Some reflections

mtbachelorreflectionOver the past little bit, there have been several things I have been reflecting on, for better or for worse. I figured it was time to share them as I am coming out of a time of self reflection and introspection. So let’s get started…

Everything is not racist. In the past year, everything and everyone has been labeled racist. The national anthem is racist. The electoral college is racist. Trump supporters? Racist. Progressives? Racist. Theological conservatives? Racist. The list goes on and on. If everything and everyone is racist then nothing and no no one can be. Racism is real and it is ugly, but when everything under the sun is “racist”, then what is actually racist ceases to exist in the minds of people. I don’t think we need to go looking for things that are racist, I think rather that if we simply remain aware of what is going on around us, it will be evident. We also need to have some sort of real definition of what racist actually means, because if we are being honest, we don’t. The point remains however, that not everything is racist. Stop trying to make it that way please.

Stop acting out of fear. When did we become so afraid? Really when did it happen? We have the single most powerful military on the planet, so fear of external threat on a large scale should be minimal. We have a massive intelligence machine, so fear of internal threats should be minimal. We live in the most free nation on earth that has a system to limit power and prevent large scale oppression, so fear of that should be minimal. The list goes on. What are you afraid of? I get it, fear is real, and it is powerful, but truth is more powerful. What are you afraid of? What is the truth of the matter presently? I bet that in the overwhelming vast majority of the situations you fear, the truth should drive the fear out. Let’s act out of truth and not fear. Actions based in fear are rarely productive, while actions based in truth almost always are.

If your candidate won, it doesn’t mean that the system is perfect and if your candidate lost, it doesn’t mean the system is broken. The system simply is. It is not perfect. The electoral college certainly has draw backs, and I would not say otherwise. So does direct election. Their are arguments and counter arguments. Neither system is perfect. I’m not even certain that either system is better or worse. If you support direct election, that is fine, don’t try and discount or marginalize those who don’t and vice versa. There is a way to amend the constitution. Lobby your representatives to change things, or to leave them as is for that matter. Really, please be involved in the political system we have here. That is one of the great freedoms that we have after all, just stop treating those who have a view that is not the same as your enemy. For eight years, the republicans were the loyal opposition. Now for the next four it is the democrats turn to be the loyal opposition. The key word here is loyal.

Stop calling people names. That is all.

There was one Hitler. He’s dead now. Stop comparing everyone to him. While on the topic stop comparing nationalism to racism, to Nazi Germany, etc. Whether a certain amount of nationalism is right or wrong is not the question. What is happening here is not the same as what happened in post WW I Germany. If you think it is, please read up on your history again. thank you.

Before complaining about discrimination and persecution, please take a deep breathe and have a bit of perspective. Listen, this is not to say that there is not subtle persecution here, there is. It is to say that we need to look at it in perspective to realize that we are pretty lucky.

Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a time to be thankful, hence the clever name. Let’s be thankful. Let’s take a deep breath and realize that the nation we call home is not so bad a place. It’s not perfect, and there is work to do, but it’s not so bad. If all we have is rhetoric, then we can not have honest conversation. If all we have are insults, then we can not appreciate each other. If all we have are accusations, then we can not possibly be brothers and sisters.

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5 Replies to “Some reflections”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I just hope people would do this instead of immediately get defensive and proclaim that THEY don’t do anything you said here and that the problem is with everyone else.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Good thoughts Scott. Puts some sanity into the discussion.

    One comment on the electoral college. I’m not of the group that says it cost HRC the election. The college has been there for ever. Nobody changed the rules or moved the goalposts. It is what it is, and HRC failed to achieve victory there.
    At the same time, the college is there for a reason – to prevent a complete buffoon from being elected. I’m not saying Trump is a buffoon, but there’s been a lot of new data since the election. His conflicts of interest, his involving himself in the business and his family in the government, and the potentially criminal violations regarding the Trump Foundation, are things that should cause people to stop and think.
    If NO electors ‘rethink’ their vote for Trump, it means that the electoral college has lost any meaning and should be eliminated. If even a few change their minds, then the system has integrity.

  3. Good points but let me expand … I agree the Hitler stuff always comes up … no matter who gets elected. And so do questions about the electoral college especially if the vote is close or opposite of the popular vote. Depending on who won and who you were for that discussion can be louder.

