Waked? Awoke? Got Up?…Still Sleeping?

By Atticus Andrew

Does it matter today how you say you stopped sleeping, arose from your bed and started doing something of real importance for yourself and other human beings?

Yes and no.  Blacks have both inspired and angered  America and the  world with their "WOKEness."  There's little doubt.  Most are determined to correct historic wrongs.

But not all non-Blacks agree.  In fact, many Americans likely disagree and harbor great resentments that "people of color" may be granted unusual privileges as remedies for the evils in slavery's ugly history.

So, the War goes on.  Not the one in Afghanistan, the Civil War in America, the endless battles between the races, mostly between Whites and a few "Uncle Toms" against all non-White people.

To say that the present realty of this Civil War is disappointing and depressing is a gross understatement,  For such suggests strongly that the negatives against "wokeness" are beyond our abilities to describe, much less correct. Day after day, hour after hour, injustices are committed in our land against those with lesser power, and the coveted balance of our justice scales forever tips in favor of those who are still asleep, deaf and dumb to the ultimately lethal nature of blatant racism.

America!  America!  Wake up!  If you do not,  you will surely continue your disappearing act.  because, in reality, you are no longer the role model for the humankind; rather, you have so declined that you have become the symbol of a much-despised nation.

Rightly so!  Self-righteousness in the extreme has become our global reputation and thus, the main cause of our "inevitable decline" around the globe.

"Justice for some" denies the constitutional foundation of the United States, having replaced the pronounced goal of our founding fathers and mothers.

If we fail to wake up very soon, I'm afraid we will fail.  And as a mature and thankful citizen of the United Sates of America, I wish to avoid that at all costs.

April 28, 2021

 

A True Story Headed for a Tragic Ending

By Atticus Andrew

Among human beings cancer has no friends.  The dreaded disease, when inflicted,  hangs around to affect all whom its lethal nature touches.   When terminal, loss and sorrow consume friends and family; the greater the love therein, the more profound the loss and the sorrow.

I have a friend whose cancer is terminal.  He will likely expire within a few months, if not weeks.  He is, however, extremely fortunate in admirable respects.  He has many friends who are present for him and for his wondrous wife, with him he shares a grand romance.  For these intimate consolers, his death will no doubt bring a sharp, painful appreciation for the sanctity of life itself.

But they are not alone.  There are others for whom my friend's passing will be equally tragic, if not more so.  I refer, of course, to friends and relatives who will, of necessity, only be able to mourn from a distance.

And I refer in particular to the mother upon whom the loss of her first born will literally implode,  forcing upon her the greatest depth of grief a human being can know.

My dying friend's mother is an exceptionally lovely woman, without even a hint of ugliness in her manner or in her looks.  Yet, she has been denied a presence with her son who is dying.  She knew well the pain of his birth, a source of the greatest possible personal joy, but kept entirely away from him  in his dying.  How and why?

For many reasons, with the impact of his parents' divorce, defining for my friend and his siblings, an inevitable separation from both, but specifically from his mother, who in his upbringing, was the one who kept the family orderly and the children assured a sound way to a sound adulthood.

But my dying friend is ungrateful.   His mother knows him too well, so he has deceived himself into justifying her required absence from his life  For he does not want her presence to remind him of his weaknesses and his past lies, or better said, his exaggerations.  Most of all, my dying friend does not want his beloved wife to know of his past errors as a young man, which his mild-mannered mother would never reveal or openly address, but concerning which, he mistakenly feels and thinks she would,   Sad, so very sad.

Thus it is that  in the end, a single death from a horrible disease will break many hearts, with none more broken or shattered than that of the woman who gave him birth and who  guided him into the possibility of knowing great love during his lifetime..

 

Can We Return to ‘Common Sense” Christianity?

By Atticus Andrew

I recall H. Richard Niebuhr having said more than a half-century ago that the number of different Christian denominations is evidence of "the failure" of the institutional church.

He had a point I think still applicable.  Denominations serve a purpose:  they reflect the fascinating variety in Christian experience.  At the same time, they demonstrate how divided we are, especially with respect to how we apply our faith to current political and social issues.

