Another Hard Week in America . . . and the World

There is really nothing left to say. There have been many great blogs, articles and etc. written this week about the horrible shootings and I can’t add to that. Of course, and sadly, there as been some really ugly things and some really out-of-touch statements.

I am left thinking, what do I do?  How do I repent? I think of my heritage, growing up in the south. I was raised racist. I’m sorry about that. I am shocked that even now  when I spend time with my old (strong Christian) friends, who still live in the south, they say some horribly racist things and don’t even realize it.

But I know that I am not clean yet. I want to find out where I am still racist and purge that part of me. That’s all that I left to say. Forgive me and help me to see how I can make this better. How can I help the hurt of the black community and the police?

Mike

Why I support Isis

Now that I have entered my name on every watch group in the world (by that title to this post) I will quickly give the disclaimer that, of course, I don’t support Isis. Someone recently asked me what would be the group’s proper name in Arabic. My Arabic is rusty these days, so I had to search and work to find the vilest name that I could come up with, in Arabic. It was simply, people whose brains are made of dog shit.

So, I really don’t need to say much to point out how evil and disgusting Isis really is. To be part of that group, you would have to be classified as a sociopath to start with, but that is just the mental health description. The moral explanation is beyond any words that I can conjure up while sitting in this humble coffee shop in the afternoon.

However, I do support Muslim people with my whole heart. Why? Because they are humans, created in God’s image. Because they are created in God’s image, they are deserving of love and respect and that settles it. I feel the same way towards Jews, homosexuals, transgenders, Hindus and any other group that just happens to be human before they became under that secondary label.

I am deeply concerned these days, not about the terrorists coming for us (which has been the same saber rattling within Christendom since Mohammed took Mecca in 630 AD), but about the attitude I am seeing among my Christian friends. Virtually all my evangelical friends are on the same page. I am the misfit or outcast. Their mantra is, “Islam is evil, it is against God . . .  they are all evil and murderous. We must kill them all because we are the shining lights of morality for the world.”

 

For years, I pondered how on earth could have decent German people allow their country to become so morally corrupt that they could allow Nazism. How could they look the other way when the outcast; Jews, disabled, homosexuals and the like be executed because of their label? I have even met some of these people (I know one now) who lived in Nazi Germany and probably supported their government, at least at the beginning.

I think I now know. It is insidious. It creeps out through the cracks of frustration (over terrorism in the present case) and congeals on this side as camouflaged hate. It is camouflaged by the patriots as standing up for freedom and the American Way (which I think Superman coined). It is veiled by Christians as being on God’s side. But hate is hate. Hate is the fuel of Isis and if we become like them, we are no better than they are.

I think what shocks me the most is that this attitude is one of solidarity among my Christian friends. I am grateful that I go to a church where the dominant attitude is not this way.

How do I explain Isis? Is it a Muslim feature?  I would need a book to explain that clearly but I will just summarize here in closing. If you take a country, say “Zenderland” and subject it to domination by other, far away countries and subject it to injustices (like all countries experience at one time in history or another) you will create a general ill-feeling among the Zenderlanders. As that discontent and anger grows, there will the minority spin-off nut-job groups who allow their anger to go to seed as raw hate. This is human nature. If they want, they can look into their personal philosophies to find the supporting foundation for that anger, to make it metaphysically bigger than themselves. Study the Christian Thirty-Years-War and you will see how we did the same rationalizations, using Christian theology. Yes, there are things within Islam that you can use to support a violent Jihad, even though most Islamic scholars would disagree with that attitude.

This is the mess that we are in. When I even suggest that we, good-ole white skinned, Christian Americans have done injustices to other people groups in our past and we have made some huge political mistakes (like invading Iraq), this really pisses people off. How dare I say that we have anything to do with the horrible evils that we wittiness on TV? My Christian friends get the most pissed at me, and that is where I hear the question, “Why do you support Isis? I thought you were a Christian.”

But is it not a foundational Christian principle, which Jesus himself taught, that we should first look at the log in our own eye?  Of course, what Isis does is pure evil, but does this let us off the hook from taking any moral responsibility?

I am confused. I scratch my head and wonder how could we be so blind. The huge problem of the world is not a shortage of hate and we need to generate more hate to fix it.

Mike

Peephole into the Previous Life

I joined Facebook about five years ago to see photos of my grandson, who lives in Minneapolis. Now there are two of them, so I have a greater need to stay on it. I don’t know the genius of FB, but the algorithm is incredible. Out of the dust of long-forgotten memories, came people that I knew. Somehow if I find one friend, then their friends appear and so on.

Over the years, I have had to “un-friend” some of my old evangelical friends when they said things that kept me awake at night. Thinks like, “We should be bombing the Syrian refugees as soon as they get in their boats . . . take them out with a drone . . . we all know they are coming here just to hurt us.”

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I still have a lot of old friends, from that previous life, that I want to keep. I try not to say much, unless they say things that need challenging. For example, the massacre in Orlando required a rebuttal from me.

But looking through the peephole of FB, I see a world that has changed very little from the world I was in, when I was in college. These old friends see me as the liberal compromiser. I have left the world of godliness and entered the “humanistic” world of moral relativity (that is me reading between the lines). This is where they see me as having moral relativism:

  1. I don’t believe, like they do, that all Muslims are disgusting people and because they worship an idol, they all want to come here and kill us and covert us.
  2. If a Christian gives up their right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, they are the victims of religious persecution. I don’t agree with that either. My question is why would any Christian want that right?
  3. I don’t see Donald Trump as the torchbearer for moral absolutes in a relativistic society.
  4. I don’t see that we are in the last days because America is going to hell in a hand-basket (as exemplified by too many brown people being here, humanist teaching that the world is 13 billion years old, people living together out of wedlock). I think we are living in the best age the world has known. When I was a kid, a lot of “decent” church-folks were sleeping with their friends wives, drinking themselves silly each night and wearing bigotry as god-given right. We all feared being nuked any day.

I want to come back to this thought, and I mentioned it briefly above, but one of the major areas of contention is that virtually all my old evangelical friends have jumped in line behind Donald Trump. In the early days, where there was a Republican choice, not all of them were on board. But when he became the only choice, they felt they had no choice. As one said, “Ben Carson is a godly and brilliant man, if he thinks that Donald Trump is a good man for Christians and American, he must be right.”

I want to come back to this idea soon. Trumpism is a serious symptoms of something dark deep within American Christiandom. I think it is the concept of “branding” that America has bought into, but I have to think about it.

My disclaimer: I only have the chance to write here when I am between patients. I can’t proof-read, so please forgive any typos. If you find typos in my book (which I have carefully proof-read as has professionals) then you can criticize me.

Mike

Butterflies in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar is Underway

For over ten years I have worked on my manuscript. Today is a milestone day when I submit for the final stages of publishing.

I have published two other books, both publish on demand (self-published). I had a dream where a real publisher would want a book that I had written. Never did I imagine that I would have to turn down two such real publishers, which I did this time. The book will be available in about two months. I have decided to publish under my own publishing brand of Naked Christian Press. I have chosen this route for several reasons, the main one is to give it the priority that I think it deserves. While, I am not in this (only in my other dreams) to earn a living but to get an important message out, especially for those post-evangelicals.

A few years ago I had an early rough draft of the book on my website Christian Monist.  The final manuscript is radically different from the first draft. It is half as long and only a few of the original stories remain.

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