Obama’s Speech to the School Kids- What I learned on the way to the end of my fears

At Booker T. Washington High School in downtown Dallas, they gave President Obama a standing ovation when they saw him enter on the large television screens. Booker T. is my daughter’s alma mater- it’s the performing arts high school. It’s Norah Jone’s alma mater, too. And something she is proud of, also.

So, when I saw the kids there jumping to their feet as the President appeared on-screen, I knew that the people to whom the president was aiming this speech were going to hear it. And as was evident from their comments, they heard it loudly and clearly in a way even most of us adult supporters of the president could not have heard it.

“He was speaking to me,” one small 9th grade boy said.

“He makes me want to get all As this year,” said another.

Many adults, especially- it appears- those of the Caucasian persuasion, were fearful of what the president would inculcate their children with today. I heard them breathing hard and sweating into the cameras pointed toward them as they screamed that the president had no right to tell their children what to think. Maybe they were afraid he would reveal the secret message of the fist-bump to curious fifth graders, or describe the joys of his parent’s interracial sex to shy high schoolers. Given the level of anger and suspicion many of these parents displayed, it is hard to even guess at what kind of jive they were afraid the president would brainwash their un-brainwashed children with.

And, despite the fact that even Laura Bush and Newt Gingrich endorsed the content of Obama’s speech, we know that in today’s America the facts don’t matter nearly as much as what a person wants to believe. If you want to believe Obama is a Muslim, there’s nothing anyone can say, show, or demonstrate that will dissuade you from that belief. In America today, among a certain crowd of fellow believers, you will even be applauded for hanging on to a belief despite the Truth that lies dying in the ditch nearby.

And there are still people waiting for the release of Michelle’s “Whitey” tape and for the Belgian Congo birth certificate of the president. And they’ll wait and they’ll wait because they KNOW they’re right and it doesn’t matter that that astronomy reveals the sun to be the center of the solar system, you silly fools, you can see that the sun rises and sets around the Earth, can’t you?

So here’s what I’ve learned today: All of that noise was preceding the speech was irrelevant. A whole lot of parents kept a whole lot of children out of school and away from the Internet and television today because they were afraid of something that bore no fearful meaning whatsover- liminally, subliminally, or otherwise. They were people being afraid, and that’s all. They would probably call it being protective, but they could have been protective at home, with some intelligent conversation around the dinner table tonight. They could have introduced their children to genuine critical thinking. I assume most of them are capable of that.

Since the noise was irrelevant, I should consider it so as well. AND SO SHOULD THE PRESIDENT! My argument with the president so far, indeed, my disappointment with the president so far is that he is spending too much time trying to be friends with people who don’t like him, did not and will never support him, and whose candidate in the last election was convincingly defeated.

President Obama: those of us who voted for you voted for change, significant change to happen. We wanted our country out of the twin sinkholes of Iraq and Afghanistan that we were lied into. We want war criminals tried, if that is what a grand jury deems them to be. We want sexual preference among adults to not be a factor at all in a person’s enjoyment of their full civil rights. Those are the changes we voted for above and beyond the need this country had for a president who was smart and who didn’t look like every president before and who was running with a vice-presidential candidate who didn’t scare the living socks off of us as we imagined him possibly becoming president. That’s what we voted for, Obama, not how many friends you could make among the people who had gotten us into the military and economic quagmire we are in now.

So, while many many, many of my friends are Republican, most of whom I would take a bullet for (and they know it), I must tell them that I will not listen to their political views with any more fear. Theirr politics are coming to an end. The world can’t be the way it was in the 50’s; they’ve spent us into a hell hole of unimaginable depth, and while they can try to blame the other party for that, the statistics of Reagan, Bush, and Bush tell another story. Unfortunately, I voted right there beside them until 2006, when I saw the light. It’s not a bright light- Pelosi and Reid are both standing in it after all- but it is a whole lot brighter than the dim fluorescents pirated out of Enron’s headquarters.