That's where "common sense" ought to come in, enabling us to agree on basic applications of the teachings of Jesus Christ.  But in recent years this has not happened; in fact, we have become increasingly alienated from one another regarding how we are to interpret our faith.

We have our Trumpites and our anti-Trumpers.  We have our "evangelicals" and we have our "progressives."  We have our "fundamentalists" and our "liberals."   In addition, there is a a group, which when combined, represents perhaps the numerically largest number of modern day followers of Christ—those who wish their faith to have no connection to institutional Christianity.

Yet, few among this variety of Christian experience would disagree today on one essential:  answering the Call of Christ means that we are One, undivided, united.  But determining how to be One is another matter.  You must follow Trump and the Pro-lifers, declares one extreme.  No, you must be open to all possibilities, says the opposite.

Neither extreme makes "common sense."  Both divide us,and sharply so.

My understanding of "common sense" Christianity tells me that there are modern-day applications that we can and should agree on.  Number one, that we are asked to respect one another and all human beings.  And Number 2, in "little children" we see the kingdom of heaven; and in support of their well being lies our common destiny on earth.

Do we respect humanity?  Do we ask first and last, always. about how programs and policies affect children?

If not, we have lost our way.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come

 

 

 

 

How to Make Our Opinions Count in 2021

The "Damnation" in Always Being Right

By Atticus Andrew

No one likes to be proven wrong.  At least, that's my experience.  I know it  very hard to confess fallibility.  But no matter, it's going to happen, and more than once.  You believe you're absolutely correct, then Bang! you're shown to be in serious error.

Here's the two-fold lesson I believe I've learned:

#1, it's okay to be wrong.  Everybody is, in some way, to some degree; and

#2, even if wrong, we can make a difference.

Regarding the latter, there's a critical point to add, "only if you're able to admit you were wrong."

Ah, there's the rub.  It's the "admitting" that's the hard part.  Most of us rebel mightily against doing that.  "We" is a "proud people," to say the least.

But when we do, admit we hare erred,  the "other" truth becomes open to us; our understandings are broadened.  We are able to grow as human beings.

Regarding our recent political and social divisions, here is how my thoughts have unfolded.

I am now of the strong opinion that we must  cease our stubbornness and admit  to our errors in order to grow again as individuals and as societal members--all of us!

To illustrate:  I have seen myself as a staunch  advocate of openness to new ideas and to the toleration of the many ways human relationships evolve, meaning toleration and respect for all people of all races and religions. Not until recently, however, have I come to see that in too much of who I am, this simply is not true,.  For the truth is, I too am a biased, prejudiced human being and in all honesty I must confess I am often uncomfortable with people who are very different from me.

Hopefully, with that admission, I can now become a more "whole' human being.  I pray so.

Extremism is not the answer.  For extremes, by definition, have no room for the admission of error.

"She enticed me to eat of the forbidden fruit,"Adam seems to have said of Eve.

"It was the serpent,"  Eve seems to have added.

Neither Adam nor Eve admitted error.

Thus, our original sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Difference between ‘Fair’ and ‘Good’

By Atticus Andrew

What is fair is not always what is good.  Yes, there are times when fairness may not solve anything, like  when a judgment is due on a juvenile first offender and the thought dominates that "it's only fair that we not punish this guy."

But the juvenile may not have learned the required lesson, thus  may go on to become a repeat offender, perhaps destined for a lifetime of self-destruction.

So, let us humbly consider:  the better punishment question would have been "what is good?" rather than "what is fair?"

This suggestion stems, in part,  from the broadly accepted acknowledgement that life is not always fair,  Then, too, in recent times we have become acutely aware that what is fair to me may not be fair to you, or to a whole lot of folks, and vice versa.   Also this holds for political ,decisions.  Too often we strive for a fair judgment when we would be better off searching for  the "good" decision, one that, in the best imaginable way, brings the "greatest good for the greatest number" (Thank you, Jeremy Bentham).

As is well known, American politics have been mired in an infamous swamp for far too long, with the two major divisions, Democrat and Republican, constantly accusing the other of unfairness in their gamesmanship.

In politics for sure, we have become paralyzed in an unhealthy pursuit of "fairness for our side." More productive would be our unified quest for decisions that bring goodness to all

 

 

 

sides, meaning a better life and greater opportunities for everyone.

