Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The kids are still out of school - so I'm sneaking away to post a quick item that I had written as part of an earlier blog. In memory of the tsunami victims: all these calamities, catastrophes and hurricanes show us the importance of loving and helping each other -- and helping those less fortunate. Tribal divisions and ethnic chauvinism seem so primitive. We can't survive without each other. It's also pretty clear that storing up material treasures on earth is useless. We are learning not to depend on material sustenance, but to depend on charity. Love for our fellow man -- there is nothing else worth talking about. And that is why the Gate is narrow: it's hard to love your enemies -- and I'm not just talking about terrorists; it's hard to love those people you can't stand to be in the same room with! With my relatives this weekend, I kept asking myself: "How can I be of love and service to people who are incredibly annoying?" Very few will make it through this gate of loving their enemies, not fighting, and embracing those morally bankrupt people who offend them. (I really have to forgive Bush!) But I want to start focusing on all the good we can do. (Although I have a riveting expose on this new breed of "Christian" coming out soon.) Look at this incredible universe – it would take a blind slug not to see God everywhere. This is heaven and it is here now, if we choose to see it. I was at a peacock farm with my kids, chasing peacocks all over the place -- and in the design of a peacock's feathers, you see God’s artistry. In the design of a Monarch butterfly or a baby's smile, you see heaven. Why do people debate whether or not God exists when God is simply LOVE? Who can argue with love, kindness, compassion? Asking to prove the existence of God is like asking to prove you love your kids. I actually believe that Einstein was on the cusp of proving God through science, for he said that 'goodness, truth and beauty are laws of the universe'; hence God and science are not mutually exclusive. I also love Wayne Dyer's statement that "you'll see it when you BELIEVE it" and "the antidote to depression is kindness". One act of kindness to another human being is an anti-depressant; it actually raises your serotonin levels. An observer of an act of kindness also gets a serotonin boost. If everyone in America did more love and service work, we wouldn't be thinking about ourselves so much, what we lack -- and we wouldn't be depressed. Depression is an epidemic in this country and the pharmaceutical companies love promoting our fears & obsessions. Tom Cruise said some very stupid things, some people need medication, but the way they're pushing drugs on us is criminal. Anyway, getting out of our self-centered fear by helping others works every time.
Hope everyone is having a great holiday; I have several articles in the works, a book and a new Brad Blog item which will be up soon. Rene - I love your name, sorry about the confusion. Also, my web designer is in the process of putting up new photos & DVDs for sale for charity and an 80's page of the bombshell pictures ABC put out.
My brilliant friend Chaz was there the other night and we were discussing how the world has changed and how odd it is that something we thought was a given -- these ideas I've been writing about -- make so much sense to us, but make so little sense to Bush-supporters -- and he said that if what I was saying wasn't the truth, it wouldn't upset so many people. Kind of like the film "Good Night and Good Luck" about Edward R. Murrow's battle with McCarthy. He also said that "a frog never jumps out of a pan if you turn the heat up slowly." Which is what the people in power are doing to middle-class Americans: turning the heat up and taking away our earnings, choices and freedoms in such gradual degrees that we barely notice until it's too late.
Received follow-up letters from Dennis Taylor of Phoenix, Arizona. I think this man is very intuitive -- which we are all capable of being when we open our minds.
