Feb. 5, 2017
A few months ago a friend and I talked about the ethics of abortion and reproductive freedom. And as we talked, he pressed me, “Where in the Bible do you find support for the pro-choice position?” The question came from a sincere place, a real desire to know. And the question made me think. I realized that in twenty years as your pastor, I have not talked about the spiritual or theological reasons I’ve come to be pro-choice. And so this morning I want to think with you about our faith and what it teaches about moral questions like reproductive choice.
At the beginning I want to say that abortion - like questions about homosexuality and racism and many more - are issues we struggle with that didn’t occur to the authors of the Bible. Or at least, didn’t occur to them in the way that we ask our questions. We will not find our answer by looking for that one chapter and verse. Instead, we must find a scriptural rudder to guide us into our new waters; not a Biblical citation but a Biblical concept.
We also need a Biblical concept instead of just a citation because advocating for reproductive choice or LGBT rights or that Black Lives Matter is a long struggle. Back in the 1950’s, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke about his work as a “stride toward freedom.” King worked on the long stride; it was not a dash to freedom, not a 50-yard sprint. If you’re making a sprint, then perhaps a Bible citation will do. But King faced a marathon; he needed spiritual power. To keep up the pace, we need more than the quick hit of a citation; the long race requires concepts of spiritual power.
A marathon runner gets power for the long race by carbo-loading. Pasta dinner, rice, potatoes, energy food. I need to carbo-load too for the stride toward freedom. To spiritually carbo-load. I need communion.Read more
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country that is fed up with the way our Congress treats the voters who put them in office.
They have no qualms about giving themselves automatic pay raises every year thus avoiding those messy floor votes, while refusing to address our ridiculous minimum wage. The average American works 250 days a year but the members of Congress worked 110 days in 2016, and got paid like a full time employee! Only once since the creation of the minimum wage in 1956 has a Republican Congress voted to raise it. All other increases have come from a Democratic controlled Congress. The last coming in 2009 when it was raised to the current level of $7.25 per hour. To just match the cost of living it should be three times that!
The current Congress is gung ho to finally repeal the ACA since they now have an idiot in the WH who is stupid enough to sign it, secure in the knowledge that they can rely on the Federal Employees Health Benefits program where the government pays 75% of their premiums. It will be a bonanza to private insurance companies when 20M Americans lose their coverage and are dumped onto the open market and the companies’ gratitude will be reflected in GOP campaign contributions.
Social Security and Medicare, erroneously labeled “Entitlement Programs” by the GOP are also on the chopping block under the newly elected administration. Ever since St. Ronnie of Reagan raided the SS fund to give tax breaks to the rich, conservatives have been drooling at the mouth to privatize it and hand it over to their Wall Street buddies. What could go wrong with that? They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program so that retirees have to pay more out pocket expenses for their healthcare with their depleted SS benefits. That way the new death rates should clear the rolls faster.
Congressional raises should be subject to a national referendum determined by the voters and not left in the hands of Congress itself. Their pension should be SS and their health benefits Medicare. If your Congressman/Senator disagrees with this, then say YOU”RE FIRED!
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country where it is quite obvious that the political party currently in control of the government of the people has little respect or concern for those they, in theory, represent.
The newest incantation of the Republican Party is demonstrating this lack of concern and respect on a daily basis with the worst of it coming straight from the top.
The signs of things to come in the next four years, if Cheeto manages to avoid impeachment, do not bode well for the 99% of our citizens who are not in the top 1% that controls the vast majority of our nation’s wealth.
Every single cabinet candidate he has proposed is either grossly incompetent or has previously declared the department they have been chosen to lead as unnecessary.
