RumiNations: I am Waiting for … Independence Day

*

I am waiting for … The American people to finally be honest about who we have become and remove the “In” from the 4th of July, Independence day celebration.

4th of july 1

************

RumiNations: I am Waiting for … is a new piece added to the RumiNations puzzle. We will look ahead, at consequences and possibilities, so all you futurists and science fiction writers take note. I am waiting for … something good to happen in these United States, but I am not holding my breath.

*

Advertisements

RumiNations: Attribution Unverified.

*

I do not mean to worry you, but have you seen this?

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

— Original Author not known

 

Many will think I am overstating the case, but …

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

— Original Author not known

Forget this next election. In my opinion, the election in 2012 was clear evidence we have crossed the tipping point into a nation of dependents. There is only one more step.

But even if you disagree with the steps, I will still say this: The Great Experiment is over. If you do not know what I mean by the Great Experiment, that is why it is over.

*

RumiNations: SCOTUS Resolves the Biblical Issues on Homosexuaity

*

Jesus said little about marriage. Unfortunately, what little he did say clearly supposes that marriage is between a man and a woman. I suppose it is fair to say he was silent about other possible arrangements. We might say he was speaking to his present audience. The issue of gay marriage never came up, so we can only imagine what he might have said.

The Apostle Paul, however, minced no words. In his letters to the Romans, the Corinthians and to Timothy, he appears to have soundly condemned homosexual practice (before even getting to the marriage question). For the past 60-100 years, some biblical scholars have struggled to find ways to get around these passages. Forget 1900 years of common understanding of these passages. Some modern scholars have striven mightily to tap dance and gerrymander their way around the plain words, sadly, with poor results.

One of the problems with Paul is he was an Old Testament scholar, and in the relevant passages he clearly drew on the holiness code in Leviticus to explain the continuing prohibition in the Christian faith against any number of things including adultery, fornication and … homosexuality. And Leviticus is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

In Leviticus, homosexuality is referred to as an abomination, or in some translations, as detestable, which means to be cut off from interaction with people—a far cry from celebration. Later in Leviticus, it refers to homosexual practice as worthy of death, which may be where those Muslims get the notion that homosexuals deserve to be killed, which they are doing to this day.

Abomination is a hard word to get around. No amount of scholarly contortionism has yet managed it. About the only way to do this is to throw the entire holiness code (the expression of biblical morality) to the curb, which some have done, but most Christians, Jews, Muslims and others honestly will never do.

But Now!

The Supreme Court of the United States has shown the way!

In King V. Burwell, the Supreme Court discounted the plain words “established by the state”, and decided what the congress meant to say was established by the state or the federal government.

Now we can deal with Leviticus We can discount the plain words and declare what the Bible, Scriptures, Holy Writ, the authors of Leviticus, the Word of God, God (whatever) meant to say was homosexuality is an abomination except when two people really love each other.

Do you think?

************

Maybe not.

It is likely that millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others will never accept gay marriage no matter what the government says. Making beggars of such people or locking them all up for hate crimes will be too costly. It seems the only solution will be for the gay community to start building crosses and start breeding lions for all those who refuse to sacrifice at the LGBT altar, because, of course, being tolerant of others and live an let live is not an option.

*

RumiNations: The Under-Informed Voters: Paving the Way to More of the Same

           Republicans are giddy at the prospect of gaining seats in the 2014 election in the Senate and possibly strengthening their hold on the House.  This may not happen, and here is why

            Since 2012, a great deal has been said about the uninformed voter, those who automatically vote for Democrats who portray themselves, with the media in full support, as the source for the never-ending gravy train.  Said voters neither know nor care about the issues except in so far as it affects them, personally.  And the Republicans, again with the media in full support, have been portrayed as cruel and heartless racist, sexist, homophobes whose only desire is to cut off the gravy and make people suffer.  And who can argue with such a lie told over and over in every information outlet until it becomes the assumed truth?  Who can argue with a rumor?

