My First Christmas As A Non-Believer

Last night I sat with some friends, and we talked about our favorite Christmas songs. For whatever reason, ever since I was a little kid I have always loved the version of “Little Drummer Boy” with David Bowie and Bing Crosby. I used to think I was one of the only ones who knew about it (the sort of thing people — especially we Enneagram 4s — used to think before social media), but now I know I’m am FAR from the only one who is aware of this beloved Christmas classic…

I just love it. It has just the right mix of playfulness and reverence and harmony and Hope. You probably don’t know this about me, but I can sit down at a piano and play just about any song by ear (As long as it’s something I’m familiar with)… It’s just something I can do. Anyway, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is sitting at my keyboard and doodling on the piano and filling the house with the sound of Christmas songs and carols. Maybe that’s why I love that video so much. I don’t know…

There are so many good Christmas songs. A friend reminded me of this one… It’s a song by Chris Rice called “Welcome To Our World.” It’s a precious song. I hadn’t thought of it in a while, so when I got home last night, I listened to it… Even if you’ve heard it before, you should listen to it again:

It’s strange for me to think about how much my theology has changed over the past 10 years. Last night I thought about the fourth verse of the song, where he sings…

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born

… and I found myself thinking about the God and the Christmas story of my youth… The one with the God who impregnated a teenager with a perfect child — God’s own son — All with the plan to have that perfect child grow into a perfect man, just to have him necessarily tortured and sacrificed on a cross, so that his “blood will save us.” And I thought to myself: “If that is the story of Christmas, I don’t believe anymore.” I don’t believe in the God who requires a blood sacrifice in order for us to be safe.

Because for most of the history of Christianity, this has been the story:
1) We are hopelessly broken and sinful, and deserving of an eternity of hell…
2) God is unapproachably holy…
3) God sends Jesus to die for our sins…
4) The son’s blood saves some of us (if we believe the right things) from the consequence we deserve, which is an eternity of torment and torture in Hell.

But this version of the “story” is based on the idea that there has to be a TRANSACTION. There is a PRICE that has to be paid… and that price is BLOOD. This is based on the foundational belief that there is no such thing as a free lunch… That there is always a transaction… That there is no way God could be so good as to not require one. Because — as the story goes — God is perfect, we are not, and the only way we could ever hope to get close to God is by someone paying a very steep price. And in the story we have told ourselves, the God of the universe uses a currency of blood. Something — SomeONE — has to die. That is the transaction.

And so, for the majority of human history, we have believed in a transactional god who requires our best… Who requires a sacrifice… Who requires blood. It is the Volcano God who requires a “pure” virgin to end the rumblings that shake the mountain… And even THEN, sometimes the Volcano erupts, the lava burns the village, and we tell ourselves that it must have been because we are so Totally Depraved that we DESERVED it. Human consciousness realizes that a god who needs us to sacrifice our kids could NEVER be called “Good,” and so — just like in the story of Abraham and Isaac — God provides a ram to be the blood transaction. But here’s the truth: God never needed the blood. WE did.

And then along comes Jesus, trying to convince the world that God is so much better than that Transactional God Who Requires Blood, and he gets killed for saying it… Killed by the very people who need that picture of the Transactional God Who Requires Blood to maintain their positions of power. And THEN, the people who were unable to imagine that God was actually like the Good Father Jesus described looked at Jesus’ death and said, “See? One final transaction! Except for that OTHER perpetual transaction of us having to believe all the right things (instead of making all the right sacrifices) in order to be safe, that is…”

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Umm… Is that a PALM TREE?!? Are there palm trees in Bethlehem? Also, is there a tiny camel/wiseman on top of that donkey? Are Mary & Joseph looking at their phones? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE?!?

I don’t believe in that story anymore. If that’s the story, I am a non-believer. But here’s the good news (the “gospel,” if you will): That is not the only story! They want you to believe that that is the only story, but it’s not. They told us that in order for people to believe that Jesus was worth anything, we also had to believe in the Volcano God. In order for Jesus to save us, he had to save us FROM the Transactional God Who Requires Blood. In order to believe that we needed saving, we needed to believe that God, as the song says, “saved a wretch like me.” But what if they got it wrong? Who told you you were a wretch? What if Jesus saves… Not FROM the Volcano God, but instead saves us from feeling like we need to believe that THAT’S who God is? And who we are?

What if the story of the baby born in a manger is about saving us — FREEING US — from the belief that our brokenness is too much for the God who loves us and longs to be close to us? A love so true and a longing so intense that it is willing to lower itself… For an eternal God to enter time… For an omnipotent God to limit their own power… For God to make herself vulnerable, and feel our pain… For God to reveal himself as Emmanuel — The God Who Has ALWAYS Been With Us…  The beautiful story of a child born in a manger, a king who rides on a donkey, and a God who flips the script by telling us that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

I don’t know if an angel spoke to shepherds. I don’t know if a great multitude appeared in the sky and started singing in Latin to a people who spoke Aramaic. I don’t know if a star appeared in the sky. I don’t know if wisemen from the East traveled from afar and followed that star (It would have taken them over a year to get there… and why in the world would Jesus, Mary, & Joseph still be hanging out in a Bethlehem manger a year later when they just visited for a census?). I don’t know if Herod heard of a newborn “king” and tried to kill all the male babies… It sounds a little too suspiciously like the story of Moses. I don’t know WHAT I believe anymore. But here’s something I DO believe: This video right here is pure magic. I can’t get through it without crying.

And I believe that God loves diversity. I believe that music can change the world. I believe that love and hope are stronger than fear and hatred. I believe that humanity is slowly but surely learning what it means to be made in the image of God. I believe that the hope represented in Jesus is bigger than Christmas or Christianity or the name “Jesus.” I believe that God is Good, and I believe that our brokenness is not too much for the Good God who loves us. I believe that it is not our right theology which saves us, but that we are safe because God is so very good. I believe we love God best when we take care of each other — Including the “each others” outside of our borders… And I believe that if the Nativity can’t teach you that one simple lesson, you’re probably not going to understand much else. And even though I don’t believe in the old Christmas story of my childhood anymore, I believe that something deep inside me still longs to stand with you and sing, “Oh come, let us adore him.”

I’ll leave you with David Bowie’s part from my favorite Christmas song:

Peace on Earth, can it be?
Years from now, perhaps we’ll see
See the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again
Peace on Earth, can it be?

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
He’ll see the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be?
Can it be?

So yeah… Maybe Christmas isn’t a statement. Maybe Christmas is a question. And maybe that question is “Peace on Earth… Can it be?” Regardless, my prayer and wish for us is that we give all the love that we can… And teach our kids to do the same. So Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas… From this non-believer.

 

Thank you so much for reading. If you love this blog, and you want to leave a Christmas tip because of how much you appreciate it, you can do that ON PAYPAL. If you’d like to become a Patron and give a little each month, you can DO THAT RIGHT HERE. Otherwise, you can follow me ON FACEBOOK and ON TWITTER. And remember to get into an argument this Christmas (as long as it’s FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS).

