Saturday, June 18, 2016

GUNS ARE FOR KILLING

Long-time friend, Jack Garner, wrote the following Letter to The Editor of the Denton Record-Chronicle shortly after the Orlando massacre. 

I agree with him wholeheartedly about assault weapons of any kind. It was good to hear Senator Murphy (D) from Connecticut lead the Democrats in a 15-hour filibuster on gun control this past Thursday, ending only when GOP leaders agreed to allow votes on two of the issues. I pray they can come to terms and pass such legislation we so desperately need. We'll see.

"50 dead at the time of this writing; more in critical condition may not survive. The cause? Not a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, but one deranged man with an assault rifle.

It matters not if the shooter’s motivation was a hate crime directed at the sexual orientation of his victims or an Isis-inspired act of terror. What matters is that we are in a position to have this foul act repeated as long as assault rifles are on sale to the public.

Every family should be able to own a pistol with a limited ammunition clip for protection of home and family. The sportsmen should be allowed guns that permit them to participate in hunting; but to continue the sale of assault rifles is to sanction murder.

The National Rifle Association will scream to the high heavens at this proposal. They will claim that it violates their Second Amendment rights. When the Second Amendment was penned, a musket fired one round - a far cry from an assault rifle’s 30-round magazines. An assault rifle is overkill for home protection as well as hunting. Its only purpose is the taking of human life.

I am not naive enough to think banning of assault rifles would stop all murder. It has been a negative social act since Cain clobbered Abel, and will continue as long as humans carry hate in their hearts. Banning of assault rifles will, however, stop blood-flowing massacres such as the carnage in Orlando."
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"Gun manufacturers are pushing military style weapons: Rolling Stone magazine charges that since the industry has seen significant drops in the number of hunters in this generation, the industry has promoted assault rifles and machine guns, (the purchase of) which has risen in recent years." (rollingout.com)
If the millennials in my own family are typical of this generation -- and I believe they are -- the number of hunters will continue to drop. Their love of nature and involvement in environmental causes promise to keep them and their families to follow from ever wanting to intentionally harm the beautiful creatures on this planet. My daughter's family is vegetarian so they certainly don't go along with the argument that we need to slaughter animals for food. For those who do eat meat, the humane treatment of such animals is a priority. I cannot argue with that. I banished veal from my diet years ago after seeing a segment on "60 Minutes" about how tiny little calves were kept penned up so tightly as to prevent any fat or muscle development (one's veal must be tender!). They were never allowed out of this confining little prison until slaughter time. I cried as I watched the secretly filmed video of these poor little babes.
The deputies in the Sheriff's Office in west Texas where I worked for a short period of time, were typical hunter types. They loved to razz me about my tender heart where animals hit by cars were concerned. ("They are just animals.") They tried to convert me to their hunters' point of view with the issues of over-population of some breeds. Especially deer. (And now, of course, we have the feral hog population to deal with in Texas.) I realize the need for reducing/controlling over-population. It seems I heard some years back about trials with birth control drugs being used for this purpose with some animals. Modern technology can surely find a way to make that a plausible solution. Anyway, if we have to resort to hunting and killing as a "humanitarian" way of keeping some from starving, why does it have to be with assault weapons? These weapons were invented for use by the military, and for one purpose -- to kill humans!

I may have shared this story before, but must do so again. I probably told it to the Sheriff's Deputies, thus, the reason they teased me so. Long ago I told a friend of mine in Denton how it disturbed me to see so many animals lying dead along the side of the highway, having been hit by cars. She told me how she dealt with it. She just "blessed their little spirits" and drove on. (Thank you, Mary, for teaching me that.) It made things a little easier for me. It became second nature to me as I drove -- blessing little spirits of dead animals along the roadside. I could spot them up ahead and would begin my blessing, until one day the "animal" I thought I was blessing turned out to be a large piece of wall insulation that had blown off a truck! The blessing was complete by the time I reached it. Boy! Did I feel foolish!

I loved the story of Native Americans putting grass in the mouths of deer they killed for food, so the animal's spirit would have something to eat on its way to the other world. They would thank the animal and bless it on its journey. 

I wonder if the Orlando shooter thought even for a millisecond of blessing the spirits of those he killed. He certainly didn't kill for food.. so was it for sport?

Peace,
Marilyn

Friday, June 17, 2016

WISDOM OF THE YOUNG




My granddaughter Hannah, who will be a junior next fall at the performance arts high school Booker T. Washington in Dallas, is an aspiring playwright. Recently a one-act play she wrote was one of five out of 60+ entries from the north Texas area high schools to be presented this past Saturday at Booker T. during PUP Fest.

"Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest is a unique project co-produced with local youth organization Junior Players. As part of the New Works Festival, PUP Fest features an afternoon of five world premiere staged readings written and performed by some of the Metroplex's finest high school talent and developed through playwriting workshops." Kitchen Dog Theater - PUP 

Hannah's father and brother Cameron attended the production, and Craig said his daughter's play was "absolutely wonderful". It is about the problems of a young, gay high school student. Supposedly, videos of these plays will be posted on YouTube in the near future. 

Hannah's cousin Audrey, my oldest granddaughter who now lives in Austin, is a talented writer as well. She writes on a blog called ONE WORLD, TWO FEET along with other "explorers" of our beautiful planet. They write brief posts along with amazing photographs of their adventures that they take as well.

Audrey, an environmental scientist, has recently taken a job with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) as a Habitat Exchange Program Specialist, working on the threat to the extinction of the monarch butterfly. EDF has offices all over the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and China. Their mission is creating "solutions that let nature and people prosper." by working toward "stabilizing the climate, feeding the world, and protecting our health (safer household products through chemical policy reform and corporate partnerships)." Saving the planet and all living things is a big job. One that Audrey has been devoted to and planning for most of her young life. 

PATTERN RECOGNITION
Audrey's brother, Tanner, is a senior in high school this coming fall. Besides being an honor student, and preparing to attend a favorite Ivy League college, among Tanner's many accomplishments is the ability to write. I was so impressed with an essay he wrote for his English class this spring that I asked him for permission to quote some of it. 

"When I was just a little tyke, my father and I would often ride bikes to a sandwich shop for lunch. I fondly remember these adventures, as my father would engage me in a wide variety of interesting topics. I remember one discussion in particular, one about the impact of pattern recognition on how we humans interact with our world. I have continued to think about this topic ever since that discussion. Humans excel at identifying patterns -- indeed, this ability is key to mastering our environment. This ability to recognize both dangers and opportunities has carried us to the top of the food web. However, we are so proficient at recognizing patterns that we often find patterns which simply do not exist."

"..Humans innately categorize everything. Although this is a largely beneficial trait, it is my belief that this tendency to categorize causes many societal issues. Those who are not like 'us' because they act differently than 'we' do, make 'us' uncomfortable. Those who do not fit into the predetermined categories that we subconsciously create make 'us'  feel uncomfortable and afraid. Sometimes, violence arises from this fear. Thus, massive injustices such as xenophobia and racism occur.."

EDITOR: And of course, homophobia, as we witnessed this past week in the tragedy at the nightclub in Orlando. 

More next time on my other grands. All stay so involved in all aspects of our world today. The arts, science, sports, and life in general. Sometimes it tires me to even contemplate their busy lives. But overriding it all is pride in their accomplishments and their parents (my children) who are doing such a magnificent job. 


Peace and Love,
Marilyn

Monday, June 13, 2016

HOW MANY MORE TIMES MUST THIS HAPPEN?

Orlando witnesses worst mass shooting in U.S history
(newsumbrella.net)

It's happened again. Many of us watched in horror Sunday morning as instead of our usual religious programming or political talk shows we saw images of  the aftermath of the latest mass shooting in our beloved country. Survivors and relatives of the victims told heart-rending stories. We eagerly awaited the news conferences giving us information about the gunman, and whether or not this was an attack instigated by ISIL. The young man who carried out the massacre was a Muslim, which fanned the fires of anti-Islamists. His father was interviewed early on, and tried to convince us that this was not due to a connection to ISIL. He stated that his son had recently witnessed two men kissing on a Miami beach, and that enraged him. As the stories progressed throughout the day, it was easy to relate the shootings not only to homophobia, but also to the shooter's desire to be associated with ISIL as a jihadist. He called 911 during the siege to pledge his allegiance to ISIL, and to ensure his "entrance into heaven", as their followers are indoctrinated to believe.

