21 December 2016

Faithful Christians – Rational Majority

I keep hearing and reading comments in the vein of “Most Christians aren’t Christian.” I disagree with that “most Christians aren’t Christian” claim. Most of these loudmouthed extremists identifying themselves as Christian are the very hypocrites Christ spoke of in Matthew 6 – they are nothing more than a theocratic, very vocal minority of political extremists fighting to preserve their pathetic privilege. I do NOT accept that they are “most Christians.”

I’ve been in churches all my adult life, surrounded by Faithful Christians who are nothing like these so-called evangelical ChristianISH extremists. We, the rational majority, have been too polite to argue with these loud mouths – because those who don’t want to be argued with told us it was impolite to argue with them. These extremists are NOT the majority of Christians and neither are they the majority of Americans. We the People are the overwhelming majority in a country that is SUPPOSED to be majority ruled. Faithful Christians are part of that rational majority. It is time for the rational majority to get rude and loud! We must stop letting the extremes – both left and right – polarize and marginalize the rational majority of Americans. It is time for the rational majority to stop being pushed around by the extremes in our society.


I often ask myself, how did we get here? My perspective: Because televangelists have been preaching “prosperity” instead of Christ’s actual message of spiritual rebirth and salvation. Because televangelists led the so-called fundamentalist evangelical ChristianISH right to worship MAMMON instead of God. Some may ask: “Where is the Faithful Christian opposition?” I would ask in return, “Where are you looking?” Do you really think compassionate and progressive Christians are NOT speaking out? Do you think I am being silent and complicit? Do you think I am unique in speaking out? I promise you, I am not unique.

Faithful Christians ARE opposing the extremists. Those ChristianISH extremists voted for Trump in direct opposition to everything Christ ever taught or did. They are NOT followers of Christ. There is nothing Christ-centered nor Christ-like in the ChristianISH extremists who claim all their bigotry and extremism is in the name of their religion. They wave their religion flag to justify the ugliness of their agenda. They are followers of the pursuit of personal privilege and wealth – of Mammon.


Those who voted for Trump, put devotion and loyalty to Trump and to the GOP ahead of devotion and loyalty to God, ahead of reason, ahead of compassion – ahead of sanity. Christ told us how to behave as His followers. The people who have turned from God to choose Trump have not realized how far they’ve strayed from the Faith they profess, nor that they have become people who voted in direct opposition to everything Jesus ever did or taught. They have set Christ aside to follow Trump – i.e.: “Mammon” [definition (Webster’s) “material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence”].

RVS Matthew 6:1-24
Giving to the Needy
1) "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2) "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3) But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4) so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Prayer
5) "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7) "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9) Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11) Give us this day our daily bread; 12) And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13) And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. 14) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15) but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting
16) "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17) But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18) that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven
19) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, 20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22) "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23) but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Faithful Christians do not wave a religion flag to justify what we do in the world. 
Faithful Christians are NOT standing up and voting or speaking or working in the name of our religion; nor are we excluding anyone. Faithful Christians stand up for what is right because it is right. We speak for what is needed, because it is necessary and good. And, we try to do good wherever we may, TOGETHER with whomever will do the same – regardless of their beliefs or background – because it’s the right thing to do and because our hearts and our minds are founded in Christ’s life and teachings. For us, living Christ-centered Faith is living with a compassionate and progressive heart to all humankind.


Being Christian doesn’t mean abandoning compassion, tolerance, and rational sanity. Anyone may say they are Christian as it suits them. If you want to know who are the Faithful Christians following the example of Jesus, you have only to look to the Scriptures where Christ Himself told us how we are to be recognized as His followers by the world in RVS John 13:34) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


Please recognize that Faithful Christians are always and have always been standing with you. We strive to live the example called for in RVS Philippians 2:3) Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

 I know, from my own experience, that Faithful Christians are the majority of Christian believers, part of the rational majority of all people everywhere. Progressive and Faithful Christians stand with all the rational majority who stand for what is good.

