Wednesday, July 16, 2014

America, No More

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
     The words etched forever into the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, a welcoming sign to all those seeking refuge in a world full of terror, injustice, pain and tragedy. What would the Mother of Exiles think of our citizens reactions to the current influx of huddled masses seeking refuge from a tempest created by us?  What does it say about us, as a Nation of immigrants, when we spit on helpless children seeking solace from a world full of users and abusers? What does it say about the soul of our Nation when we turn our backs on some of the most helpless people in the world, who have overcome vast obstacles and traveled long distances just to come seeking the light we have offered the world for over 200 years?  What does all of this say about the claims of the majority of our people, the claim of us being a Christian Nation, founded on the Principles of Christianity? Let us look at the words of the Bible, the actions of the faithful, and the truth of the matter.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Colossians 3:12-13  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,  compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,  if one has a complaint against another,  forgiving each other;  as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Zechariah 7:10  do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner,  or the poor, and  let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.

Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is  the Law and the Prophets.

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and  so fulfill  the law of Christ.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy,  brotherly love,  a tender heart, and  a humble mind.
    These are not vague passages, there is no misinterpretation of their meaning, there is no doubt in the idea of brotherly compassion and kindness to strangers.  They are simple ideas about being humane to each other, accepting of the struggles we must all face and overcome, and understanding of the need for us to band together to lift up those that need help.  Christians have no problem going overseas and helping the plight of people in far away lands, telling them the Word and showing them the Way. But when those same people (some of them literally from villages visited by American Missionaries) come here seeking the promises made to them, they see the truth of Christianity in America.

     American Christianity is not sacrificial to our fellow man. It is not compassionate or kind. It is not a religion of peace or a religion of hope, or a religion of comfort. American Christianity is the business of death, the politics of control, the dogma of self.  American Christians use prayer to remove themselves from the plight of others. Deeds are replaced by intention to the detriment of everyone. If we are to make the world a better place, if we are to be the light in the darkness, we have to DO, not think. Building a church and handing out Bibles does not solve any problem for these people in their communities, it serves the base ego of the American Christian. "See what I did for you, God?" "See how I have brought you more people to worship you, God?" "See how righteous and wonderful I am. God?"

    Of course, not all Christians are like this, not all anything can be so simply defined or explained. But, how many American Christians are partaking in the abusive tactics against these children and families? How many have stood up and told those attackers to stop? How many have sent aid to those people that truly need it here and now?  Your religion is your business, you can worship any way you like. But if you are going to claim the moral authority over ever facet of American life, look down your noses at everyone who does not identify themselves as Christian, and demand the "freedom" to dictate your religion onto others because of its superiority... Maybe you should act as if you have actually read the base message of Jesus Christ:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The best opportunity for single payer?

Now is the time to re-evaluate the benefits of a single payer. Since the Supreme Court has decided that religion trumps personal freedom and that opting out is too burdensome for anyone with any religion why not push for a single payer system? Up corporate tax rates to cover the costs, and grant everyone access to the same insurance everywhere. Allow private insurance for those that want to be superior and feel special, and want to not have to have the ability to buy certain drugs. But for everyone else, allow them the opportunity to have access to good doctors, and the medications they and their doctor agree is best for them. The right cannot complain about the removal of their religious freedom, they do not have to use the system, and their tax dollars will go to cover whatever is necessary. They cannot complain about their moral conscience because for all of our history they have had no problem funding wars, and those who have had a problem with it have been forced to pay for it none the less. Atleast this way, the privileged few will not get a stranglehold on the medications, procedures and treatments we all should have access too REGARDLESS of the opinions of those who have no right to tell us how to live.
Lets do it, lets push for single payer. Fuck the religious, they can have their fairy tales. I want to be able to know that my doctor and I are not limited by the depraved ravings of demented minds corrupted by words written before medicine was even around.

Open Letter to America

On this, the 238th anniversary of the United States beginning it's experiment in self governance and a representative Republic, I would like to offer some opinions about what has gone so terribly wrong.

1. Pervasive religious influence brought on by the refusal of the IRS to enforce one simple rule. Churches cannot act as political organizations, they are tax exempt because of this, when we allow them to use their tax free dollars to influence politics and elections we give them a privileged place above ordinary people.
2. Corporate influence through electoral laws, campaign finance laws, and bail outs. When We the People become the unwilling purse of corporate theft, and our representatives are collusive in that action, our voices are lost in the overwhelming screech of cash as speech.
3. The dissemination of false information as credible news. With no will to validate the information we consume, we are willfully rushing into a place where belief is the only thing that matters, and discourse has no place among the fanatical.
4. The destruction of public education through targeted laws to take public money and place it into the hands of the (tax free) religious education centers. These "schools" refuse to teach basic scientific principals, indoctrinate youths and refute established information as false.
5. Endless campaigning of all members of the elected government. Constant dinners with Lobbyists, think tanks, foundations and donors removes the representative from his job as a mouth piece for the electorate. The unbridled access of the few rich and powerful to our elected officials has done more to erode our rights than anything else.
6. Dysfunctional Legislature. When either side refuses to come to the table, when shutting the government down is appealed to as the best option, when hateful comments are bandied about during Presidential speeches, when outright lies are proffered as reasonable talking points we have reached the point of dissolution.  If the congress cannot act on any measure, it is time to rewrite how the congress must conduct itself as a body.
7. Whole cloth laws being written by outside bodies that have nothing to do with our representatives or our government are inserted and passed by our representatives. Many think tanks and policy institutes now have so much access they actually get to write our laws for us. Corporate fronts, religious organizations, Gun manufacturing lobbies, war contractors have all written and had laws passed by our government. We the people are not members of these organizations, only a select few are granted access.

My point is that as we reflect on all the freedoms and responsibilities our Founding Fathers gave us, as we think of the future for our children and their's, should we not all be disturbed by the recent court rulings and security leaks? Are We the People going to allow the end of self governance, and have it replaced by the rule of money? Will we sit idly by, watching Kim Kardashian and Honey Boo Boo and the Duck Dynasty guys as our Nation is diverted to only support those with the means to purchase influence in it? Will we quietly watch as the protections of the First Amendment are redirected to be only for the religious, and only of the religion that the Court dictates? Will you allow our Government to grant more rights and privileges to corporations, as "people", than it does to us as people? Take a stand, raise your voices, remeber that:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."