And I know this: that the loudest among you old-timers- those who fussed the most about Obama’s Svengali grip on the minds of school kids, some you made asses of yourselves. And your kids saw you doing it. And while they no doubt still love you, they have seen you be wrong, over-reactive, maybe even goofy. Statistics show that that has happened a lot recently. During the 80s and 90s you preached and preached and preached about the takeover of schools and government by those with a gay agenda. You made bogeymen out of young men dying of AIDS so that you wouldn’t have to confront the sympathetic response you deeply felt toward them. (We all know it is easier to fear and hate than it is to give in to love, especially if that love- holy cow!- might be misconstrued as fag love!).

The point is, you painted the homosexual community into something it wasn’t. At all. Your kids went to college, got jobs, and moved into apartments near and with these men and women. They even became friends with them! They found out that you had been wrong about them, and that some of you and some of your preachers had been lying about them to you. They even found out that there seems to be a direct relationship between the loud rantings of an anti-gay protester and his desire to passionately kiss the object of his fury!

So you lost more young people in your loud and silly protests over this speech today.

Good.

And knowing those things, I won’t be so upset the next time. Your numbers are decreasing even as the spittle from your radio and television leaders is increasing. Even as the crazed rantings of Beck and Limbaugh and Hannity grow louder, more and more young people are hearing them, and the demographic slice of their advertising pie grows older by the day.

(Thank you again, young people of Booker T. Washington High School, Dallas, Texas. I’m giving you my own private standing ovation right now!)

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Still Undecided For Whom to Vote? Obama Or McCain? Here’s A Suggestion..

If you are looking for more information about the candidates’ positions on various issues; if you are waiting to see a copy of Obama’s birth certificate or McCain’s health records before you decide; if you still- STILL!- are among that surprising percentage of adults who don’t yet know who they will vote for for president, then I have a suggestion for you:

Ask your children who they are voting for. Then vote tomorrow at your Early Voting location for whichever candidate they name.

It’s that simple.

Your kids, my kids, the neighbor’s kids, and their children and grandchildren are the ones who will be saddled with the bills we older people have racked up over the last 30 years with our drunken sailor spending and they should be the ones who get the biggest say in who the next president will be.

Don’t try to play the “older and wiser” card, either. We’ve already dug $60,000 deep into the pockets of every man, woman, and child in the country. Babies born today have the albatross of our older generation’s greed around their necks the moment they breathe their first breath of globally warmed air. Drive those newborns home over roads and bridges that are desperately in need of repair, lay them down in cribs bought with plastic I.O.U.’s, turn on the lights whose wicks reach all the way to Venezuela, take videos of their first moments in their first bank-owned ARMed home with cameras hammered together in China, hope they are not awakened later by the sounds of police sirens as War on Drugs suspect #82,987,000 is being chased, lean down, give them a kiss, and whisper, “Get ready to pay.”

O.K., the baby may not be able to give you an answer to your inquiry about voting yet. But he/she will wish they’d been able to about 25 years from now! Of course, by then, you’ll have your eyes on retirement and can look forward to that young man or woman keeping the Social Security checks headed your way, all the while also having to pay for the wars your generation fought, the subsidies your generation paid to tobacco farmers, the perks your generation poured out on the congresspersons and Wall Street C.E.O.s 0f 2008, and the all of the interest on top of interest that has been accruing since your country couldn’t afford all that crap even back then, and were borrowing money from everyone to buy it all in the first place!

Really. Ask your teenager, ask your college freshman, ask the sixth grader who lives next door. None of them are as afflicted with the cultural baggage you (we) are. None of them has the economic glory days of the 80’s and 90’s in their memories. Some of them will probably even be facing down the wartime enemy as you (we) have defined that enemy to be. Their vision is a whole lot clearer than yours and mine! That may be hard for some of my fellow middle-agers to swallow, but..it’s true. (Most truth is hard to swallow, come to think about it; maybe that’s why we have swallowed so little of it during most of our tax-paying, tax-spending adult lives.)