 

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Dear Evangelicals: Here’s Your “Christian” President

I’ve known the Apostle’s Creed by heart since I was about five years old. It’s one of the things that happens when you grow up in a conservative little Christian Reformed Church in small town Michigan. We said it every Sunday. But really, anyone who’s ever spent any time in Church before has probably heard it. There are other Creeds, but the Apostle’s Creed (along with maybe the Nicene Creed) is probably the most famous. It’s meant to be a sort of bare-bones, bare minimum of beliefs people profess who want to call themselves Christians. Here are the words to it (though there are certainly different versions out there):

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

I remember the mesmerizing rhythm to it… The way the congregation magically knew EXACTLY how long to pause between phrases… The way we all took breaths at the same places… The way the S sounds danced in the words “communion of SAINTS, the forgiveness of SINS,” and then hung in the air for a bit…

For us, the thought of having to LOOK AT THE WORDS was just insane. EVERYONE who was “in” knew them by heart. If someone had to actually open the hymnal to read those words, they had to be a newbie. But good for them, you know? Cute little baby Christians. They’ll get it some day…  But the thought of someone standing there in silence as we recited that profession of faith was just… UNTHINKABLE. They would be outing themselves as a non-believer… Rebellious and Hell-bound… An apostate. Now take 10 seconds to watch the person 80% of White Christian Evangelicals voted for:

In fact — It’s short… watch it a few times. I’d be willing to bet that he and Melania are the only people in that church who are refusing to say the words to the Apostle’s Creed. And like I said before, there are multiple different versions of the AC, so reading the words in a setting like this is certainly understandable, lest you find yourself being the only one in the place saying “Catholic Church” while everyone else is saying “Christian”… or you find yourself being the only schmuck blurting out the word “Begotten.” But just observe how defiant he looks. This is the guy you chose. This is the guy all those FAKE “christian” leaders like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress and Paula White (among MANY others) ASSURED you was “born again.”

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My beliefs have changed A LOT since my days of proudly reciting from memory the Apostle’s Creed while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other conservative Christians. If I broke down that Creed line by line, there are many of those lines I wouldn’t be able to sign off on… at least not without an asterisk or two. There are many people in the world who would say that I’m not a Christian anymore, because I don’t believe the “right” things… Because I’ve let go of the need for Hell, and the Monstrous God who would send us there with no hope of redemption… Because I believe there is nothing inherently “sinful” about being someone who is LGBTQ+… Because I believe that God ISN’T in control of everything… Because I believe that following Jesus is wholly incompatible with supporting the horrible and immoral man defiantly standing in silence as a whole church recites the Apostle’s Creed. But even though I may never darken the halls or sanctuary of a Church again, I still BELIEVE… I still FOLLOW… I still LOVE JESUS. And I could still stand next to them and corporately confess that fact.

What a total and complete shame and embarrassment it is that so many people calling themselves “christians” still support this broken, narcissistic man… A FAKE and FALSE Christian man willing to lie to ignorant church folks to win their vote, but not even willing to say the words at a funeral honoring a former president. And even though I whole-heartedly believe in God’s profound Goodness, I say this as sincerely as I ever have: Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.

I’ll leave you with this amazing tweet from an amazing woman. It’s the truth. I co-sign…

 

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The Liberals Have Ruined Flirting

Well, it’s official. Romance is dead. Are you happy now, Liberals? You’ve KILLED romance. Was that your goal? Because THAT’S what happened when you started questioning the lyrics to the beloved holiday classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” ARGHH… Look what you made me do: “HOLIDAY” classic?? I’m just going to call it what it is: It’s a CHRISTMAS classic. Trump is president now, and we can say CHRISTMAS again. It is a Christmas song about a guy who won’t take “No” for an answer… Just like Mary and Joseph wouldn’t take “No” for an answer when they were looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem.

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“Where do you think YOU’RE going…”

The song was written in 1944 — A mere 24 years after the liberals demanded that women have the right to vote… Or, as I call it, “24 years after America stopped being great again.” The original score had two parts: One for “Mouse,” and one for “Wolf” (I’m betting I don’t have to tell you which part was the male part and which part was the female part) but it became famous after it was put in a movie called “Neptune’s Daughter.” Here is the video of that performance:

And as you can see, it’s purely innocent! Sure, he repeatedly puts his hands on her as she tries to leave, and he pushes her down on the couch a couple times, and he playfully removes her clothes and takes her hat to keep her from leaving… But look what she was WEARING! Do you really think she would have put on that sexy, pointy bra and chosen that shirt that showed off all that sexy arm if she WASN’T planning on spending the night? What is “flirting” if it’s not some good-natured manipulation and putting your hand on a woman’s knee after she keeps telling you NO??

And now a radio station has pulled the song from rotation. This is EXACTLY what it must have been like living in Nazi Germany. Fascism has come to America. And it’s not because we have a president who constantly lies, attacks the press, works to consolidate power, and punishes private businesses that don’t do what he wants… It’s because some snowflakes don’t want their kids listening to a song that their liberal sensibilities have deemed a little too “rapey.” This is hardly “Making America Great Again.” You know when America was REALLY great? Back when a man could club a woman and drag her by the hair back to his cave. Ahh, simpler times…

This is all the fault of the “#MeToo” era. “ME TOO??” They should call it the #NoFun era, because that’s what it is now: NO. FUN. I can’t think of a word that is less fun than “Consent.” A guy can’t even playfully refuse to let a girl leave his apartment without being accused of harassment and attempted kidnapping.  Because here’s the REAL question, women: “WHAT’S THE SENSE OF HURTING MY PRIDE?” And what’s the sense of hurting the pride of other great American men… Powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer and Woody Allen and Brett Kavanaugh. What’s the sense?

What kind of country would we be if we just took “No” for an answer throughout history? What if America had taken “No” for an answer when we asked Hitler to stop taking over Europe and killing all the Jews? What if we had taken “No” for an answer when we asked the Japanese to not attack Pearl Harbor (or when we asked those Japanese Americans to go to those internment camps)? What if we had taken “No” for an answer when we asked the Native Americans to give us the land WE RIGHTLY DISCOVERED that they happened to be living on? WHERE WOULD WE BE THEN?!? I mean, “Not taking no for an answer” is as American as Baseball or Apple Pie or Date Rape. So much for the good old days represented in this classic cartoon:

It’s just a New Puritanism, is what it is. The Puritans wanted to be tell people what they could and couldn’t do in the bedroom, and that’s really all this is: Liberals insisting we follow their “morals.” Sure, Puritanism was about enforcing their ideas of morality on consenting adults, and New Puritanism is about enforcing the idea of the the morality of consent… but really, what’s the difference?!? If it’s wrong to tell two men who love each other that they can’t be together, it stands to reason that it must ALSO be wrong to tell a man that he can’t be with a woman he loves… Even if it’s against her will. That’s the beauty of moral relativism…

Hot-blooded men like me can’t even whistle at a woman or let her know how sexy her body is as she walks by on the street anymore without being called a “Sexist Pig.” And now here we are, living in a time where garbage like the video below passes for “funny.” POMEGRANATE LaCROIX??? How can we be expected to get laid without getting the other person drunk first???

