The Beastly Priest

Here is a poem I wrote some time ago about a corrupt priest. I think it’s quite fitting to repost it now in light of the Charlottesville terrorist attack by white supremacists.

White people, white CHRISTIANS, wake up! You ignore racism to your own peril. If it’s not being preached against in your pulpit, YOU are the problem and your church is complicit. You don’t want to be complicit. Trust me.

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There once was a priest
who was a little beast
His name was Daniel Brown.
Hellfire and damnation
was what he preached
in the church in the center of town.
Women would swoon
in the warm afternoon
when the heat of the hellfire was hot
Ol’ Daniel would bellow
and scare all his fellows
til repentance they had got.
The little ones cried
and the elderly died
under the hand of the beastly priest.
At judgement I”m sure
he’ll come out like manure
Because he didn’t care in the least.
When the graves open up
and the carrion birds sup
When Armageddon is nigh
Then Father Brown
will stroll into town
to watch all humanity die.
Some call him “Scratch”
others, after a match,
call him Lucifer because of his smell
But the truth, dark and sordid
Is Farther Brown always courted
The devil in his preaching of Hell.
The moral is this
you cannot achieve bliss
by threatening people with fear
For fear leads to dying
and eternal sighing
in the place where nothing is dear.
If you’re going to preach
then season your speech
with mercy and grace and love.
For this is the way
that in the end will pay
with everlasting joy up above.

A Few Things About Globalization 

It’s one of those days when I want to say something but have not yet gelled my thoughts enough to get it out. So, I’m just going to blabber a bit and hope to say something worthwhile.
Without touching on any specifics about politics, I’d like to say something about the political climate and general feeling of hopelessness and fatigue many of us are experiencing. 
While it may seem trivial, we now live in the 21st century. Not only was this an historical milestone for the books, but it was a generational climax for those born as children to the baby boomers. Most of us counted the years down in anticipation of the new millennium and dreamed countless hours about what life would be like for us in the year 2000. It was as though the “future” were just around the corner and we would live to see it and perhaps even influence and share in it. 
The turn of the century marked a real, tangible break from the old, dated, and tired Western culture with the rediscovery of the broader world and the influx of cultures. The possibility of a united world was made all the more real by the world wide web and the interconnectedness of communication across the globe. While the roots of these technologies lie in the 20th century, their fruitfulness rests in the 21st and beyond. 
Globalization is the enemy of nationalism; its arch-nemesis. Yet to many of Generation X and their offspring, globalization is an absolute inevitability. It’s cliche’, but old ways die hard. The current subculture of nationalism, fascism, nazisim, etc, is the direct result of revolt against globalization. It is the remnants of the 20th century attempting to reassert it’s meaning and value into today and wrest back or at least slow down the impending globalization of culture and politics. 
It takes on the forms of religion and patriotism but is actually, simply, fear of the future and the unknown. The shells of religion and patriotism give it a sense of self viability, but to any with eye to see and ears to hear, it’s “clarion call” is empty of anything but promises that cannot and will not be kept. The exposure of the emperor as naked is happening before our eyes. The hypocrisy of the past, namely misogyny, racism, sexism, and every form of prejudice and discrimination, are becoming so blatant that it’s hard not to laugh. 
There are those who will blame religion or patriotism. But those are merely the conduits through which these forces have chosen to flow. After they are finally dead and gone, religion and patriotism will remain; rejuvenated and transformed. 
In my opinion, not only is globalization inevitable, it is desirable. Without it we cannot solve many of the worlds problems such as hunger, poverty, ecological issues and global warming. 
That said, there are also those who would force globalization on a not yet ready public. While we should work for and toward globalization, to force it on a public that does not want it would be disastrous. Slowly but surly is the best method and the only one that will work. It is not without reason that many have had the foresight to write in literature and cinema about future civilization rising from the *ashes* of the old. I am reminded of the novel “A Canticle for Leibowitz” in which the author explored the unending lust of humanity for self destruction. I pray his assessment is wrong and that we have within us, not only to survive, but to thrive in the future without destroying ourselves. 
Finally, let me say that whatever happens in this election is not the end. For those who despair, the fate of the United States of America is not a signal to the end of the world. Yes, America is Great, but she is not immortal. One day she will die, hopefully to rise again just as the other ancient countries and civilizations have done for millennia. Vote your conscience and go about living your life. Change what you can and hope for the best for yourselves and your children, but do not despair if things don’t go your way. You are but a particle of dust in the winds of history. Your legacy will live through values and ethics you instill in your progeny. When a nation instills great values and ethics into it’s children, then that nation will rise up and be a great nation. Likewise, if those values and ethics are deeply flawed, so will the nation be who follows them.

How to Fix the Border Problem

d0dcf869247f0494e7f38adab27e2b241112136037-500x338Christians in the United States of America, are you concerned about our borders? Are you concerned about the de-christianization of America?

I have words for you.

Psalm 146.

It is not the duty of the US government to protect and defend Christianity. There is no official religion of these United States and, indeed, separation of Church and State are written into the warp and woof of who we are as a nation. All religions have a place here under our government, and each has the very same rights and privilege as our own: the free exercise of religion.

Do you want a Christian nation? It will never, indeed cannot, happen under our current Constitution. Do you want people to be Christians? Then start with yourself and begin living like Jesus. Stop your dogmatism. Stop the arrogance. Stop with the superiority complex. Start feeding and caring for the poor. Start loving the outcast, the disenfranchised, the minorities. Start treating all as human beings who bear the dignity of God’s image. Stop telling others how to live. Instead, show them a better way by living it yourself. You cannot legislate religion.

You who depend on the US government to “save” this “christian” nation, go and read Psalm 146. Our hope is in the name of the Lord our God, not in presidents or congressmen/women. God cares not a whit for your concerns about immigration. He does care how you treat those immigrants. You want to recapture our nation for Christ? Be captured by him yourself, first. Ours is not a kingdom of this world. We do not win elections. We do not vote in this kingdom. We do not swear allegiance to any king, emperor, president or prime minister. We belong to Christ! We do not use the government to foster our own ends.

If you want to capture America for Jesus, it must be done one person at a time through our own faithful living out of the gospel. Any other worldly method cannot and will not ever be blessed by God.

Here, for your convenience, is Psalm 146. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it. This and this alone is the answer to our problems. America hasn’t failed, Christians have failed to honor their Lord through living holy and righteous lives.

146 Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Do not trust in princes,
In [c]mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to [d]the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps [e]faith forever;
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
9 The Lord [f]protects the [g]strangers;
He [h]supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He [i]thwarts the way of the wicked.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Hallelujah!