March 25, 2015

My recent hiatus

I haven't written here for a while.  It has been a difficult spring so far.  In February, my father passed away after several tough years.  As my mother said, it was not completely unexpected, but we didn't expect it that day.  My first response was shock, followed by a bit of relief.  He had been so unhappy for so long, and just feeling so bad that I was glad he was no longer in pain.  I was also glad for my mom in that her life had become pretty centered around his daily needs.

There was a part of me that thought that I would not struggle that much as we had gone through so much of that grief well before he died.  I actually said the eulogy and even sang a song I wrote about Dad, and it was not as hard as I feared, partly because of that sense of relief and years of working through the grief and understanding that Dad was not getting better.

But after some reflection that relief has morphed into sadness and even depression.  The finality has sunk in, and with it came missing the man who was, and even mourning the father who, at times, was difficult.  Maybe more accurately, mourning the father that I know he wanted to be, and of whom we saw glimpses.

It has been hard to separate out the grief of losing Dad from the other griefs in life--the death of both of my wife's parents; a disappearing history career, and with it a sense of floundering.  Throw in our diabetic 17 year old cat needing to go to the vet this morning, and you can see how this can all cloud the days.

I am not working through this alone.  Not only is SOF a steady and wise listening board, but my mother and I have been able to share this grief together.  Add to that some amazing and insightful friends, and I certainly don't feel isolated.

Anyway.  I hope to write more, but this will do for now.

January 29, 2015

Everything that is wrong with modern Christianity

Saw this the other day, and while I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike the former Minister from Arkansas any more, I found that I can muster more dislike after he said that women who curse in public are just "trashy."

This isn't about cursing, really. While I really like it, and hang out with a lot of friends who like to curse in humorous ways, I recognize that it isn't for everyone, and it isn't for every setting. When I was teaching in the classroom, I kept the cursing to a minimum, and avoided any of the potentially offensive words. Context matters.

But this isn't about cursing, it is about priorities. Huckabee is shocked that women throw around the f-bomb, but isn't at all offended by massive cuts to food stamps. He isn't offended when Republicans question rape victims. He isn't offended when Ted Nugent calls Obama a "chimpanzee" or Hillary Clinton names that even I won't write here.

And he isn't offended by torture. Why should he be? He is part of the American demographic (white evangelical) with the most support for torture.

But swearing is bad.

January 23, 2015

Gun culture

As one of my friends said, "literally the dumbest thing ever."  I am not sure.  I fully expect the Republicans to do something dumber this next week.  There appears to be no bottom.

Kansas Senate bill would let any legal gun owner secretly carry without permit | The Wichita Eagle The Wichita Eagle

January 17, 2015

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

I knew inequality was bad, but didn't realize it was this bad.  For the first time in 50 years, more students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.  When you put this in the context of the modern governing philosophy of the Republicans and far too many Democrats, you see the farce of supply side economics.  You see the inhumanity of tax cuts and growing inequality.  You see the insanity of the people proclaiming "family first" who place more than half the nation's students in poverty, and refuse to address it beyond cutting taxes for the rich.

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty - The Washington Post

January 2, 2015

Sigh. Evangelicals can push back against some things.

Of course they can. And they do. Evangelicals will mobilize and push back against gay marriage or teaching the scientific facts about climate and evolution. And as we see here, they will absolutely get angry about an article criticizing their view of the Bible.

But those evangelicals look the other way (or worse, cheer) torture, demonizing the poor, depriving people of color the right to vote, and even feeding the poor. Just put Jesus in the role of all of those and seriously tell me those views have any Christian validity? Seriously?

But don't dare question the inerrancy of Scripture. That makes them angry.