The Librarian

Onward Christian Actors

The Librarian

Nothing makes me more nauseous than candidates wrapped in a flag, clutching and thumping Bibles, while pontificating on “Christian Values.” Yeah, I’m talking about the current front-running Republican candidates, who fixated on inflicting their religious doctrine on every citizen in the country. Values can have any number of prefixes which are meaningless. Values are just that – values. Now, if you want valueless, just become a daily Daily Discord reader.

Whatever anyone believes are his/her values. And guess what! An individual value can occur in more than one value system. One Christian denomination holding a discrete belief does not make it a global “Christian Value.” No religious denomination has a copyright on any individual value or the right to declare their individual value a part of the global Christian value system. How pompous/pontifical can they get?

When we get into the Christian religious arena (no, I’m not thinking of the Roman Coliseum), the closest thing we have to an all-encompassing Christian value system, are the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule. All else is theology.  The province of God is faith, hope, charity, love; theology is the province of Satan. The attempt of man to manipulate Christianity to individual or small group beliefs, has divided Christians into vitriolic segments, as is most assuredly depicted in the current political fracas. Note that theology has historically been perpetrated by men, as is clear from certain theological, as opposed to logical, values, or lack thereof. Thanks to the Romans, the prominent place women held in the early Church was given to men.

The talk about “Christian Values” is redundant. I have observed that Christians do not necessarily live by “Christian Values,” and that one may have what Bible-thumping Christians term a Christian value system and not be a Christian. Indeed, one may be a follower of any other religion or no religion at all and observe what could also be termed a Christian value system. Ethics, honesty, fairness are not owned by anyone, only practiced by those who practice them. Simple, isn’t it? No label needed.

I have a wildly radical proposal… No, not the one where I suggest the Discord contributors lay off the hooch and take some grammar classes, though I still think that’s a good idea. This proposal: Let’s just drop the labels and try to observe an ethical and civilized value system in campaigning. Makes the race virtually impossible, doesn’t it? OK, if you can’t comply with “Christian Values,” just go to church. I don’t care what anyone’s religion is, just focus on the issues.

My die-hard Republican parents who religiously sent me to church and Sunday school while they stayed home, provided me with a thorough education in hypocrisy. You might say it was, and still is, my favorite subject. I love the inherent comedy and sarcasm, but abhor the subject in political practice.

Let’s just take the relevant Commandments one at a time:

1. You shall have no other gods before God.

That means neither wealth, nor power, nor arrogance, nor political ambition should come before Christian doctrine – remember, I’m just considering the Commandments and the Golden Rule. Looks to me like three-quarters of the current viable candidates lose here. I’m semi-confident you can figure out who you are.

2. You should not make images of anything on earth, or in heaven above or water below and bow down to it.

Shall we discuss campaign photographs, campaign posters, and appearances widely disseminated on television and in the media, all touting your supposed magnificence? It’s enough to gag a maggot. I wonder what the Almighty thinks of that. Don’t bother guessing – another broken commandment, and we’re only on number 2. In fact, we’re stepping in number 2, right now.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

How many times have you appeared on television or make campaign appearances on Sundays? I can’t count that high either. Thankfully, on the Sabbath I avoid all cable news programs and knock off liquor stores.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

I am not suggesting that all the candidates violated this commandment; only one has well-documented violations of adultery – I think.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

Remember, everyone is your neighbor, according to the Ten-Commandments Christian value system. The front-running Republicans have demonstrated that they can’t campaign, even within their own party, without violating that Commandment. In my many, many years of observing the circus that is politics, I don’t believe I have ever, except for the last election, heard so many false witnesses against an opposing candidate than I have heard from the Republican hoard against President Obama, or such lack of respect for our nation’s President. Oh, and by the way, I have a copy of his birth certificate. From my viewpoint, campaigning on issues seems to belong to an alien religion, as far as front-running Republicans are concerned.