His agenda is frightening in the sheer stupidity it reflects. He wants to void all existing trade agreements and diplomatic treaties, making our nation’s word worthless. He wants to replace the ACA with some mystical plan that will be “great” but offers no details. He has recalled every U.S. Ambassador without any replacements. He claims to know more about the military than our generals and feels Russian intelligence is superior to our own. He considers refugees, like the ones who built our nation, to be a dirty word and thinks women are good for only one thing. Native Americans, the environment and ethics are completely off his radar. The ethics thing is understandable when you consider how he got elected. Children are sacred in the womb, but become burdens once born. He does want new infrastructure, as long as it’s his fucking wall and worst of all perhaps, is his team’s desire to ultimately replace our Constitution with some evangelical edited version of the Christian Bible. No wonder he enters the WH with the lowest approval ratings in modern history and can’t even book a Bruce Springsteen cover band for his inauguration party.
Our goal is clear. Keep him busy tweeting about those imagined slights so his chances of getting his ridiculous agenda enacted are greatly reduced.
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country that is finding out the consequences of voting the wrong person into the highest office in our land and it is not good news.
The racists and bigots who were so mortified that a black man was elected twice to lead our nation and were vehement in their support of the only white man selected by a major party as their candidate, are actually surprised that everything he promised them in order to win their votes was a bald faced lie.
Hillary will not be prosecuted. He’s not about to release his taxes. Muslims and Mexicans will not be deported. No jobs will be brought back from overseas. Social Security and Medicare will not be left untouched. There will be no tax cut for the middle class. The Middle East will not be bombed and their oil taken. No walls will be built and Mexico will not pay for those unbuilt walls.
Sadly it seems that an attempt has been made to gut Obamacare, and Cheeto’s voters are finally finding out that while they hate Obamacare, it is actually the same thing as the ACA which they love.
No wonder Cheeto loves the poorly educated. They are the only ones stupid enough to believe his bullshit.
That brings us to Russiagate. Holy Golden Showers Batman! This story gets more convoluted with every passing day. The hacking of our election was bad enough by itself, but the possibility that our president elect is vulnerable to blackmail from a foreign power is unprecedented and unacceptable. This makes Watergate look like a fraternity prank and it forced Nixon to resign or face impeachment.
Based on his inclination to rant about even the slightest imagined criticism leads us to believe that Trumplethinskin could not bear the public humiliation of an impeachment trial and it is very likely that he will resign in disgrace rather than endure such a scenario. That means we must do everything possible to minimize the damage he tries to initiate before leaving office. Obstruct…obstruct…obstruct without mercy!
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country where liberal women especially and many non-liberal women as well, have experienced a level of despair and hopelessness that had them reeling.
Now that despair is turning into anger and as English playwright William Congreve said in 1695, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
For the first time since demanding and getting the right to vote, women were poised to gain a level of equality and recognition sadly missing from our society, and then along comes Cheeto. At first he seemed so vulnerable his nomination was laughed at, but with bald-faced lie after bald-faced lie and collusion with a foreign government, he was able to pull off the biggest upset in our history — in spite of getting 3 million less votes than his opponent, the only woman in the history of our nation to be nominated by a major political party for POTUS.
Misogyny is still so dominant in our culture that a reality T.V. show host who has never even looked at the Constitution of the United States will be president, instead of one of the most qualified candidates to ever seek the highest office in the land, because she was a woman.
That virtual “bitch slap” in the face that initially created so much hopelessness has now started to burn, and a lot of justifiably outraged women want revenge and retribution for the way our society has always treated them.
This could possibly be the lone “benefit” of Cheeto’s election. If it makes women realize what a powerful force they truly can be and ignites them to a level of participation that will not allow such a travesty to ever happen again, then it won’t be all bad. Math is on your side because there are more of you and you live longer. Use that advantage and make America great again, for real.
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a deeply divided country where the president elect feels that everyone, and especially those who did not vote for him, should be eternally grateful that he stepped forward to “Make America Great Again”.
We should all be grateful that he consulted with Fabio and Don King about who he should name as his Secretary of State.
We should all be grateful that he selected a known racist to be Attorney General in spite of him being denied a federal judgeship because of his beliefs.
We should all be grateful that he selected as his Secretary of Education someone who has absolutely no education experience and is a staunch supporter of “christian” charter (for profit) schools.