"You're a socialist!"  I can hear the scream already.  No!  I am not advocating socialism or communism in any form.  Rather, I am arguing for good judgment, which may mean that we are being asked to surrender fairness in favor of a decision that actually improves our lives together.

For example, the millions who are without work and the children without constancy in their education, the better plan would be to do first for the jobless and our children and youth.

Too, combating Covid-19  in a good way means making  the good response:,  to answer with a remedial program  that does not benefit just me, but first of all, those most in danger, however unfair it may seem to others of us not so unfortunate.

But we are selfish, you say.  Indeed, as humans, our first desire is that we and our loved ones be safe and secure from any harm or life-threatening illness.

Yet, it is precisely when we are able to admit that such is the case, that we are on our way to doing that which is good.

 

 

 

"

When “Equal” Hardens into “Uncivil”

Biden cannot soften the hard core Trumpians from within his administration

By Atticus Andrew

They believe the 2020 presidential election was fraudulently won.   And most are absolutely certain in their belief.

Surely, some are not totally without reason and understand the basics of how U.S. elections are declared legally valid.   Yes, there must be.  And these are self-defined outcasts, the individuals who are de facto  and intentionally guilty of treason; for on January 6, 2021, they knowingly sought to halt the official counting of the electoral ballots  by Congress.  It was their wish.  It was their goal to cease the count.

Our democracy must prevail over these traitors, including over those who provoked the riot. But their misinformed followers, who, with a touch of innocence, got caught up in the melee thinking they were doing the right thing.  For these, their misdirected hearts must be changed.

But how?  Bush administration officials cannot do it.  Nor can those who are not well enough informed about our constitution and the rights guaranteed by it and its 27 ratified amendments.

Charismatic leaders within Trumpism, evangelicals most likely,  who have seen the light; they will be the ones to gain the conversions,, once they themselves have been won over by common sense and a proper education regarding our democracy, how it came to be, and what enables it to survive.

Barring a last-minute enlightenment, Franklin Graham and Dr. Robert Jeffress of 1st Baptist Dallas, have, by choice, surrendered any claim to leadership. For they have not just lied themselves, they have become the Big Lie, its chief symbols.

No, a new commitment to authentic Democracy on the part of our misled Trumpians must come from those willing to be converted, or who have already been converted.

We do not yet know precisely  who the leaders will be.  Perhaps a called conference for conversations with Biden officials  would be in order, composed of Christian evangelicals known to have second thoughts about Trumpism.  Among evangelicals who appear to have already converted:  J. D. Greer, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, former Dutch Reform Michigan pastor Keith Mannes and Pastor/Prophet Jeremiah Johnson.

Yet another individual may be even more influential in bringing Trumpites around;  she is Beth Moore, perhaps the most influential of all Christian evangelical women.

Should any or all of these Christian leaders choose to join the Biden rebirth of Democracy, their focus would require, I should think, at a minimum, these three major goals:

  1. Educating open-minded Trumpians to how American elections really work;
  2. Clarifying beyond any doubt the Christian ministry to "strangers"; and
  3. Re-dedication to caring for the planet earth in the blessed name of Jesus Christ.

Can it happen?  Depends on how much Trumpians desire to be known as authentic Christians blessed also to be true Americans.

21 January 2021

 

 

Come, Join us, Église de Saint Andrew, no fees, no walls, nothing but Joyful Renewal

Atticus Andrew

Slap dab in the middle of the pandemic and Trumpian horor, we found ourselves experiencing the incomparable joy of spiritual renewal.

Thus, Église de Saint Andrew, our patron saint of Discipleship, was born.

At the moment, we are a handful of Disciples interested in sharing with all who wish to join us the experience of the Church being reborn, in a new way, in a new age.

Just say, "Count me in," to drandypate@gmail.com.  The Good Doctor of theology is our CEO.

Also, send the Good Doctor any articles, sermons, or children's moments you'd like us to consider publishing on faith2021.net.

God bless and God speed!

Atticus,   01/18/2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

 

Christ’s gift to us, Christmas 2020

IT IS NOT under the tree. It has no wrapping or ribbons.  But it is beautiful, wondrous and practical.

