Dear America,my plan was to just hop over Easter this year...
I was going to go from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday to Expectant Saturday to Easter Sunday in one giant leap and never look back. The holiday was already requiring me to enjoy it all by my lonesome, so the idea was to take it in stride, stay in peace -- contemplate and meditate and pray and sit under my favorite eucalyptus tree and admire all things possible, impossible, God and Godliness.
All things considered, it went rather well.
But the thing is, I wasn't gonna say boo about it. Easter was going to come and go and this BlogSpot was going to remain mum.
And then Monday came and we all received word of the sermon on the bounty, going something like this:
It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling people back, never forward, forgetting that we are called to be a pilgrim’s people. The captains of the religious right are always calling us back, back, back. For blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet and for immigrants to be on their side of the border.Our president was in the audience, along with the first lady and the girls.
And for your puking pleasure -- to read the entire White House version of the details, courtesy of The Washington Times @ the water cooler, just go here.
Of course, here on the old G thing, we will remain stuck on the phrase, "captains of the religious right" leading into a string of absurdities -- and spoken out of the mouth of a so-called "religious" man and pastor standing at the alter.
How I would simply love to have someone, anyone, ask the good pastor -- who? Who, from the religious right, are you referring? Who? Show me. Show me the religious extremist who wants blacks at the back of the bus, women barefoot in the kitchen, and the illegal immigrants sent back across the border for forever and ever. Show me.
[cue the spark note: For the record, I sit in the back of the church next to Rush, and Levin...How the hell did this president of ours not just get up and walk out of the St. John's presidential pew 54? How could this president of ours tolerate the spewing of such vitriol for a second? And it wouldn't surprise me any, if the people around him heard a little "amen" quietly under his breath.]
[spark note dos: get a load of the phrase "illegal immigrant" being outlawed, according to the latest AP News Standard Style Guidelines of accepted lingo... oops, or is it, "undocumented democrats"...God bless, Jay Leno, right. Nailed it.]
But to have these thoughts come from the pulpit anywhere in the USA is enough to make this girl ill; but realizing that the ill-informed, low-information, ignorant and forlorn -- the 47% share of leftist followers and voters -- will latch onto such nonsense without skipping a baroque beat just makes me beside myself, doubled over with an ache never imagined.
The sermon spread across the web like an infestation, as if locusts descended upon the human psyche and sucked every last morsel of common sense and understanding out of us. What is wrong with us? What is wrong with you, Luis? America has fought so hard to rise above the idiocy of bigotry, racism and unthinkable discrimination, and you -- kind sir, I can only imagine, Pastor Leon -- act as if we are still in the year 1963, or the 1950's even, perhaps the 1860's or 1770's.
So sly, you are, using that platform and pulpit the way that you do; and without taking a breath, to slip us back into an era we painstakingly aim to overcome in the every day -- albeit with good reason, and forthright thought and action, and fully realizing every generation will need a reminder of our history from here on out. The nerve of you taking us all back decades, in a flash of light.
You should be ashamed.
Who are these "captains" of the "religious right"? Are they the everyday believers, followers of Jesus, Christians, Mormons, Jews? Are they perhaps anyone with a spine strong enough to stand up to the unceasing religious prosecution going on in this country, citizenry clinging to the principles and values taught by God and Nature's Law and completely woven into the fabric of our heritage and becoming the cornerstones of our culture, the very foundation from which we stand? Are these the extremists of which you speak?
You know, our Constitution guarantees religious freedom and the free exercise thereof...just sayin.
Does D.C. still have a problem with blacks being asked to sit in the back of the bus, by the "captains of the religious right" or otherwise? Because I can assure you, that sh&* just doesn't happen out here in California.
Does your wife actually have a life outside the home? For rumor has it, she's got herself an accomplished career writing and what not...And your daughters -- will they resign themselves to dreams unfulfilled and cook all the rest of the days of their lives, you know, here in America, thanks to those "captains of the religious right" forcing them to stay in the kitchen?
Does the immigrant of today follow the path of yesteryear -- promising to never take a hand out from the government, while their entry into the country being totally predicated upon an American sponsor....a citizen who personally claims all liability and responsibility of this new person gaining a foothold in the community and not becoming a burden. I do believe the "captains of the religious right" just want immigration to be a fair process for everyone -- whether they come from Mexico, India, China or France. Is that crazy talk?
As if you, Dr. Leon, can politicize God in the first place.
Now, talk about a certain arrogance, casting out a net over the waters as if capitalizing upon the location, location, location. Or is the audience, the audience, the audience? Oh the audience, oh the impression carved into stone changing perceptions and minds as if you are God.
So let's run with that for a wee bit -- so are we to gain from your mutiny-on-the-pulpit moment a sense that some religious beliefs should be censored, if not totally outlawed? And just how would you respond, pray tell, to the robust follower of Sharia Law (the religion and government intertwined into law that is the quintessential ANTI - Christian, Jews, homosexuals, women and young girls in general and very much in the specific...take, for example, female sexual organs, just for starters...no, really, take them, burn them off, if you must).