You know who are the REAL victims of this whole #MeToo Hysteria? Because it’s not the actual victims of sexual assault… It’s MEN, that’s who. Men are the victims. And I know, because I’M a man. And lucky for me, I’ve got me a wife, so I don’t have to worry about “consent” anymore… But I can’t even IMAGINE what it would be like to be single and have to navigate this new romantic landscape these days. WHAT DOES “ROMANCE” EVEN LOOK LIKE, IF IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE PUSHING A GIRL BACK DOWN ONTO A COUCH, FORCIBLY PUTTING YOUR HAND ON HER KNEE, AND STANDING BETWEEN HER AND THE DOOR AS SHE’S TRYING TO LEAVE? You know what’s going to happen? We’re going to see a drop in birth rates, that’s what. Nothing kills the mood like asking a woman if she’s into it. I’m genuinely shocked that ANYONE is having sex anymore, now that flirting is illegal, and the liberals have killed romance.

And I suppose that would be a good thing if Man-Made Global Climate Change were real… But as everyone knows, that is Fake News pushed by the same people who are trying to push the Liberal Agenda of “The Morality of Consent.”

 

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t figured it out yet, this was satire. Different people have different feelings about this song, and I’m aware of THIS SMART TAKE on the history behind it. Regardless of your position on this song, if you can’t understand why some folks find this song problematic, you probably need a lesson in empathy. And you’re probably a person who always puts quotation marks around the word “triggered,” as if the trauma sexual assault survivors face isn’t real. Looking back at a culture of male entitlement with nostalgia is some messed up bullshit. Rape culture is real, and BS like that only works to perpetuate it. Anyway, thanks again for reading my stuff. If you like it, share it. If you’d like to support my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON. If you’d like to leave me a Christmas present on PayPal, you can do that RIGHT HERE. Otherwise, please follow me on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Feeling “Manly,” and Other Lies

I just fixed a couple things around the house that needed fixin’. A few years ago, I (with the help of a good friend) re-did our kitchen. My in-laws got new cabinets for THEIR kitchen, and the ones they were replacing were in way better shape than the ones we had in ours, so we took their old cabinets and I designed a layout that worked with their gently used cabinets. Today, one of the cabinet doors had a screw that pulled out, stripping the hole… So I had to figure out how to fix it — Hopefully without re-drilling all the other holes for the cabinet doors (so the line would look right). I was given the advice of putting some toothpicks in the hole with a little wood glue (it worked perfectly, by the way). So yeah… I fixed that.

And since I was hanging out in the adhesives aisle, I figured I would get the stuff I needed  in order to fix a shoe whose sole had detached. A few months ago, I found a pair of really nice shoes at the thrift store. After wearing them one time, I realized the sole was detaching from the shoe. They were (are) literally my only nice-looking pair of shoes, so I wanted to fix them… But I didn’t want to spend $30 to fix a pair of shoes I bought for $7. I asked the advice of a friend who is a cobbler, and he gave me advice on the steps to re-attaching a sole to a shoe. So I fixed those too! There’s a little rush I get when I fix something that needs to be fixed. It feels good…

Two things: The first one is kind of an aside, but it’s something I was thinking about today. Here it is: In some ways, not having a lot of money is kind of cool. Yeah, I know it totally sucks in a lot of ways too… But if someone is swimming in money, they don’t get pushed into experiencing the fun of learning how to fix a pair of dress shoes they bought at Goodwill. If a wealthy person’s $200 Johnston & Murphy dress shoes start to fall apart, they just bring them in to Goodwill and buy a new pair. But fixing those shoes felt GOOD. And I learned something new… Which is pretty cool. Also, if someone has money to spare, they might just hire someone else to build them a new kitchen… But then they’d miss out on the fun of inviting a friend over and listening to David Bowie’s collected works, drinking a bunch whisky in the middle of the day, and using dangerous power tools — All at the same time.

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It is not at all surprising that “Tim The Tool Man Taylor” turned into a Trump supporter. Though, I guess dropping the “Man Taylor” is easier when signing autographs…

Now I know EXACTLY how our toilet works. You know how? Because I have had to fix if many different times… Partly because we don’t have extra money to call a plumber. I have completely taken apart our dishwasher, fixed it, and put it back together again. I did the same thing with our washing machine. I watched YouTube videos until I knew what I was doing. Repairmen and electricians are expensive. And NOW, there are a bunch of things I know how to do that I didn’t used to know how to do. And that feels pretty good, you know?

Which leads me to the second (and more important) thing I wanted to write about: Knowing how to do things feels good for EVERYONE… Not just men. After I fixed the cabinet and cobbled my own shoe, I sent a text to my wife that said something about me being a stud. And I was ready to post something on social media about feeling the most “manly” when I have fixed something around the house. And it reminded me of this:

But the feeling I was feeling wasn’t “manliness.” It was just a sense of accomplishment. It was the good feeling a person gets when he OR SHE sets out to do something, and then gets that thing done. How the hell have we created such a skewed and uneven understanding of masculinity that we have labeled something as simple as being self-sufficient and capable as traditionally MALE qualities? It probably has something to do with centuries and centuries of MEN being the ones who wrote the rules and the dictionaries.

Seriously though, some time look up the word “Manly” on thesaurus.com and see a list of some of the synonyms: Courageous, Bold, Heroic, Noble, Self-Reliant, Virile, Brave, Confident, Fearless, Powerful, Lion-Hearted, Resolute, Stately, Strong — Just to name a few…. There are many more. These traits are not examples “male” qualities… These are examples of traits found in quality human beings. These are VIRTUES. Want to see the ENTIRE LIST of synonyms for the word “Womanly”? Here it is: Female, Girlish, Ladylike, Maidenly, Matronly, Motherly, Womanish. THAT’S. IT. Our very language reinforces the patriarchy with every definition.

Ask a kid to define “Manly.” Then ask that same kid to define “Womanly.” Listen to their answers. Just imagine how these messages are internalizing themselves in our young women… This messed up idea that when a woman acts courageously, she is acting MANLY?!? Seriously, consider how utterly harmful this is… Not to mention how harmful it is to our young men when they accept these definitions as Truth. Imagine the harm that is caused when men believe that showing their emotions is somehow “feminine,” and being feminine is weak. You don’t have to imagine it… We see it with each new mass shooter… every one of them male. We see it with suicidal soldiers who think that they can “man up” their way out of depression and PTSD. It’s everywhere.

