Archive for November 2016

What is Essential After this Election   1 comment

What is essential after this election?

I can’t stop thinking about my friends and family who are minorities–and Americans.

What must they be feeling as they look around themselves at neighbors, co-workers, bosses, school-mates, in states and precincts where they know that most of those who voted, voted for Donald Trump?

Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the public’s response to his comments has generally been belligerent, although he did give an apology regarding the video of his crude remarks about women.   He hasn’t attempted to mitigate his racist and elitist views.  Others have attempted to apologize for him, but that’s definitely not the same thing.  So it follows that people in the groups he thinks little of are wondering what it means for them and their children that overnight their citizenship has been transferred to a state which will be run by a person who hates.

How can they not be afraid of what may come next?

And I know my friends are thinking this, worrying how their neighbors will feel free to treat them, because they are saying so.

I would like to know why people who are respectful and kind voted for a leader who is none of those things.  How will it work in our country when those in authority say things that, I trust, your mother taught you never to say?  I’m thinking of the rules we learned as children, such as, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” and “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”  These are the foundational rules of our society.  But this election’s results prove that Mr. Trump was correct when he decided those rules are for lesser mortals.

Please tell me why it has become OK for our nation’s elected leader to treat other human beings with a disregard that would not otherwise be tolerated in any venue.

What is essential now is that people with heart and kindness work overtime to show their friends and neighbors that their position in our society has not changed.  We must work ten times harder than before to bridge the gap, to reach out the hand, and to speak up for others.

We must.

 

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Posted November 14, 2016 by swanatbagend in citizenship, community

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Election Day   2 comments

I wasn’t as surprised by this election’s results as I would have been if I hadn’t been driving across the midwest and southwest in October.  I saw many Trump/Pence signs as we traveled and very few for Clinton.  Thus I had a heads up that the pundits and the surveys might actually be wrong.

So I wasn’t shocked last night or this morning.

Yet I still am concerned.

I don’t think things are as dire as Donald Trump says they are.  I don’t think we need him to make America great again.  America is already great.  We may not be able to claw ourselves to the very top of the international pile, but that is not what is necessary to make a nation great.  Any student of history can tell you that world powers rise and fall.  We have not fallen as far as the paranoia tells us, and we can exert ourselves to live in a way that makes us good and great, with or without Donald Trump.

But as much as I think this campaign was run on a platform that does not align with reality, that is not my main concern.

I call on every one of us to remember that just because our president-elect is, unbelievably, openly nasty to people he doesn’t like, each of us does not have to be that way.  We can choose to deliberately shun his ugly attitudes toward others.  We can choose to reject the name-calling he brought to the campaign.  There’s no excuse for any adult human to dismiss other people in this way.

Mr. Trump has changed the tenor of political dialog from merely rude, to hateful and childish.  There is nothing here to emulate.

But I plan on moving forward utilizing this helpful question, “What would Donald Trump not do?”

It should serve me pretty well.

Posted November 10, 2016 by swanatbagend in character, citizenship

Gospel Elitism   Leave a comment

I’ll just say up front that the title of this blog is deliberately contradictory.

Gospel and elitism do not go together, but maybe I got your attention.

Take Jesus.  He spent most of his time on earth with earthy people.  He did not hang out with the mighty, wealthy, non-odiferous and powerful.  Humble would be more like it.  He did not cast out people because they weren’t cool enough or good enough or holy enough.

In fact, his harshest words (that I can find) are directed toward those who looked pretty good on the outside.  He called them whitewashed tombs.

Two women I know: one of them went to a Christian school for several years when she was a child.  The other had Christian roommates when she went to college.

One was teased and tormented by girls at her school, until her parents eventually found out about it.

The other was ostracized by her roommates, and made to feel that she was less holy because she wasn’t doing the Christian things they were doing.  She wasn’t living her life the way they thought Christian people are supposed to live.  I really don’t know what it was she wasn’t doing–Bible study? small groups?  going to a certain church?  having daily devotions that other people could see?  praying before meals in the cafeteria?

Another woman I know was at a homeschooling field trip when the person next to her initiated conversation by asking where she went to church. The woman replied that she was a member of a different faith.  The person who’d asked about church immediately turned her back on the woman and started conversing with someone else.

There is an open invitation to the table to sit down with Jesus, but, are people going to want to sit down with the ones who are already there?

If we ask them to come join us–will they have any desire to do so if we are hypocritical, self-absorbed, judgmental, and cruel?

Posted November 3, 2016 by swanatbagend in the church