    Back to facism and Hitler. This is … as far as I can tell … the first time white nationalist and other extreme groups praised the victory … the victor … and were caught saying Hale (heil) concerning the new president elect. But of course you also have the media echo chamber which can take any event and amplify it. Still … beyond they media hype … it is a unique response. … though xyz group jumping up and down in victory does not mean that the president elect is in favor of them ( he has stated he is not from a news interview). Of course he states a lot of things … not all of them real. Do I think Trump is racist or fascist? ‘No’ … Do I think he represents and exemplifies Christian values and character? .. Also ‘No’. In fact IMHO he is about the worst representation of it … the Christian endorsement (see here: http://holinessandpolitics.weebly.com/ ) nullifying all the complaints Christians have made in the past

    The part you missed here is the basic integrity of Christianity. We have always been the values folks. We analyze and at times over analyze the Christianity or Christian values of any candidate in office. This time Christianity did not seem to care … or … if they did … excuses were made because this candidate promised different Supreme Court Justices that would over turn Roe v Wade. It also appears that fears over allegedly evil Hillary drove many Christians to vote for Trump. All of this is disturbing as is the endorsement by several celebrity pastors and Christian leaders of this individual. Young adults are watching this fiasco … so are some older ones … They see a Christianity tied into a political process more than tied in to the Savior of the world who does not require politics and the ignoring of values to make things happen. They are seeing some of the dark side of Christianity … and quite frankly … it may be too dark for them. With an 81% of evangelicals that voted for Trump (and yes I have seen some argue about these numbers but the celebrity pastors and leaders are exalting them) it raises significant questions about the integrity of the Christian church and perhaps the validity of the Christianity itself. IMHO the majority of evangelicals may have won what they wanted but in the process they have lost the war. This ordained elders sees that very clearly … I believe we have sold our soul for this one and I don’t know how we will get it back. On issues of morality .. when we are speaking into people’s lives we need to have integrity and sensitivity to address these issues. This election shows that we have neither . You can disagree with this and we can even argue about it … but it really does not matter. The deed is already done. And its effect is already felt whether we agree with or not.

    Peace and God bless,

    Dave

    1. I think we are just subjects of over reaction. Life goes on. Liberal Democrats crying like it is the end of the world as we know it. Wasting $6M on a recount, which will go into the pocket of bean counters and lawyers, and accomplish nothing. Establishment Republicans, first “Never Trump” (probably because the CEO’s may not be able to move more manufacturing jobs overseas), now scrambling to get a government job (Romney, anyone?)

      “It raises significant questions about the integrity of the Christian church”… and mention of White Supremacy groups…Maybe we forget George Wallace running for president in the 60’s. Seems like a big block of southern Democrat Christians supported him.

      And, very amusing for me – I was flipping channels recently. Who should I come across, but Jim Baker. I thought he was either dead, or in jail. But there he was, with his own TV show, talking end-times, very pro-Trump, with apparently with yet another younger wife (the past air conditioned, dog house loving, wife having previously dying of cancer.). And all still asking us viewers to send them money to support Jesus (or their life style).

      Nothing surprises me anymore.

  4. Who I vote for does not define me as a Christian. My Christian values are as much in tact after I voted Trump as they were before the election. Mainly I just thought the pot needed stirring. I was also tired of the political correctness and social justice minutia. One of Clinton’s people stated that those that voted for Trump were uneducated because they thought he would do something for them. Truth is, I do not want the government to do one thing for me but to provide an environment where I have the opportunity to live out my life in a decent way, including living out my life as a Christian who knows that my hope is in something much greater than earthly leaders and an imperfect political system. One of the best things I have seen come out of this election is all of a sudden some in the church are talking like it just might need to operate independent of a government whose job is not to bring God’s kingdom to this earth–that is the church’s job and it is high time they understand that we reclaim that understanding. Early Methodism did not change the world because John Wesley lobbied for a social justice agenda. Rather, Methodism changed the world because John Wesley created a space for God to transform individuals into the truly human persons God created them to be. Furthermore, Methodism is not in existence because John Wesley set out to transform a church. Rather it is in existence because he first set out to transform his own life by pursuing understanding of what it would mean for him to live a life centered in God.

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