Sunday, February 14, 2021

No Place For Reagan

There is no place for a Reagan Republican in the GOP right now.  Oh, like Jesus, they will use his name... but they would have no interest in implementing his ways.

The Democrats have their extremes... and they often grab headlines.  But the election of Joe Biden shows that Democrats have formed a coalition.  Biden went out and sought the vote of all Americans and in the process, he even got many conservatives to join its big tent.

Meanwhile, the GOP under Trump focused on a much narrower field.  They pushed away their moderates and focused on their extremes.

It is time for a new conservative party in America... one based on policy and principles.  I know there is hesitancy with some on that idea because they believe it will hand America to liberals for the next 20 years.

I really don't think that is the case.  Right now, there are folks voting on the Democratic side who do so ONLY because the GOP is so crazy presently.  They pine to vote "Republican" again.  Also, there are folks voting with the GOP who are doing so only under duress.  They hate what Trump has done to the party... but fear speaking out will just get them "primaried".  Decades of loyalty can be wiped away in an instant right now in the GOP for failing to lick the boots of the leader.

Democrats have conservatives, moderates, leftists, and their extreme.

The GOP has sidelined everyone but their extreme.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

This World IS My Home

I get distressed when the number of renters in my neighborhood goes up. Though not true in all cases, renters simply do not care for their home and our neighborhood the way owners do.

When I sat on our HOA board, I found most of our "issues" in the neighborhood revolved around renters.  Though they were only about 10 percent of our neighborhood, over 50 percent of our problems with dues being paid, yard maintenance, parking compliance, abusing the clubhouse, etc came from those who did not own their home.

Similarly, I also find it distressing when religious people refer to our beautiful and fragile world in a "renter's" voice. For example, the statement in the picture was shared on Facebook by a friend of mine.  To her, this world is something to be discarded rather than cherished.  The Christian artist Larry Norman famously sang that "This world is not my home.  I'm just passing through."

How much different our world would be if everyone DID see this world as our home... something to invest in and nurture, rather than as a temporary stop-off on our way somewhere else.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

This Next Time It Is Really, REALLY Real!

Some of my friends who were raised secular stare in awe as Trump supporters cling to a new date for when he will be declared the election victor (first came December, two in January, next one is in March).  Then I explain growing up with televangelist end-time preachers and all the rapture dates that were set.

"Sure... but when it didn't come to pass, they all knew the preacher was a grifter... right?"

I shake my head.

"But... but... the evidence... it's right there!"

I continue to shake my head.

For those of us who grew up in fundamentalist religion, seeing people STILL cling to Trump and Q-Anon fantasies borders on nostalgia.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

You Are Not Broken

During what may have been our last time attending our Evangelical church eleven years ago, the pastor was talking about sin and brokenness.  He let the congregation know that God saw their sin and could not abide it.  Yet, Jesus comes and stands in front of you... and then God can accept you, through Jesus.

On the drive home my wife said that while Jake sat in her lap during the service, she wanted to cover his ears. "I don't want him being told he is dirty and broken.  The message there has changed."

"No, it hasn't," I replied. "We have."

We were still believers but had started to see the foundational perspective of Evangelicalism as toxic.  Our ears became attuned to how many of our faith's beliefs sounded like something you would hear in an abusive relationship.

To clarify, I did not become an Atheist because of that experience or my decades in Evangelicalism.  There are plenty of churches out there that do not promote unhealthy views of the self and spirituality.

I just don't believe in the supernatural.

However, if you are a believer and have been attending the same kind of church for decades, I would encourage you to visit a different church once every month or two.  Get a perspective of what else is out there.  Because, here is the thing: If you had pointed out to me the toxic phrases my belief system used when I was all in, I would have denied they were toxic.  I would have told you that those messages were "good" for me and that you needed to hear them too.  Fish do not know they are wet and folks in toxic churches don't think they are toxic.

There may be a church community out there that would bring you a peace and happiness you never imagined... but you have never gone outside your bubble.

Of course, I have never been happier since I started playing disc golf on Sunday mornings... but that's just me.  🙂

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Teachers Need To Set Boundaries

I am going on 30 years in the teaching profession.

If you make it this far you either:

A. Don't have a life outside your job

B. Have learned to set boundaries and let the rest go

I don't panic when the district or the state changes this or that, fails to fund or support their expectations, makes contradictory demands.

I put in X amount of time on my job.  I have learned over the years to use that time pretty efficiently.  However, when the district increases a time demand in one spot, I remove something else.  X does not increase.

That may sound callous but it isn't.  It is reasonable.

I know there are teachers who can't accept that... and they pile on the time.  They spend themselves to make it all work.

They also tend to leave the profession inside of 10 years or sidestep to another spot in education that does not require them to be in a classroom full-time.

If you truly enjoy the classroom and want to continue being a happy human, you have to learn to let some things go.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Good For The Soul To Just Be Wrong

There is a lot of whataboutism and deflection going on at the moment as many on the Right wring their hands and try to redirect the negative attention they are getting due to what happened at the Capitol.

"Well if you were upset about the riot at the capitol but you weren't upset about the riots last  summer then..."


