Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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Do you exist? Is reality what you think it is? Do you even think at all? Are you even reading this? I do not know. Come follow me down the rabbit hole!

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I am as tired as anyone else about the world ending because they put a black man who knelt in respectful protest to the flag. I mean, I guess I do not get it. He never was disrespectful to the flag, or country. To say we don’t have real issues that need to be addressed is a lie. We can as a society do better. The justice system is whack. I know police target blacks I have heard it from a former cop that they do. Most inmates in the largest prison population in the world are black. Who has that prison population, yes, the U.S. of A. Greater population than Russia and China combined.

Now I am white and I am not saying white people don’t go through struggles, get killed by cops, or end up in prison. But generally it’s the black kid with the cell phone that was supposedly a gun that ends up on the news. If you drive through impoverished areas in most cities, who lives there? Black people, and why? These are real issues and Kaepernick used his platform to start a conversation that we are all having.

The funny thing is, I have not seen or heard of one black person protesting Kaepernick or Nike. I am sure they exist, but it seems to be all white people. I am white and know a bit about white privilege. I have been given more chances by the justice system than I deserve. I have never been harassed by the police, or asked for ID, or unlawfully searched. I also never grew up in poverty. Now I know a lot of white people have. I am just speaking for myself.

Can we at least just understand, maybe think about the message instead of being so critical. I know they could have put other athletes in the advertisement, but they didn’t, and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we need to be having this conversation.

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Many on the Evangelical right believe that there is a culture war in the United States. They believe that their is some elaborate scheme to destroy Christianity. This is delusional thinking. Often it is only ourselves at war within our own minds. The good reverend talks about this and more on this Labor Day episode.

Many people forget that Jesus as a child was a immigrant whos family fled to another country for fear of death. Today we face an immigration problem in the United States except the real problem is not the immigrants it is our response particularly the response of the church. The culture of Jesus should be accepting and, open to all people. Jesus said “For what you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.” We have forgotten the words of Jesus and have created an idol that is called the United States.

10 Reasons I believe the Mollie Tibbetts murder was more than what we are being told.
1. The suspect worked on a farm connected to the government, he also was a gamer. The CIA may have targeted and contacted him online.
2. More than likely the two knew each other.
3.why did it take a month to find the body? They knew where the body was. They waited long enough to create a national news story.
4. Mollie was also targeted. Good family, young, attractive, white female.
5. The confession from the suspect sounds like something straight from a person who has been drugged and brainwashed.
6. What video? Home video? Who, what, and why?
7. Who confesses and leads police to a body the same day? MKULTRA was designed for this kind of situation.
8. Eccentric lawyer appears and is going to turn the case into a circus to keep the media attention going.
9. These studies of human reaction will be vital in future decision making by the government.
10. Nothing is as it seems.

For a month we have been praying, hoping and believing that Mollie Tibbetts who went missing on July 18th after going on a jog would be found alive. Time is not friendly in cases such as these. Yesterday Aug 21st we found out that Mollie Tibbetts was found dead, and that she was not only found, but the alleged killer took the authorities to her body. While the nation should be mourning the loss of a young woman who has not even hit the prime of her life, the nation has turned this into a call to “build the wall” starting a firestorm on social media. Why you may ask? The suspected killer who took authorities to the body of Mollie is an illegal immigrant.

My conspiracy driven mind tells me it all seems too convenient. The government and corporations are experts in manipulating the emotions of the people. Let us look at who makes national attention when someone goes missing. Young, attractive, white and female; these four parts of the equation bring in big numbers for large media outlets. Ever wonder why certain stories receive more attention than others? Well unfortunately there is your answer. We all seem attracted to these stories, and why not, the media makes them so appealing. All the right characters are assigned; the loving parents, a good home, a small town, an attractive female victim, a long search, and then the apprehension of the immigrant killer. Stories like these catch our emotions and prey on our fears and curiosities. The eyes of a nation are tuned in waiting to see what happens like reality TV show. Only this is being played out before our eyes in real time. A perfect catalyst for the powers that be to use such a tragedy to escalate the already heightened tensions of a country divided.

