Navigating the conflagration

Our nation faces multiple perils, akin to a battered car, low on gas, with wobbly tires, weak headlights, steering down a pothole filled road. On the right is the blazing, growing conflagration of MAGA, white- vigilante-militia-supremacy, fanned by a rudderless alt-right media. On the left, are the crumbling guardrails of constitutional authority, the slippery mud of the cult of personality. Ahead is thick fog of a “stolen” election and imperiled transition. Behind is the growing tsunami of a criminally mismanaged, deadly pandemic and an approaching, expanding funnel cloud of unpayable deficits and inequity.

Worst of all, behind the wheel, is a temper-tantrum, toddler, throwing a fit of self-pity.

It’s time for the adults to take the wheel.

Maybe a better country is possible

Every day for the last 3 plus years, I have prayed, “Deliver us from evil.” That prayer is more a reality today. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the birds are singing, the valley finally got some rain and the clouds are beautiful…maybe the nightmare is passing…

MAGA or Magi?

The good news of Jesus is not “Make America Great Again.”

The good news of Jesus is not “America First”

It is the Glory of the Lord rising upon all nations.

It is the kings, petty tyrants and rulers of this age quaking in fear at the loss of their power.

It is not needing any other savior, political or otherwise to fulfill God’s purposes.

It is bowing down and worshiping Jesus.

It is the preemptive invasion of divine love.

To vote or not to vote…

County-Election

Should Christians vote? Honestly, I’m surprised the question even comes up.

I find the “no vote” view short on hope and at times, heavy on eschatological despair and cynicism, that may lead to a contraction from engagement in society. It has a dualistic view of government that I don’t think is accurate in light of Jesus Christ as risen, victorious and reigning in heaven over all powers since his ascension. Rev. 11:15 declares “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” The aorist or past tense is used. That has been a present reality for almost 2,000 years. It is an accomplished fact. That shows some of my eschatological leanings. However, that does not mean I believe the current administration is the dawning of the millennium. Far from it. It’s testing the hearts of believers in this country to see where their allegiance lies – to the gospel or a vicious, white nationalist political ideology.

In contrast, I consider the example of the British member of Parliament and Christian believer, William Wilberforce who believed in political engagement for change and resulted in the end of legal slavery in the British Empire in 1807 (without a civil war as in the US, decades later). His life long battle had redemptive value that increased God’s justice and manifested God’s common grace in the world.

I have already voted for 2018. I count it a privilege to have a say in what happens in my community be it taxes, the retention of judges, public funding which helps pay for the roads I drive on or whether the incarceration of migrant children as young as 2 years old continues in the name of national security by my representatives in Congress. If the Apostle Paul, a citizen of heaven, used his Roman citizenship for the advancement of the gospel, then I think I ought to do the same when and where I can.

Voting or not voting, and who one votes for is ultimately up to each person that has no bearing on one’s salvific status.  But I’m all for an increase in God’s justice and common grace in the world.

Remembering the most recent

Events at Arlington National Cemetery

Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, died May 5, 2017, during an operation against the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab in a remote area west of Mogadishu, Somalia. He was assigned to a U.S. East Coast-based special warfare unit.

1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia, died April 29, 2017, in Mosul, Iraq, from injuries while conducting security as part of advise and assist support to partnered forces. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

From http://www.militarytimes.com/

A Dirge on the Occasion of the Ascension of Der Gropenfurher

half-staff-1

Its twilight in America, the false dawn of greatness,
the robber barons have returned,
pillage, plunder and profits for the 1%,

The reign of the small-handed vulgarian has begun,
policy determined by the terrorism of the Tweet,
post-truth, post-news, post-ethics, p***grabbing power by hack.

Its twilight in America,
when the shadows fall,
the view is obscured,
the way is unclear;

But the wheel of history turns round & round, what goes up must come down,
The pumpkin headed dirigible ascends on high, swollen with the swamp gas of pomposity & grandiosity,
But soon, none too soon, the overinflated, bloviator will float back to the ground, down, down, down to the mucky mire from which it crawled.

Twilight is the time for vigil,
for wakefulness and watchfulness, not for slumber
of listening, of waiting, not of despair,
No twilight lasts forever, even night gives way to day.
Every reign of error comes to an end.

A Number Hard to Calculate

fidel

How Many Did Fidel Kill?

Since 1959, a minimum accounting includes:

5,600  – firing squads

 1,200  – “extrajudicial assassinations”

2,199  – prison deaths

5,300 – guerrilla warfare

Not counting lives lost due to the foreign military excursions in Bolivia, the Congo, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Angola, and 125,000 + refugees fleeing the island utopia…

Colin Kaepernick can keep his T-shirt version of history.

“…in the long run it is character that counts. “

t-r

“For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfill its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

Now, Therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, do set apart Thursday, the 26th day of November, next, as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day I recommend that the people shall cease from their daily work, and, in their homes or in their churches, meet devoutly to thank the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received in the past, and to pray that they may be given the strength so to order their lives as to deserve a continuation of these blessings in the future.”

Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States – Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1908

Prayer For an Election

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers
and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of
all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your
purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Episcopal Book of Common Prayer