Tag Archives: GOP

Not My Jesus: My Very Christian View on the Muslim Ban

1456421589-tumblr-n196rja5mp1rfwpdoo1-500

“We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless lives – but in what we do for others”
Harry Truman

I am a Christian. I love Jesus. I am scared for America.

I never thought about whether people were upset or protesting during the Crusades until this weekend. To see “armies of Christians from Western Europe respond to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. “ – (source) . Do you think there was extreme outrage by any of the Christians at the time?

The executive order to temporarily ban visa holders from the 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen has sent shock waves through this country and across the globe. There are a number of reasons it just doesn’t make sense. There are a number articles that detail the countries selected for the ban did not include the Islamic extremists who have been a part of the major terrorist attacks:

“None of the perpetrators of the major US terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam in the past 15 years have come from the nations on that list. In fact, the country home to the biggest number of terrorists who have carried out successful attacks inside the US is the US itself.” – (Source)  and (source) 

So let’s just be really clear, is this really about safety? ISIS is a problem. Islam is not. I am totally okay with the destruction of extremists of any kind, from any religion, sect, ethnicity, you name it. Let’s crush the threat. I am no pacifist. But neither is my God.

I had to stop and think about something. I am currently reading Jeremiah, a book from the bible, that details the destruction and impending captivity Yahweh (God) inflicted upon his own, chosen people for their complete, utter disobedience and disregard for his law. Not to mention their incessant participation in idolatry that was occurring in Judah and Jerusalem. Like… do you understand what I am saying? God used destruction against his OWN people, but not just for any old reason. Through the bible, he used war, pestilence to show his will, strength and love. Talk about some tough love, right. So of course, it’s cool to kill people, discriminate against people who don’t believe in God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit?

7306461

Throughout time, Christians have found numerous ways to inflict war against whole groups of people. Yet, no one has been successful in completely wiping an entire race. (Caveat: I know there is probably one example, but you get my point… think about it). The bible tells Christians that we will grow, live and be surrounded by “tares” a.k.a. no-believers, but we are supposed to be a light, not this BEACON OF DARKNESS. Like what are you people doing? Christianity has nothing to do with the mistreatment of whole religious groups.

This ban smells like Islamophobia and just appearing to do something to fight against ISIS when in fact what has been done is completely missing the mark AND allowing us to become a bigger target from real extremist threats. Throughout the bible, God used “foreigners”, some who were believers and non-believers, for his purpose based on their heart which he intimately knows.

And here’s the other thing, empathy is important, but not about this. I am a firm believer that trying to walk in someone else’s shoes is important and having a positive experience with a marginalized group makes you more willing to speak up for them. However, you don’t need a warm and fuzzy experience with a Muslim to understand why the complete disregard for the people who are being detained. It’s like lumping all Catholics and Christians as a breeding place for sexual abuse. There is a long list, which continues to grow, of Christian leaders of all races engaging in that type of behavior, but we’re not banning every priest and Christian pastor from going to schools or having youth programs at their church. That would be ludicrous, but to some extent could be useful to save our young boys and girls who get abused. But there are so many more who do positive things for kids, so we have to be vigilant and strategic to protect our kids from people like that.

So let’s work on the ISIS problem, it is not a Muslim problem. We cannot unilaterally discriminate against all Muslim countries. Now, people are talking about the fact Muslim counties in which Trump has investments, but including them doesn’t change it though. Let’s include Saudi Arabia, which would probably never happen, we would still be having the same conversation. Don’t fall for that distraction conversation. Don’t.

Some people may be reading this and saying that there was no mention of Christianity as part of the reason for initiating this ban. But as the Republican Party, which I am a part of some days, they are using their beliefs as a basis for every decision that they make and I have just had enough, because you do not own his Holy name. Neither do I really, it stands on its own, but I will not stand idly and allow people to continually misuse it. It is time that the Christians who are standing idle while watching the bastardization of Christianity to justify these actions in these United States America to stand the heck up! We wouldn’t let a non-believer paint such an ugly picture of God the Son, why are we letting those who profess his name act as such?

As a group of people, we cannot allow this. I am not sure what is more frustrating, the complete discrimination of a whole group of people or people standing behind a shroud of Christianity to cover their bigotry. Either way, you will not use my Jesus in this way.

Luke 9: 52-56

“… And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.”