            These voters, however, are not likely to ruin the Republican chances in 2014.  Plenty of these voters will not bother to vote in the mid-term.  It won’t be like the Presidential year; but then Mitt Romney did not lose to the uninformed voter.  Romney lost because he was nominated in the first place by what I call the under-informed voters.  Romney lost because informed voters, namely conservatives and libertarians, stayed home by the millions.  They looked at voting for Romney or Obama and asked the Hillary Clinton question: “What difference does it make?” 

            What is the point electing an establishment, “big-government” Republican or a “big-government” Democrat?  And the answer given was none.  No difference.  The people are screwed no matter what.  And for all the effort some big name conservatives in the country put into touting Romney’s conservative credentials, it did not fly.  Romney was seen as yet another McCain, maybe not as bad, but of the safe stripes.  So, millions of people stayed home, and Romney lost, and this is likely to happen in 2014.

            What is an under-informed voter?  They are people who generally know what is going on, but are slim on the details.  Between talk radio and the internet, they may have some counter to the unified drumbeat of the mainstream media.  But frankly, they are too busy living life to pay too much attention.  They generally vote Republican, or plan to vote Republican, but they simply don’t follow the issues too closely.  They consider themselves moderate, and are not immune to the media bashing of conservative candidates as being radicals and extreme, especially when that bashing is done by other Republicans. 

            The result is a lot of establishment. “big-government” Republicans get nominated, because in the end these people will vote for a familiar face who seems like a nice person and who says some things people want to hear.  Of course, time and again over the last thirty years (since Reagan), these Republicans have gone to Washington and failed to do what they were presumably elected and sent there to do.  This eventually tics people off.  The way I figure it, about  one in ten wake up enough to join the tea party (since 2009).  About one in ten decide there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, and want to throw everyone out, and to Hell them all, and more likely they just stop voting altogether; which makes the Democrats happy.  But there are still eight of ten out there ready the next time to nominate another establishment, “big-government” Republican who says some nice things and seems like such a nice person, and more importantly, is not one of those radical extremists.

            Who are the under-informed voters in 2014?  Many Republicans, obviously, but also many independents who “lean” Republican.  These are the people who will nominate establishment, “big-government” Republican candidates in many Senate races and House districts – the familiar name who says nice things type candidate.

            Then there are those independents who “lean” Democrat, and even many Democrats this time around, working people, union members, students and the like, who have been touched negatively in some way by Obamacare, Obama’s policies, or the economy.  These people have been personally, negatively impacted by something with the Democrat’s name on it, and they are not happy.  These are the people the Republicans are ecstatic about, but unfortunately, most are under-informed, and in this case, that means they believe that anyone with a capital R next to their name will be the opposite of the Democrats, and “fix it,” (whatever “it” might be).  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

            If a bunch of establishment, “big-government” Republicans get nominated and elected to the House and Senate, things will not significantly change.  Some things may be tweaked or slowed down a bit, but Washington will continue on as usual.  Of course, there is a chance after that happens that some of these voters will wake up and join the Tea Party movement, but more than likely they will conclude that there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats.  We might hear, “I voted Republican last time, but it did not make any difference.”  And they would be right.

            The problem with all this is if enough establishment Republicans get nominated, the informed voters, namely the conservative and libertarian “Tea Party”-types, may stay home.  And if they stay home by the millions, as they did in 2012, there probably won’t be much change in 2014 and the whole election will be a yawn, or the Democrats might even pick up a few seats. But understand, even if the informed voters hold their noses and vote for the establishment candidates so a bunch of them get elected, things in Washington will not seriously change.

            On the other hand, if the Republicans put up a bunch of “Tea Party”-type candidates, the efforts and lies by the Democrats and the establishment Republicans to paint them as radicals and extremists, with the media in full support, may be enough to keep a sufficient number of under-informed voters home, and the result may be the same – with little change in the House and Senate, or maybe even with the Democrats picking up a few seats.  For the Democrats, it is a classic case of heads I win, tails you lose, or as Hillary so eloquently put it, “What difference does it make?”

.