Vote for the person the young ones are voting for, or that they would be voting for if they could. You (we) owe it to them. God knows they owe US.

I’ve Changed My Mind About Obama !

After discovering that Obama is the anti-christ, I’ve decided to switch my support.

http://o.bamapost.com/

Turns out that Barrack Hussein Obama even has an inverted pentagram- a symbol of Satan- shaved into the back of head! I know it’s hard to believe, but IT’S ON THE INTERNET! So it must be true!

I know, I know..Obama said he was a Christian in a Chicago Sun Times interview in January of 2007, but read the article closely. He says that being a Christian is “complicated” and that he “didn’t grow up in a particular faith tradition.”  Which gives me reason to doubt his public affirmation, in his 20s,at the Trinity United Church of Christ that he had chosen to make Jesus his Savior. Real Christians KNOW that a public, confessional walk down the aisle at church means nothing compared to saying the right words, going through the right motions, and having the right bumper stickers!

bumper sticker

And real Christians support the president! Real Christians know the right people to vote for, and the right people to shun. Real Christians belong to the Center for Moral Clarity or Focus on the Family or the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated, who understand what Obama really stands for:

racist16_400

Real Christians are concerned about witchcraft in Alaska and Africa. Real Christians know that God’s creatures and resources were put here by God himself for humans to exploit, kill, and use in whatever ways they see fit to use them!

So, I apologize to anyone I’ve led astray. I’ve seen the Light! I’m voting for candidates anointed by God this time- people with special insight and vision. No more namby-pamby Sermon on the Mount stuff for me!!

 

We are the Ones!!  🙂

God’s Reputation Is At Stake !!

 

Rev. Arnold Conrad of the Evangelical Free Church, praying Friday at a McCain campaign appearance in Iowa:

“I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it is Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that [Obama] wins, for a variety of reasons,”

“And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day,” he added.

To their credit, the McCain campaign almost immediately distanced themselves from the pastor’s remarks.

                            ~~

God needs to be made aware that his reputation is at stake?!?

Oh my.

Aside from the profound religious ignorance Rev. Conrad reveals- Hindu and Buddha are not the names of gods- his “prayer” also reveals the blasphemous practice of so many religious people who believe they have God in a box. These are the religionists who believe they know exactly who God is, what God should be doing, and how God should be doing it. They are engaged in the very seductive, easily fallen into psychological practice of projection.

Karl Wolfe, Ph.D., defines the phenomena this way: “Psychological projection is the phenomenon whereby one projects one’s own thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings..onto someone else.” In the negative, for instance, an overweight person might be prone to point out to others the slovenly, bad eating habits of other heavy people. In the case of people like Rev. Conrad, projecting onto God one’s own selfish desires or personal preferences, is the ultimate example of this very human defense mechanism.

Thus,we hear militant Muslims speaking for Allah as they defend their support for terroristic activities: “Blessings upon he who acts for the sake of Allah and went on raids for His sake.” (Dr. Ibraham Maadi, here). We also hear with great frequency, such pontifications from Rev. Pat Robertson, like this one, spoken after the school board in Dover, PA, was voted out of office for mandating the teaching of Intelligent Design:I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.”

These, unfortunately, are not isolated quotes. Most of us tend, unthinkingly, to project our own desires,wants,needs, and definitions onto others, including God. But to do so, without sometimes painful self-examination, is wrong. We lessen God by doing so; we make God conform to our own political, cultural, and social biases. And, in the case of religious leaders, such personal projections are easily mistaken by those who trust such leaders for spiritual guidance, as actual pronouncements of God.

I wonder if Rev. Conrad (or Dr. Maadi, or Rev. Robertson) would be willing to pray as Jesus did, “..nonetheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Actually, I think I already know the answer, at least in Rev. Conrad’s case: if Obama wins the presidential election, he will probably blame Satan. Satan is every unthinking projectionist’s fall guy for things that happen outside the boundaries that have been constructed for God to operate within. Unlike Jesus, they are unable to accept God’s will as such, when it goes against their projected hopes.