Scripture is clear and it tells what the extremists are and from where their belief is derived. We can only hope to show the extremists the error of the paths they have chosen and to remain steadfast in love, in hope, in prayer, and in Faith, as we stand TOGETHER against extremism in all it’s forms.


15 December 2016

Call to action for the Progressive Christian Left


It’s time – and past time – for the Progressive Christian Left to stand up and be heard. Compassionate people of all faiths must make ourselves heard. But, Christ-centered Christians must make it our mission to challenge the voices of extremism in our Faith. We cannot sit idly back and let someone like “Judge” Pirro (of FOXNews) who justifies Putin by claiming “At least Putin’s Christian” and seems outraged that the rest of us just don’t get that – in the self-same moments that Putin is helping Assad butcher the children of Aleppo.

Such voices must not be put forward as a speaking for our Faith. It’s obscene and it is our own personal failing for allowing ourselves to be silenced rather than to be impolite.

It’s NOT impolite to challenge lies
It’s NOT impolite to challenge bigotry
It’s NOT impolite to challenge hate speech
It’s NOT impolite to challenge ignorance
It’s NOT impolite to argue with someone who is perverting our defining moral, cultural, social, national, and/or faith ideals to impose the oppression and degradation of everything and everyone “other.”


Consider for a moment… Who it is who always told us it was impolite (rude) to challenge or argue with them? Who told us to just bite our tongues and let them “run off at the mouth?” Who told us to turn a blind eye? Who told us that it was “lording it over people” to “show off” your education? Who demonizes the “intellectual elite?” The people telling us to hush are the people who don’t want to be challenged, who don’t want their lies, bigotry, hate speech, and ignorance exposed. The people demonizing the “intellectual elite” don’t want people educated because education shines a glaring light upon the ignorance they’re perpetuating. The people telling us to hush are the people we should be challenging. 


WHOS WITH ME? Find their posts. Take progressive faith messages to the political leaders. Dont let the extremist right be the only voices of faith the political leaders hear.

Like the song says:
"And all the words I didn’t say
like wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight!
Can you hear my voice this time?”

It may seem like hyperbole to some, however: I won’t be silenced any longer. I won’t idly watch those extremists pervert my Faith to protect their white ChristianISH privilege. I will speak out. I will use all my talents – writing, visual arts, singing, activism – to resist their perfidy. I will be heard. I will be the resistance alone if I must be.

This passage, speaks to me of a striking similarity in our current turmoil:

John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Scripture lessons teaching us how to be more kind:
Matthew 4:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.… 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

John 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself… 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.


19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen…. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Philippians 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.






“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” 

27 November 2016

These loud, bigoted extremists are NOT the voices of Faith!

No!

Not true!

These loud, bigoted extremists are NOT the voices of Faith. They aren’t serving the Christian Faith – or any Faith – they are serving a theocratic corporate political agenda. And, they’ll pervert any decent and/or uplifting and uniting ideologies to destroy hope in their power grab.

Real Christ-centered Christians aren’t out there preaching that divisive message of hate and supremacy. Christ-centered Christians are quietly living the example rather than loud, empty proselytizing. Such ChristianISH extremists are no more Christian than ISIS is Muslim. These ChristianISH extremist “patriots” are about as unAmerican as I can imagine anyone being – everything

they do is a betrayal of our constitutional democratic republic; they want to impose their vision of a theocratic corporate feudal state upon us all. They are, in every way, the antithesis of our American Ideal and voted for Trump in direct opposition to every single word Christ ever spoke. These people are not speaking for Christians or democracy. They speak for the gospel of mammon. These people are extremists.

You say that first infographic, above, is saying the same thing? Okay. I accept your perspective, if that’s how you tell yourself it reads.