M/P

America’s Favorite Subject: Me (The Monday Fits)

tumblr_mwsglrsUQ61sksn40o1_500

“We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

This post is obviously about selfishness and it has been in the works for quite a while. I actually originally wrote this blog topic to be called, “The Selfish Side of Minorities… the What about Me Personality”. Then Sandra Bland died, and I kept trying over and over to write about how, we as minorities, can be so selfish when we only look through our lens. This subject matter came to my mind, because of the diversity work I’ve done, and as mistreated as Black people are, many ignore the discrimination that say a person with a disability might experience if it is outside their experience. It’s an argument many people make about minority groups in general that refuse to support other civil rights movements. I honestly felt foolish for writing about minorities being selfish, when you hear the majority complaining about how life is unfair for them with all the focus on race.

Just this past week, in the wonderful state that I live in (Texas), a young Muslim boy was arrested for making a clock that they thought was a bomb. But they didn’t really think it was a bomb, because there was no evacuation AND they admitted knowing that it wasn’t a bomb, BUT arrested him anyway. And then I figured out why I really hadn’t written in almost 3 weeks.

The foolishness is at an all time high! You have presidential candidates supporting a woman who is refusing to do her job, say a felon, who struggles to get a job would love to do. You have the GOP presidential debate “winner” literally making up facts that aren’t true (yes, go fact check Carly Fiorina) – I mean in the age I just don’t understand a. why make up shit b. why others just believe anything out of someone’s mouth. And while everyone was so excited that Obama tweeted to the young Muslim boy about his clock, where were his harsh comments to the school district that racial/ethnically profiled this young boy. Where are the strong words about the behavior? Obama wanted to be seen as a “hero” instead of providing the leadership this country so desperately needs when it comes to race and ethnic relations, but he fails yet again. Why? What’s in it for him?

But despite my frustrations, I have nothing to really complain about. I still live in America. I look at what’s going around the world such as the displaced refugees in Syria. The women and children who are desperately in danger of being raped or molested against their will. Those are real things, real problems. Those people should be crying from the roof top for the world to care about them. But they are too busy trying to survive to really cry out. We are always crying and we pit our struggles against one another regardless if we’re minorities, in the majority, or whoever. And then we want people to have sympathy, fight for our causes, or understand our perspective.

I do believe that people can change their mind on topics or difficult issues, but they do have to be open to them. There are also people about  causes that do not directly affect them. However, I find it hilarious that people support candidates who are completely unaware of their struggle and they act like it.  Donald Trump has done nothing in his career to make you think he’s concerned with the middle class struggle, but that he is concerned with power and money. What most people do, support, or the interest groups they entangle themselves with is really indicative of the kind of person or candidate they will be.

People’s character is really based on who they are when no one is not looking.

Whhat they do before they hit the spotlight, before they run for President is more indicative of who they are and what they will support. I mean it’s okay to be fooled by pretty words, but we shouldn’t be. We should look at these elections from that angle. Remember we are selfish beings, why do we think they somehow are more concerned about our needs. But I did not come here to blog about the elections, again (as tempting as it can be).

I wanted to discuss the Black Lives Matter campaign. Yes. I have no problem with organizing, coming together, and pushing the agenda of stopping the violence against our young black boys and black girls. But the idea that we can convince others that Black Lives Matter, hurts my heart, because in all honesty we can’t. Hence the preceding all Lives Matter rallies that have occurred and now Police Lives Matter movements popping up across the country. It is sad that they feel threatened by the Black Lives Matter movement. That even in this very selfish world, they have tried to convince us that focusing on our black lives is inappropriate. See I was wrong to think, as minorities, we are selfish because we only care about our particular status in this world, and not banding together more often to help with several causes. It is true that we all have a different fight, and if you were born or live in America, this is the country of me. So why is it so upsetting that a Black Lives Matter movement exists, or that over the past year, it has become harder and harder for me to not write about race relations. I know there are other matters going on in the world, and other issues affecting me and those around me, yet it’s what I care about.

It is because I am black, I will always be black, and when I raise my kids, no matter who I marry, they too will be black. There is nothing selfish about being concerned about my black life, my future child’s black life, and most important, my brother’s black life. What is selfish, is that idea that people, who are not black, telling me to not care. What’s worse are the many black men and women of power and influence, who are also telling me not care too. Everyone is pointing their finger to themselves and saying me, me, and me when we need to come together. But I cannot sit around and wait for that, I choose to nurture our children of tomorrow. The fight to convince the other side will never be won, because you cannot convince someone else that YOU matter, but you can teach a young child to remember that they matter, that they matter in the scheme of the whole world and not in their silo. That is what I have decided to do as a concerned citizen, person , and most of all, as an American.  I can longer spend my time writing about something I know is important in hopes that you will understand, because there are more important at stake: Our children, our future.

