A Congress of Firsts

We’ve come a long way, baby…(click on the graphic to enlarge and read more clearly):

Now Congress is looking more and more like AMERICA.

Look at the beautiful colors and faces and all that.

Diversity. It’s a good thing.

Is this perfect? No. Can it get better? Yes. Why?

Because we’re Americans and this is what we do. We get better, and better, and better.

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So Much For…

…religious tolerance in this country.

I found this meme on Facebook:

And lots of people are quick to express very strong agreement with this.

One person said, “They should use something other than a bible. After all, we are a nation of multiple religions.”

To which, I responded: “OK so the President’s freedom of religion goes out the window when he/she is elected? First Amendment rights apply except to the President? What if the President being sworn in wants to use a Bible because it is meaningful to him/her? Would any of you say that a Jewish President should not be sworn in on a copy of the Torah? What if we had a Hindu President – could that person not be sworn in on a copy of the Rig Veda? It seems that a lot of people here have this idea that tolerance applies to everyone *except* Christians. Newsflash: Christians have rights in this country too.”

Another person got all kinds of upset and yelled, “Religion has no place in our political system…NONE! ZIP, NADA…”

To which, I responded: “No place, eh? Tell that to Jimmy Carter, former President and Sunday school teacher. Tell that to John Clagget Danforth, a former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, former Attorney General of Missouri, former United States Senator from Missouri and an ordained Episcopal priest.”

I also added this: “You people would actually take rights away from Americans based on their religion. That is un-American. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The only way you could keep all religious views out of the public sphere, and do so fairly, would be to ALSO keep all SECULARIST views out of the public sphere. Rev. Timothy Keller made this point in his book “The Reason for God.” I really wish people would read that book and understand what’s written in it. More on this another time.

Someone added this, which is actually very accurate: “The idea of separating the church from state was not to keep the church from running the state but the state from trying to run the church.” This is correct; we did not want the equivalent of the Archbishop of New York sitting in the Senate, doing whatever he wanted because he wasn’t subject to anyone or anything except the church hierarchy. Our English forefathers had already seen the problems that came out of that kind of situation. They had learned that lesson BIG TIME.

Oh, but no one wants to hear about HISTORY, that most boring of topics that has NOTHING TO DO with anything going on HERE and NOW.

::end sarcasm::

On Veterans Day

I just left the following comment over on this post:

You’re damn right I’m going to honor our veterans; they are people like my husband, my grandfather AND grandmother, my two uncles, and many of my friends. They stepped up to the plate and made sacrifices that I and many others were either too chicken to do or simply not able to do.

I gave my US Army veteran husband a huge hug on Veterans Day and we had a nice talk about the fall of the Berlin Wall, the anniversary of which was on 9 November. Because my husband was in Germany (Bamberg – just 30 km outside the Czech border) just a few years before the Wall came down, he feels like he had something of a hand in bringing down those forces that had erected the Wall to begin with. We can’t say that nary a shot was fired during the Cold War, because plenty of our troops died (mostly Special Ops guys, that sort of thing), but it was a far calmer scene than WWII or Korea or Vietnam.

And let’s not forget that our troops are not just a bunch of “paid thugs” who are good for nothing more than shooting people. Many of the US Army Corps of Engineers are up in the American Northeast right now, among the many first responders who are trying to get things back to normal after Hurricane Sandy ripped through several states and left God only knows how many people without power, without running water, in flooded homes (IF their homes are still standing at all), etc.

Let’s also not forget things like Toys for Tots, a charitable event/foundation that the US Marines do every year near the holidays.

One thing I have noticed about UUs that I feel I need to speak out very strongly about is this mocking of our troops. That does nothing to help their morale, and they are standing between us and the barbarians at the gate, whatever form those barbarians may take.

So for your freedom to put them down and talk trash about them, my husband says, “You’re welcome.”

This nonsense really makes me hugely angry.

You want to know why veterans are heroes? Here’s why:

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

Not everyone can say that.