However: The infographic called into question my entire Faith and directly said “True Christianity is a lost religion.” And, it referenced all of “Today’s Christians…” The people they are identifying are not Christ-anything. I do not recognize the belief system to which they adhere. No church I’ve been a member of my entire adult life teaches their belief system as anything but the antithesis of Christ’s message. I will no more identify them as “Christian” than I will call ISIS “Muslim” because both demonstrate the same extremist falsity. They are bullying us with a hate-fueled lie that corrupts the message of love, compassion, forgiveness, and hope for all humanity through our Faith.

Every true Christian, living out a Christ-centered Faith – myself included – must feel deeply distressed to have our entire Faith identified with these FALSE PROPHETS! The hate and bigotry, fear and intolerance of their message is in opposition of Christ’s every word. We must not sit quietly by while these hate-mongers steal our Faith’s message of God’s Grace and compassion for all humanity. We must not let these proselytizing hypocrites speak their lies as truth and demonize everyone deemed “other.” We must take back the conversation about our own Christian Faith and real Christ-centered values.

We cannot let their lie be painted as our truth.

It’s extraordinarily simple to know “True Christianity” – Scripture tells us clearly how we will recognize it, from Christ’s own words. It is an immutable litmus test:

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

And, fellow Christians, let us pray for unity and for those who think they serve our Lord with messages of hate and fear and exclusion. Let us pray and hope our omnipotent God of Grace and Solace will lead them back the Truth and back to a right relationship with Him seeking unity with all our fellow humanity, back to a community of Faith.

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”



16 November 2016

Words

A poem about the power of words giving birth to poetry. Words matter. They have the power to tear down, to destroy; words can cut deeply. But, words also have the power to heal, to create, to uplift; words can be a beacon to a better future. 

The beauty in words…
Even through darkness…
Dark words seek… find light…
To carry light out of darkness.

Words to hurt
Words to heal
Words destroy
Words create

In the space between…
In the mind’s eye…
Wrenched from the void…
Forming reality of words…

Words to hurt
Words to heal
Words destroy
Words create

On flight of words…
On the precarious summit…
On the razor’s edge…
That’s where poetry is born.



by D. Denise Dianaty
© 05 September 2014

15 November 2016

You didn’t vote to teach the DNC a lesson?

I read a conversation on Facebook between numerous people about why they didnt vote: They all crowed and shared humor over how they’d shown the DNC it couldn’t take their votes for granted. This is my response:

You didn’t vote? You deny your portion of culpability for this outcome, and tell yourself, “What difference does it make?” You didn’t vote to show the DNC they couldn’t take your vote for granted? This wasn’t some existential exercise in democracy. This was protecting this nation and the entire free world from a fascist despot. Yeah, you showed the DNC.

You didn’t vote?  Your non-vote was a vote AGAINST African Americans who’ll now have to live with stop-and-frisk profiling. Your non-vote was a vote AGAINST Muslim Americans who will now be on a database. Your non-vote was a vote AGAINST immigrants. Your non-vote was a vote AGAINST the environment, against children like those of Flint Michigan. Your non-vote was a vote AGAINST women and girls who’s futures are now in the hands of a self-proclaimed sexual predator. Yep, you showed the DNC. 

You didn’t vote? Well, then, with your non-vote, you voted AGAINST my keeping my cancer doctors and my heart doctors. With your non-vote, you voted AGAINST my brilliant, funny, Christian son with a heart for charitable activism – who also happens to be Iranian-American because he’s the son of an Iranian-American who was himself a political refugee thirty years ago. With your non-vote, you voted AGAINST my brilliant son’s future – he’s entering DukeTIP this year, but that won’t matter because the DOE is on the chopping block and college will be priced so far out of his reach that it’s become a fantasy. With your non-vote, you voted AGAINST every single person in this country at risk from a Trump presidency. With your non-vote, you voted FOR Trump. Sure, that showed the DNC.

Do you have children? Or want children? Your non-vote just voted AGAINST their future. You sit comfortably wreathed in your self-entitled apathy and convince yourself your angry complaisance is justified. You choose to acquiesce to all the Hate that Trump promises. Oh yeah… you showed the DNC!