There are a lot of ways that men and women are different. But Bravery and Boldness… Strength and Self-reliance… Confidence and Courageousness… These are not the differences between men and women — These are the differences between broken people and human beings at their best. 

And here’s the truth: Conservative men aren’t really upset at the idea of people trying to “redefine masculinity.” They’re upset that the changing of the traditional definition of “manliness” will result in the loss of their male privilege. They act like they just “don’t like change,” but really they’re pissed of at the idea of changing the rules to where most of the best human qualities and characteristics aren’t exclusively used to describe THEIR GROUP anymore…

But I, for one, am done equating a sense of accomplishment with feeling “manly.” And I’m sorry for how often I’ve done this in the past. I am still learning. And that is a GOOD thing. I still have so many warped ideas about masculinity and what it means to be fully human. I think about this often as I muddle my way through trying to be a good father and parent to two daughters and a son… Trying to help them become better versions of themselves. But one thing I am sure of: I will not pass along to my son the lie that becoming a “real man” has anything to do with mastering traditional “manly” skills. Being a “real man” today is more about unlearning the toxic masculinity that created and sustains a society which teaches our kids that being a virtuous human being is somehow “manly.” Real men are confident enough in their humanity and self-worth to stand WITH women and help them tear down the patriarchy.

 

Thanks again for reading. If you have kids in your life, talk to them about this stuff. Teach them to challenge stereotypes and traditional gender roles. Catch yourself when calling things “girly” or equating manliness with virtue. Or saying things like “man up” or “get some balls.” And speak up to challenge the people in your lives when you hear them pass along these harmful tropes. Last thing — If you’d like to support this blog, you can BECOME A PATRON, or you can LEAVE A TIP on Paypal. You can also help me tear it down on Facebook and on Twitter. Love y’all…

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The Best Marriage Advice I Can Give You

In addition to writing about Jesus, Politics, & Bathroom Humor, I also work as a server in a restaurant here in Nashville, Tennessee. And if you don’t live here, you might not be aware that Nashville has become something of a popular destination for bachelorette parties. I don’t make it downtown very often anymore, but last time I went down there it was hard to take three steps without running into a group of young women in matching tank tops with writing that tells about how hot, horny, or drunk they are (sometimes all three)… And there’s probably a couple of peddle taverns in the road slowing down a bus with its top half converted into a dance floor, complete with bridesmaids screaming at a bride-to-be while she does a sultry pole dance while strolling down Broadway. It’s good, clean (if not annoying) fun…

And these bachelorette invariably end up needing food to soak up all that alcohol, so there are many times I end up as their server. They are easy to spot… Even when the bride is not wearing a sash or is the only one wearing white. I usually say something. I congratulate the bride-to-be, I ask when the wedding is, and I usually say something along the lines of “The coolest thing I ever did was get married.” And then they’ll all “AwwwWW” in that way that gets higher as it goes along… And they’ll usually ask me how long I’ve been married, I’ll tell them “16 years,” and the sound of those words still surprises me a little bit. Every once in a while, they’ll ask if I have any advice for them. The depth of my answer depends on how busy I am, how serious they seem, and how much I like them (which is usually directly DISproportionate to the presence of penis-shaped novelty straws). Besides, nothing kills a buzz like some weird server getting real with you about the struggles and joys of being married… Unless, of course, we get into topics like the stuff of this tweet:

Anyway, the other night when a table sat in my section to celebrate an engagement, I wasn’t busy at all. And they seemed very serious. And I really liked them. It was just some sweet old parents taking their daughter and her fiancé out to eat. The engaged couple looked like they were in their mid-thirties. They bought a couple nice bottles of wine. And there were no penis straws at that table (at least none that I saw), so when they asked me if I had any advice for them, I gave them the full treatment. I talked until my eyes were wet with the truth. 

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It’s what bwings us togevah…

There were three things I mentioned. The first was about the rhythm of years together: How we initially discovered the other person’s issues… Followed by the discovery of OUR OWN issues… Followed by the (hopeful) discovery that this person walking through life with you is uniquely gifted to help you grow your soul. The second was the Enneagram (which I can’t do any justice whatsoever in this format… But let me just say that it helped me more deeply understand who I am, who she is, what motivates us, and how we fit together in profound ways that I will never stop learning. It is NOT a “personality test.” It is just a bunch of collected wisdom about different types of people, and how we interact with each other. If you’re interested — and you should be — you can read about it at EnneagramInstitute.com).

But the one I want to share with you is the one that took me the longest to learn… Or to UNlearn, I suppose. Somewhere along the line, I believed the lie that in order for me to be a good husband, I had to meet ALL of my wife’s needs. I believed that if she needed something other than me, then I wasn’t doing a good enough job as a partner. And if you combine this lie with a bit of fear of abandonment and some good old fashioned human insecurity, you’ve got the makings of a toxic environment. The lie is that we have to be all things to and for our partners… Or even that we COULD be all the things they need. That lie is the seeds of jealousy. And when we believe it, if we see the one we love the most receiving Life from somewhere/something/someONE other than us, it is easy for our fears and our insecurities to interpret that as the message “You are not enough for me.”

But here is the freeing truth: You are NOT enough. I am not enough. Not enough to meet all of someone else’s needs, at least. The job of loving someone else was never meant to be about being everything another person needs… The job of loving someone else is about learning what makes them come alive, and then encouraging them to do even more of that. It’s about helping someone discover what sets their heart on fire, and then working to fan that flame. If a person you love finds fulfillment in something other than you, and that makes you feel threatened instead of happy for them, you might need a new definition of “love.”

My wife wants to go out. A lot. She gets recharged by being around people. I *like* being around people… Sometimes? But sometimes I find it exhausting. So early in our marriage, I found myself in the position of either going out with her and being exhausted, or staying home and seemingly admitting I was a failure as a partner. It’s lunacy. Why would I not want her to do the thing that recharges her? Of course I would… Even if it’s without me. Recently we were invited to a wedding. It’s REALLY hard for me to go to weddings, because most weddings are on Saturdays and that means I can’t work my Saturday shift (which allows us to afford fancy things like “food”). The old me would have had to choose between us declining the invitation and staying home (making her miserable for missing the fun, and me miserable for making her miserable), or us both going (and me making us both miserable while I obsessed over how we were going to pay the bills while being emotionally exhausted). But there is a third choice: She could just go without me. So that’s what she did. She went with our friend — a guy who is, incidentally, way better looking than me. They drove together, and they shared an Air B&B (because it saved money, and because she’s a little afraid of staying by herself out of town). It was an infinitely better choice for both of us… But it was a choice that was only available to us if I trust her and actually want her to do the things which make her come alive.