Guess what happens the US Marines who guard our embassies, when said embassies are attacked? THEY DIE. They die for civilian politicians. If anything, it’s the politicians (with their inclination to lie and bs the entire populace to win an election) who are NOT the heroes. It’s the people serving them.

Further comment: Joe and I tried to get a Veterans Day event going at First Unitarian. Only a very few people were interested in this, and since we left, I bet there has not been another Veterans Day observation whatsoever. And on Memorial Day weekend, which is the American weekend to remember those who FELL in warfare, protecting and defending our Constitutional rights, they have a chili cookoff. Is that really any way to remember those who were killed in action?

Maybe it’s better we’re not there any more. We’re not wanted. People like us, with our views, are not wanted. I keep thinking “oh no, they’re supposed to be open to people with all kinds of views, including us” but that’s just not the case, apparently.

I am so very tempted to go back to being pagan.

She writes: I’m a 50-year-old white woman who lives in the swing state of Colorado. I’m married, I’m a mom, I have a PhD, and I’m a Christian. In Boulder. I can’t imagine trying to explain the world without faith and science. I’m upper middle class, but I come from blue-collar stock. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe its inevitable excesses must be tempered with regulations – you know, Genesis, original sin, the human propensity for greed and all. I’m pro-life in the fullest sense of the term. I’m happy for my gay friends who want to marry – I’m all for commitment when it comes to sustaining the social fabric. My evangelical grandmother, whom I treasured, was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. I’m a Democrat who likes hymns and red wine. Try squaring all that when it comes to putting me in a political box.

Time to stop demonizing Christians.

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

‘We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin

If there’s one word that seemed to characterize Romney supporters’ immediate reaction to Obama’s victory, it’s “shock.”

A conservative Facebook friend posted this status: “For the first time in my life I am at a loss for words…absolutely baffled by the electorate and the election results, especially considering the current state the country is in.”

A radio reporter interviewed a woman at the Romney campaign party in Denver shortly after the election was called. Her response simmered with anger as she pondered the reality of how more than half the nation had voted: “What don’t they see?? It’s mind-boggling!”

What they don’t see are people like me.

I’m a 50-year-old white woman who lives in the swing state of Colorado. I’m married, I’m a mom, I have a PhD, and I’m a Christian…

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Let Hope Rise

Many people are grieving for our country today. My Facebook feed, made up mostly of conservative Christians, is like the day after a bomb dropped. Early polls showed 80% of evangelicals voted for Governor Romney, and many are shocked and grieved by the outcome of the election.

I am grieving for the church.

Many people are posting on Facebook that this win signals people want handouts and don’t want to work, signals the death of our country’s ideals and an electorate who doesn’t care enough to be informed, and is a national endorsement of abortion, gay marriage, and weed. Most of these posts that I saw came from people who are Christians, and to those posts I have to give the following response:

I humbly and sadly disagree. I think this split in our culture is about the church. I think it is about the marginalized (the people the church…

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Reunification Day

On this day in 1989…

…East German officials open the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, cheering Germans began to tear the wall down; soon one of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up by souvenir hunters.

My husband Joseph Wilke (above) and other veterans of the Cold War had a hand in this. This is part of the process that allowed my Czech coworker, Veronika G, to travel and eventually move to the US. This is why I think Cold War veterans SHOULD get some kind of medal or ribbon. Just because it was a Cold War, that doesn’t make it any less of a war. People WERE dying – usually Special Ops guys. Raise a glass today, people. This is a beautiful day in the history of Western Civilization.

This weekend (Nov. 11th) the US observes Veterans Day. Shake the hand of a veteran if you love your freedom.

HOOOAH!!

Yes, I’m Thrilled…

…that team Obama/Biden won our Presidential election.

This is good. I can has health care without the idea of a “pre-existing condition” hanging over my head.

As far as the Romneys go…

Now we have to keep up the momentum for another 2 years, to kick the GOP/Teabagging governors out of office, like Florida’s Governor Voldemort….I mean, Rick Scott.

PINK SLIP RICK!!!