"Dear Lydia, I have to share something that my wife said after reading your blog. Without sounding flakey…I’m convinced that my wife is correct and that this goes hand in hand with your statement regarding the next frontier being the center or the middle. We both have a strong internal sense of something impending that is difficult to explain. A feeling that many of us are going to be called to stand out for what is right and rescue the Constitution of the USA so that the country can get back to being a democracy. It seems like while America slept, we were slowly and silently robbed of democracy. The irony is the fact that so many people who call themselves Christian as well as conservative played a big role in America silently surrendering democracy to those who regard the constitution as a mere technicality to work around in order to promote their self-serving agenda’s. Respectfully, Dennis Taylor"
And though I cringe at self-promotion, the following letter is not so much about my blog as it about the truth people are hearing. The truth always upsets some people by the way. Throughout the ages, others have said these things in different ways before I did. But the following letter really touched me:
"I could not resist sending your blog page with my letter to many friends. What blows me away is how well it was received by some long time friends of mine who openly admit to be agnostic. I’ve never witnessed anything quite like that before as some of these folks have historically been some of the most open critics of religion and Christianity. I must admit that I never saw that coming. One of them even described tears coming out or their eyes while reading this and stating that your blog rekindled their hope for humanity. A hope that had been lost over the last 5 years." Best Regards and God Bless You & Your Family Dennis Taylor Phoenix, AZ
Prior post: I want to share an amazing letter I just received last night. But first: HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANNUKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA, HAPPY DIWALI and GOD BLESS YOU ALL! I want to thank the hundreds of wonderful people who have sent me letters of encouragement and support. I especially want to thank Worfeus, for your wisdom and insightful commentary -- and for being a scholar of the Bible as well as every other book ever written. I am learning a lot from you. You are very truthful, and you're not afraid of ANYTHING! I'd also like to thank Rene, the lovely woman who prayed for our family and wrote such beautiful comments in this section, as well as Rebecca from Oklahoma, who left me a voice message & several supportive letters, and Jennifer the young woman from Minnesota who heard Ann Coulter speak at St. Olaf -- your letters all touched me so much. I have to mention Johnny Moo Moo, the atheist, whom I love too; he's so reasonable and balanced. I love that! I know this is unusual, but I'm adding to this post rather than create a new one because of time -- plus this one is chock full of current events. The kids are out of school and home for the holidays and driving me CRAZY with happiness! We are making gingerbread cookies and decorating every nook and cranny.
Okay, here's the letter:
This might be a bit late in the making but I was so moved by your article regarding Ann Coulter, that I felt compelled to respond. You are to be commended for your courage in speaking the truth about Ann Coulter and hate mongers like her who somehow think that they are conservative people. A friend had sent me a link to another article on the Brad Blog and that was where I saw a link to your article. The more I read, the more I was drawn in by the content in your article. I’m sure that you already know this but I have to say it anyway. You are absolutely right in every point you made in that article and this world needs more people like you. God Bless You for Stating the Facts!!!
I have a hard time articulating just how much of a breath of fresh air your article was. As opposed to Ann Coulter’s hate mongering speeches that are designed to manipulate impressionable minds, your comments are something that Americans seriously need to be taken to heart. For the last five years, I have watched the Bush administration feverishly dismantle the very freedoms and liberties that make this nation great. At the same time, I’ve closely observed a very scary “us and them” kind of mentality that has been born and perpetuated by the Bush administration, much of the religious right wing of this nation, and vicious mouth pieces like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’ Reilly.
As a Christian with a bachelor’s degree in the Bible, I learned rather early on that I had the God given spiritual gift of discernment. That gift can sometimes be as much of a curse as a blessing as I am always able to tell when people are either lying or telling the truth. Because of the fact that I can immediately interpret one’s intentions early on, it puts me in the minority and often times in unpopular situations as I’m often referred to as being “brutally honest”. It does not win any popularity contest but then…those with honesty and integrity never feel threatened when around me either. I knew Bush was lying to America regarding just about all the things he claimed he would do during his 2000 campaign. I also knew that he was lying to America during his very first televised speech when he was trying to convince America that we needed to wage war against Iraq. But I digress….
Tactics like posting your personal contact information on Ann Coulter’s web site are nothing more then the desperate act of someone who is void of any real depth or Christian substance. It was geared towards unleashing a bunch of hate mongering minions and sycophants upon you and your family and Christ Jesus himself would find that to be completely unacceptable. And those who call themselves conservatives should be ashamed of themselves when they justify Ann Coulter’s pusillanimous activities and remarks as being satirical. True conservative people do not engage in the type of conduct or tactics that she and those like her demonstrate on a regular basis. I am convinced that if Jesus Christ almighty were to come pay us a visit incarnate today, he would have one thing to say to many of the religious right-wing and republican party as well as a result of the mess they have made. “Be gone!!! I never knew any of you!!!” (Note from LYDIA: Even Christ admonished the pharisees this way, calling them a "BROOD OF VIPERS".) It sounds harsh to put it that way, but I am not going to mince words when I see these very same people wearing Christianity as a shield to ward off criticism when their anti-Christian conduct and anti-constitutional agenda’s are exposed in the light of God’s word and Christ’s example. These very same people who did everything in their power to rake Bill Clinton over the coals for an indiscretion with a Whitehouse Intern seem to have absolutely no problem with telling lies, half truths and hiding Bush’s sins and crimes. It’s a sad but true statement when ya consider the fact that Nixon got impeached for things far less offensive then the crimes that Bush is flat out guilty of both locally and internationally.