YOU have driven a nail in my coffin. YOU have left my twelve year old son to watch his mother die. YOU have left my twelve year old son – already being called ISIS and terrorist, and threatened that Trump will send him to the gas chambers – to live in fear. YOU have left my twelve year old son to fear for his father every time he walks out the door. YOU have left my twelve year old son to fear the America he was born into. You really showed the DNC.

“What difference does it make?” Well, from a dead woman walking, it’s the difference between life and death. 

Yeah. You showed us all. 



14 November 2016

Third Party Candidates: Political Ephemera

Stop blaming Hillary for not winning the Electoral College. Stop blaming the democrats or the republicans. Your delusions have been shattered and your vanity choices exposed for the uncompromising errors of which we kept warning you. Third party candidates were only ever vanity candidates with no legitimate chance to win – they could ONLY bleed the vote from the two major parties. 

What if there had been no third party candidates? Those republicans who voted for Johnson, would probably have voted for Hillary without Johnson’s vanity candidacy. Most of his libertarian base would likely have voted democrat too because they were virulently anti-Trump. Stein’s base certainly would have voted democrat because they are virulently anti-GOP as well as anti-Trump. 

The undeniable facts are: 
• There was NEVER a viable third-party candidate; 
• Mainstream old-school democrats were NEVER going to vote for the socialist – that boogey word is just too ingrained; 
• Right leaning independents were NEVER going to vote for the socialist; 
• Middle-of-the-road independents were NEVER going to vote for the socialist – again, people have been programmed to fear that word for too long; 
• NO REPUBLICAN would ever have crossed the isle to vote for the socialist; 
• Probably two thirds of Americans are still convinced that socialism is communism, and communism still scares the crap out of large swaths of voters over 40 (ask your dad and grandad) – ICYMI, that’s the majority of registered voters who actually get out and vote.
• BERNIE COULD NOT HAVE WON because too much of the registered voting electorate are still indoctrinated to fear the socialist.

All those things were true from day one of Bernie’s candidacy. All those things were true from day one of the the third party candidacies. Bernie achieved so much that just went POOF on November 8th. Bernie made democrats and progressives stop being offended or embarrassed for being called “liberals.” Bernie made the left stand up and own the progressive liberal agenda. It was all within our grasp. Hillary and Bernie were always within 3% agreement on everything – they voted the same in the Senate 97% of the time.

Third party candidates were and are ONLY political ephemera; they’re just background static drowning out the realities of our election system. The delusion of political ephemera left us with this bleak reality of our dystopian, Trumpian future. Third party voters, BernieOrBust folks, all the people carping on the emails as if those were worse than the racist, self-proclaimed sexual predator’s own evil words that we ALL heard on repeat… All those Americans who bought the anti-Hillary witch-hunts handed this country over to Trump. 

Your Hate wasn’t even really about Hillary. Many of you, if you were able to be deeply honest with yourselves, would have to admit that your full-throated hatred for Hillary was really just a convenient target for all your bigotries. Hating Hillary was the new “Nixon Southern Strategy.” Yes, the media helped. Yes, James Comey and the FBI helped. Yes, the Russians helped. Yes, Assange helped. But YOU – you, the voters, lapped it up… you didn’t care about the truth… you wanted the lies… you craved the innuendo… YOU fed your Hate… you coddled it… you stroked it… you turned against Bernie over it… YOU laid waste to Bernie’s legacy and to our American Ideal for your Hate. 

You blinded yourselves with the smoke of that political ephemera. You subsumed yourselves into the beast of Hate, became it’s beating heart. As the song says, “[You stabbed] it with [your] steely knives but [you] just can’t kill the beast.” You made yourselves the beating heart of the Hate… and now, we are all fodder for it’s appetites.

You deluded yourselves with political ephemera. You had to have all-or-nothing… Well, how does NOTHING feel now?