You may note that I have ignored Commandments 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10. That is not a commendation. I just lack sufficient evidence to document Republican lapses of those commandments, and I would not want to bear false witness. Of course, a 50% violation of the Ten Commandments is not a record about which front-running, Bible-thumping Republicans should be proud. In fact, if you were to compare their ethical nature, point for point, against the staff here at The Daily Discord… Okay, bad example.

Then, in addition to those pesky Commandments, is the Golden Rule, variously stated as, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or, in the vernacular, Treat others as you want to be treated. It’s not any easier for one of the front-running Republicans to follow than the Commandments, maybe even harder.

Focusing on the issues of the campaign doesn’t work for most of this election’s Republican candidates for the following reasons:

  1. Republican candidates simply don’t comprehend the issues. It is just about impossible for them to comprehend the facts of the issues from the viewpoint of anyone but a wealthy man with a strong sense of arrogance and entitlement.
  2. Republican candidates don’t agree with rational solutions to issues that address the problems of those citizens who are being affected by the Republican-generated financial debacle, but do not preserve the enormous entitlements the wealthy Republican candidates enjoy, and have historically enjoyed at the sacrifice of the citizenry. In short, they are not kind, they do not share, and they certainly do not practice in accordance with the Golden Rule.
  3. Republican candidates lack viable plans to deal with national issues because they don’t want to surrender their positions, taxpayer financed perks, and personal wealth for the benefit of the country and its citizens. They are selfish and inconsiderate.
  4. Focusing on the issues of the nation and its economy would require rational thought. According to an excellent psychologist with whom I once worked, 70% of the population is not capable of rational thought. For proof of this, read some other Discord articles. I’m kidding! You really shouldn’t do that. I would excuse only one of the Republican candidates from that group. Guess who that would be. I’ll give you a hint: not a very front runner.
  5. Focusing on the issues of the campaign would make the front-running Republican candidates look bad in a debate with President Obama. He is a man  who can express his opinion clearly, concisely, and powerfully. He conveys genuine concern for the citizens of the United States. He looks and acts, well, Presidential.

Let’s face it, none of the Republican candidates should be let out of the pen on the World Stage. They reflect very badly on Americans and the United States. They are the personification of arrogance. They do not project an ability to negotiate, as much as they project a desire to dominate. I know it’s hard to accept, but we are citizens of the world, as much as we are citizens of the United States. The time is long past when we can bully our way through international relations. One false move, and the world could have the second Big Bang and have to start all over again – or disintegrate. Do you really think we can take out Iran before they can detonate their bomb? Well, do you?

I’m an old woman. Global Thermal Nuclear War – for real, not a movie – would not shorten my life by much. I cry for what it could do to those who have more time to live.

You Show Me Your Birth Certificate If You Want to See Mine

The Librarian

When is the stupidity ever going to end? No, not the Daily Discord; they just renewed their hosting. I just can’t understand why anyone would continue to support the ignorance of way too many members of the Republican Party! I know that democracy is composed of many differing factions. I believed that responsible people could disagree on issues and resolve them. Oops, I said responsible people. Can you edit that part out?

I had come to the point of considering abandoning my beliefs or accepting that many Republicans are way too ignorant, self-serving, delusional, or a combination of all of the above, to be responsible.

Now I stand firmly on my belief in myself! On my most crazy and delusional day, I could never reach the level of idiocy of even the most off-the-track idiocy of the Republican Party during any given news cycle!

A while back, four Republicans in the New Hampshire State House supported a hearing requested by a group of “birthers” who want President Obama officially removed from the state’s primary ballot. Apparently, they believe that integrity, intelligence, ability to control one’s response to irrational and reactionary people making personal attacks, and the skills needed to maintain extraordinary international relations while managing a country in a clear state of deterioration, are un-American characteristics. I will admit, I don’t see people with President Obama’s skills very often, even in the halls of Congress and State Legislatures.