I’m concerned about the future of this country as a result of the dangerous trend of growing lies and deception that the Bush administration and vicious mouthpieces like Ann Coulter and Bill O’ Reilly. Over the course of the last five years, people like this have effectively redefined the word “liberal” to mean a lot of things that it simply is not and never was. Liberal is actually a very positive and progressive term when examined under the light of honesty. However, in the hands of corrupt people like Bush, O’ Reilly and Coulter, it has been used to mislead the American public. Regretfully, they have used the stupidity of most Americans to believe that liberal is something bad, immoral, baby murdering and anti-Christian.
I wish that I could take credit for the following lyric excerpt from a particular song by the band Rush as it is so very true today. One would think that it might have come from a book depicting American society during the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Regretfully, it describes the “mob rules” mentality that the self-serving Ann Coulters of the USA like to incite in impressionable minds who like to be told what to think.
--“Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand. Ignorance prejudice...and fear walk hand-in-hand”.
In any case, my wife and I are 100% supportive of you and everything you said in your article. Your article was uplifting and it is nice to know that we are not alone as we observe the very same dangerous and destructive things that you were brave enough to expose. I wish that there were more people like you in this world. I regularly hear the same hateful responses from Bush & Coulter sycophants stating that they won and we lost and we should get over it. Those of us who see the truth realize that this is incorrect and the ones who lost were Americans and it has been at the price of democracy. It grieves me that my son and others who are only children right now are going to wind up paying the price for the sins of such corrupt self serving individuals. That’s just not right.
God Bless you and your family!
Dennis Taylor, Phoenix Arizona
You know when you have a sixth sense about things? Well, this may sound bizarre to some of you (and quite common to others) but I actually get a knife-pang in my gut when something is wrong, even distant things outside my sphere of knowledge or interest. Right after the 2004 presidential election, I had this severe pang -- a terrifying gut instinct. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that fraud had occurred, that electronic voting machines were rigged. A lot of people suspected this, but I KNEW there was electronic voting fraud in putting Bush in the White House. This wasn't wishful thinking, believe me I know the difference. And now it is proven to be true. Everyone who thought this -- and there were millions of us -- were instantly dismissed as crazy conspiracy-theorists. Even John Kerry was mysteriously acquiescent in accepting defeat. Why won't the mainstream media really pick this story up and bring it out to the people of America? Maybe it's too disturbing to even fathom that this could happen in our cherished democray -- and it is still tinged with that "conspiracy theory" label. But you'd think this would be front page news -- especially in light of the right-wing's rampant corruption, and the illegal spying on American citizens. And given the obvious propaganda of the Fox network, does anything seem past these people in the Bush administration or in the Republican party? You can read all about the voter-fraud scandal at BRAD BLOG
Heard someone mention to Tim Russert the other night that Bush's poll numbers were up last week (before his Oval Office address last night) simply because Bush is not talking about Katrina. This subject is off-limits because it makes his poll numbers go down. The White House will not remind anyone about Katrina, and as long as they stay off that subject, Bush can gain some ground. So they are deliberately not mentioning it! Nice Christmas present for those poor people down in New Orleans. Now that the mainstream media is focused on Barney and Mrs. Beasley or whoever the other Bush dog's name is, they don't have to shoot footage of things that depress everybody: the continuing chaos and poverty down in New Orleans. Those poor souls; God Bless them.
Narrow is the gate, not wide. Please read Craig Unger's article in the December 2005 issue of Vanity Fair -- an astounding, mind-altering article called "Apocalypse Soon! Evangelical Christians, the Rapture and the Big Business of Being Born Again" For years I had heard about this, but thought it was highly improbable. Now here is the hard evidence AMERICAN RAPTURE I believe this explains why we're in this mess in Iraq. It's the key to how this administration came to power.