What I feel is beyond hurt. I’m probably a dead woman walking and my twelve year old son knows that. Because some BernieBros “feelings” were hurt when they couldn’t have their all-or-nothing, scorched earth agenda. What I feel isn’t just hurt. What I and everyone at risk from a Trump presidency feel is true, world-shattering loss.

The mostly white BernieBros – who will never be empathetic enough nor self-aware enough feel guilty for their part in this travesty – aren’t feeling afraid. They’re feelings are hurt because they didn’t win. I get that. But, in retaliation, they struck a killing blow to me and mine. It’s that simple.


from Democratic Underground

07 November 2016

It Is NOT Okay To Sit Out The Election


I’ve seen commentary and even articles and blogs now telling people it’s okay NOT to vote. In case you missed it, the people who want you NOT to vote are the people with whom you disagree. These are the same people who are always telling us not to discuss politics or social issues or religion or really anything in life that matters. Why do they tell us not to discuss those things? Why do they tell us to just laugh it off and get on with life when we are at risk over those issues? Why do they want us to be silent? These are the people who tell us it’s just the way life is. We’re supposed to just laugh it off… carry on… let it go… deal with it. But, we’re not supposed to actually CHALLENGE it. Think about that: Precisely who is served by our just accepting the way things are? 

IT IS NOT OKAY TO SIT OUT THE ELECTION. 

Your vote is your voice. Anyone who tells you it is okay NOT to vote is telling you to sit down and shut up. They are trying to silence your voice. The apathetic or complaisant voter sitting out elections is how the extremists on both sides have been able to cripple our government. The extreme partisanship of our current government is directly the fault of those voters who choose NOT to vote.

Look, that’s been me on midterm elections for all my voting life. That’s been me for all those local elections and referendums. That’s been me for a couple of the POTUS elections. I’ve been a middle-of-the-road independent voter for decades – I was always one of those moderates we keep hearing about. When I’ve voted, I’ve voted for a combination of Democrat and Republican candidates. Yes, I’ve been apathetic about elections, just like you. 

I was wrong. 

Voters like me and you and every other moderate should have been the voices of reason and compromise. We sat back and let the extremes from both sides push their uncompromising agendas with a go-for-broke, all-or-nothing fervor that resulted in all out obstruction for no other reason except partisan obstruction, government shutdowns, and ultimately, TRUMP. 

You were wrong.

Yes… Trump is my fault. Trump is your fault. Every apathetic voter in America is more at fault for the rise of Trump than the GOP, the Alt-Right, or the media. We sat back and let our America become a place that gave rise to Trump. 

We were wrong.

VOTE. 

It is our citizen duty to vote. Democracy is ours to preserve – or to let slip away. 

Research the candidates and make an informed choice. Vote every single time there’s an election. Don’t be told who to vote – LEARN for yourself who to vote for. Vote for the candidates whose actual documented record meets with your approval. Don’t let rhetoric form your choice or make you think your vote doesn’t count. VOTE as if the future depends on it. But, remember, you’re not really voting for yourself – you are voting for your children… for women and girls… for minorities… for veterans… for the disabled… for the working poor… for the middle class… for all the average workaday Americans. Or, you vote against them by not voting because you allow the extreme right and the extreme left to silence YOU. Vote because your vote is your voice – don’t let anyone silence you. 

VOTE.

VOTE like your child’s life depends upon it – BECAUSE IT DOES!

“Apathy is acquiescence is compliance is approval.” ~MomzillaNC

“Hands and hearts and minds and voices committed to working for tolerance, peace and social justice everywhere, always.” ~MomzillaNC

22 October 2016

Republican Praise for Hillary Clinton

There has been a quarter century of GOP-led witch hunts… endless, exhaustive hearings and investigations on our hard earned taxpayer dime – by now probably to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars – only to produce the same RESULTS every single time: NO PROOF… NO CHARGES… NO CONVICTIONS! Again, that’s NO PROOF! Accusations, innuendo, and rhetoric are NOT proof. America, our constitutional democratic republic, is a country where the RULE OF LAW is predicated upon the principle still – for now, at least – of “innocent until PROVEN guilty.” 

