Monday, November 20, 2006

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Well, it's that time again. We in America gather around our dinner tables and televisions to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and family. Christians tend to gravitate toward this holiday, proclaiming it a time of blessing. It all sounds so great, this Thanksgiving holiday. Plenty of food and fun to go around. Lots of football.

But, if we go back to the origin of what we consider the first Thanksgiving, things weren't so nice. First, we must remember that the Puritans (who were called that for a reason) came seeking a place where they could be separate from those whom they considered too liberal in their faith. They had very strict rules and were quite fundamentalist in their beliefs.

They took over a sovreign nation (the Wampanoag who lived here) and proclaimed their faith as law, overrunning the native inhabitants. (Seeing a pattern?) The Puritans felt they had a mandate from their God to subdue the so-called savages and convert them. They disarmed the Wampanoag through deceit and force, thus taking over the land and all of the inhabitants.

Does any of this sound familiar? I know this should be a typical Thanksgiving post. But, that's not where our country is really at, is it? Just as the Puritans land-grabbed and dominated because they felt their God made them special, so has our government done the same. The Christian fundamentalists have grabbed control in the name of dominion and are slowly taking away all of our rights and liberties, just as the Puritans took away all of the ways of the Native American Wampanoag.

I encourage you this Thanksgiving holiday to consider the true history behind the holiday. Consider what is becoming of our country; how disrespected we are now because of sweeping facism and religious fundamentalism. Take time to thank your God for the year's blessings. By all means, do that. But then remember those who cannot because of war, famine, homelessness and lies. Be thankful....but remember to be humble.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Results...Now let's get busy!

My friends,

The election is over, with a few disputed races and recounts with which to deal. I, for one, am glad I will not have to suffer those horrid negative campaign ads for a while. The candidates really do go after each other. You know, when it gets personal I'm just not interested. Here in Alabama, home of ugly politics and politicians in jail, they got pretty ugly. Don't tell me how nasty your opponent is. Tell me what you will try to do if elected. Ughh. It won't be long before we start hearing the next election garbage ads...and that one will be even worse.

That said, let's now turn our focus to getting this country back on track. We have suffered such a terrible loss of respect in the world (with good reason, mind you). I'm very disappointed to hear that incoming Speaker Pelosi has taken the impeachment issue off the table. I truly believe the whole lot of them should be thrown out of office, tried and convicted of war crimes. But, that's just me.

While we are spending billions trying to save face for President Bush, our own are starving and homeless. Just think of how much money we've spent in Iraq. Over $9 million is still unaccounted for! If we had not attacked a sovreign nation, who has been proven to have NOTHING to do with 9/11, we could make such a dent in our own problems at home. Don't misunderstand my love and commitment to our troops. As you well know, Patti was one of those who served with honor in Iraq.

But, had our President not done this, we would have three thousand men and women at home with their families this holiday. We would have men and women who would be able to kiss their children and loved ones tonight and wake up to them tomorrow. That's not to even mention, let alone forget, the over half million Iraqis who have been lost. And the number of both is still rising.

So, my hope is that our incoming government will have some cajones and redeploy our troops; bring 'em home! Let's take the money we would have spent on war and spend it on peace. Let's allow our National Guard to get back to their daily lives. Let us build affordable housing for those who are without homes (like those who suffered dramatic losses in Katrina). Let's get food out to those who starve, especially the children. Let's take care of our ill.

I know it sounds like a total Dem agenda. But, really, it's a HUMAN agenda. My goodness, we've gotten so proud of our, " It's not my problem. " attitude! The poor are not my problem. The homeless are not my problem. We've become a selfish nation hell-bent on having more and more and leaving the suffering behind us. Shame on us!

So I say to our incoming representatives and senators, grow up! And for those of us who live in our comfortable homes and shop the bargains at Wal-Mart, pick up a few extra items for someone who needs them. Give a bag of food and necessities to a charity. Help Habitat for Humanity build a home. Use your vacation to make a difference in the life of one person instead of spending a couple thousand on a beach hotel room.

If we all gave as we were able, the entire world would be a better place. And you know what they say, charity begins at home.

Hey, leaders...hear what we're saying! Peace not war. Food not starvation. Homes not a cheap tarp picked up from the trash strewn over two trash cans. We are the richest nation on the planet. There's no excuse for not helping the poor and widows.

May God bless you richly this day...and may you find a way to make a difference in your little corner of the world. Oh, and don't forget to write or call your representatives and senators with a few suggestions from their constituents!