If that New Hampshire group wasn’t crazy enough, one group in Arizona has even demanded that the President “release the microfiche” of his birth certificate. I’m not even certain that microfiche would last 50 years. Where do these people come from? Under rocks? Out of the ooze? A Zano family reunion? Sorry. Of course, the conspiracy theorists are a fringe group teetering on the edge – hopefully of oblivion – but the fringe is becoming more dense. And what is wrong with the elected officials that they are pandering to the lunatic fringe? Actually, these people give the mentally ill a bad name. In the past, I worked in the psychiatric unit of a hospital. No one in our unit was even close to “lunatic fringe” crazy! Or that ignorant or nasty. This group is to politics what the Ghetto Shaman is to enlightenment.

It seems to me, that if these people are so concerned about President Obama’s birth certificate, an informed government and electorate should be even more concerned about theirs. There must be some reason this non-issue is such a major issue for them. My guess is that they don’t have birth certificates. Perhaps no one should be allowed to vote in any future election unless he or she can show the original notarized copy of her/his birth certificate. Or would that be government infringing on personal rights? WELL, WOULD IT, NUTS???

The Librarian

Mission to Be Accomplished for Real

The Librarian

In accordance with his campaign promise in 2008, President Obama has announced that he is withdrawing all American troops from Iraq by the end of this year, an amazing feat. I would expect the whole country to give him a standing ovation – were I delusional.

Most of those interviewed by news organizations have expressed satisfaction with the plan put in place after deliberations with the Iraqi government, and President Obama’s insistence on protection for our soldiers. Note, a troop is a collective noun, it is not one soldier. Ergo, when the word troop is used, it means a group, an organized group, of soldiers. 

What amuses me to the point of vomiting are those who question if the government of Iraq is “ready” to assume control of their country. What is wrong with you?!?!? Being Republicans?!?!?

Let us not forget how we got to Iraq. A not too bright rich guy with political ties, who had deserted the National Guard, and was in the throes of a combination of extended adolescence and premature senile dementia, claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction they were planning to unleash on the United States. Unfortunately, as president, he had the key to the arsenal of US weaponry and, as the Commander-in-Chief of the military, troops of honorable US soldiers which he used to invade a sovereign nation, knowing full well that the invasion was based on a lie. I would guess that to him the golden moment of his presidency was wearing military gear, landing on a battleship, and chortling, “Mission Accomplished.” To me, he looked like Alfred E. Neuman. I know I am not the only person who saw the resemblance. I have seen a digital picture of Alfred morphing back and forth into Bush.

Sunday morning on Face the Nation, Michele Bachmann criticized President Obama’s decision not to leave a small force in Iraq due to Iraq’s refusal to give them immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. She claimed that the United States is “being kicked out by the very people that we liberated.” She also decried “leaving zero troops [or did she mean soldiers?] behind.” Hello! Where have you been? We did not liberate Iraq, we invaded that nation at the cost of 4,400 American lives, as well as more money than I can even comprehend. Ms. Bachmann demonstrated clearly that she lacks even one characteristic that would be an asset in a President.

One nation is not entitled to invade another because it doesn’t like the other nation’s politics, religion, friends, neighbors, or alliances. An honorable political figure does not alter/ignore/manufacture reports to justify egregious actions. The United States is a nation in a world of nations with equal rights. It doesn’t have the right to be the supreme ruler of the world. If it did, it would have the obligation to be the supreme benefactor of that world.

I have a long-standing desire to be the Queen of the World. I am certain that I could do a great job and that the world would be a better place if I were. But I know that I do not have the right to impose common sense, fair play, fair trade, cooperation, benevolence, and compassion on others. I believe that every person should have their needs met and some extras. I firmly believe that personal space ends before it contacts another person’s nose. I believe the same goes for nations. We are all residents of one frail planet. If we don’t cooperate and be nice, we will all cease to exist. It’s as simple as that. Welcome our soldiers home and be sure to let them know that their sacrifice is appreciated.