A friend posted a picture of this tweet yesterday (though in the picture she posted, the person’s name was “Domestic Goddess,” and when I looked it up to share it here, her name was changed… But the truth is still the truth, even when it comes from “Satan’s Concubine”):

What a relief to let go of the belief that we are even CAPABLE of meeting all of our significant other’s needs. For a very long time, I didn’t get this. I wish someone would have talked to me about it when I was younger — If I would have even been able to hear them — It would have saved me so much trouble. I was never meant to be the only one to make my wife laugh. Or inspire her. Or give her advice. Or be her friend. Or bring her “pleasure” (which is admittedly a weird, creepy word). Or provide support. The thought that I should or even COULD provide everything she needs leads to pain and jealousy and emotional abuse. And demanding that another human being limit her emotional fulfillment only to ME is like standing at the end of a marathon with a Dixie Cup, and getting angry when a person tells you she is still thirsty. Of COURSE she’s still thirsty… We’re all still thirsty.

 

I hope you liked this. I hope there are a couple people out there who needed to hear it. This is a lesson which I’ve managed to learn fairly recently, so I hope it helps. It sure is an honor that there are folks in the world who care what I write about. If you’d like to support my writing, you can CLICK RIGHT HERE to see about being a Patron, or if you’d like to leave a tip, you can do that ON PAYPAL. Check me out on Twitter and on Facebook. And if you like it, share it… Love y’all.

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The Morning After The Election: 3 Reasons To Be Hopeful

After the results of the 2016 election started coming in and it became clear that the country was electing an awful, awful man to lead our country, I felt way more than just “disappointment.” I experienced a sort of existential crisis. One of my core beliefs is that humanity is obviously screwed up, but that — little by little — we are improving. That we are learning from our mistakes. That we are getting BETTER. It’s the belief that even though the moral arc of history is long, it is bending toward Justice. And the fact that so many people in this country were even CAPABLE of voting for such a clearly horrible human being made me question that whole moral arc. So it was with quite a bit of trepidation and uncertainty that I tuned in to watch the returns last night.

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At least I voted… Unlike some of you A-Holes. 

After some initial feelings of dread, I went to bed feeling hopeful. There were definitely wins AND losses. Let’s start with some of the reasons to be hopeful…

A GROWING MAJORITY. Yes, republicans picked up Senate seats in this election, and that sucks… But have you seen the actual numbers of people who voted? Check this out…

And these numbers are trending UP. More and more people are realizing the revolting nature of this republican administration. And though it is an injustice that this is the way things work (currently… we have the ability to change it) — and even though the Electoral College is a relic of an unjust time where slave-owning states wanted more representation — we can be encouraged that MORE AND MORE people, percentage-wise AND in actual numbers, are voting FOR equality & justice, and AGAINST the party of the narcissist who is splitting his time between the White House, political “rallies” that mirror Klan gatherings, and his golf courses.

And what’s even MORE encouraging is that young people are voting in higher numbers… They can smell the hypocrisy of this GOP administration like a fart in an elevator. And that is good news…

MORE VOTERS. In addition to larger numbers of people voting in this election, larger number of people are going to be ABLE to vote in the next election. Voter suppression is the political embodiment of people in positions of power clinging to their privilege. When more black and brown people vote, white people’s votes “weigh” less. When more young people vote, the votes of middle-aged homeowners “weigh” less. When people who have been convicted of crimes lose the right to vote, and when black and brown people are convicted a much higher rates for the same crimes, it makes the votes of white folks “weigh” more. And when steps are taken (by the man who is running for Governor, who is inexplicably also in charge of the election process) to to ensure that lines in urban areas of Georgia are unreasonably long, it makes the votes of the white folks living in rural areas “weigh” more. And when your vote weighs more, that is a privilege people cling to and fight to protect. A while ago, I wrote a post titled, “When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression.” More voters, more immigrants becoming voters, and more voting equality FEELS like oppression to many people who have grown very accustomed to their privilege. This is why republicans fight so much to make it harder for people to vote.

But in some key places, voters approved changes that ADD voters and make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote. In Florida, voters approved Proposition 4, which restores the voting rights of more than a million people who have committed non violent felonies and have completed their sentences. Adding 1.2 million people to the voter registry is always a good thing… But it’s especially a good thing in a state where the following is true:

In addition to this, voters in Nevada and Michigan adopted AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION. This means that if you are a resident of the state, and you are of legal voting age, you are automatically registered to vote. Makes sense, right? How could anyone be against this? Why would anyone put barriers and hurdles in front of citizens fulfilling their right and duty to vote? The only reason is because they are desperately clinging to their dwindling privilege. And And one more…

THE WOMEN’S WAVE. Last night was probably more of a Women’s Wave than it was any sort of “Blue Wave.” This is easily the biggest reason for me to be hopeful. As far as I’m concerned, the more women in positions of power, the better (not counting Marsha Blackburn, of course). So this election was historic. Or HERstoric, I suppose…

For the first time ever, over 100 women were just elected to the House of Representatives. And even though it was historic — even though it was a step in the right direction — we are STILL SO FAR from where we need to be in this country with gender equality in our representation. Still… So much to be hopeful for. There are TWO Muslim women who have been elected to Congress… Which led to one of my favorite tweets of all time:

And the people of Kansas have elected a Native American woman who is also a lesbian. This is AMAZING. But again, even though it is a step in the right direction, there are still so many more steps to go…


There are also reasons to be sad… The Mourning After, if you will. There are still a whole lot of people in this country who are willing to vote for some of the worst examples of humanity we can come up with. White supremacist Steve King was reelected in Iowa. Voters in Florida failed to elect Andrew Gillum, the candidate who was clearly more qualified and impressive, and instead elected a racist, xenophobic bag of flop sweat as their next governor. Not even someone as impressive and articulate as Beto O’Rourke could inspire the majority of Texans to pull their red state heads out of their asses… But some parts of the country are so blindingly red that they would rather vote for a dead pimp than vote for a democrat (which actually happened in Nevada, though given the choice between electing a dead pimp and Ted Cruz, admittedly I’d probably choose the dead pimp too). So many white women still haven’t figured out that the GOP is not on their side. And in Tennessee, where I live, voters chose fear of immigrants, corruption, and incompetence when they chose Marsha Blackburn… Genuinely one of the worst people on the planet. There are other losses… And other wins. This does a good job of summarizing how I feel today…

But what we do now is we get back to work. We keep having difficult conversations… We keep highlighting the examples of corruption and hypocrisy and immorality we see… We keep calling out white supremacy where we see it, and we keep educating the people in our lives about what white supremacy actually is… We keep telling the stories of vulnerable and oppressed populations, and we let those stories melt the hearts of people who are blinded by fear… We keep standing up for those who are being oppressed and looking for justice… And we get involved by showing up, writing letters, and making calls. Voting is just one part of the change that needs to take place. Take some time to be sad. Take some time to celebrate. And then let’s get back to work. We’ve got a world to change, and no one is going to do it for us.