M/P

Freedom: The New American Silo

Blog #5

Freedom: The American Silo

 You know you are out of your element when you feel a cringe in your stomach, a knot in your chest, or maybe a slight headache. If you think these feelings are unnatural or unwanted, embrace them. Many entrepreneurs, innovators live off of the feeling, because the moments that make you feel uncomfortable are often the experiences that make you grow. However, it’s becoming increasingly more common to not take the risk or the challenge.

Do you know why? Freedom.

Huh? What? That’s right, Freedom.

America was built on this cool thing called freedom, and it’s pretty awesome until we decided to get lazy, and this “freedom”, basically has become justification for us to only stick to what we know and like, but expanded to the point where it justifies what we don’t do, and that’s bad. In fact, that sentence I just wrote was lazy, and my high school English teacher would scream from the use of cool, pretty, awesome, and bad all in the same sentence as if there weren’t better adjectives to use.

So Freedom IS the power or the right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Yet, our sense of freedom to act, beyond expressing disagreement (as discussed in last week’s blog post) is stagnant. I believe that’s some of the befuddlement by the actions in Ferguson, is that the community is standing up, protesting, and challenging the status quo; many have asked them to wait. Wait for an investigation. Wait for due process. Wait for justice. You might not like the way they are doing it, but when did speaking out and protesting ever become an un-American thing to do. They used their freedom to act.

One of the biggest glaring examples, over the past few years, where Americans are using freedom in exchange for not taking the difficult steps to act: Tax inversions. “More big U.S. companies are incorporating abroad despite a 2004 federal law that sought to curb the practice. One big reason: Taxes”  (source: WSJ)

Sound complicated? It’s a deal (merger) between an American company and a non-American company to avoid or lessen U.S. taxes. To some degree, and in certain circumstances, I agree this practice is perfectly responsible for American companies, and my libertarian part of my brain is all for it. What bothers me is the implication that not allowing companies to pursue better tax options overseas on non-American soil is anti- American, because they have the right to choose (freedom) is just plain lazy. I’ve really heard pundits making the comments that this is what America was built on,  freedom, the freedom to move and make more money and that is true, but it’s more than that.

The real issue is that the tax code/system needs to be rewritten and revised. There are opportunities to take a look at our current policies and alter them to effectuate a change that would make companies WANT to stay here; but no one wants to have the conversation, no one wants to act. I mean there are a few scholars, tax nerds, and a small number of legislators that do, but the majority of people who have the power and influence to do so, but really don’t want to. They would rather not get awkward, get a little dirty, and avoid the knots in their stomach because it’s simply uncomfortable.

Companies, banks, and wealthy individuals have leveraged congress on policies with less importance and less effect on the American public. American companies continue to leave American soil and take away American jobs in the name of Freedom. (craziness, right?)

The actions of the companies are so suspicious that Burger King’s recent announcement of their merger with the Canadian- based Hortons, was immediately questioned as to their motives. And at first glance, their explanation seems reasonable, because the fast food market is losing money, and the market is more competitive as Americans are attempting to eat healthier (and rid the world of gluten). We don’t expect our tax rate to change materially,” said Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz. “This transaction is not really about tax, it’s about growth”  (source: WSJ)

Then you look at the numbers! I didn’t even know Burger King was doing so well, they are 4th  in overall sales, after McDonalds, Subway and Starbucks. Then you see the reason everyone is giving them the big *sideeye*

This is not an attempt to oversimplify a critical, multi-layer problem within our system, but I would argue that we’ve masked our laziness, our fears, behind Freedom, and the American spirit is built around creation, innovation, MAKING MISTAKES, and figuring out a better solution. case and point: Kentucky’s Kynect. Do you know why Kentucky’s Kynect system has been so successful in promoting Obamacare?

So the Democrats got the legislation passed, won the war. Republicans were upset, and understandably vocal against legislation that they believe would cripple the system. Disagreement is good, but failing to ACT is futile.  The leaders in Kentucky had one responsibility: create a solution for all Kentuckians. Not only for one segment of the population, and that would include making the benefits attractive to Republicans.  And that’s where they truly won, and conveyed what America is all about. They executed their job to meet the law, and made it work for those who did not see their vision (and continue to hate Obamacare), and to me that is real freedom.

Freedom is our right as Americans to think, argue, and disagree as we so choose. But Freedom was not fought for and given to us to use these differences to not ACT.  Freedom’s real purpose was for us to recognize each others differences, and have the capacity, technology, and tools to create a solution.

So American, let’s break down the walls, and break out of the American Silo, work together and do something.

MP