For years I've been embarrassed to say out loud that I am a Christian -- because very un-Christian-acting fanatics and televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have made a mockery of the most loving, peaceful force that ever came to man -- but now more than ever, I feel we must turn this lunacy around. It is frightening what these people have done to our country -- and there are so many of them, that theirs is certainly not the Way. It is too wide. And I know this is true with every cell of my being. Remember, it is how we treat "the least among us" that counts. Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, Pat Robertson, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, George H. W. Bush and W -- this cabal which includes top executives and CEOs is just part of the C.N.P., the New Right -- and they represent the EXACT OPPOSITE of Christ's teachings! They've taken their obsession with morality and their fear of Hollywood to such an extreme, they've lost compassion for their fellow man. Many of them have become homophobic, disdainful of the poor and cruel toward any human who does not meet their rigorous standards -- while ignoring their own pride -- the character defect which annoyed Christ the most! The news footage of looting in New Orleans gave them fuel for their bigotry. Can't they see that the economic system that created such a wide chasm between the haves and the have-nots has created Les Miserables! A culture that constantly advertises salvation through Nintendo, i-Pods and Plasma TVs creates an insatiable craving for stuff. Yes looting is bad, but looting pension funds is worse. Looting votes through Gerrymandering is worse. And to think the minimum wage is still only $6.75 an hour, while Congress votes lifetime pensions for themselves up into the six figures. Reaganomics and the trickle down theory didn't work because of the greed of the corporate executives, who take such a large slice of the pie they have to eliminate the actual workers! Churches are not tithing enough to support the needy. A society must take care of the "least among us." Then we will see amazing things begin to happen. And I'm not talking about a welfare state, by the way.
A lot of you already know about the power of this group of pharisees: they are very organized and already have millions of Americans manipulated into this self-serving, rapture-obsessed, un-Christlike agenda -- and this is how they took our beautiful country, our beautiful democracy away from us. You have to read this article. And our president, calling himself a Christian -- had a perfect chance to show our enemies how Christianity works, but he chose the opposite path.
** The idea of "Christians" obsessing about the rapture and spurring on war in the Middle East (all Jews have to be in Israel) to hurry along Christ's return (and subsequently destroying all Jews in Israel) is an absolutely dangerous, sophomoric, misguided idea. Certain of these fanatics and evangelical preachers should quiet their hearts and go within -- where God is -- to find the truth. And if fundamentalists take the bible literally, FUNDAMENTALLY -- then why not take Christ's very words literally? LOVE ONE ANOTHER. The kingdom of heaven is within. Looking down on sinners is not your job. (Even though, yes, I am looking down on you, which is not very Christian of me, I know.) But I can honestly say I've cleaned house and conquered a few of my major demons. I was a complete idiot before -- selfish and greedy. And I work on those things still, every day. Character change is it's an inside job. And pride (the sins of the Pharisees) is the sin Jesus spoke about more than any other sin
There's a great website I discovered called Slacktivist:Left Behind with insightful, hilarious critique of the LaHaye-Jenkins "Left Behind" books, which I think are not only sophomoric and badly written, but false and dangerous! By the way, there was a time when I was a Republican -- but that was before I got sober. It was when I was in my ego-stage: very self-centered and full of myself. And in fear of losing what I had or not getting what I wanted. As we shed our ego, we become more compassionate toward others, more concerned about social justice and saving our earth and helping other flawed humans -- not judging them, but helping them. There's a famous cartoon I saw shortly after the election: I can't remember the exact words, but two pot-bellied rednecks are standing around drinking beer, happy with being red: "Well, my son lost his legs in Iraq, veteran benefits got cut, lost my pension plan to Enron, got laid-off down at the plant, they canceled my health insurance, Bush vetoed stem cells which would have saved my daugther's life from brain cancer -- BUT I'M SURE AS HELL GLAD THOSE TWO GAYS DOWN THE STREET CAN'T GET MARRIED!" By the way, the marriage contract is a private contract between two individuals. How does it hurt anyone to let two souls honor their monogamy by allowing them the dignity any other human has a right to? I am heartsick at the bigotry I see in America today.