People only parrot UNPROVEN – I’ll repeat that again – UNPROVEN accusations, unfounded innuendo, and rhetoric of a false narrative! Moreover, the very GOP mouthpieces spoon-feeding their base that false narrative have heaped praise upon our soon-to-be Madam President when they were not trying to defeat her politically. They slander a person who’s actual, well-documented record of accomplishments is in diametric opposition to the venal grotesquery of their gossip!

While there are many more examples, the following are a few of the notable republicans’ own praise of Hillary Clinton:

Condoleezza Rice  
Meet the Press 12/21/2008
“No, look, it’s a unique situation. I think we all see that it’s unique. But my successor, Hillary Clinton, is an extremely talented woman. She is a woman of integrity. She believes in this country deeply. We’ve already had a couple of conversations. I know her from the time she brought her freshman daughter to Stanford for the first time when I was Provost. And she’s going to do this very well.”

NBC news 08/12/2003 
"I think [Hillary Clinton’s] done a fine job. The problem isn’t Hilary Clinton, who’s great,’ Rice told members of Ohio’s delegation to the Republican National Convention. ‘The problem is that we’ve chosen to speak with a muted voice about America’s role in the world. We’ve chosen to try to lead from behind. That’s an oxymoron in my mind.’”

Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge
Ballot Box, The Hill 02/03/2015 
Ridge also offered some praise for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, saying he always had ‘productive’ meetings with her when he was in the Cabinet and she was a senator. He said a Bush versus Clinton match-up would be ‘almost a clash of titans,’ leading to a campaign that is ‘tough, rigorous, and hopefully, for the first time in a long time, civil.’”

Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush
Philadelphia Inquirer, 07/28/2013; Constitution Center press release, 06/27/2013 – RE: 2013 Liberty Medal
“Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center and a possible contender for the 2016 Republican nomination… praised Clinton in a statement released… announcing her selection. ‘Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,’ Bush said. ‘These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.’”

Former Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels
Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, 02/05/2015
“She is comprehensively experienced and has advantages that some of the other contenders would have to scramble to match in terms of her exposure to the world and… foreign policy.”

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee
Real Clear Politics, 09/15/2014
Huckabee described her as ‘smart’ and ‘tough,’ and cautioned that she should never be underestimated. ‘She’s a policy genius,’ he said. 

CSPAN2’s BookTV Programming. 01/25/2015
Huckabee: “I would have great respect for the formidable nature of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”

Ohio Governor, John Kasich
Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, 01/22/2015
“I know her. I like her. I’ve worked with her.”

Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry 
U.S. News & World Report, 08/12/2014
Perry Sec. Clinton’s stance on Syria: “I think on that issue she was closer to being right than she has been on some other ones.” According to the U.S. News & World Report, “Rick Perry agrees with Hillary Clinton. Or at least, pretty close to it. Asked Tuesday at the Iowa State Fair whether he agreed with the former secretary of state’s assessment that a lack of prior U.S. intervention in Syria emboldened jihadists to penetrate Iraq, the GOP governor of Texas found some daylight with the potential future presidential rival. ‘I think on that issue she was closer to being right than she has been on some other ones,’ he replied.” 

The Daily Caller 08/30/2011
"In 1993, then-Texas Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry praised the efforts of then-first lady Hillary Clinton to reform health care. In a letter to Clinton…Perry wrote: ‘I think your efforts in trying to reform the nation’s health care system are most commendable. I would like to request that the task force give particular consideration to the needs of the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture workers, and other members of rural communities,’ Perry continued. … ‘Again, your efforts are worthy,’ Perry concluded, ‘and I hope you will remember this constituency as the task force progresses.’”

Former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger
CNN, 11/16/2008
Schwarzenegger on Hillary’s selection as SOS: “Also on Sunday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the potential choice as a great move. ‘I think she is a very very bright woman and very experienced. I think this could be a great move,’ Schwarzenegger told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.”