What could be the conspiracy? In the 50’s there was an actual government program that was given the name MKULTRA. This government sanctioned experiment developed by the CIA was used to weaken the mind of the victim and allow the person to be controlled. The facts of MKULTRA are terrifying stretching to college campuses and even to the torture and sexual assault of the government’s victims in order to achieve desired outcomes. These operations officially ended in the 70’s although I doubt that is the case. I encourage you to do some research on MKULTRA and the heinous acts the government committed on its own people. Some have even suspected the use of techniques developed within the MKULTRA project to have influenced Sirhan Sirhan to kill Robert Kennedy. Who was Sirhan? He was a Palestinian immigrant who admitted to the killing and even pled guilty in court while his attorney claimed he acted under hypnosis. Could Cristhian Rivera, the accused killer of Mollie Tibbitts have acted out of government mind control? If so, it was a perfect set up to increase the already heightened tensions within the country.

It is a fact that the government has used mind control on its citizens. Mobster Whitey Bulger and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski both are documented to have been victims of the CIA mind control operations, and both were possibly used as tools for the government. Other mysterious operations such as Operations Northwoods, which suggested assassinating American citizens to entice a war with Cuba was brought to the desk of President John F. Kennedy by then Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs General Lyman L. Lemnitzer. Kennedy rejected such a plan against the American people. Could Kennedy’s defiance of the Top Secret operation been one more nail in the coffin leading to his own assassination? What I am trying to explain is that the government is capable and willing to commit the most horrendous crimes against its own people for its own agenda. Is Molly Tibbetts the latest victim of her own government? Is the agenda to further divide the American people? From viewing what is being posted on social media even if the government played no role, the arrest of an illegal immigrant in the case has been all that was needed to bring about the hate that people in America have towards immigrants.

Yet what if the government did play a role? What if they did target Mollie Tibbetts and use Cristhian Rivera as the perfect killer to provoke the racial tension and political divide in the country? Let’s look at the confession of Cristhian Rivera. Rivera stated that he was following Mollie who was out for a run when she confronted him, then he reportedly “blacked out.” He told police that he did not even remember killing Mollie. Rivera goes on to state that after seeing some headphones he realized that Mollie was in the trunk of his car. He then stated that he placed the body in nearby cornfields. After his arrest he immediately made the confessions and led police to the body. Very strange, now I am not defending Rivera, he should tried by a jury and face the consequences. Although the public jury has already rendered a verdict of guilty with many ready if they could to render their own justice. While the idea of a “media trial” is nothing new, I feel it is important for us to allow calmer heads to prevail.

In the end, regardless of if this was a government conspiracy to create what we are now seeing on social media which essentially is the pulse of the nation. The focus should be on the family of Molly Tibbetts and their loss. Regardless of who killed her and why, there is nothing we can do to bring her back. If we had the ability to remove all illegal immigrants from our country these murders would still unfortunately take place. Yet, how many people understand that. Most people on social media don’t and even the President sees this as just one more reason to build a wall.

So I leave you with these final thoughts. It is obvious that the powers that be want the country divided. A divided country is a weak country; it is a country that can easily be manipulated by politicians and corporations. (This took place during the Civil War as well). When we are divided the government and corporations can engage in acts which we would normally find as violations of the constitution. It is very possible that the powers that be are setting the stage for even more divisive actions. So what can we do? First we need to stop with the division. Look at situations with rational suspicion. We must not allow the programmed hate fill our hearts and minds when faced with a horrific crime or terrorist attack. Secondly, and probably the hardest is to exert power through forgiveness. Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek, to forgive those that executed him even while he knew he was innocent. It would be a wonderful legacy for the family of Mollie Tibbetts to have her death not the cause of hostility, but rather be a catalyst for peace. Our government never will want peace in the nation and neither will major corporations who feed off these tragedies for ratings. We can be the voices of reason and the answer to a generation who says we must hate no more!

