Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is It November 5th YET?

"Are we almost there? I'm sick of the backseat! How much longer? I have to pee! Johnny's on my side of the seat! Am not! Barack is touching me! Am not! I don't want your germs! Your friends are weird! Oh yea? Well, you're stupid best friend, George is an idiot! Oh yea? Well, I saw you hanging out with that mean guy, Billy... he blew up something! Oh yea? Well, take this...George, George, George, George!!! Shows what you know...I don't even like George anymore! Oh, riiiiight...I saw you and George KISSING! HA...and that girl-friend of yours? EWWWWWW...she is sooooo not cool! Everybody LIKES me! Everybody HATES you! Oh yea? Well, well, well....I'm going to give lots of money to all my friends...a million trillion dollars! Oh yea? Well, I am going to give even MORE money to all MY friends, a trillion BILLION dollars!Oh yea? Well, you're a baby killer! Oh yea? Well, you're a baby polar bear killer! Oh yea? Well, you ARE a baby! Oh yea? Well, you just do dumb things...dumb, dumb, dumb!"

ARGHHHHHH!!!!! Are we there yet? I'm REALLY REALLY getting sick!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sheer Joy Demands Companionship

One quick thought to you today; "God is sheer joy, and sheer joy demands companionship". (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

Hear this command that echoes off the canyon walls of the mighty Revelation of Jesus Christ, "Come up here..." (Revelation 4:1). The Father's outrageous pleasure is demanding company. Our earth-bound fears, anxieties, ponderings, pettinesses and pitynesses are a waste of our time! Sheer joy is waiting the pleasure of your company...."COME UP HERE!"

I'm already in lift-off....would you like to join me? The dance floor has room for a few more this morning.....

Monday, October 06, 2008

Elitism in America

Today I feel compelled to speak to something I see happening in the nation I love. What I say here may bear but a small influence but I believe that even one tiny ray of light shined on any darkness can begin a much larger enlightenment.

I have gone on record many weeks ago that while I admire and respect Senator Barack Obama, I do not believe he is experientially qualified to be the next president of the United States. If I were on a hiring committee interviewing candidates for such a position it would be a simple no-brainer. “You’ve got a great start here, young man. Keep up the good work and get back to us after you’ve finished your first term as Senator.” I know from my own experience of hiring public school teachers for the past 15 years that when I look at a resume and I see short term stays, especially just prior to the current hire I’m responsible for, those raise major concerns.

I have also been very plain spoken about my lack of enthusiasm for Senator John McCain. Until recently, I have yearned to hear something from his campaign that had the authentic ring of inspiration that could adorn the “bully pulpit” of his potential presidency. That is, until he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Now, here is where I want to sail into the theme of this writing. For me, Governor Palin has had a positive polarizing effect on this historic presidential race. At first, I could not quite put my finger on what it was that she brought to the table. Of course, some of it was obvious. You get the feeling that when she is speaking to any crowd that she’s using the same voice and words you would hear if she was sitting in your living room having a cup of coffee and shooting the breeze.

But it wasn’t until the now infamous interviews she held with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric that I’ve been able to put my thoughts in a coherent discussion. Governor Palin has, I think most likely without knowing it, brought a sharp exposure to a growing infection in American culture. The best label I can give it would be, “elitism”. It’s intellectual, political and philosophic elitism. Some have called it the “main-stream media” but I think that’s too easy to throw stones at because, frankly, the “main-stream media” could not exist in our free market system without the support of some base of readership and viewing audience. This is an elitism that has a profound influence on the minds and sensibilities of our population.

I see it almost everyday as a pastor. There is an elitist mindset that views faith, worship, church and spirituality with immediate and sharp cynicism. On this matter alone I could write a book, but that isn’t my purpose here.

Let’s go back to the Alaskan governor. Here’s a short list of the criticisms that came out of the aforementioned interviews;
1. She could not articulate Supreme Court decisions that she had specific problems with.
2. She could not immediately name the newspapers and magazines she reads
3. She did not know the “Bush Doctrine”
4. She fumbled through her answer about the $700 billion bail out package
5. She stumbled around for an answer about foreign policy

There’s more but I want to hurry on to my point. If you listen carefully to the interviews you can understand better the background with which Governor Palin was being contrasted. She was me or you sitting in a room with the elitist mind set all around her. Politically correct pontiffs were trolling the Alaskan waters for the catch of the day. She has since refreshingly laughed at herself and (brace yourself) APOLOGIZED for allowing the tenor of the questions to get under her skin! She said she thought the questions would be something more akin to what would matter to average Americans. And it is precisely on that point that I think the light comes on for those of us, the unwashed masses, on the outside of the elite looking in.

Saturday Night Live, a parade of actors, comedians, musicians, singers and high profile “thinkers” are having a field day with this….this nasty commoner posing on the political stage as a serious player. “That’s our stage, little girl! Run along now, missy. Go on back to the igloo out of which you obviously crawled and leave the important matters to us and our giant brains”. These are people who have been largely isolated from the peasantry of American life. Their fame, wealth and provincial intellectualism has produced a parochial world view not unlike the picture of the puberty stricken kid who is routinely embarrassed when he or she has to acknowledge the presence of their parents in front of their friends. “Mom! Shut up! You’re so stupid! Gall!"

This mismatch is providing us with a teachable moment. It seems to me that an incredible number of real Americans love “Sarah” because she is so “gall-darned” REAL! When she can’t immediately think of a recent Supreme Court case that she disagrees with, there are some of us who think, “maybe its time to put some confidence in someone who isn’t living by the ‘script’”. When she can’t immediately spit out the number newspapers and magazines she reads, I know I’m thinking, “I’m sick of most the ones I AM reading!” When she fumbles on a foreign policy question I can imagine an enormous number of regular folks looking back at the TV saying, “Gee, I don’t feel so dumb after all”…and the $700 billion bail out? Who IS giving us a readily understandable explanation of that mammoth? What are we to conclude about all this?

There are millions upon millions of Americans who are more and more convinced that any one of us could do at least as well in Washington D.C. as the professionals are doing now! Have you seen the commercial (selling what? I don’t have a clue…) where firefighters in their firefighting outfits are conducting the business of Congress? They rapidly “Yay” and “Nay” through some decisions and conclude their session with the captain saying, “That’s the easiest job I’ve ever had”. I am personally convinced that Sarah Palin, win lose or draw, has become a defining persona in a landmark election simply because she IS Sarah Palin.

So let the intelligentsia have their way; they are more and more clearly isolated and self defined for future dismissal. And, I pray, Sarah just keeps on being SARAH, for her own sake, for our sake and for heaven’s sake.

God save the anti-queen.