General David Petraeus
Book review, The Wall Street Journal, 02/09/2014
According to a book review in The Wall Street Journal, “Gen. Petraeus also emerges as a Clinton character witness here, declaring that Mrs. Clinton was ‘extraordinarily resolute, determined and controlled’ in the wake of the attack. The retired general [told] Mr. Allen and Ms. Parnes: ‘She’d make a tremendous President.’”

Jenna Bush Hager
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, 11/11/2014
President Clinton has become a dear friend. We call him — I call him a brother — my dad calls him a brother from another mother. You know, he didn’t have a close relationship with his father. He didn’t have a relationship with his father. And so in some ways my grandfather has become like a surrogate father for him. RONAN FARROW: Does the same warmth extend to Hillary Clinton and a potential Hillary Clinton run? BUSH HAGER: Well, I guess it depends who she’s running against, right? But we admire Hillary Clinton very much. I mean, she — as a woman, I admire her. She’s done a lot for our country and she’s a great public servant. I see her around New York and I’m always talking about Chelsea’s baby and I think they have a personal friendship that my dad even said that you know, obviously if there’s a Bush-Clinton part deux, you know that wouldn’t ruin any friendships.

South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham
New York Times, 07/01/2012 
“Even some Republicans in Congress acknowledge the skills she has brought to the job, though they remain critical of many administration policies. ‘I think she’s represented our nation well,’ Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican from South Carolina, who as a member of the House served as one of 13 managers in the 1998 impeachment trial of Clinton’s husband, told me in an interview in his Senate office. ‘She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.’”

CNN 03/30/2011
“It was a good briefing. I never got to ask a question, it was over. You know, Secretary Clinton and Bob Gates are really national treasures in my view. You know, very good people. I like President Obama.” 

Fox News, 05/28/2007
“I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president. She’s smart, prepared, serious.”

Graham’s speech at Council on Foreign Relations, 09/15/2011
“Secretary Clinton [was] a great choice to be our secretary of state…”

Voice of America, 02/03/2007
“We have become, actually, good friends. And that was a surprise to both of us. If the Hillary Clintons and Lindsey Grahams of the world can’t work together, America’s best days are over.”

The State, 01/28/2007
“Over the last few years, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton have become a Capitol Hill odd couple, working across party lines… Graham said the two of them often come at problems from different directions, but share an interest in important policy issues. ‘Certainly, she’s a national figure, and to share the stage with her – I consider that a compliment,’ he said. ‘We’ll probably have totally different agendas that we think are best for the country, but the point is to speak boldly about problems that require bipartisanship and solutions that are essential to us surviving as a country in the 21st century.’”

Senator Graham press release, 09/29/2006
“Senator Clinton and I have been fortunate to have very good allies in this effort and Congress has stepped up to the plate to meet the health care needs of our Guard and Reserves. The Graham-Clinton TRICARE efforts have gained support from many groups including the National Guard Association of the United States, the Reserve Officers Association, and the National Governors Association.”

New Hampshire Senator, Judd Gregg 
Gregg Press release, 01/21/2009
Gregg issued the following statement on Senate confirmation of Senator Hillary Clinton to be the Secretary of State. "Senator Gregg, the Ranking Member of the State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee, stated, ‘Today’s overwhelming confirmation of Senator Hillary Clinton to be our next Secretary of State is a testament to the well regarded talents and qualifications she will bring to the job of overseeing our nation’s foreign policy. Like Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Senator Clinton will be a positive voice to carry America’s message around the world. As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee tasked with funding State Department activities, I look forward to continuing my work with Senator Clinton to advance our nation’s interests through U.S. diplomatic programs and activities.’”

Arizona Senator, John McCain
MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, 11/19/2014
“It is well known that Hillary Clinton and I have a good relationship” “We do agree on a lot” “She is a great representative of America, kind of a rock star status, visited more countries than any other secretary of state.” 