Of all the mass shootings in the U.S., in some statistics defined as "events in which four or more people were killed by a lone gunman", in only three instances were the shooters Muslims. (Fort Hood, TX in 2009, San Bernardino, CA in 2015, and Orlando, FL)  Statistics dating back to 1966, indicate that there have been 869 victims, 142 of which were children or teenagers. There is an excellent article with accompanying graphics on the mass shootings in America that will blow your mind: Washington Post

For some to call for a ban on Muslims entering the country -- or to implicate President Obama as being somehow complicit with jihadists, seems like sheer idiocy. Demanding that he resign the presidency only exacerbates this idiocy.

gun, military

My very first thought as I heard the devastating news was we must do something about the gun laws in this country. Especially banning any military style weapons and high capacity magazines. Reading some comments from our citizens who think more guns are the only answer to mass killings sounds unrealistic. Imagine many guns in a crowded venue when something like this occurs. The Waco biker gang shootout a year ago left nine dead and 18 wounded. Some bikers were armed, but no assault rifles were used. (This was in a relatively open area, as some shooters were outdoors.) In a place like a crowded nightclub, many guns would more than likely put additional people in harms' way as a shootout begins. Someone would have to be an expert marksman - and be positioned just right in order to take out the gunman. God forbid that a security person might have an assault weapon as well. 

Banning unnecessary military type weapons and much stronger background checks will go a long way towards prevention of more mass killings. I think Hillary Clinton's suggestion of creating a national database that would include those on "no-fly" lists and anyone under investigation for possible terrorist association would be a good idea. How mental illnesses that border on criminality should be handled without compromising civil rights is something that should be addressed as well.

If implemented, the NRA would be up-in-arms (pun intended). That is, if the scaredy-cat congressmen and women would even dare to present such a bill for passage. Not only on a national level, but even our state legislators are all so afraid of losing the financial backing of the gun manufacturers in this country. Which leads me to another solution -- term limits for all government legislators. Too many are more concerned with appeasing donors so they might be reelected than they are with protecting our citizens from overzealous gun rights advocates. 

The lobbyists for major corporations who entice our lawmakers with huge sponsorships and PACs create another opportunity for a solution to many of our problems. There must be a way to overturn Citizens United. (Not the PAC, but the SCOTUS case in 2009). One of the main reasons for the decision was to put any company on equal footing with the media organizations to promote their candidates. While this is a simplified explanation, it makes little sense if one concentrates on who is buying up the media corporations in our country. The extremely wealthy corporations -- like the Sinclair Group -- are gradually taking over much of the broadcast and print media. Most of it is done quietly, and when the FCC gets involved by preventing "monopolies" in certain areas (Texas, for one), the corporations form "satellite" companies to purchase those entities. Thus, they end up controlling much of what is broadcast or published. And eventually promoting and ensuring election of candidates sympathetic to their issues.

Conspiracy theories abound with the stories of  Muslims infiltrating the country with jihadists, illegal aliens taking over our jobs, the liberals in government wanting to take all of "our" guns, and even one of the latest that is called "false flag" or "hoax", indicating a mass shooting was somehow perpetrated to distract us from something nefarious going on that might cause us to lose more of our freedom. One presidential candidate loves to hear these theories, and he capitalizes on them every opportunity he gets to increase his popularity with the segment of society who actually believes them. It is certainly scary to see how many people have voted for him and kept him in the running for the most powerful position in the world.
Hillary Clinton is our best chance for implementing the solutions to the many problems brought to the fore by the latest gun massacre. The GOP nominee will only create more mayhem in our country, with his racist, bigoted, and conspiracy-creating rhetoric. With the election of more Democratic legislators, we also may see a return of a safer, more equal society for all.

Peace and love,
Marilyn

Saturday, May 7, 2016

BUSHY AND BEWHISKERED - NOT AT ALL BEWILDERED

While watching the news on TV, I was shocked to see a brief video clip of David Letterman and Jon Stewart (two of my favorite comedians) at a USO event. I don't recall seeing them since they retired. 

It wasn't shocking to see them together after their retirement, what was shocking was their appearance! It brought to mind an article I had read in the past few days about the discovery of a series of articles written by Walt Whitman in 1858 under the pseudonym Mose Velsor. In 13 weekly newspaper installments, Whitman wrote "Manly Health and Training" -- how to be a "real" man. 

When I first read the article, I immediately forwarded it to my granddaughter Audrey and her love interest, Rob, who sports a lovely beard. You see, one of the articles Whitman wrote was about beards. The news item I read was an online NPR article, which included the audio. Audrey said they got a kick out of it as they listened to it over morning coffee. 
In case you missed it, here is what Whitman had to say about beards:

"The beard is a great sanitary protection to the throat — for purposes of health it should always be worn, just as much as the hair of the head should be. Think what would be the result if the hair of the head should be carefully scraped off three or four times a week with the razor! Of course, the additional aches, neuralgias, colds, & etc., would be immense. Well, it is just as bad with removing the natural protection of the neck; for nature indicates the necessity of that covering there, for full and sufficient reasons."  (I wonder what he would think of all the young men who shave their heads today?)