Tea Party Chooses Hypocrisy over Religiosity

The Librarian

The most valuable thing I received from my family of origin was a graduate practicum in hypocrisy before I completed elementary school. Dad believed he was God, and Mom supported his delusion as long as he was always there to pull out her chair and open the car door for her. They intensely disliked the outcome of their tutelage as I developed of my greatest talent, the ability to see through subterfuge to hypocrisy. I have been amused by it ever since.

The Tea Party (TP) is the poster group for Hilarious Hypocrisy. Their Bible thumping married to their anti-Christian behavior and statements is more consistent with Saturday Night Live than with the Bible. I am talking fundamentals here. The province of God is faith, hope, love, and charity. Theology is the province of Satan. The nutshell of Christianity is love one another, treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated, and everyone, even those people you consider to be the most despicable, are your neighbors. Historically, examples of theology are the questions of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and can God make a boulder so heavy that he cannot move it. The discussion may be amusing, but it is distracting, serves no useful purpose, and is irrelevant to Christianity, as well as life.

Jesus was a liberal with strong socialist leanings. The evidence is clear. He took loaves and fishes away from a boy, who was the only person in a multitude to plan ahead for the day’s activities. Jesus then used the boy’s food to feed a bunch of strangers who were unable to plan ahead, unemployed, poor, or all of the above. How socialistic is that? VERY! Jesus turned over the tables of money lenders in the temple. Can you imagine what he would do to Wall Street? It boggles the mind.

Christians, in all good conscience – a very rare commodity, that conscience – cannot excuse the wealthy from their obligation to pay their fair share of taxes any more than they can deny the least fortunate of the population necessary health care, and the opportunity to become educated to make a reasonable living. An average wedding costs enough to feed a multitude and the amounts spent on celebrity weddings are obscene. With all the extreme wealth of this country, there is no excuse for anyone to live in abject poverty. To allow that to happen demonstrates a lack of Christian principles.

The TP maintains that allowing the rich to escape paying their fair share of taxes will increase employment, and it will – in third world countries where children work in factories and are denied adequate health care and educations. How Christian is that? It confuses me that the TP has such a cavalier attitude toward child labor when they rally to protect even one cell of a potential child. Are only potential American children worthy of protection? Why aren’t they rushing to China to get child labor laws passed?

The hypocrisy never stops. The TP supports vociferous demonstrations at Women’s Centers. I have been tempted to distribute adoption applications and petitions against capital punishment to the demonstrators. How many have rushed to adopt babies who are severely handicapped or whose mothers are unable to provide care for them? How many TP members are demonstrating to secure nutritious diets and good prenatal care for the potential mothers of these potential children? How many TP members value human life so religiously that they are demonstrating to ensure that all children have nutritious diets, good health care, and good educations? How many are signing petitions to end capital punishment?

As a social worker with experience in mental health, early intervention, child welfare, adoption, and juvenile probation, I have seen little concern for my client families from TP-esque people. Condemnation is more probable. What insane logic would suggest that a child who is confined to Hell during his/her childhood will, upon reaching his/her 18th birthday, immediately be infused with good health, a strong moral compass, logic, and the opportunities to get a good education and well-paying job? That is irrational. I have a habit of kindly explaining the circumstances of these unfortunate people’s lives to people, even strangers who self-righteously censure them. It doesn’t make friends, but I hope it causes people to think. Yes, I am delusionally optimistic.

Occasionally I have seen children from very difficult situations who do well, but they were not children left to their own devices. They were children who miraculously found someone, such as a neighbor, relative, teacher, social worker, foster parent, who cared for him/her and somehow managed to make a difference in that child’s life whether that support person was Christian or not. Christians definitely do not have a monopoly on performing kind acts.

All children need to be nurtured from conception in order to develop into capable, responsible adults. They need a healthy diet and good medical care. The number without those necessities of life is growing world-wide. So where is the TP’s Christianity when it comes to the children of the world? Does it end at birth? The TP seeks to protect the potential of a child, not children, who are the world’s most precious natural resource. This is embracing the idea of Christianity without bothering to practice love and charity for one another. Guess TP really fits.