RumiNations: The Obamacare Solution

            When I was in school (back in the days of ancient history) I once had a teacher who gave us all a surprise quiz. She handed out a single sheet of paper with twenty questions and a paragraph of instructions at the top.  She said, “Read the instructions and then you can begin.”  Naturally, the students went straight to question number one which was something like, what was the color of George Washington’s white horse?  I think question 17 was something  about how many holes are in the ceiling tiles.

            One student, a young woman read the instructions first, which clearly stated: do not answer any of the following questions.  Simply write your name on the top of the paper and turn it in.  No one noticed the girl was bored, watching the other members of the class struggle with trying to remember the seven wonders of the world.  It was a good lesson.  Most people don’t pay attention to the instructions.  Most people don’t read things through.

            It occurred to me that the Republicans in Congress are going about fighting Obamacare in a completely wrongheaded way.  As Nancy Pelosi said when the Affordable Health Care Act first came up for a vote, “You have to pass it to find out what is in it.”  I am sure she was banking on the fact that most people were not going to read through two thousand pages of instructions anyway, so it shouldn’t matter.

            I was thinking the Republicans ought to put together two thousand pages of their own that turns Obamacare into the single-payer system which is reported to be what the Democrats ultimately want.  The Republicans should tell Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats that they have seen the light; that if the Democrats like their Obamacare, they should be able to keep their Obamacare, period.  Then, hidden somewhere around page 1,572 should be a small section which says the following:

1.         This entire law other than this single section is null and void.

2.         Obamacare is completely repealed, including all subsequent rules and regulations.

3.         Every federal employee currently working on anything even remotely associated with Obamacare is terminated with two weeks pay and no further severance. 

            That should be the end of it.

            And if there is a woman in the Congress who wants to read the whole thing before voting, quote Pelosi.  “Sorry.  You have to pass it to find out what is in it.”

RumiNations: The Bailout for Detroit

            For 50 years, the Democrat Party ruled Detroit and enjoyed the “perks.”  They were elected and re-elected by promising everything.  They promised the moon, but after 50 years it turned out the moon was an airless, lifeless rock.

            The American taxpayer should NOT bailout Detroit; not under any circumstances.  The state of Michigan should NOT bailout Detroit.  All the good communities in Michigan who don’t live on the moon, and the state itself have their own needs and obligations to pay for.

            No Bailout.

            It is the Democrat Party – national, state and specifically of Detroit – that should pay for their moon-promises.  And the people of Detroit should say, “You got elected making these promises.  Now, you pay for them.  Democrats, you need to keep your promises.”  Period.

Maybe the Democrat Party needs to hold a Public Television style begathon for the Union pensions and their Cadillac healthcare … as if anyone will contribute outside of a few hardheaded partisans who only want to “prove a point.”

Maybe the Democrat Party needs to sponsor Robocop research.

Just wait until we have to do this for a state, like California or New York.

Just wait until we have to do this on a national level!

Okay, so maybe it isn’t just the Democrat party.  Maybe those American people who keep electing these moon-promisers need to share the burden … but Republicans, Libertarians and the like should be exempt and NOT have to pay.

No bailout.  Period.

RumiNations: Background Checks

           I have been told on numerous occasions that the one thing gun control advocates most want is background checks.  Most can’t imagine why anyone would object.  Allow me to offer two suggestions.

            First, what is to prevent this from becoming a gun registry?  Does anyone honestly believe that once the background is checked, and nothing nefarious is found, that information will be deleted.  The NSA is not deleting much these days, and in fact is determined to intrude ever more deeply into people’s lives.  The IRS even wants to know the contents of our prayers.  And of course, only a complete moron would believe that this information will never be used.  When the police come and take the guns listed on the registry, the only guns remaining will be owned by the criminals and the police state.  Is this the goal?

            Second, and of more immediate concern,  is who is to determine what makes a person ineligible for a gun purchase?  Right now there are a hodge-podge of laws in the various states, but if you believe it will not be brought into uniform, federal standards, you are practicing self-deception on a grand scale.  And what then? 