I am a clergy member of the PCA and wanted to share the thoughts of our Leadership Chair The Rev. Gina Pond, on Immigration in the United States.  This is the official board approved statement in which we encourage you to read, think about, and if you would like share.  

 

We, the Progressive Christian Alliance, are appalled by the systemic, amoral, and unethical treatment of immigrants by the current administration. What started with a ban on Muslim immigrants coming in from specific countries has now become full-out incarceration and abuse of People of Color from other countries who came to seek asylum. We are disgusted and appalled that children, babies, and toddlers are not only being abused, but are being ripped from their families and forced to face the grown-up legal system alone and entirely without representation.

We absolutely condemn these actions by this administration. These actions do not in any way fix the problems that the administration claims to be caused by immigrants. They are inhumane and go against the teachings of Jesus and scripture.

In Matthew 25:37-40, Jesus tells us:

“‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

and Jesus also tells us that the greatest commandment is (Luke 10:27):

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

For those of us in the Progressive Christian Alliance, there are no exceptions to these rules. We love our Muslim neighbor, our LGBTQIA+ neighbor, our neighbors from Latin America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and any other place and religion on this planet. Radical inclusion dictates that there should be a place for EVERYONE at the table. This doesn’t mean that those who do harm aren’t accountable for their actions, but it does mean that even if someone has committed a crime, they are still treated as a human being.

The Progressive Christian Alliance, its clergy and laity, stand in opposition to these inhumane, racist, and exclusionary policies and will fight against them wherever and however we can.

We also call on all Christians, progressive and otherwise, to reflect on the history and role of Christianity in general, and extremist Christianity in particular, in bringing us to this point. We must work, in all our denominations, churches, and groups to root out racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and all other extremism. While we, individually, may not have had a hand in creating the policies created by those who have perverted Christianity’s ethos to their own ends, we each have a responsibility to own up to Christianity’s dark history and be a part of cleaning up our own house. Until we accept that Christianity has been used for evil throughout its history, own up to it, and attone collectively for it, we will never be able to change the future.

We ask, in Jesus’s name, and in the name of the One who is called Goddess, Godde, God, and many other names, that all of God’s people will return to compassion, to love, and to bringing justice and care to those who are in need. That we will do the reflection necessary as individuals, groups, and organizations in order to bring about the radical inclusion and hospitality that Jesus taught us to create and emulate.

Amen and May It Be So,
Rev. Gina Pond
Leadership Chair

Once again the debate of divine authority which has been argued throughout the centuries is being debated by Trump Christians who use the text of Romans 13 to force their agenda upon all Christians. First most of the Christians who are trying to pedal this agenda do not have any understandings of hermeneutics and allow a literal reading of the text to suffice which actually greatly distorts the meaning.

God did not put Trump or any other president in power. Voters did. It is my opinion that God when he gave us freedom to do as we wish that freedom extended to all parts of our lives and God rarely intervenes. Let us look at how God spoke to Cain about his frustrations with his brother Able.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7, NIV).
As we know God did not stop Cain from killing his brother. It was not God’s will that Cain kill his brother as the verses above attest to that. It was Cain’s will and his actions. God may warn us, and we have the law of love written on our hearts, but in the end the actions we take are our own.
Let us look at the lifestyle of Daniel. Daniel defied the authority that was above him throughout his life in captivity. We find examples of Daniel refusing to eat what he was ordered (Daniel 1) We find Daniel refusing to bow to the image in which he was ordered by the king to do. (Daniel 3). Daniel refuses to cease his prayers in defiance of the king (Daniel 6).

What may seem odd is the fact that Daniel also wrote, “He changes times and seasons; he disposes kings and raises them up.” (Daniel 2:21, NIV). Yet here we do not have a dilemma, we have the very reason why the Jews loved the book of Daniel. The text was a motivational story in which the Jews clung to in their time of distress. It is understandable to want to have some sort of rational explanation as to why God seemingly abandoned them. Yet the truth is God never abandoned, they were taken captive as many nations were and for a time they were forced into exile. You may disagree with me on this although many scholars have come to the same conclusion.

