Incivility, Hobby Lobby, Refugee Children, Equal Rights, and Gunslingers

I have had a rant coming on for some time now and it began bubbling to the surface today so I turned to my favorite form of therapy, writing, if you choose to read this once it is completed you may carry on, I will have gotten it off my chest for a while. I suppose one explanation is it depends on “whose bull is being gored” as the saying goes, it just seems to me the level of incivility of claiming and taking away rights has risen to a new level of late. We have passed laws giving corporations the same rights as individuals, more rights in some instances, and as I look on and encounter the news, media is a whole other blog; it just seems to be getting worse.

I acknowledge there is incivility, vitriol language, hatred, etc. expressed among politicians and even toward our presidents from various factions of our citizenry over the years. Though, at least since I have taken an interest in the political process over my fifty-five years of life, I do not believe I have ever read about nor seen the level of obstruction, hatred, and incivility like that directed at our current President Barack Obama. I do not agree with everything he has done or is doing, but that does not affect the fact that he is my/our president and the office deserves the respect of the people. Blatant personal attacks, racist comments, and outright bigotry should be unacceptable whether we are talking about President Obama or former President George W. Bush. I just don’t get it I guess.

We have a Supreme Court that, at least in some cases in my opinion, it seems the wheels are coming off. From decisions that would somehow justify the doing away with affirmative action because racism no longer exists… as if. The current Supreme Court that would give businesses the right to deny providing particular parts of health insurance if it is against their deeply held religious beliefs, which opens a huge can of worms. We continue to pass laws regulating women’s healthcare choices and reproductive rights and I keep wondering why there is not the same level of regulation on a man’s reproductive abilities, as if I didn’t already know the answer; something about the beast of patriarchy still trying to raise its ugly head.

We hear over and over again the chorus from so many about how we are a Christian Nation, which we are not and never were intended to be, but this same voice would send refugee children back to countries where they are abused, tortured, and killed. Other voices threaten to shoot them if they cross our borders all the while our own politicians using them for political pawns rather than finding compassionate and just ways to care for them.

There are lawmakers and churches, continually trying to revive laws that would allow businesses as well as government entities to discriminate against same-gender couples and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered persons simply because they are who they are or because of who they love. Not to mention churches, including my own beloved UMC, who continue to claim all persons are of sacred worth and welcome, unless you are LGBT and want to be married or feel a call into the ministry. It’s time to end discrimination and violence of word and deed toward our LGBT sisters and brothers.

I see images of people who would rather stockpile weapons and walk through department stores with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders rather than require background checks, gun regulation, or admit we have an addiction to violence, guns, and war in this country! It is time to acknowledge more guns are not the answer to violence.

This is just a short list really of what I see going on in our country today. A list of things that seem to be getting more and more amplified as time goes by. I hear so many saying our current president is trying to take away our rights and those same who condone taking away the rights of those with whom they disagree. It seems a vicious circle and some days it seems as a nation we are regressing to a time of dark and violent days.

But every now and then I see a glimpse of hope and hear a voice of reason. Every now and then someone stands up to the patriarchy, sectarianism, intolerance, and injustice. Every now and then someone rises up and says, “Enough is enough!” I heard a speaker once say that in our national political atmosphere the pendulum swings from one side to the other, it moves to the left for a while, pauses in the center, and then moves to the right for a while and so on. I want to say, “Swing baby swing, it’s time!” Part of me wonders, with all that I see as wrong in the world, if these crazy unjust laws, and this incivility are but the last gasp of a dying era, one last grasp at power before it finally fades into nothingness, I pray so. Every once in a while I think I see it starting to move back to the left, hasten the day I say, hasten the day!

I have come to think I may not change many minds, though I pray I might influence those who are still wrestling, as I work to make my corner of the world a little more hopeful, just, compassionate, and loving, but if nothing else I pray my voice will lend encouragement and courage to those of like mind who have not yet found their voice and place in the struggle. Justice, kindness, humility, and love will prevail of that I have no doubt and because of my confidence in just that kind of world immersed in the Spirit of God, I will continue to stand and work, and speak, and encourage others to do the same until that day when Love is the Rule and not the exception. May it be so and may it be soon!

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