We should all be grateful that he picked as his Secretary of Health and Human Resources an avowed anti-gay, anti-woman Georgia congressman who thinks an embryo deserves citizenship status.
We should all be grateful that his chief political adviser runs an ultra hard-core, conservative, false news company and has publicly stated that blacks should not be able to vote.
We should all be grateful that his pick for Treasury Secretary is a long time Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager who bilked billions from foreclosures during the housing crisis.
We should all be grateful that he is only charging between 25K and 1M for tickets to his inauguration so that average Americans can have the opportunity to meet with the great one on a person-to-person level.
We should all be grateful that he explained how he really won the popular vote since over 3M illegal aliens voted for Hillary and no one else knew about it but him.
We should all be grateful that he is going to do away with the first amendment and imprison anyone who refuses to be grateful for all the “sacrifices” he has made personally in order to “Make America Great Again”.
We all could actually be eternally grateful if on December 19th the Electoral College ends this nightmare and makes the person with the most votes, there’s a twist, POTUS.
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country where if you don’t think racism exists, then you are white.
In some ways, racism has taken different forms, so as not to appear so blatant. Voter I.D. laws are pure racism, disguised in the platitude, “We want to protect the integrity of our elections!” Upon closer inspection, the amount of “voter fraud” these laws were supposedly designed to curtail is miniscule compared to the number of black citizens unable to vote for lack of the required I.D.
In other ways it makes absolutely no effort to conceal the raw venom of its practitioners, as exhibited by the video of a scantily clad mother screaming at a bunch of kids and telling them to “Go back to Africa!” Or the governor of Maine saying that “Blacks are our enemies!” Or Donald Trump saying that “Blacks are lazy!” Or a 12 year old black boy with a toy gun being gunned down by a white policeman who “feared for his life.” Perhaps no symbol is more purely racist than the confederate battle flag from the “War to Save Slavery”.
How have any of us come to the conclusion that skin color is significant enough to allow one color to treat another color as somehow inferior? More importantly, why do we as a society allow this treatment to continue?
We need more leaders like Barack Obama to face this problem head on and deal with it. Hillary Clinton is such a leader. As a woman she understands prejudice from personal experience and will work tirelessly to rid our nation of this horrible affliction by treating everyone — be they black, brown, white, Hispanic, Asian, hetero sexual, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, man, woman — the same.
Make sure you vote to make sure this happens!
LR the Liberal Redneck here, coming to you from a country that has taken the presidential election process to depths never before deemed possible.
On one hand you have the Bernie-bots and their undying belief that Hillary “stole” the election from them, because they can’t stand the idea that they were outsmarted. She couldn’t have possibly beaten their dear Bernie without “cheating”. But she did, and without cheating or stealing. Now they are trying to unite the “millions” of Bernie supporters behind Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Those “millions” currently have Jill polling at about 1% nationwide. Bernie has moved on for the good of the country. The bots should follow his example.
On the other hand you have the Trumpeteers. It is an extreme irony that the new base of the Republican Party wants to overthrow our black president and “Make America Great Again” since he is the only reason they have any kind of an existence. They fail to realize the very thing fueling their hatred, our unchecked income inequality, is the result of too many years of Republican control, and has absolutely nothing to do with illegal immigrants. When the KKK and other white nationalist groups say your candidate is one they can support, isn’t it time to say “What the Fuck”! The one thing possibly more offensive to them than a black president is a woman president. In their blind hatred, they have gone so far as to target homes with Hillary posters in the yard, by pouring bleach in the gas tanks of their cars and killing their pets. You would think that after all these years we would be better than that as a nation.
If you need more reasons to vote for the Blue Tsunami that will be sweeping our nation in November, remember this: Democrats WILL tax the piss out of the 1%, WILL raise the minimum wage to a livable wage, WILL guarantee anyone who wants it a decent education without crippling debt, WILL provide for our seniors and our veterans, WILL feed our hungry children and WILL NOT build a fucking wall.