Saturday, January 23, 2010

What to Do With an Angry Mother Nature

Hear we go again with another message from a very angry Mother Nature highlighting the misplaced priorities of the human race. We spend too much time and money in an attempt to protect ourselves from those who are different. Too many resources are wasted on selfish needs while those in dire straights are ignored or worse yet used for our own purposes.

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Sometimes we get together for short periods of time to make ourselves feel better and look better by giving what is in most cases inadequate aid to those in the worst situations. At the same time though we’re using the third world as a plaything for our own economic and political needs. The developed nations have all played a role.

It wasn’t long ago when Kashmir and the surrounding region were suffering greatly from a severe earthquake. I find it interesting that this place was worth risking nuclear war over. Millions were spent by two impoverished countries willing to wage war to the point of enveloping each other in a nuclear fireball over land coveted by both.

The greatest menace to the area ended up coming from an ‘act of God’. Nooooo, though it’s a tempting avenue of explanation and exploitation I’m not blaming the Lord. This has always been a seismically active region. What I am blaming is a human weakness for power, fear, hate and violence.

I know if there were perfect love and lions and sheep were cohabiting all over the place this disaster still would have happened. But what could have been different was the way the world would have been able to react. Far too much effort is expended on military preparations and adventurism around the world. In the United States our glowing example of this was when our response to hurricane Katrina was greatly hampered by the war in Iraq.

If we spent a lot more time trying to understand each other rather than feeding our fear, power lust and greed we would all be more prepared to react to these repeated scenes of desperation. The international communications within the United Nations is still the best avenue for keeping this hope alive. The conservatives within the US in their foolish arrogance would love to not only withdraw from this institution but would love to see it die.

The gluttonous arms industry, which fuels so many conflicts in the third world, also needs to be decimated and what little piece of it that is left must be highly regulated by strict international oversight. It’s true we can all do a lot better with how we react to each other in the world. It all depends on what we allow to dwell in our hearts.

God’s anger with the United States must be great since He hears the cry of the poor and oppressed. We waste billions flooding the world with immoral misadventures. The wealthiest nation in the world could do much to alleviate suffering but instead we choose to use our military might and money to make the world safe for big business. The neoconservative dominated Republican Party has infected us with a little dream centered on our own selfish desires while having the gall to claim we are the greatest Christian nation doing the work of God. Our irrational fear and popular culture driven wanton ignorance has caused half our populace to shamefully follow blindly behind.

We can do better if we really embrace the love God wants us to have for each other. These natural disasters have illustrated just how inadequate our love for each other really is.

Dwight D. Eisenhower speech, January 17, 1961. Farwell Address.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MLK on freedom, love and war

"Don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King "I have a dream"

“We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and for justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

on War

I get the felling I’m supposed to hate. I can’t be a loyal American unless I believe that all members of Islam want to make us all like them or destroy us and our freedom in the process.

Bravado driven nationalism that disguises hate in an illusion of the defense of mom and apple pie does not improve its immorality.

We are constantly assailed by the religious right that we are a Christian nation founded on Judeao/Christian values. It takes a lot more than just saying it; you have to struggle your best to be it. Isn't that the way it is with all religions or belief systems?

It doesn’t matter what our founding fathers believed about their own personal faith. To be a Christian nation we would have to act like one. We would have to be the servant of all and as a nation make meaningful sacrifices for the good of all people.

We would have to love those who hate us and wish to do us harm , pray for them, ask that they be blessed, forgive them and do good things for them as well.

Far too many times we Christians have excused crimes against humanity done in our name. Our nation has too often placed into power or supported dictators guilty of many human rights atrocities for what is perceived as some short term foreign policy benefit. Often these arrangements are made for the profit of powerful international corporations.

A short list of past sins against our neighbors would include; detention of innocents, accepting the use of torture, tolerance of the killing of innocent women and children as just a casualty of war, participating in and profiting from the arms trade, and supporting cruel and unjust economic policies in the third world.

Holy Dirt -by: Steve Schalchlin.

Back during Israel’s incursion into Lebanon I remember a caller on CSPAN who, with a calm fatherly voice speak of, after identifying himself as a Christian, how wrong a cease fire between Israel and Lebanon would be. He told a story of how he along with his father and brother had to go into their barn and kill all the rats, big ones and little ones. How sad when a person who claims to represent reason and family values can so calmly call for bloodthirsty violence, terror from the skies and murder.

The sad thing is these types of words and the actions they’re meant to initiate inflame the haters. Violence whether it’s from shadowy terrorist or from terrifying smart bombs is always counterproductive except for those who want to keep hate super-charged. We have a huge hate problem toward everyone of Middle Eastern ancestry now from the radical conservatives, many who claim to be good to outstanding Christians. Many want all Muslims, including citizens, to carry special identification, but, they would prefer Muslim round-ups and expulsion at home with bombing to the point of genocide else where.

They believe greater violence is the only answer. Evil can and often does exist on all sides in a war. Many are feeling comfortable cuddling up with wickedness. They are deceiving themselves that they are doing God’s will while calling evil good. Bravado driven nationalism that disguises hate in an illusion of the defense of mom and apple pie does not improve its immorality.

Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King's Church

Hate is evil, it always has been and it always will be the largest obstacle to fitting through the needles eye.