Inquiring minds want to know -- just where do you stand when it comes to the religious right of Islam?
As time wears on and patience wears thin, I continue to find myself of the belief that the federal government needs to stay out of the family business entirely; whether we are talking marriage, birth, baptism, education, retirement, estate and property, healthcare, politics and religion -- the rule of thumb should be BACK OFF.
[another g note: In reality, what Clinton did back in the 90's, creating "DOMA", was construct the makings of a perfect storm; the Left merely waited for the clouds to burst, as the law of the land and its people become overrun with redefining marriage, of all things...What is so wrong with civil unions? Clinton opened up the conversation and put traditional marriage on the chopping block in perfect Alinsky style -- and slowly, by nudge and by judge, it all falls down. But we digress.]
The irony, really. Back in the day, Maundy Thursday was a day of celebration, observing such acts as Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before receiving what became known as The Last Supper. The act, then, of washing the feet of the poor, the sick and infirmed, naturally grew into a custom of priests and ministries worldwide.
Perhaps this Dr. Luis Leon needs to bend down to wash the feet of the "religious right" -- it's just the right thing to do, no? I mean, it's as if the "religious right" have suddenly grown lesions, shunned to the outskirts of town, hidden from view, as societal acceptance of any kind is simply frowned upon.
Since when did the "religious right" -- captain, cook, deckhand or what have you -- become the new black, the latest group of the highly persecuted and disenfranchised? And is Pastor Leon inferring the religious left (if there are any, that is), center, or some unknown quotient, just couldn't exist -- or perhaps, is he merely suggesting that as long as the so-called "religious" remain true to the marginalized version of religious tenets -- akin to the "cultural Christianity" seeping into the woodwork -- they can stay?
Dr. Leon gave the last benediction following the inauguration of President Obama. And it begins:
"Gracious and eternal God, as we conclude the second inauguration of President Obama, we ask for your blessings as we seek to become, in the words of Martin Luther King, citizens of a beloved community, loving you and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
We pray that you will bless us with your continued presence because without it, hatred and arrogance will infect our hearts. But with your blessing we know that we can break down the walls that separate us. We pray for your blessing today because without it, distrust, prejudice and rancor will rule our hearts. But with the blessing of your presence, we know that we can renew the ties of mutual regard which can best form our civic life.
We pray for your blessing because without it suspicion, despair, and fear of those different from us will be our rule of life. But with your blessing, we can see each other created in your image, a unit of God's grace, unprecedented, irrepeatable (sic) and irreplaceable.
We pray for your blessing because without it, we will see only what the eye can see. But with the blessing of your blessing we will see that we are created in your image, whether brown, black or white, male or female, first generation or immigrant American, or daughter of the American Revolution, gay or straight, rich or poor..."
So we go from this, to just under 90 days later....
"It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back, back, back. For blacks to be back in the back of the bus … for women to be back in the kitchen … for gays to be in the closet..for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."
Oh dear sir, did you forget? Hatred and arrogance will infect your heart. Is that your prejudice, distrust, rancor, suspicion, despair, fear, and basically all things that "drive you crazy" beginning to show?
How can we "renew the ties of mutual regard" when the place where we begin is with the "captains of the religious right" being sent to the back of the church, bus, locked in the kitchen, and virtually buried on the other side of the border with no clothes on their back, shoes on their feet, food in their belly, or foundation from which to stand? The firmament must be crazy dizzy with the news.
Religious freedom and the free exercise thereof IS religious freedom and the free exercise thereof.
The "captains of the religious right" -- whoever they are -- are made in His image, too. But who are these people, Dr. Leon, calling blacks to the back of the bus, women to the back of the kitchen, gays to be back in the closet, and immigrants back to the other side -- where are they? Who are they? And forgive him Father, for he knows not what he's done.
This is what drives me crazy. I don't agree that standing up for traditional marriage is the same thing as forcing gays back in the closet. There is a lot of ground and foundation and community and heaven in between...beginning with a conversation resting upon mutual regard, a thing called tolerance that operates all the way around every living thing.
The arrogance and audacity of the Left is showing, and it's rather ugly, but now -- with the recent usurpation of a nationwide pulpit -- the religious right's right to speak what is inside the heart is being tested, questioned, criticized, and water boarded all over the place, in ways large and small.
As if the anti-religious Left is any better for us; as if the "religious Left" lays it all out, front to back, back to front, with any semblance of humility and grace, let alone the truth.
It's a sad day in America when posers of priesthood and prowess shape shift the commandments and the presumed will of a certain people (the "captains of the religious right" -- whoever they are) to work a political agenda. It's a sad, sad day.
Make it a Good Day, G