mean destruction or doing whatever we want. The Hebrew word radah from which we get dominion, implies responsibility, treating as having value. God created heaven and earth and left us to maintain earth, to see that it is treated with respect and preserved. Not ravish and destroy it.  Which of these honors God’s creation?

before

In the image above, the view on the right is how Trump would use the land, on the left is how God intended it. So by putting Trump in charge God is saying, “Wake up, I gave you dominion to respect and preserve my creation not destroy it.” Because of Trump more of us are environmentally aware than ever before. More of us are taking action to preserve our natural resources, to protect the environment. The corruption of public officials who vote to ruin the environment after bribes from the oil and gas industry is being exposed more than ever.

The second lesson revolves around immigration. Trump campaigned on the promise to build a wall and to stop Muslims from coming to America. By claiming to make America great again, he basically was saying make America white again. Not only does this fly in the face of what this nation stands for, it goes completely against what God intended.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” (Matt 25:35 NIV).

This verse is just one of many in the Bible talking about helping the poor, the refugee, anyone lest fortunate. Christians, especially, should be the first to advocate for the homeless, those forced to flee their home and country, the stranger that needs shelter.

Pope Francis said in October of 2016, “The world needs Christians to witness God’s mercy through service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families. In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest, we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”

Cities and states have become vocal in protecting immigrants, opening their arms to refugees. Even places like Missoula, Montana have committed to helping displaced foreigners. Thanks to Trump more Americans are honoring the plaque attached to the Statue of Liberty. Words from the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus – “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The third lesson is one of morality. Trump represents the worst in moral values, treatment of women, respect for one’s fellow man, and empathy to those who suffer.

From the golden rule, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them.”(Matt 7:12 KJV), to simply being kind to one another as written in Ephesians, God asks us to respect each other.

Thanks to Trump, and to Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment is no longer being tolerated, and women are saying, “Enough!” As a country, we are having to ask ourselves what is acceptable and what is not. These are discussions long overdue, and may not have happened without the likes of Trump and his misogynistic outlook.

The final lesson is one of love. If there is any message in the Bible, it is that God is love. Christ left us with this one new commandment —

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 34-35 NIV).

What better way to show what love is than to lift up one so full of hate. Trump has exposed the underlying hatred that exists in this country and in trying to divide us, has caused more of us to unite and proclaim this is not who we are.

So thank God for making Trump president. Because of him, we are more aware of the condition of our planet, more concerned for those less fortunate, more aware of how we treat each other, and more vocal against those who hate. And hopefully, more politically aware as to never let the likes of Trump in the White House again.

If God did put Trump in the oval office, it was to make America great again, just not in the way Trump intended. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a good thing Jesus resurrected!

September 22, 2017

gaugeDue to the racist, immoral, misogynistic, arrogant, deranged man currently posing as the President of the United States, the majority of his advisory councils have quit. Councils were disbanded because of people quitting and of course, #45 tried to take credit for the disbanding, after the fact. While several councils have dissolved there is one that remains, that for me is the most puzzling, the Faith Advisory Council. This is an informal group of ministers that give advice to presidents on the moral compass of the nation.

Pick just about any one thing #45 has said or stands for and that would be reason enough for the ministers to walk away. But alas it seems, at least so far, they are hanging in there. Since nothing he does seems to awaken the moral backbone within these ministers, maybe a reminder from the book they hold above all else will.

Let us start with Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, (NIV).

Any part of that verse taken to heart would tell a believer to stay far away from the orange haired one. But ironically, if you use the King James version of the first part that says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,” you even have the word counsel which makes it very clear in this case.

Not enough yet! Okay, let us go back to the beginning. Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)

 26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

The next verse says, “and He blessed them.” He blessed all human beings, not just the white ones. So if we are all God’s creation, and blessed, how can ministers sit with a man that spouts white supremacy, supports hate groups and refuses to oppose oppressors?

Actually this one is not all that surprising as the evangelical community was fairly silent in the sixties when the battle for civil rights was taking place.

Okay, still on the council. Let us bring out the big guns. Words from Christ’s lips.

Matthew 23:25-

25Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (ESV)

What is keeping these “men of God” from leaving the table. They may proclaim morality on the outside, and as Johnnie Moore, former vice president of Liberty University, said, their job is to give advice to the White House, not take it. That sounds good on the surface, but how many are on this council because of the prestige of sitting next to the President of the United States? Or in this case, the president of a small minority of the country.

Seeing #45 surrounded by clergy, head bowed in prayer, acting as though he has even an ounce of morals, should be repulsive to anyone with an ounce of faith.

Oh, I see we still have some hangers on. Okay, the next big gun Matthew 6:24.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (NAS)

The word mammon, here translated as wealth, is from the Aramaic mamona, meaning profit, wealth, money. Who represents wealth or profit more than #45. Yes, technically the members are not serving #45, but they are in that they are providing an air of legitimacy to his presidential performance.

One of the basic requirements of a shepherd is to know the difference between a wolf and a sheep, and especially a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In my opinion, #45 has pulled the wool over the eyes of any minister willing to still sit on the Faith Advisory Council.