Of course, in Whitman's later years, his beard (and hair) were more on the order of Letterman's. In fact, Letterman told a funny story about someone mistaking him for Whitman. Not sure how true that is, but the resemblance is uncanny.
(Getty/Canva)

I got to thinking how beards seem to be cropping out everywhere nowadays. My older son, Craig, has sported a beard most of his adult years. He did shave it in order to look younger when applying for a new job. I had to admit he looked a lot younger clean-shaven, but I was happy to see the familiar fuzz back on his face -- even if it did make me look older.

The baby of the family, Matthew, has grown his own beard intermittently through the years. Usually, he waits until the colder winter months, as in this photo taken six months ago. I was shocked to see how much gray his beard now contains. The hair on his head remains black as coal, with very little, if any, gray. Hmmm. Matt's at the age now he may wish to look younger, too. Off with the beard? Or maybe a little touch-up?




The only one of my three grandsons with enough facial hair to grow a beard, is Cameron, who is Craig's son. Like father, like son. He has even grown his hair long, which is something his dad did when he was still a teen.


All of this attention to beards brings to mind the latest heartthrob I've noticed on TV. I am a big fan of "The Good Wife". Julienna Margulies' love affair with "Jason", her firm's private investigator (who also holds a law degree - I think they put that in there for the elitist viewers who thought his occupation might be beneath her), makes me want her to run away with him. He -- and his beard -- would be hard for any woman to resist. Agree? (Come to think of it, he looks a lot like my son Craig!)
(Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
In researching the images and articles for this post, I ran across a series of naked photos of Whitman, taken when he had a full head of gray hair and beard. (And I have Safe Search on my computer!) This was a scholarly article, too. Needless to say, that was much more than I wanted to know about good old Walt. 

Got a hirsute man in your life? According to Walt Whitman, that beard may keep him healthy. At least it will protect his neck.

Peace,
Marilyn

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

TIME AGAIN FOR KUDOS AND RASPBERRIES

KUDOS to some of the news recently. Among them are the following:

* Number One has got to be the news that Ted Cruz has dropped out of the presidential primary race! Now if there were only a way to get Trump to drop out as well, just think of all the campaign money that could be saved. Nothing about the current campaign has been ordinary so far. Anything is possible. So many folks I've talked to say they don't think Donald Trump ever really wanted to be President. He must be as surprised as everyone that he's come this far. 

* Obama deserves a lot of credit for the US tax rule that caused Pfizer and Allergan to scrap the $160 billion deal that prevents companies moving overseas to save on taxes. Pfizer would have saved $1 billion annually by "domiciling" its business in Ireland, which has lower tax rates. Why don't more companies come back "home" to the country that presented them with the opportunities to establish their extremely profitable businesses in the first place? Is it too much to ask them to pay their fair share in taxes for the possibility granted them to become so prosperous? It seems that greed is rampant in America - especially among pharmaceutical companies.

*This video tickled my fancy. Have you ever felt such joy? Animals are not so different from us after all, are they? Nonprofits like AnimalsAsia deserve more than just kudos. If you are interested in their work, please look at their site AnimalsAsia.

(Watch Tuffy jump for joy in his first days outside after being rescued from a bear bile farm where he’d spent years of torture in a tiny cage.) 

*More joyful news was the rescuing of the 33 circus lions who were then taken to a new home in South Africa. Some had never felt the earth beneath their feet, as witnessed by this lion's first experience outdoors.


Can't you feel his joy? Hats off to the group Animal Defenders International for the undertaking of such a humane - and expensive task.

*This past week also saw the rescue of circus elephants. Ringling Brothers was the largest circus to retire them to a preserve in Florida. If any of you read the book or saw the movie "Water For Elephants" you have an idea how many of them were abused in captivity. Elephants are known to have emotions similar to us humans. How they could be held and treated so poorly for so many years is hard to believe. Thank God for all the people who worked so diligently to put a stop to their captivity in circuses in the United States.

The wave of compassion for animals around the globe has grown so much recently that it is indicative of a change in the consciousness of mankind. It must mean that we are evolving into a kinder, gentler species on Planet Earth. As such, this new consciousness must soon reach those who are still perpetrating such violence on our own kind, and help to bring about peaceful resolutions to the wars that have been ongoing for too many years. If we can love and care for the animals, can we not extend that same loving care to our brothers?