            Sorry, you are a pro-life Christian.  You are not approved to buy a gun.  Sorry, you are a Jew who contributed to a group supporting Israel.  Not approved.  Sorry, you are African-American and part of the community where there is too much gun violence.  Not approved.  Sorry, you contributed to a group or are a member of a group with the name “Tea Party,” or “Patriot” or “9-12 Project.”  And try telling the IRS that those are not acceptable words for disqualification.

            No, I am sorry.  This is not what any thinking person wants and would just as soon keep the temptation from becoming reality by turning down the whole idea of universal background checks.  Of course, there are a substantial number of non-thinking, gun control advocating Americans these days … maybe as many as once lived in Nazi Germany … We shall see.

.

RumiNations: Having Barak for Lunch

.

            My son got a press pass.  He is filming the President’s visit for the High School.  Speech at 2PM, so I figured it was a lunch visit.  I told my son to accidentally trip over the plug to the teleprompter, but he declined.  He said he did not want to get in trouble with the Secret Service.

            I wondered what the President was doing here.  This town, this county, this congressional district is solidly Republican.  Then I found out the visit was invitation only.  That made sense.

            Me?  Even the IRS isn’t interested in me … I hope. I do have a Verizon phone, though, so you never know … But me?  I spent the afternoon singing:

Oh,

You better watch out, believe the big lie,

You better not leak, I’m telling you why;

Barry O is coming to town.

His enemies list, he’s checking it twice.

Gonna find out who’s lefty or right

Barry O is coming to town.

His drones see when you’re sleeping

He listens on your cell

His IRS demands your prayers

So be good or live a living Hell

Oh

Obama free phone, the government grows,

Obamacare comes, and liberty goes

Barry O is coming …

(Michelle is on vacation)

Barry O is coming …

(Fast and Furious is just a movie)

Barry O is coming …

(Benghazi is old news – Thanks Hillary)

Barry O is coming … to town!

THE END (Truer words were never spoken).

            Honestly, I don’t think I would have qualified for an invitation … Do you think?

 

RumiNations: Marriage is Bi-polar

            Marriage is, and has always been, a double-edged sword.  It is heads and tails on a coin.  It has been, from the beginning, church and state, but not where people keep them at arm’s length from each other.  Marriage has been the one thing where people have tried to hold church and state together to the point where many people don’t understand the two edged nature of the institution.  Allow me to explain.

            The Church:

            I can only speak for the Christian tradition.  Your religious understanding might differ, and even in the Christian tradition we can find variations on the theme.  Roman Catholics see marriage as a sacrament – something sacred and not to be tampered with.  Mormons might not see anything necessarily (theologically) wrong with having more than one wife.  But even in the midst of these variations, the root essence of marriage for Christians (and I would say across all religious traditions) is clear.  Marriage involves a man and a woman. 

            The Biblical witness of marriage is one man and one woman, and most of the passages are written in such plain language, it is impossible to get around that understanding, honestly.  Any other interpretation would have to be so contorted – like a contortionist in the freak show at the circus – it would make no sense at all.  This is why the determined have taken the position that Biblical references to marriage were written for that culture in those days and are no longer valid for our culture in our day. 

            This interpretation is found primarily in the Universities, Seminaries and upper reaches of what some call the “Mainstream” denominations.  Millions of laypeople (billion plus) and ministers reject this distortion of the plain Biblical text as they reject the denial of two thousand years of Christian tradition and teaching on marriage.  Some joke that these University and Seminary elites in the “Mainstream” have reduced the Bible from the ten commandments to the ten suggestions.  But most Christians (by far) hold to the Biblical view of marriage between a man and a woman.  This is true of Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches right through to the other end of the spectrum where there are Pentecostal, fundamental Baptist and the most non-conformist (such as the Amish) churches … and every church in between.

            I understand how important it may be for gay couples to find one of those “Mainstream” churches to get married.  It is important for some to have “God approval” of their union.  But understand, the vast majority of Christians, even in the “Mainstream,” will never see such a union as “God approved.”  And no amount of badgering, demanding, or political skill is going to change what the Bible plainly says or two thousand years of Christian history and tradition.  Read the Barmen Declaration.  Hitler (the government) has no right to tell the church what to preach (believe).