That is not how you address wrong behavior.  That is how you PROTECT wrong behavior.  That is how YOU protect YOUR ego.

Last summer during the protests there was some objectively bad behavior.  When protestors went into restaurants and intimidated people into pledging support for the cause... that was wrong.  It was horrid.  And I said so.

I didn't try to soften the blow by bringing up some horrible thing done by right-wingers.  I didn't try to argue that those were just plants to make the cause look bad.  They were liberals... and they went too far... and they were wrong.

Presently, there are a lot of folks on the Right who are having trouble with making such a statement.  Even if they recognize that what happened at the capitol was wrong, their ego can't help but cushion that recognition with a blanket of whataboutism.  "Yeah, the protestors in Washington shouldn't have done that... BUT Y'Know, THE DEMOCRATS DID THIS...."

Let me give some honest advice here to some folks.  Just be wrong.  Let the behavior be wrong.  No qualifications.  No side issues.  It is good for your soul to not muddy the waters, to not make excuses, and not deflect.  

You know this particularly if you are a parent or work with kids.  When they admit wrong with qualifiers... they aren't really admitting anything. They are still protecting the bad behavior.  But when the light goes on and they see their error, you know good change is on its way.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The DCEU Needs a Good Bad Guy

WW1984 was worth a watch.

As was Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Justice League, etc.  That seems to be the best I have to offer the DC movies since their universe started.  The movies aren't bad... but I do not have that drive to get back in line and buy another ticket because I HAVE to see it again!

It is not a DC problem.  Nolan didn't have it.  I have watched his Batman trilogy numerous times.

Maybe it is because the DCEU has the Yang but no Yin.  

When I look back on the Nolan movies, he pretty much nails the bad guy.  Neeson's Ras and Ledger's Joker were epic.  Even the weaker Bane redefined the character and his voice/cadence became iconic.

On the Yang side, the DCEU has been impeccable (minus Shazam). Affleck, Gadot, Cavill, and Momoa couldn't have been better casting choices.  Their heroes are solid.

But the villains?  So far they have been forgettable, awkward, or just silly.  

Where is the Loki or Vader of the DCEU?

Monday, November 30, 2020

A Brief Moment

Had an old feeling yesterday.  We stopped in Mesquite, NV on our way home from San Diego.  It was about 11p when we rolled in to the hotel.  I went straight in to register our room.  The clerk told me that because I am in their rewards program I could grab two snacks or get 500 points added to my rewards.  I said that I have two kids and they would probably appreciate the snacks.  

When the family caught up with me, I told Kak and Jake what the clerk had said.  It had been a long drive, it was late, they were tired... but all of a sudden Kathryn let out a whoop and the two of them went scrambling into the hotel shop to grab some candy.  For just a moment, my 19 and 22-year-old were 6 and 9 again - excited for treats.  😀  It brought back memories of being a daddy at a different stage.

I noticed in my email today that 500 pts had also been added to my account.  I think the clerk appreciated their enthusiasm and genuine thank-yous.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Fuck Your Feelings

One of the primary catchphrases among Trumpers is "$^#@ your feelings!"  This turns out to be amusing.  As is often the case with their leader, this is projection.  "Feelings" is exactly why they follow Trump.

The reason they are in a tizzy right now is not due to losing, it is because they don't get how the process works. Normal occurrences get translated into a conspiracy. Similarly, they often can't really articulate much about Trump's policy agenda, his foreign strategy, his economic plan.  Yet, they will consider him one of the best presidents we ever had.

If they don't understand politics or history, why would they consider him a great president?  What is their metric?

He hits them right in the feels.  Unlike previous conservative presidents, he will say what irks them.  This is why they wave flags, wear hats, and scream at democrats in ways they never did for Bush or Reagan.

They have a white grievance button that Trump pushes with glee.  He sees that they want to dominate the religious landscape, so he strokes their ego.  He has a short fuse and worries that people don't respect him - they completely relate.

Down the line, he satisfies every feeling that has had no outlet over the decades.  So, like Trump, they project onto others the very motivations and actions they are steeped in.

Every drive they have for Trump is founded on feelings.  Which is why they tell you to $^#@ yours.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Disturbing Answers

A pastor friend of mine posted on FB, "If you could ask God a question, what would it be?"

I was not surprised to find some of the answers disturbing.  

"My question would be... Why does God allow all these awful viruses and diseases??? But the answer would probably be... To bring us closer to him ❤️"

Imagine perceiving the divine in this way.  You see God as someone who hurts you... so you will need him more.  Stephen King wrote a whole book on that view called "Misery".  I want to tell this person that no one who is good would think that hurting you is helpful in building a relationship.

"Why are you so kind, patient and gracious towards me?"

Lots of believers are trained to think of themselves as worthless.  They are taught that it really demonstrates God's love that he can even tolerate someone as awful as you.  I know people who seem to think it builds God up by putting themselves down.  I want to tell this person that they are deserving of being treated kindly... and that should not be surprising.

"Is the time close?"

Folks like this struggle to value our beautiful world because they are always pining for the next.  I want to tell this person to be present with the people in their life and the world they are in.  Don't sabotage today's happiness.

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