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RASPBERRIES

Number one on the following list should be the story that broke on "60 Minutes" recently  about our elected officials in Congress putting in as much as 30-hours a week making telephone calls to seek campaign donations for not only themselves, but also for their respective parties. It has been rightly compared to telemarketing. We, the American people, pay these Representatives $174,000 a year to work for us -- not to spend more time raising money than they do legislating! If you didn't see this segment, watch it here Dialing for DollarsBe prepared to have your blood boil. This "do nothing" Congress has been busy on their own behalf not ours!

Florida Representative David Jolly has introduced a bill called "The Stop Act" that would ban all federal elected officials from directly soliciting donations. Needless to say, the bill is not expected to pass. I suggest we each contact our own representatives, and sign the petition to get this bill passed through Congress. Just go to the site Stop Act to add your name to the petition.

reverse diabetesThe number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide in under four decades to 422 million, and the condition is fast becoming a major problem in poorer countries, a World Health Organization study showed recently. Changing diets and obesity are the main culprits. Even in many poorer third world countries, American products full of sugar -- such as soft drinks by major manufacturers, have made their way into the local economies. American corporations' greed extends to those countries most susceptible to their products. The damage these sugary products cause to the health of these nations may not be well-known, due to the lack of information technology in many of the areas targeted.

*  Kids Need Vaccines "As many as 2.1 million American children aren't getting timely vaccinations because of holes in the public health system. That's because a sizable segment of the population -- the working poor -- makes too much money to qualify for federally funded vaccinations but has health insurance so meager that it won't cover some or any immunizations or booster shots. (My emphasis.) This is particularly true of new vaccines, the experts say." Something must be done to fix this problem in our health care system. World health organizations provide these vaccines for free in many cases. Why do so many impoverished children in the U.S. have to go without these important disease prevention vaccines?
(PegIt Board)
The intentionally unvaccinated children in the U.S. and abroad by philosophically or religiously anti-vaxxer parents, not only have their own lives placed at risk of catching diseases that were once almost eliminated, but also put the lives of others -- particularly those infants too young to be vaccinated -- in danger. Many die from these preventable diseases. Some sad stories of these tiny, unfortunate victims can be read here Shot by Shot.

There are so many, many stories coming to light that can delight or dismay us. It's up to us to do something about the ones that deserve our condemnation. And it's also up to us to share the good news and uplifting stories. After all, "What we focus on increases."

Peace, love, and joy,
Marilyn

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Keeping Up With My Family AND The Campaign

As a proud grandmother, I was thrilled when my son Matthew asked if I wished to see my youngest grandson, Travis, play in a South Texas PGA Junior Tour tournament that was held recently in Lakeway, Texas. He is 13-years old, and has been playing tournament golf for four years now. This past year he's been taking golf lessons once a week from a golf pro at a local Country Club. He plays mostly against 14- and 15-year-olds, who are larger than he is. However, he has placed in more than one tournament.. I believe he will eventually win a big one, as he keeps improving. I only saw the last 9 holes of his tournament. Even though his dad said he was a little off his game, I enjoyed every minute of watching him. He was so professional and serious about it, it was hard to remember him as the babe in arms I held once upon a time.

Here is a short video of Travis playing in the last tournament held in March at Berry Creek Country Club in Georgetown, Texas. His Uncle Craig said, "I wish I had his swing!"


Audrey & Rob

Granddaughter Audrey recently interviewed for what her mother called "her dream job" in Lake Tahoe. It is with an environmental firm, and if she gets the job, she will spend her first year in Lake Tahoe. Next she will be sent to Denver. Audrey's enthusiastic about it, so it must mean she will be doing a lot of field work -- which she really enjoys. The mountains will be big adventures as well! Here's hoping this works out for her. If she accepts it, she will be moving in May. I will miss having her close, but she's one of the millennials who is making a difference in our world. You go, girl!

Since moving to Austin, Audrey has played with the Central Texas Medical Orchestra, First Chair, Second Violin. Her mother came to hear her play in concert in February, and said it was magnificent. The proceeds from the concert went to the charity Wonders & Worries, which provides professional support for children through a parent's illness.

Audrey is to bring Rob for a visit next weekend. I have heard great things about him from her family.


Allison & Cameron

Grandson Cameron and "best friend" Allison performed a musical revue together at the Songbird Live theater in Cleburne, Texas this past Saturday night. They sang Broadway tunes for about an hour and a half. Allison, besides being beautiful, has a doctorate in music, teaches music in high school, and is planning to teach at the university level. She has sung professionally in operatic productions. What a perfect couple they make. I'm looking forward to Cameron bringing her to meet this Grandmama. In the meantime, Cameron continues to serve the Fort Worth Unitarian youth with exuberance. I know they are having a great time with the classes and outings he plans for them.

