We are easing into the school year here at the Casa. The Hubs has sauntered back into the high school, and school picnics begin this weekend. School supplies and uniforms are being purchased, and I am staring head on at the daily routine with dread in my eyes. This girl . . . she is amazing, but she is S-L-O-W. My mother is getting her wish - I hope she is giddy with glee.
As we are gearing up for a new routine, things around us seem to be whirling about in a constant melee too. There are so many serious things hitting the news as of late, it seems I cannot keep up. While other writers are prolific in their coverage and responses to the multitude of crises and travesties, I find that my writing tends to be more erratic because all these issues just make me angry. I spout off, but little of it becomes more than an emotional rant. Knowing that I haven't the energy to do the amount of research I would find necessary to provide an erudite commentary, I simply write my drafts and then delete.
Here is a glimpse into the posts that never were . . . If any of this strikes a nerve, I invite you to leave a comment to enter into conversation. If you disagree, I promise not to write you off if you promise not to do the same.
All Trumped Up and Nowhere to Go. Donald Trump as a frontrunner? Really? For serious? And don't you dare bring your "he's a breath of fresh air" malarky into these parts. It's more like a rancid, morning after a bender breath. He is not refreshing. He is not politically incorrect and calling it as it is. Rudeness and petulance is not presenting an unfettered truth. Don't tout his business experience. I haven't forgotten the orchestrated bankruptcies. Lincoln weeps. The party of emancipation is close to transforming itself into a caricature of a frat party. He is not saying what everyone is thinking . . . and if everyone is thinking THAT garbage - I am truly frightened for our future. (I know, I know, Jesus got this, but ... you know what I'm saying?) I keep having to pinch myself to be sure his candidacy isn't just a gag by The Onion. More than Trump, I am aghast at all the people giving him any credibility. A temper tantrum is not the way to reclaim our nation if you do believe it has been lost. Instead of droning on, I will link you to Matt Walsh who said it better.
If you support Trump, please share with me what of his actual policy positions impress you?
The Killing of Our Collective Conscience: Planned Parenthood. I mean come ON y'all. Seriously. How can you see any of that footage and not gag? You know what your gag reflex is for? It keeps you from keeping down things that are BAD FOR YOU. Stick your toothbrush too far down and you could choke . . . gag reflex. Eat something rancid that could give you food poisoning or worse? Gag reflex. Pretty much the same here. I cannot watch these videos because they make me want to vomit. I don't write much about hot button issues here because I want this space to be all about the love. You know what, though? The love has to be rooted in truth, and it seems we as a society have become as a horse with giant blinders on. You want to talk about preventative healthcare for women? Great - let's do it. It is atrocious the lack of care that is available for many of our citizens even after the Affordable Care Act. Deplorable. You know what won't fix that? Blindly adorning Planned Parenthood a savior's halo. Surely there is another way that affirms both mother and child. See? Angry venting. You want to read something good that will challenge and soothe you at the same time? Read Ann Voskamp. It's one of the best things I have read about this whole horrid episode.
If you still support Planned Parenthood, could you share with me why their services are vital to women's healthcare based on what they truthfully provide?
People are Not All Animals. No, this isn't going where you think. I'm not so much talking about Cecil. (Though . . . Beanie Babies sure knows how to make a no-brainer comeback, no?) Ok, maybe it has a little to do with the lion. For some who are fighting the fight on the right-to-life battlefront, everyone risks becoming an enemy. Either you are with me or against me. Having been in the "personally pro-life, politically pro-choice" camp for many years, I can tell you that we can exist in the realm between either side. Not everyone has the worst intentions when they disagree with your work. I know. It's horrific. What is being killed is a child. When you're not entrenched in pro-life work, though, notice how easy it is for us never to mention that. It's a choice. It's a woman's body. It's a right. It's healthcare. For those of us who believe abortion is wrong, but we cannot force decisions on other women, the presence of the many factors that influence a woman to choose abortion weigh heavy. Please don't assume that these women are all irresponsible. Please don't assume that those who advocate for her do so out of hatred for children or babies. As Jennifer Fulwiler wrote with such eloquence well before this latest scandal, many are misinformed, blinded, but acting out of love. Just misguided love as a friend taught me. I will never forget his words. "How many children have to die while we figure out how to save women from abuse, poverty, and neglect?" How many children indeed.
