Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday of a Confusing, Perhaps Dangerous Time in America:  It is obviously true that the American Nation has managed to get through some horrifically difficult times, but this week has seemed to be one of the most dangerous in my memory.  Of course, I've realized often that I am a confirmed, liberal thinking, Democratic; and that self-identifying as such makes me see the world in a certain way that is different from the way some of my friends and relatives see it.  This week has been one of those times when I find myself wondering, and losing patience with those who live on the other end of the political, social continuum.  I have wondered how, for example, the majority of Republican Senators and Representatives can continue to remain quiet and perhaps even stand up with a President whom I see as a person mentally unstable.  I realize that I wear blinders that keep me from seeing and feeling the craziness of some people in politically powerful places if those people, like Darrel Issa and Duncan Hunter, are known to be in the other party.  I am biased.  I forgive the craziness in people who are more like me, but can't let go of it in people who are... well radically different.

But... this situation in Washington is ridiculous.  The White House has been turned into something that seems to me to belong to one man's family, to a man who seems to me to be not normal.  After staying that the president seems abnormal, I find myself thinking that I generally like people who are different, people who are not like everybody else. I am wondering if his appearance, the ridiculous hair style, his catalogue of facial expressions are keeping me from seeing the special human being underneath all that which seems ridiculous to me. I watched him closely and listened carefully to his address to the graduating class at the Christian college in Virginia this morning, and I tried to find in what he said something meaningful and I tried to find in him something to admire, and I couldn't find anything.  His remarks seemed to be... Oh, there I go again, finding all kinds of things wrong when there must have been people all across the country thinking how lucky those people are to be there in Virginia listening to him, and how fortunate we are to have him for President.  Sometime in the past couple of weeks I saw a photograph of a "Christian" group listening to the President, and an attractive, normal looking woman was holding up a sign that declared, THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR GIVING US SUCH A GOOD MAN FOR PRESIDENT.  What!  How could anyone think such a thing.  My impulse was to want to dissociate myself from "Christian" groups, and then I remembered and was grateful for Spong and Armstrong and other writers and thinkers whom I have read lately who are as horrified by this President as I am.

I confess that I am in this matter of citizenship a worrier.  Everything I hear about the President makes me worry for my Country. His "Make America Great Again" slogan seems to me to be a cruel joke.  Ours is a great, a fortunate country, and some of us who are citizens here have had great good fortune, so we can feel about their citizenship as I do about mine.  But I worry for those people who haven't made good choices, who have behaved carelessly in their youth and middle age or who have had extremely bad luck and are going into old age lacking the blessings I enjoy as a man with a good wife, wonderful adult children, wonderful friends and family and with plenty of everything that a human being needs. I know about children and other people in the world who are hungry and ill-housed and destitute. I want my country to be one in which help is available to all of us.  I am embarrassed when the people who live in other countries look at America and see people unable to get medical care they need, or they learn we have citizens who go to bed hungry or who don't have a home to go to at the end of a day.  I am especially embarrassed when they see photographs of the man who is the leader of my country...which happens, in spite of the craziness of our President to be the most important country in the world.

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