I’ll leave you with one final reason to be hopeful. Look at this amazing picture:

 

Thanks again for reading. I needed this. If you’d like to support this blog, there are ways you can do that. One is to BECOME A PATRON. Another is to LEAVE A TIP on PayPal. You can also share the stuff I write or follow me on Facebook and on TwitterNow… Let’s get back to the work of being good citizens and active participants in our democracy.

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13 Tweets To Inspire You (AND OTHERS) To Vote

Alright, today is the day! If you are like me, you already voted during early voting… But even if you’ve already voted, your job is NOT DONE. It’s time to the remind the people around you that when we don’t vote, we end up with immoral and corrupt leaders. There is a fascinating map I want to show you… If “Did Not Vote” were a candidate in the 2016 election, “Did Not Vote” would have won ALL BUT NINE STATES. Check it out:

did-not-vote-2016-update

Most of these “Did Not Votes” have not gotten out during Early Voting. There are MANY people who are are thinking “What’s the point?” People who are “Too busy.” People who are planning on skipping because they are imagining the lines are too long. These people need some inspiration. Some of these elections could very well be decided by a HANDFUL of votes. If you have already cast your vote, you can still make a difference… Here are some of the best tweets I’ve found to inspire people to get their asses out to the polls… Starting with America’s favorite astrophysicist.

If your vote didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to keep you away from the polls…

In FIFTEEN states, they allow same day voter registration (I have no idea why there are only fifteen, but anyway)…

Vote because our shitty president is trying to intimidate people AGAINST voting…

Vote because being courageous is better than being filled with fear.

Vote because Jerry Falwell, Jr. is an awful human being and a hypocrite, and if Democrats take back the House and the Senate it will totally piss him off…

Vote because Ted Cruz is a total douche who uses the same joke over and over and over, and because Beto O’Rourke is an awesome dude who doesn’t kiss the ass of a man who called his wife ugly and blamed his dad for killing JFK…

Vote because over 50% of Americans have a pre-existing condition, and republicans are trying to take away requirements for health insurance to cover those…

Vote because you don’t have to stay this racist forever…

Vote because the president is a LIAR. Such a total and complete liar…

Vote because the GOP deserves to get destroyed…

Vote because a whole lot of people bled and died for your right to do just that…

And vote because the world is a mess, and people deserve better than this…

 

I love you all. Vote like your vote matters, because it does. At the end of today, there will almost certainly be disappointments… Stay hopeful, even when everything feels hopeless. Thanks for the ways you support me, my writing, and this blog. Be good to each other…

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Regarding the Immigrant Caravan: Dear White Evangelical Hypocrites…

Listen… If you’re going to pass along the lie that America is anything resembling a “Christian Nation,” you should probably expect a few caravans of immigrants showing up at our borders, looking for help and asylum. You’re aware that Spanish-speaking brown people have Bibles too, right? We’ve been sending American missionaries over to their countries, handing out Bibles, for DECADES… And the Bible is very clear about how we are supposed to treat immigrants in need. It’s all in there — All over the Old Testament AND the New…

One of the main themes of the Bible is the divine call and command for those who would call themselves “People of God” to treat the stranger, the immigrant, and the alien as one of their own. If you know ANYTHING about the Bible, you know it’s in there from the front to the back. Hospitality. Remembering the time WE were strangers. Loving our neighbor. Here are a few verses from the Old Testament:

“Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” ~ Deuteronomy 27:19

“Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” ~ Exodus 23:9

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” ~ Deuteronomy 10:17-19

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.” ~ Leviticus 23:22

There are SO MANY MORE examples. Hospitality to outsiders and strangers was so integral a part of Israel’s foundational philosophy that they used the right treatment of immigrants and aliens as an example of how they should treat their fellow Israelites. Read this remarkable verse:

“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.” ~ Leviticus 25:35

Can you believe that?!? Read it again… For the Jewish people, their good treatment of foreigners was the example — the STANDARD — of how they should treat a member of their own tribe who had become poor or unable to take care of himself.

And I’ve written about this before (in a post titled “We’re A Nation Of Sodomites…. Just Not In The Way You’re Thinking”), but when the Bible refers to “Sodomites,” it’s NOT making a statement about homosexuality — It’s talking about people who were horribly inhospitable to visiting strangers. Here is what Ezekiel 16:49 reads: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” And when Amos compares Israel’s sin to Sodom & Gomorrah, it’s because they “oppress the poor and crush the needy.” (Amos 4:1) There are a bunch of poor and needy people walking toward us right now… How do you think God would want us to handle that?

Caravan

Here they are — The “dangerous” caravan of immigrants the president is deploying 15,000 troops to defend us from. Don’t let them fool you… They are all probably packing heat.

But it’s not just that big ol’ sentimental softie of an Old Testament God who calls and commands us to treat immigrants with justice, mercy, and love… The New Testament is filled with it too.

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality… Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.” ~ Romans 12:13,16

“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.” ~ Matthew 25:35

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” ~ Hebrews 13 1-2

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~ Matthew 25:40

The Venn diagram of people who are demonizing immigrants and people who would characterize themselves as “White Evangelical Christians” is nearly a perfect circle. But these fake “christians” don’t want to think about verses like “whatever you did for one of the least of these” when it comes to immigrants looking for asylum. They don’t want to consider Jesus as an immigrant looking for help. They are too busy putting up Nativities in their yards to consider the fact that they are they the very embodiment of the voice which greeted Mary with the words “No room in the inn.”

For them, “loving their neighbor” is taking an occasional “mission trip” to places where they can briefly play tourist to some poverty, get some photo ops with some brown kids, maybe apply a coat of paint, and then return home to the warm safety of their gated communities. We are not a “city on a hill.” We are a turret on a guard tower. America is as far from a “Christian Nation” as Donald Trump is far from a “Christian President.”

But imagine a woman came to your door… beaten and bruised… crying for help, and begging for protection from her violent attacker… What kind of person looks through the spy hole and locks the deadbolt? The answer this: The kind of person who is way more consumed with selfishness and fear than with anything resembling “compassion” or “love.” The same is true for the fear-filled man (along with the GOP administration and all the people who support him) who sends 15,000 troops — armed with lethal ammunition — to the Southern border to “greet” our neighbors who are fleeing violence and oppression.

A caravan of “the least of these” is walking toward us… How are we going to respond? Are we going to let a small, narcissistic, evil man strategically whip up our fears of a group of poor, desperate immigrants — still two months away from reaching the border — in order to scare people into voting republican/”build that wall” in the mid-term elections? Or are Christians going to respond the way the God of the Bible calls us to respond — As if it was Jesus himself walking toward us looking for a safe place… Looking for asylum… Looking for help…

I’ve got one more Bible verse for you, and this one comes straight from the mouth of Jesus…

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” ~ Matthew 23:13

If you know even the most BASIC things about Christianity or the Bible or Jesus, you KNOW that the actions of this nation, this president, and this GOP administration are about as far from “Christian” or “neighbor-loving” or Jesus as something can get… But you don’t care. Your FEAR is stronger by far than your LOVE… But for some reason, you insist on still calling yourselves “Christians.” Stop it. You’re not. Not even close. You’re as fake as the faith of our spray-tanned president. You’re Pharisees. You’re hypocrites. Either start acting like Jesus, or stop claiming to be his followers.

