Dear Santa…

“Dear Santa, I am seven years old. I want freedom so I can be with my aunts and uncles. I don’t want to go back to my country. And I also want a remote control airplane.”

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This is a letter written by one of 19 children, ages 2-9 from Central American now in custody of ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in PA. According to the Guardian, the families who entered the US illegally and are held at an immigration detention center have all been issued expedited deportation orders, but those are on hold pending a legal challenge against the terms of their removal. An appeal to the US Supreme Court is expected within the month. The Obama administration says it cannot release the families because of the stay on deportations in the case. But immigration rights groups argue there is nothing preventing ICE from releasing the mothers and children, as they are legally obliged to do, pending resolution of the challenge. They point out that the government is in breach of a federal court ruling, Flores v Lynch, which gives immigrant children detained with their mother’s equal rights to those detained alone. That puts ICE under an obligation to release the children into the care of outside relatives or groups without any delay.  For two and a half years President Obama and his administration have been insistent on detaining children. The palpable anger and frustration felt towards the Obama administration is intensified now with the victory of Donald Trump and his threats to round up and deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

Not so Merry a Christmas for them.

The Nightmare Before Christmas…

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Now that the Electoral College has secured the millennial reign of Comrade Drumpf, he joins the illustrious ranks of those who lost the popular vote –

1824: John Quincy Adams

1876: Rutherford B. Hayes

1888: Benjamin Harrison

2000: George W. Bush

2016: Donald Trump

Comrade Trumpsky lost by around 2, 864,974  million votes.

Its also fitting to recall what Republicans had to say about the Comrade Elect during the election:

  • The most “vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency.” (M. Rubio)
  • “Utterly amoral.”
  • “This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”
  • “A narcissist at a level that I don’t think this country has ever seen.”
  • “A serial philanderer.” (T. Cruz)
  • “Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.”  (C.Christie)

As Will Rogers said, “A fool & his money are soon elected.”

Way to go America.

Welcome to the Kakistocracy!

Kakistocracy – (n) – government by the least qualified, most unprincipled citizens, most stupid members
Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad

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    The good news is Billary Inc. lost. The bad news is Trump Inc. won. As George Will has written the 2016 election turned out with a “loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win.” I guess it wasn’t so rigged as Donald thought.
Now we’re expected to let bygones be bygones, sing “Kum ba Yah,” have a group hug and jump in line & goose step with Boss Trump.

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Not so fast.
Losing the popular vote with 60,350,241 to 60,981,118 does not a mandate make.

I’m a 50+ year old White male, with 1 wife, 2 cats, 3 kids and 4 guns. Theologically, doctrinally, ecclessiastically I am “evangelical” (euanggelion – good news). But faced with 2 equally miserable choices, candidates who were both morally-challenged, ethically-challenged, and character-challenged, I voted for neither one. There’s little difference between going off a cliff at 35 MPH or 135 MPH except the speed of your own demise. I refused to support either party that has led us to this kakistocracy.

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Evangelical supporters say Donald has changed. I’m looking for proof. Genuine change is made up of genuine repentance, contrition and restitution, none of which have been evident in Donald’s behavior or statements since winning. Moral character used to matter to evangelicals – I guess that’s optional now if it’s an election year!
I’m still waiting for his tax returns. I’m waiting for him to apologize to John McCain & the Khan family. I’m waiting for him to ‘fess up about his assault of women.
Guess I’ll be waiting a long time.

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What would happen if voters for the defeated party acted like Republicans did when they lost to President Obama? Like John Boehner, offering his plans for the President’s agenda: “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” Or the Trumpster himself who called the 2012 election a “total sham and a travesty…. We are not a democracy!” Or like countless bloggers since 2008 have suggested the president’s assassination by putting his face on targets, threatened divine punishment or prayed for his demise and death?
But that would be unseemly.

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The Donald has made some big promises. I doubt Trump will be the savior people expect him to be.If he doesn’t follow through those that voted for him may turn on him quickly and viciously.
Peter Hitchens wrote – “Maybe Mr. Trump will turn out to have been kidding us. Maybe he will surround himself with advisers of brilliance and subtlety, who will prove to have mastered the problems of reintroducing protection in a world governed by open borders and increasingly dominated by China. Maybe all that stuff about jailing his opponent was just talk. Maybe, despite all those years of, er, locker-room behavior Mr. Trump will turn out after all to be a Christian gentleman in office upholding the ancient virtues. I do hope so. But forgive me if I decline to be optimistic.”

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I wonder if Donald will survive 4 years without impeachment – it will be due either to his propensity for outrageous behavior, trying to run the executive office like “The Apprentice” instead of as the executive leader of a nation or worse – his thin-skin and low tolerance for critics and opposition point to darker authoritarian possibilities.
I hope I’m wrong . I will pray for our nation. I will pray he genuinely experiences converting grace that is abundant in the fruit of repentance.
I pray the damage from this fiasco will be minimal.

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Signed, Sealed…

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I have voted. Since Colorado has mail-in ballots I have completed mine. Tomorrow, I will deliver it. I voted neither for Trump Inc. or Billary Inc. I was never convinced and still am not persuaded that the lesser of these evils will be better. I refused to waste my vote for a man who is a crass, vulgar, sexually predatory blow-hard & the corrupt party that nominated him.