Fox News, 01/23/2013
“First of all, Secretary Clinton is admired and respected around the world. She and I have been friends for many years. We used to travel together.” “So, I have — I admire the fact that she is admired throughout the world and a very effective secretary of state.

Foreign Relations committee hearing, 01/23/2014
“Thank you, Madam Secretary. It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever. It’s — we thank you. We thank you for your outstanding and dedicated service to this nation, and we are proud of you. All over the world where I travel, you are viewed with admiration and respect.”

Politico 10/28/13
“Sen. John McCain said Monday… speaking in Chicago at an event with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)… praised Clinton’s work as secretary, according to Bloomberg News. ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt that Secretary Clinton would be a very strong candidate,’ McCain said. ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt she has widespread support. Her work as secretary of state… has been outstanding. I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016.’”

The Christian Science Monitor, 04/06/2011
“At a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters on Wednesday, Senator McCain, the 2008 Republican candidate for president, was asked to rate President Obama’s national security team. ‘I think the international star is Secretary Clinton,’ McCain said. ‘She has done a really tremendous job.’”

The New York Times, 07/29/206
“I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president.” According to The New York Times, “It was during their joint trip to Iraq in late February 2005 that Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton appeared via satellite on ‘Meet the Press,’ an appearance that put their civility on display. When Mr. Russert asked Mr. McCain at the end of the interview whether he thought Mrs. Clinton would make a good president, Mrs. Clinton came to his rescue, saying: ‘Oh, we can’t hear you, Tim!’ ‘Yeah, you’re breaking up,’ Mr. McCain added, laughing. But then he said: ‘I happen to be a Republican and would support, obviously, a Republican nominee, but I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president.’”

20 October 2016

Trump and Hillary: a comparison


In case you missed it, Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton have led diametrically opposed lives. Permit me to make a stark comparison of Trump and Hillary. He is the embodiment of everything we were ever taught is immoral and crude and wicked and ungodly. She is a compassionate, godly woman who makes mistakes but keeps trying to do good. 

Trump has lived a life of self-aggrandizing wealth acquisition and has spent a lifetime demeaning and degrading anyone not himself. 
Hillary has spent a lifetime trying to do good, especially for the most underserved of our society.

Trump, by his nature, has made choices to directly harm others – from competitors, to rivals, to detractors, to cheering for the housing crash for his own greed, to innocent women and girls – to feed his own most venal and self-serving pursuits of bald avarice.

Hillary has made mistakes. Hillary’s mistakes occur while trying to achieve good or address some injustice. Hillary has always tried to achieve positive results for the most people in the most need – for the most underserved in society.

As a young child, as he himself told us in his own book, Trump punched his music teacher in the face. He said of that incident, that he is, essentially, the same person today as that violent playground bully of a child. 
Hillary, as a young girl, worked with her church youth group to help those in need in her town – again, working for the most underserved in society. 

Trump was repeatedly investigated, charged, and paid fines for discriminatory housing practices. In case you missed it: Court ordered fines are the same thing as a conviction.

Hillary went under cover – at personal risk – to fight for the educational rights of African American children in the South.

Trump hired and tried to cheat undocumented Polish immigrant workers and was fined for it – again, a court ordered fine is the same thing as a conviction.

Hillary went in person, to help register Latino farm workers and support groups like Caesar Chavez’s farm laborers rights movement.

Trump cheated on his first wife with a woman he courted IN CHURCH, and pressured that mistress into posing in Playboy.

Hillary taught Sunday school.

Trump wrote, The Art of the Deal. 

Hillary wrote, It Takes a Village.

Trump publicly shamed a Latino Miss Universe beauty queen over and over and over, calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” making a national scandal about her slight weight gain. 

Hillary declared to the world, in a speech in China, that “Women’s rights are human rights.”

Trump ran a scam with his FAKE university. 

Hillary was in Bible studies and prayer groups on the Hill. 

Trump starred in reality show telling people, “You’re fired!” 

Hillary told the world, at the Geneva Accord, that “Gay rights are human rights.”