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written something as Jesus-y/Bible-y as this. Just in case you’re a new reader, I don’t think we should be loving our neighbors because a 2000 year old book tells me we should… I believe we should love our neighbors because it is the moral and right thing to do, REGARDLESS of your faith, your name for God, or if you even believe in a higher power. Love is better than fear… Not because the Bible says so, but because it just IS. Anyway, if you’d like to support this blog (and me with it), you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Or you can BECOME A PATRON. Otherwise, follow me ON FACEBOOK, follow me ON TWITTER, or just share this post with the people in your life. Take care of each other…

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No. He’s Not Going To Repeal The 14th Amendment.

He can’t. But what he CAN do is he can distract us from the other festering awfulness he is working on. This is what he does. He says outrageous things which gets people to forget about the other outrageous things he says and does. It’s like when a person with cancer hits his thumb with a hammer… For a short time afterward, all he can focus on is his throbbing thumb, and how pissed he is that it just happened. Trump’s tweets are like a hammer on the thumb of America, to distract us from the Cancer of Racism and White Supremacy… of which he is a malignant tumor. In America’s anus.

Notice no one is talking today about how his LIES about the caravan seeking asylum directly led to a neo-nazi murdering 11 Jewish people in a synagogue? Notice no one is talking about how his hateful and divisive rhetoric is leading to a flurry of acts of terrorism committed by his racist, white nationalist base? And no one is talking about how Mike Pence brought a “Christian Rabbi” to a memorial service/political rally (supposedly honoring the victims of the attack in Pittsburgh) who prayed to Jesus for republican wins in the midterm election (observe the craziness below).

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This is what happens when you encourage violence at your “rallies.” This is what happens when you demonize immigrants. This is what happens when you call the press “the enemy of the people.” This is Trump’s base. And it’s America’s shame…

In one week, we just had a Trump supporter send pipe bombs to a bunch of different people who criticized the president… We had another Trump supporter open fire in at a Kroger in Kentucky an murder two people of color (after telling a man “Whites don’t kill whites”)… And then we had a nazi (angry about the lie that Jews were behind the immigrant caravan seeking asylum — a lie Trump passed along) open fire in a houe of worship and murder 11 people… People murdered by nazis in America. In 2018. And as a response to all this, what does he do? He sends military troops to the border to prepare for people fleeing violence in Central America A FULL TWO MONTHS BEFORE THEY WOULD EVER REACH THE BORDER. This is all about fear. It’s about demonizing brown people.

And it leads to disgusting garbage like this unbelievably hateful and racist ad from one of the worst people on the planet… Marsha Blackburn.

Keep your eyes on the ball. Trump is being given these talking points to accomplish two things: Firstly, it throws a racist bone to his base. They have been pissed off about the 14th Amendment since it was ratified. Birthright citizenship has long been a burr in the saddle of people who dream of America as a white ethno-state. Please read this entire Twitter thread:

And secondly, it enrages and distracts us from this GOP administration’s constant barrage of attacks on morality and social norms. Right when people’s eyes are starting to clear, and sanity is starting to creep into the minds of the people who are supporting him, as they see a grieving community and think, “Maybe our words matter. Maybe all his hateful rhetoric has real-world consequences. Maybe all the lies he passes along AREN’T harmless.” And as people are reminded of morality by seeing inspiring acts of humanity and goodness (like the Muslim community who raised over $150,000 for their Jewish neighbors)… WHAM!!! America’s Ass Cancer slams his hammer down on our thumb. And we’re in an uproar.

America is a nation of immigrants. It is a nation of people fleeing persecution. If you are an American, you are either the descendent of Native Americans, immigrants, refugees, or slaves. Clear your eyes, America. See this hatred and bigotry for what it is. Don’t let this small man whip your fears into a distracted frenzy. Watch a Captain America movie, and realize that no decent person roots for Hydra. Be loving and strong and true, and for the sake of all that is loving and strong and true, VOTE TO REMOVE THIS CANCER FROM OFFICE… And until that is possible, vote to limit his ability to do more damage by taking back the House and the Senate. There is one week until November 6th. VOTE! We can do this…

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White people… The original “Anchor Babies.”

 

If you value this blog, you can help support it. You can either LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL, or you can BECOME A PATRON, and give a few bucks each month. If you’d like to keep up with me on social media, the best place to do that is on TWITTER and on FACEBOOK. Or just share this post? Keep your eyes on the ball. And most importantly, VOTE. I love you. Thanks for reading.

 

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The Rise of the Immoral Majority

You know what? Screw it… Maybe Donald Trump is the president America deserves.

I was asleep. I was sound asleep tonight. I actually went to bed at a reasonable time. I thought to myself, “The world is a goddamn mess — I should probably write something tonight,” but instead I watched a couple episodes of Big Mouth on Netflix, and I faded off to sleep. I had a dream of being chased… I was in a “bad part of town” (that means a BLACK part of town… because I’m a white person, and as hard as I may try, I will NEVER escape the racism and fear at the heart of me) and these dudes were chasing me through dark alleys, and I was saved by making it to a well-lit soccer game with a whole bunch of white people watching. Now all of a sudden, I am wide awake… And lying here thinking “WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THAT TRUMP IS A LYING, SELF-SERVING, NARCISSISTIC, RACIST, MISOGYNISTIC TOXIC DUMPSTER FIRE??” And my lack of an answer to that question results in my heart being somewhere between a persistent state of deep sadness and a persistent state of deep outrage. It’s taking a toll on me. So here we are…

I  keep wanting to believe people are better than this. I keep wanting to believe that if  the majority of people had accurate information, that they would make good choices and vote for better people. I’m not so sure. We might just be outnumbered. In 1979 Jerry Falwell and others started a movement called “The Moral Majority,” where they paired the “Christian Right” with the Republican Party. It turned into an unholy union which forever damaged both brands. Now the Christian Right and the Republican Party have completely abandoned principles like Honesty and Integrity and even Morality in favor of a corrupt and immoral leader who promises them POWER. And there might be more of them than there are of us… a new win-at-any-cost IMMORAL MAJORITY.

Donald Trump,Jerry Falwell Jr.

The new feces… sorry, FACES of the Immoral Majority.

And people will CERTAINLY build false equivalencies between parties, and say that “BOTH parties are win-at-any-cost” and “BOTH parties are total garbage.” And it’s true that the democratic party has a lot of flaws and things about it which need to be changed… But  we are in a situation right now where one of two sides is going to win, and one side is objectively worse. And for some reason, SO MANY people people in this country are unable to see that. That is a problem. And it needs to change.