            It is about here that people object and say surely God would not disapprove of two people who are in a loving, committed relationship.  Well, certainly commitment in marriage is important after a fashion, and love is nice, but love in marriage is strictly a modern (20th century) idea which has nothing (necessarily) to do with marriage.  Marriage, in its crudest, perhaps most sexist, perhaps most homophobic expression, is Adam and his rib being reunited as flesh of flesh and bone of bone.  That is, a man and a woman being united as one being under God.  And what God has joined together, let no one put asunder, separate or tear apart.  Divorce is seen as ripping flesh from flesh and bone from bone to remake two persons out of one.  Marriage is work, and it takes work, but we might understand why God only allows divorce because of the hardness of our hearts.  Divorce is pain.  It might be relief, but that might be like a scab being peeled off a wound.

            Love, however nice, has nothing (necessarily) to do with marriage; and it never has.  This is true of Christian marriage as well as state sanctioned marriage.  But here we turn to the other edge of the sword; the other side of the marriage coin.

            The State:

            Did you ever wonder why, in these United States, marriage must obtain state sanctioned approval?  The marriage license is not purchased from the church, and while ministers, rabbis, etc., have traditionally been “licensed” to legally perform the ceremony, in every state there are Justices of the Peace, for example, who have no necessary religious persuasion and who are equally “licensed” to perform weddings.  Indeed, in California it is possible to purchase a one day license to legally perform the act. 

            State marriage, as opposed to Christian or religious marriage, has been part of the marriage understanding since the beginning – since before the Egyptians built the pyramids, since the Sumerians built their temples and ziggurats.  Why should this be?  Well, the primary reason is because marriage makes stable families and extended families, and it is the best, most obvious way society has ever found to promote stability and security among the people.  Allowing for cultural variations, marriage and the family has been the bedrock of society from the smallest, most backwoods tribal group to the growing urban culture of the 18th to 20th centuries.  Marriage, families and extended families create stability, especially in the exchange of sons and daughters.

            The rich and powerful certainly took advantage of the exchange of children throughout history.  They understood it was not just two children, but two families, two fortunes that became joined together, or in the case of Kings, two nations.  As I said, love had nothing to do with it.  But the truth is, it was not just the rich and powerful who exchanged children.  I would bet every medieval village in Europe had a marriage broker of one kind or another.  Joining families and property was a way to reach security and prosperity, and the state certainly supported that.  One does not have to look far to see what the refusal of families can do to the neighborhood; as in Romeo and Juliet, or more recently, with the Hatfields and McCoys. 

            One thing about state marriage is it is far more flexible than religious marriage.  There were cultures in the past where sex and marriage were not synonymous.  Society had no trouble encouraging temple prostitutes, something like a sacred red light district.  Some cultures encouraged multiple wives.  Some cultures expected men to take a mistress, or a concubine to bear children.  Sometimes girls (and occasionally boys as well) were married or pledged in marriage when they were mere children, even as babies.  Society discouraged scandals, whatever the culture might consider a scandal, but for the most part marriage in whatever culture was the single most acceptable arrangement to promote social stability and security for women (often) and for children. 

            In our age, it may be that our society (our culture) can find any loving, committed relationship between two adults an acceptable combination for “marriage.”  In that case, there is no reason the state should not find gay marriage perfectly acceptable.  All of the legal benefits (if any) might be extended to gay couples as a matter of simply being fair and making things equal.  It would be the same as heterosexual marriage as far as society is concerned.  It would be called marriage, and words like spouse, husband and wife would be correct.  And it could serve as a stable environment, in so far as the state agrees, for the raising of children.

