Friday, September 04, 2009

What's America all about?

Not long ago an outfielder for a major league baseball team went back to catch a fly ball. The play took him near the outfield wall and a fan of the home team poured his beer on the player. The incident was played over and over on TV for all to see. One commentator made a comment that made me laugh. He remarked that the fan basically wasted a perfectly good NINE DOLLAR BEER.

What we also saw in the report was the asshole that threw the beer being manhandled by security and ejected out of the ball park. I wanted to punch that asshole. I wanted him thrown naked in the street and banished from all sports arenas for the rest of his miserable life. He represented the very worst in human behavior. I saw the replay of the beer tossing over and over. It was caught on video. High tech video. "Right in your face evidence" of the violation of human decency. THROW THAT ASSHOLE OUT INTO THE GUTTER! HELL YEAH! He even LOOKS like an asshole.

A couple of days later it was reported that the wrong person was ejected. The man who actually tossed the beer remained in his seat and watched the rest of the game. You KNOW that people around him SAW him toss the beer. Those SAME people also watched an innocent man yanked out of his seat and punished for something he did not do.

Why was that?

The President of the United States wants to speak to American school children about education. About goals and being responsible for their education. I'm pretty sure that very few people have read the speech he intends to make yet a good part of the country is in an uproar. Many are saying things like "indoctrination". People are saying that President Obama doesn't represent what "America" is really all about.

So what is America about?

Is it about people being held without trial for years? Is it about reaching out a helping hand to those in need? Is it about torture? Is it about excelling in righteous endeavor? Is it about 10% of the population holding 90% of the wealth? Is it about seeing that all children receive a good education? Is it about people supporting like-minded people while innocent strangers are humiliated?

Religion is big here. We are a Christian nation. You here that from elected officials and appointed clergy. Go against it and you're in deep shit. You're satanic. You're not one of US, you're with "them". THEY are the Taliban, Al Qaida, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Commies, Socialists. You're EVIL!

So let's talk religion. I was born and raised Mormon. If you are a devout Mormon you are in the one true church on the planet. Jesus Christ himself is at the head of the Mormon Church. Mormons are taught to be self sufficient. One of the great practices of this is food storage. The goal of food storage is to have an entire year's supply of food for your family. It's a daunting task. ONE YEAR. But if you believe in it, you strive towards it. Seminars on the subject are given. Books about food storage have been written. Every time a major disaster happens somewhere you are reminded about it. You see the unprepared on the news flocking to grocery stores and home supply stores. And you here a voice over your shoulder, "do you see?".

Years ago I heard a man talk in church about your "year's supply". He brought up a point that strikes me to the core to this day. He said basically that when you achieve this goal you should not stop. You should store MORE food. GASP!!!! Why? I made it. I'm okay. I have my food!

He explained,

What are you going to do when the time comes and the disaster strikes, that end of days that we are preparing for, and your neighbor comes to you and says, "my wife and I can suffer, we're old, we understand. But our children are crying because they're starving?"

To this day i tear up at the thought of that scene.

Years later there were other approaches to the year's supply doctrine. What about a year's supply of ammunition? Yeah, if the shit hits the fan you're going to have to protect that year's supply from those who don't have one of their own. Some devotees of the concept even started constructing shelters in the country similar to the bomb shelters of the 50's.

So do you help your neighbor or do you kill him?

What would Christ, the leader of our Christian nation do? He's told us what he would do.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

We as Christian Americans need to remember that.

It means health care for all
It means compassion for all
It means pray for your enemy
It means bless those who curse you
It means feed your neighbor's children AND their parents

Politicians and pundits ALL have their agenda. That agenda is winning. These days winning means pointing and making accusations and hatred. I have never seen it so bad as I have in these days. Religious men saying it's okay to pray for the death of the President. People showing up to public forums with guns. "It's in the Constitution. It's my right". What happens when an American Muslim exercises that right? Or a Black American? Hell, ask a Black American about his right to drive an expensive car at night. Ask a Muslim American about his right to take a photograph of landmarks in New York in broad daylight.

What's America all about?

You tell me.

Don't let Facebook kill your blog. I like that you have faith in human kind even when our collective behavior is so overwhelmingly shameful. Your comments have an interesting balance of open- mindedness, pragmatism, generosity, dry humor, and recognition that we are all flawed but redeemable.
One of the best blog posts I've read in a while. Thanks.
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