I’m trying to pragmatic about this… I’m trying to figure out WHAT WORKS, and then do THAT. And I understand no one likes being called an asshole. We are in a time where “You are wrong about this” is interpreted as “You are a bad person.” We live in a time of deep fragility, where people are clinging to their privilege with everything they have, and any step toward equality feels like an attack. I realize that white fragility is a very real thing, and that sometimes when you push back at people, they dig their heels in even harder… I’m NOT saying “You are a bad person without any hope of redemption.” But maybe what people need is a dose of the TRUTH. And here is the truth: If you can’t tell that Trump and this whole GOP administration is corrupt and dishonest and immoral, there is something very, very wrong with you. Even if we are friends, I need you to know that I believe this.

We have a president whose NAME IS SHOUTED AT MINORITIES TO INTIMIDATE AND HARASS THEM… and it’s almost always shouted by white people. This is where we are as a nation. And even with that level of clear depravity in front of us, we still have a “tight race” between a good man like Beto O’Rourke and spineless liar like Ted Fucking Cruz — a man whose wife was called a dog and whose father was called “in on JFK’s assassination” by the man who won the presidency, but who still manages to so thoroughly kiss the man’s ass that his breath smells like Trump’s Diet Coke farts. And Texas seems to have more people in the state who are willing to vote for a cowardly dishonest idiot than an impressive and articulate persona like Beto O’Rourke. It is mind boggling…

Sure, there are some white nationalists who are all in on white supremacy, proud of their Hitler tattoos, and are working toward some dream of some white ethno-state. And then there are the “everything is a conspiracy” people who are so easy to manipulate. And there are the ones who are VERY UPSET about “PC Culture” (boo fucking hoo)… People who are mad about being told they shouldn’t say “retarded” anymore… People  who are angry enough to vote for a villain just because they don’t want to apologize for calling that Asian kid “Fatty Fatty Chink Face” when they were in 6th grade. But there are always fringe groups and crazies… It’s also the uneducated masses, unable to distinguish a credible source from outright propaganda. It’s ignorance and anti-intellectualism. It’s “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” It’s higher education seen as indoctrination. And it’s everywhere. But even all that is not enough to get us to where we are. 

A big part of the problem is the Political Left eating its own… The people who view themselves as so “principled” that voting for anyone but the VERY BEST candidate is seen as some sort of abandoning of their integrity. And so they would rather self-righteously vote for a third party candidate who has no shot of winning, even if their third party votes are what ends up giving the power to the ones trying to disenfranchise People of Color. And believe me, I know these folks are exhausting. They are the sort of people — when Taylor Swift steps up and finally makes a political statement, putting her support behind Phil Bredesen and calling Marsha Blackburn out as the horrible person she is — who decide to focus their attention on how she should have stepped up earlier. But “haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate,” right Taylor? Someone taking a step in the right direction doesn’t deserve to get dragged because they didn’t do it sooner.

Anyone with eyes or ears can see that Marsha Blackburn is a less principled, female version of Trump. And what that information SHOULD spur inside of you is this: REVULSION & SHAME. Instead, I seem to be surrounded by people who are spurred to put “Blackburn For Senate” campaign signs in their yards and on their cars. Marsha Blackburn has had millions of dollars spent on advertising and making attractive commercials, and yet she is so full of shit that she literally can’t get it together long enough to sound believable for the FIVE SECONDS at the end of the commercial where she says, “I’m Marsha Blackburn, and I approve this message.” And still Tennesseans line up to vote for her…

Representative Marsha Blackburn speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

All the money in the world could not make this woman look like she knows what she talking about or gives a crap about anyone but her corporate donors…

I see people waving their shitty privilege around like a shiny flag and “boldly” declaring that Trump is the closest thing to burning it all down, so that’s how they’re voting this year: They’re voting Burn It All Down. But these people are voting to keep people in power who are STILL tearing immigrant families apart… And now their “solution” is to put those parentless kids up for adoption rather than reunite them with their families. What kind of person does something like this?

And maybe the worst of all are the group of Americans who don’t care enough to get their lazy asses off their fucking sofas once a year to vote for people who aren’t committed to hypocrisy, deception, and burning the fucking planet down in our children’s lifetime. The people SO APATHETIC and INDIFFERENT that standing in a line in November is too much of an inconvenience… Even if that inconvenience means moving our nation in the direction of more gender and racial equality. Or civil rights for LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. UGH.

There is one party — the republican party — whose leadership is trying very hard to destroy confidence in the American system of government. Do you know WHY? Because the government is the only thing standing between an actual oligarchy (where the RICH rule instead of the people). And so they fill the courts with judges who are sympathetic to the “rights” of rich people and corporations to pour unlimited money into dishonest political campaigns… all while calling that dishonesty “Free Speech,” regardless of the harm those lies and unlimited monies do to the nation. And they push through an evasive and dishonest man into a Supreme Court seat… Not because there wasn’t anyone else who was qualified, but because they knew that in their attack on The Rule of Law, deteriorating the public’s trust of the impartiality of the Judicial Branch would make a powerful ally. 

I understand seeing all this disfunction and just wanting to give up. Or burn it all down. It’s this devastating combination of Hopelessness and Apathy that grows with every new victory the Immoral Majority wins. We are surrounded by stories of objective unfairness. All over the country, republicans are trying to make it harder to vote… ESPECIALLY for minorities. In Nebraska, the Supreme Court just made it much harder for Native Americans to vote, and probably affecting the Senate race there. In Georgia, the republican man who is running for Governor (in a tight race with Stacey Abrams, a black woman) just put the voter registrations of 53,000 people in jeopardy — 70% of which are black voters.

And all of this is backdropped by a U.N. study made by the world’s top climate scientists showing concrete evidence man-made climate change and global warming is growing at such an unprecedented rate that we are headed for a world-wide disaster in OUR LIFETIME… But you dip shits don’t want to believe it, because you have GOOGLE ON YOUR FUCKING iPHONES!!! And so you vote for the man who is doing everything in his power to roll back the steps and preventative regulations our country has taken toward being more environmentally conscious and averting this crisis. And this is the reason I can’t just say, “Screw it.” If we keep heading in the same direction, millions of people are going to die. 50 years from now no one is going to care about liberal vs. conservative. We cannot afford to continue to elect people from a party that denies that climate change is happening and the science showing humans are responsible. If the immorality of the Trump administration isn’t enough to inspire you to vote them out, perhaps a looming cataclysmic climate event is enough. God damn it… What will it take??

 

I am low on hope right now… I hope that’s okay. I want to be honest. Thank you to those of you who support me. If you want to be a Patron, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. If you want to leave a tip on PayPal, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. Maybe leave a comment with some reasons to be hopeful…

 

 

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