For those who believe abortion is flippantly used as birth control, have you ever spoken to a woman who has had an abortion? Do you realize you probably know several - it's a silent reality. She may be sitting next to you in the pew every Sunday.
A Dread of Poly-Ticks. Can we stop? Can we? Just? Stop? I majored in political science. I loved it. This? This is not political science. It is a three-ring circus. What used to be an exchange of ideas amid varied ideologies has turned into an exercise of pompous, disingenuous pandering. No, I don't really believe you're "just like me." I don't. Frankly, I don't care. What are you ideas for fixing what is broken? What do you really even think is broken? What is going well regardless of what party implemented it? Can you even bring yourself to applaud a person of the opposite political persuasion? Also - no more ads. For the love of all my sanity and limited non-cable television time - stop the ads. It's not even November 2015! And surely for the good of all the land, let's stop giving crazy people free airtime by talking about their crazy. (See #1 above.) I half expect to see some corpulent man in a toga with a gold laurel leaf crown on his head eating grapes be carried onto stage soon. When is the intermission? Can I get a refund? Jed Bartlet 2016. End scene.
What do you think might restore integrity to our political process?
For the Love! (Sorry, Jen Hatmaker - you're not the only one who has used that phrase like a beloved blanket for many a year.) Seriously, though. Is there something about politics that makes us forget to Whom we belong? Could we be worse examples of Christ's love for one another? No, it isn't everyone. There are those that carry themselves with charity and dignity. There is something about big election years . . . or rather seasons because these things are now basically on-going . . . they bring out the cah-razy in people. We forget that we might actually like each other, that maybe we are all struggling toward the same goal, that maybe the "other" isn't a demon child sent from the bowels of hell to destroy us. I'll stop there, because I have a feeling this will turn into a full-fledged post if I continue.
Do you have friends with whom you vehemently disagree? How do you nurture your friendship?
'Mericuh! We Da Bomb! I have no issue with patriotism - real, true patriotism that recognizes the virtue of a nation while working to eradicate its vices to lift it up above the fray. This ain't that, friends. This is not allowing us to be lifted up on eagles' wings, but rather burying our heads into the eagles' nest and refusing to come out to play. With the rise of the international market, free trade, internet communication and commerce, and just increased ease of international travel, we exist in a global reality. The reality is that we have contributed to the suffering of others around the world. Our policies and practices have contributed to the condition of life at home and across the globe - good, bad, and ugly. There are no easy solutions. While we can have pride in our nationality, those "other" folks across the borders? They're no less human, no less deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than those nestled within our borders. Yes, there are real problems. We need to be able to have tough, educated conversations that are rooted in justice and a willingness to sacrifice instead of rooted in fear and exclusion. When we are ready to have the big grown up conversations that may just last over 140 characters and a 30 second soundbite, maybe we will begin to see some transformation in our neighborhoods. What we do to the least of these, we do to ourselves.
How do you show patriotism without burying your head in the flag?
Exploitation for the Sake of a Dollar. Harper Lee, anyone? I know, I know. I really want to give in and buy the book just so I can be part of the conversation about how Atticus isn't really Atticus. It is unsettling, though, to hear how the whole new book was orchestrated. Lee, who is of advanced age, never meant the book to be published. It wasn't a lost manuscript - it was a tossed manuscript. A rejected draft of what went on to be a timeless classic and one of my favorite books. Add to Lee's book a new, never before found manuscript from Laura Ingalls Wilder and Dr. Seuss, and it seems like these authors just hid their work willy nilly in the cracks and crevices of their homes, and feeble mindedly forgot to publish them. I know. I'm a skeptic now. Perhaps Pioneer Girl and the new Seuss book will be everything the heart desires. It may just be a tainted love now that the waters are muddied as to their discoverers possible intentions.
Did you read Watchman or Pioneer Girl? Will you read the new Seuss? (Of all of the books, the Seuss one is the most tempting.)
See? It's just better to let off steam and delete sometimes. Sure, Jesus turned over tables and cracked that whip, but I'm guessing there wasn't steam coming out of His ears.
What do you think about all of this? Is there something that has you riled up that you don't have the energy to vent? Let me know! Just remember to keep it civil, please. At the end of the day, this place is still all about the love.
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't The Lyceum!
And until next time, let's get out there and love 'em like Jesus, even if it means overturning a table (out of love) sometimes.
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