One more example before I focus directly upon Romans 13. According to Samuel God did not desire the people of Israel to even have a king. Samuel the prophet may have been saying this because he thought his place of authority was in jeopardy and like many invoke the name of God to strike fear into the hearts of men, or he may have heard actually from God. I don’t know. I know Samuel was wise in stating that if the people receive a human king he would take their sons and daughters demand taxes and also take their lands (1 Samuel 8:10-22).

Who then brought about the King? Not God, but the people demanded it and they received it. Look back at Cain and Abel. The freewill of man is mostly littered with sin.
Romans 13 seems to be a very clear-cut text of the Apostle explaining to the often dysfunctional church how to keep their heads attached to their bodies. Written during a time in which claiming to be a member of the new cult of Jesus would bring one severe punishment if not death. Paul in writing to the Roman to warn them of earthly punishment as well as to help them to realize that even though they are children of God, and citizens of heaven it is still important to live a life of peace. Paul invokes the name of God although like many preachers and prophets. Invoking the name of God is always beneficial to validate an argument in which you desire no other sentiments. Paul was a wise man as was Daniel and Samuel, and himself defied the government of his day because of his convictions.

What we cannot do is use the text as a blanket statement in which can be translated to our lives today. I think we may be able to pull out many great points within Romans 13. Obeying the law is a good thing. Paying taxes and being fearful of doing evil because generally in most cultures the same laws against theft, murder, etc. exist. While it is clear that Christians should respect authority, we must also as Jesus pointed out be wise as serpents. To blindly follow a government that is wrong and ungodly is in itself foolish. Paul was not telling the Roman church to follow the orders of Rome, or to worship their Gods because they commanded it. If that was the case they would have converted back to the Pagan gods. He for all practical purposes wanted the Roman church to live in peace with the authority as much as they could.

In the United States today we have a drastically different type of Government than that of 1st century Rome. We choose our leaders such as the President through an election. God does not choose the leaders the people do. God is not going to interfere with the free will of the people. In the United States a country in which the very foundations were based on rebellion, how dare Jeff Sessions try to quote Romans 13 to obtain the obedience of the people! It is our very duty as Americans to protest and seek justice in which we feel is right in our eyes. We will not always get it right, but if we do nothing then nothing will get done.
Just as God did not raise up Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam, or the Queen of England, God did not raise up Trump. What God did do was give us the free will to choose our leaders; that is if we are lucky enough to be born in a country in which that is possible. I am tired of Trump Christians praising him more than they do Jesus and thinking that this is all apart of some prophecy leading towards the end of the world. No, what it is should be a call for Evangelicals to start to learn to properly interpret the Bible.

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What does it mean to be Patriotic? The general definition is a person who vigorously supports ones country. In a unique nation such as ours we have a country constructed of the people, for the people. We are more than the land in which we live on, we are team of people who has come together to share in similar values. When you are a member of a team, we should do our best to support our team members. We do this as a country by passing laws in which will help our fellows. Yet in today’s America many of these laws only divide and manipulate the team, for the benefit of the few.

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Today in our country we face many issues in which we are letting our teammates and future teammates down. The first being immigration. Good people who are risking life and limb trying to come to this country in the hope of finding safety and freedom. Unlike the immigrants of past days these people are not met with lady liberty. Immigrants are met by men with guns, ripping mothers from their children and placing them in their perspective cages. What kind of a team play is this? Many say they are breaking the law; we are a country of laws, they say. Let me remind you that while we are a country of law, many people are not as fortunate as you or I to be born into this team; many would do anything to be in your position. Tell me about law when you need to risk your life for freedom.