Today’s Scariest Headline

 

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; A03

CHICAGO — Declaring that clergy have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.

The effort by the Arizona-based legal consortium is designed to trigger an IRS investigation that ADF lawyers would then challenge in federal court. The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

“For so long, there has been this cloud of intimidation over the church,” ADF attorney Erik Stanley said. “It is the job of the pastors of America to debate the proper role of church in society. It’s not for the government to mandate the role of church in society.”

If you read The First Morning with any regularity at all, you know I endorse and support Barak Obama for president. I do that as an individual who believes with deep conviction that the U.S. will find itself in desperate straits if we do not change our attitudes toward a number of important issues. Those issues include our lack of planning for energy independence, our enslavement by Washington lobbyists and corporations, and our increasing and collective resignation to Fear as the primary reason for so many of our military, political, and cultural decisions.

(FYI: I am still a registered Republican. I voted for George W. Bush for president twice! I personally consider those votes among my greatest mistakes.)

But my opinions are my opinions. I will write about them as an individual, and anyone can ask me (as an individual) at anytime about those political opinions and I will tell them. But don’t ask me about them in church. Don’t expect me to endorse anyone from the pulpit. You’ll hear lots of personal opinions from me in that role, and I will identify them as such. But I have no right- NONE- to formally confuse my voting preferences with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

There is a (huge) strata in Christendom that hears their church’s leadership as if Jesus himself were speaking to them. Each year I receive a package of material from some “Christian Voter’s Education” outfit that attempts to show why voting for the most conservative Republicans on a given ticket will help make America a Christian nation, again (as if it once was, in their fantasies). And for years, even when I was voting in agreement with many of their positions, I would trash the whole pile of to-be-distributed materials.

I would do exactly the same thing if someone wanted me to distribute any “Obama=Jesus” handouts.  

The inherent problem is that many many churches understand their Pastor as “speaking for God.” They truly believe that opposing gay marriage, or laissez-faire healthcare, or more oil drilling, or less oil drilling- if the pastor endorses it- is tantamount to taking another step toward heaven. Many of the pastors who use the blind obedience of their congregants, are the same ones who drive luxury cars, have private jets, and dress in Armani suits because of the gravy-train which tax-exemption makes possible for them.  

And now they want it both ways. I’m sorry that the movement to have it both ways is originating in Arizona, too; that makes me suspicious. But even if the move is being made independently of any political influence, I believe it is a dangerous precedent. Churches are a place where hearts and minds can be changed, and I am very concerned about what a coordinated, intentional movement from within the churches could lead to logically over time.

We must not have anyone forcing their version of Jesus down the throats of anyone! When Jesus said “Follow me” he did not add, “to the downtown Republican or Democratic party offices.” He walked toward lepers, prostitutes, demoniacs, and people who were hungry, lonely, and left out of life’s mainstreams. And then he touched them, loved them, and gave them a model of hope.

I will never be a part of making Jesus any less than that. I will never pretend that he endorsed anything I might think or believe. I will always allow people to see him, to the best of my ability to help them do so, and let them decide the better way for themselves.

The Sarah Palin Family Rumors

If you spend more than five minutes a day browsing the news or blogs on-line, you’ve seen them. They prove one thing to me:

The PUMAs and the right wing politicos and religionists do not have an exclusive hold on using innuendo and conjecture as political weapons. The fervor of some of the anti-Obama bulls**t being spread in blogs and by email is now being equaled by much of the anti-Palin/McCain vitriol.

This kind of ugliness- from whatever quarter it emanates- says much less about its object of scorn than it does about the persons who are so anxious to pick such stuff up in the first place and spread it.

To quote special counsel Joseph Welch during the Army-McCarthy Senate hearings in 1954:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”