            The thing is, that would not make it a Christian marriage in the sense of “God approved.”  Even if a couple found one of those “Mainstream” churches that was fully accepting of such a relationship, like a church that practiced “Christiantiy-lite” (Only 7 commandments required.  Your choice.) that would not make it a “real” marriage to millions of Christians (billion plus).  Of course, people might be arrested for “hate crimes” or other such nonsense if they claim said gays are not really married.  They might face prison time or great fines, even (god forbid) “reeducation” requirements, even though they are not hating, but merely sticking to the Bible and two thousand years of tradition.  But any attempt by the state, at that point, to force the church to accept such a marriage would meet with dire consequences.  It would be Babylon, seeking to corrupt the Jewish community.  It would be the Romans all over again, demanding that Christians denounce Christ and sacrifice to the Emperor, or be thrown to the lions.

            Back in Nazi Germany, Hitler cowed many ministers into going along with the Nazi line.  But as the Barmen Declaration showed, there were many more ministers and churches that refused.  Some ministers went to jail.  Bonhoffer, one of the co-writer’s of the declaration, died in prison.  It was worth it to help bring down the Nazi regime.  It was more than worth it to hold fast to the biblical witness and the teachings of the church that not Hitler, but Jesus Christ alone is the Lord of all life

            Now, I am not equating gay marriage to the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany.  By comparison, gay marriage is a trifle, and I suspect many Christians would prefer to simply look the other way and welcome gays in the faith with open arms, as long as the issue is not forced upon them.  But you see, ultimately the state has neither the power nor the authority to tell Christians what they can and cannot believe.  And frankly, I am sorry, perhaps very sorry, but the vast majority of Christian believers will never accept gay marriage as a real, God approved marriage, regardless of what the state says.  The question is, can we live with that without causing rancor and discord and claims of hate where hate honestly does not exist?  Or will Christians once again have to go to jail?

.

RumiNations: Scandal du jour

.

            So, the Department of Justice, Mister “Fast and Furious” Holder’s people, were secretly listening in on reporters phone calls.  Um … Freedom of the press?  Not only an invasion of privacy, but stolen information.  That makes Obama’s administrations a den of thieves.

            So, the IRS targeted conservative groups for harassment, during an election year.  Does anyone honestly believe this was all done by a few low-level agents acting as lone rangers?  Be honest, a lone ranger IRS agent is an oxymoron.  Someone up in the administration wanted the conservative groups to waste their time and resources complying with paperwork rather than promoting conservative causes.  Does the word cheating mean anything to you?

            Now there is an apology from the IRS?  Sorry folks, the election is over.  Too late.

            Now the Obama administration can only be described as full of cheaters as well as thieves.

            So Benghazi.  You know, the one where certain progressive and liberal democrats and commentators swear (duh!) they don’t understand (duh!) what the scandal is all about (super duh!).   The Watergate caliber cover-up, the YouTube video lie (Watergate brought down one President) ought to be enough scandal for anyone.  Liars. YouTube video my butt.  The violent, terrorist attack was known for what it was at all levels of the administration – watching in real time from the very beginning.  So that gives us Obama and his administration full of liars, cheats and thieves, and possibly some liars under oath which remains to be seen.

            But that is not what concerns me most.

            What concerns me most is the order to stand down.

            Presumably, the lies were told to protect Obama’s reelection chances, but I don’t buy it.  He had special forces ready to go.  I am thinking Thomas Jefferson sending in the Marines against the Barbary Pirates, Andy Jackson fighting off the British at New Orleans, Patton racing across the continent, Teddy Roosevelt and the movie, The Wind and The Lion (if you saw it).  Even if the troops arrived too late and all of the same people died, and maybe some American servicemen died with them, it would have been … Magnificent.  Strength from a President perceived as weak and anti-military.  I imagine he would have been reelected in a landslide that would not have been close.

            But instead there was Stand Down.  Clearly, four men were callously left there to hang.  And the question is, why?  There were four men who, if they survived, might have had to testify under oath about what they were doing there.  They were there in Benghazi for a reason.  They were doing something—which has yet to be explained.  They were left to die.  Was it to shut them up?  I can’t help but think that.  Why?  In my mind, that is the real cover-up, and with four dead Americans, that is far, far worse than a simple hotel break-in.

            Now, we shall see.

.