...


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Some of my readers might have noticed that I haven't posted anything on this blog in quite some time. I have been so upset over the campaign for the Presidency that every time I tried to write, something else disturbing would happen. I'm talking about the GOP campaign. Of course, I'm not the only one in the country who feels this way. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to our great nation. I don't feel he could ever win the Presidency, however, the fact that so many people are supporting him says something almost as disturbing. What kind of people would believe all the nasty, bigoted, downright stupid opinions he raves on about? Do they really believe as he says -- that he will build a wall to keep the Mexican immigrants out and make Mexico pay for it? How do they feel about repealing the Affordable Care Act? Many of these same voters were uninsured until its passage. On foreign policy, he says he "will totally dismantle Iran's global terror network".. He wants to bring back waterboarding and other means of torture.. He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.. I could go on, but if you have a television you cannot have missed any of his narcissistic ravings.
(Getty Images)
But then, there is Ted Cruz. Senator Lindsey Graham hit the nail on the head when he said having to choose between Trump or Cruz was like choosing between "being shot or taking poison". Cruz and his followers are much more dangerous than Trump. His father Rafael, an evangelical Christian pastor who believes in a form of Christianity known as Dominionism, believes that "anointed Christians are destined to take over the government and create in practice, if not in official terms, a theocracy. Rafael Cruz also endorsed the evangelical belief known as the 'end-time transfer of wealth' - that is, as a prelude to the second coming of Christ, God will seize the wealth of the wicked and redistribute it to believers." "In 2013, several prominent Dominionist pastors at a ceremony in Iowa blessed and anointed Ted Cruz, rendering him, in their view, a 'king' who would help usher in the kingdom of Christ." Mother Jones      King Ted Cruz?

I'm sorry, but I have a hard time not thinking that the above two candidates for the most important job in the world are both a little nutty. And what does that make the many folks who vote for them?

Bring on Bernie or Hillary!!
(Nat'l. Progressive)

Peace,
Marilyn

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A REPEAT POST

In light of the current political climate, and the campaign rhetoric we are bombarded with daily, I thought this might be as relevant (or more so) today as it was in 2014 when I published it on my other blog. So, here's a repeat of "When Did Liberal Become a Dirty Word?:

"..Jesus was the ultimate liberal progressive revolutionary of all history. The conservative religious and social structure that He defied hated and crucified Him. They examined His life and did not like what they saw. He aligned Himself with the poor and the oppressed. He challenged the religious orthodoxy of His day. He advocated pacifism and loving our enemies. He liberated women and minorities from oppression. He healed on the Sabbath and forgave adulterers and prostitutes. He associated with drunks and other social outcasts. He rebuked the religious right of His day because they embraced the letter of the law instead of the Spirit. He loved sinners and called them to Himself. Jesus was the original Liberal. He was a progressive, and He was judged and hated for it. It was the self-righteous religionists that He rebuked and He called them hypocrites.." This is an excerpt from an article on The Christian Left blog written by Gary Vance, (a Christian evangelical minister)Wasn't Jesus A Liberal?
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Excerpt from Bishop John Shelby Spong's (a retired Bishop of the American Episcopal Church) Manifesto:

(2006)
"..I do not debate any longer with members of the "Flat Earth Society" either. I do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy by casting demons out of the epileptic person; I do not waste time engaging those medical opinions that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection. I do not converse with people who think that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans as punishment for the sin of being the birthplace of Ellen DeGeneres or that the terrorists hit the United Sates on 9/11 because we tolerated homosexual people, abortions, feminism or the American Civil Liberties Union. I am tired of being embarrassed by so much of my church's participation in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ I serve or the God whose mystery and wonder I appreciate more each day. Indeed I feel the Christian Church should not only apologize, but do public penance for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people."..

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We need more folks like Bishop Spong, et al, and fewer folks like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The candidates who espouse their Christian beliefs would do well to read what Bishop Spong has to say, and go back to their Bible and study the life and teachings of Jesus, as well as those he championed.


Some of the words and actions of my fellow Christians make me ashamed, and I am not the only one. I hope more of my LIBERAL friends will step up to the ballot box and change the face of this country. We no longer act like a "Nation Under God".

Proud to be called a liberal (I am in good company),

Marilyn