There are a number of Christian leaders and self-appointed spokesmen who continue to urge, cajole, threaten and distort their own imaginings as the voice of God requiring a vote for Trump – even though they admit he is barely morally tolerable, personally repugnant and a political liability. We are urged – Vote the platform! Vote the party! These are  voices of desperation. What they do not seem to realize is that these have been co-opted and corrupted by the very political process and party leadership they continue to support and its nominee. It is also the failure to see beyond a 2 party system.

This election shows the bankruptcy of the GOP. Yes, the results are the judgement of God – and we have been under that for quite awhile. What is feared will be lost, was lost a long time ago and it wont be restored except by genuine repentance. And that’s not part of anyone one’s current political platform.

If HRC wins as is expected it may be a blessing in disguise as maybe God will awaken the church to stop leaning on the staff of a broken reed (Is. 36:6) and become the church with a gospel rather than a church of American consumerism who sells its soul & inheritance for a mess of political pottage & privilege.

Grabber in Chief?

“When a government is in its prime, the public good engages the attention of the whole; the strictest regard is paid to the qualifications of those who hold the offices of state; virtue prevails; everything is managed with justice, prudence, and frugality; the laws are founded on principles of equity rather than mere policy, and all the people are happy. But vice will increase with the riches and glory of an empire; and this generally tends to corrupt the Constitution and in time bring on its dissolution. This may be considered not only as the natural effect of vice, but a righteous judgment from Heaven, especially upon a nation which has been favored with the blessings of religion and liberty and is guilty of undervaluing them and eagerly going into the gratification of every lust.”

Samuel Langdon (1723-1797)

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To start – I have no rat in the “Billary Inc. vs. Trump Inc.” rat race – I consider neither major party’s presidential candidate fit for the highest office in the land. I am voting for a 3rd party candidate that aligns with my political and moral views. I am not persuaded that I am “throwing away” my vote – if the GOP had wanted to defeat “Billary Inc.” it could have nominated a plausible candidate of whom there were sufficient number to at least make a contest of it. But due to Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee & a majority of the delegate’s desperation and terror of Hillary, it has given into a hostile take-over of the party and is now held hostage by a psychopathic text-book narcissistic, sexual predator who has a scorched earth policy of relational skills. Now that Trump seems to have decimated his chances for even a close loss, he has resorted to theories about left wing-media conspiracies, threats of uprisings or simply whining. He has no one to blame but himself.

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Sadly, some Christian leaders on Trump’s “Evangelical Executive Advisory Council” have proven hotter & more wanton for power than Oholah and Oholibaha (Ezekiel 23) reversing their long cherished culture war morality, principles and values to excuse Trumps insults of war heroes & veterans, judges and citizens of different ethnicity, and minimize and dismiss his extended history of misogynistic words and actions against women with “yeahbuts” – the lame justification usually employed by 6 year olds (yeahbut -it’s not as bad as he-she-they did) or platitudes about forgiveness that demonstrate the cheapness of Trump’s so called conversion &  how willing they are to trivialize the Christian gospel.

Maybe as Russell Moore has pointed out, this is the last death rattle of the old-guard Religious Right establishment. I will skip the funeral. Maybe after the smoke & fog of the election has cleared, believers can get back to the work of being the church and making the land in which we live a better place than Trump Inc. or Billary Inc. portray it.

A Modest Proposal to Circumnavigate the Approaching Electoral Demolition Derby

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With the Trump vs. Clinton (how shall we term it – race / battle / dog fight / feeding frenzy / carnival / smack down) becoming more surreal each news cycle, I have a possible solution. Send both Donald & Hillary and their legion of affiliated minions to a far-away, remote un-populated, desert island (without phone, internet or outside contact, one bottle of water and a granola bar each) and let them face off with a duel to the denouement of one of them. Whoever is left standing and alive gets to rule that island for perpetuity – on one condition – that they never may leave it. The rest of us back here in the USA can then shrug off the trance of this sophomoric dance to the death of mutual destruction and get on with trying our best to resolve the real problems and the real challenges of life in our communities.

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Beyond Repair?

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  The first election I voted was in 1980 between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Back then there was no great debate for me about who to vote for having watched the US humiliated in Iran and the years of recession and unemployment of the Carter years.

2 of my children are of voting age this year and they have to decide between much different candidates and a much different race & debate. While we discussed some of the debates earlier in the campaigns, I have no idea who they will end up voting for – sadly, in my opinion, the 2 major party candidates are uniquely unqualified for the office of president. Where this country might end up under their leadership is disturbing especially given the legacy that will be left by the current administration’s mishandling of national and world affairs from bathrooms to refugees.

In previous elections, I have refused to obey the siren call of choosing between the lesser of 2 evils. I have voted 3rd party before and will most likely do so again.  The political campaign system is broken, a bizarre version of roller derby where the worst in the running with the most money end up first. It causes me to pause and consider how distorted the process has become and how real solutions for the real problems people face are ignored and neglected for a game show version of democracy. Its time for something better.

The Circus has Found its Clown

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“As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron” (H.L. Mencken).

(PS – With thanks to D. Wilson and R. Genn)