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Another issue is healthcare. Even if you have a good job you will pay hundreds of dollars per month to provide healthcare for your family. If we are a team wouldn’t we all want people to have access to health care, especially in a country like ours in which we have the ability to make it happen? Many will say, I had to pay, I have to work, they tell their teammates to get a job you bum, quit working that minimum wage job, that’s for kids. Oh if only it was that easy. Do you think people want to be poor? Do you think people want to be on welfare? Maybe just maybe you could trade places with the waitress serving you while you justify how you can leave a small tip. If I described you, then you suck at being on a team. You suck at being patriotic, never wave an American flag again! You have been benched! In a country such as ours healthcare should be a right not something that is a burden. I would rather my tax dollars go to pay doctors, and build hospitals, not more bombs to drop on tents and camels in the desert.

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Let us examine the lie of higher education. We tell our children to get good grades, go to college and become whatever you want to be. I am all for instilling passion into our youth, they are our future. What I cannot understand is going tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a four-year degree in which you may never can use. Many college graduates end up working at a job they hate because they must pay back the student loans for fear of poor credit, so they can drive a Subaru. Don’t get me wrong, I support higher education. I hold a B.S. a M.A. and currently working on an Ed. D. Yet I served in the Army, I earned a considerable amount of money to attend college. Not everyone is given that opportunity. I believe that in a nation such as ours our people should be allotted monies in order to receive at least an associate’s degree or training for a skilled trade. I understand the importance of having some skin in the game. The student should be responsible for some of their tuition. Yet if we the people continue to provide poor salaries and an expensive cost of living, it is only right to help them with their education. Remember this is a team play.

 


Finally, there is a saying, “money never sleeps.” Corporations in the United States have become modern plantations, and politicians work with these corporations to line their pockets. We have a separation between church and state, but the biggest need in America is a separation between corporations and state. It is the corporations who are dictating the politicians who pass the laws creating a slave state in which the worker is slowly losing their rights like a frog boiling in a slowly heated pot. It is a fascist system without a face, with greed turning the gears of the operation. The current government allows the super elite to continue to rule the country from their boardrooms. Corporations do not care about you or me. People are just commodities bought and sold between each other, buying their livestock at the lowest rate. They make employees feel good offering just enough money to keep the lights on so you will be forced to come back day after day. The lucky ones will have enough left over to enjoy a night out once a week, and the very fortunate are those who have the nice house and car but are drowning in debt, they may seem happy but look closely. They are often in a greater prison, never truly leaving work because they are shackled down with a company phone and laptop. When and if you do “make it” you may have enough money to pay for your nursing home and burial expenses, leaving your children without an inheritance. This is the America we live in. The government says we currently have the lowest unemployment rate in years, yet many workers have gone off the grid or are working part time jobs to keep the lights on, hoping to make it to work every day without getting pulled over because they would rather feed their children instead of buying car insurance. This is the reality we live in, and then we thank God and government that we have jobs all the while we are being robbed. Some people say that the devil’s greatest trick was to get people to believe that he does not exist. I would say next in line is making the people think the government actually cares.

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So what does it mean to be patriotic? Patriotism is defined by a person who vigorously supports ones country. This should be clear then to any American. A patriot is not someone who waves a flag and screams “we are a land of laws.” Yes, we are a land of laws, but most importantly the country is only as strong as its people. If we treat our immigrants like criminals in which if you are white you are a decedent of an immigrant. If we do not care for the sick, the poor, and scoff at people working minimum wage jobs just trying to carve out an existence. If you think that education should come with a huge price tag leaving the next generation in debt. If you support the government control by corporations; which enables these entities to force us into servitude. If you think all these things are acceptable and are still waving a flag it is time to re-evaluate your actions because they go against the very definition of patriotism. Put down the flag put on a brown shirt and sing songs about Mussolini because that is what you have become. You are not a part of this team we call the United States, you are either working for the opposition or you are too dumb to figure out you have been duped, either way, get it together, or stay on the bench.
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Stop the insanity. Nate talks about why fundamental Christianity is the more divisive form of Christianity. Nate talks the lunacy of our rule of law and our profane system in which so many Christians adhere.