I do see a tag flying around.  I grab it and read, "To Atticus, One and All"

I take that to mean: to everybody who wants it.   So I ask, What is this gift so wondrous and rare, that is for everyone this year?

In case you have not opened yours, let me tell you about this present I hesitated to open for much too long, hoping you may want also to open, examine and receive with me.

The gift is WISDOM, and is full of revelations about myself and the world around me.

Wisdom reminds me I am not perfect and neither are those who surround me, near and far.

We are all human and some of us are crippled, but each of us possesses the ability to discern, to become wise and to discard nonsense, Wisdom informs.

Hearing that, I feel a panful twinge of deep regret forcing me to admit the errors in my ways..   I have been neither as kind nor as generous, neither as open nor as accepting as I ought to have been,  Rather,  I have been selfish, overly judgmental and, worst of all, stupid.

In short, Wisdom tells me: I need to change, and receive a new and cleansing purification by the love of Christ.

Dare I listen and receive?  Do we?  Have we gotten so used to our proliferation of trash talk that we wish to continue our downward fall into a hell from which there is no "coming back?"

Wisdom blasts through my ears. You ignoramus!  God in Christ gave you democracy and you have shamed it!   And right now the Christ-child wails for you and your neighbors to seek peace over discord and the eternally Good over everything forever evil.

I feel compelled to listen.  Have I been that selfish, so totally unChristlike that I have lost all connection with the best gift of Christmas ever for the humankind:  compassionate love.

As I ponder, I recall how a few years ago people around the world were so very concerned that Christ was being taken out of Christmas. We were suspicious, weren't we?  We realized things were changing and not for the better.  But we did nothing.  In fact, wisdom instructs me as I write that we have made things worse.

For example, we have made TV idols and our political and other public stars the gods we bow down to most every moment. We have made discord and untruth appear normal.  We have wrapped the baby Jesus in the ugly coverings of our uncaring "modern" ways.

Yes, we have worshipped other Gods, flagrantly disobeying the First Commandment.  We have learned instead to worship the rich, to mock justice and how to betray more cruelly those we once called our friends.

Wisdom continues to yell and scream at me.  You fool!  You thought you were smart, but you knew nothing.  You deceived yourself.  You brought sickness into your own household as you refused my counsel.

I'm beginning to feel an emotion I have not felt in a long while, shame.  And I cry out, What must I do?  Am I too late?

No!  Never!  I live forever and I have mercy, declares Wisdom,  I will forgive and make you wise as well if that is your heart's desire.

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

Come, Lord Jesus!  Come!

 

 

 

Blind Loyalty Could Be the Decider

By Atticus Andrew

Always in an election there seems to be a pivotal factor that holds  the key to the entire election.  To some 2020 observers this factor could well be the fanaticism of Trump's core.

However described— stubborn, unyielding, illogical?—this voting bloc, and it is that, yields considerable power and its direction and make-up seem virtually impossible to change.

At the peak of the Cold War (1960s and 1970s say) blind loyalty voters lived by the motto  "my country, right or wrong," meaning they  supported whichever political candidate could establish the strongest "anti-Communist" credentials.

Anti-Communism remains strong within the "blind loyalty" bloc in 2020, but appears to have decisively tied itself to one candidate: Donald Trump, despite his pro-Russian inclinations.

There's no bend in this bloc.   Logic and legalities are relatively unimportant.  All that matters is loyalty to Trump, who can tell all the lies he wants and contradict himself whenever he wants, doesn't matter, he's their man.

This is, of course, terribly frustrating to Joe Biden and his supporters, which makes the Trump folks exceedingly happy while also deepening their Trumpian allegiances.

Blind loyalty to Trump is no doubt a fascinating piece of the 2020 election campaign puzzle that historians will spend decades, perhaps centuries, trying to decipher.

Most puzzling of all regarding the Trumping core is that its numbers include college graduates and others who ordinarily might be open to some degree of logical and critical thinking in the making their voting decisions.  Not so in 2020.

If Trump is to lose, and that's a huge "If," Joe Biden must garner overwhelmingly the votes of Americans who have not double-downed in their fanatical support of the president.  Of course, the possibility exists that a handful of Trumpites might be marginal and persuadable; after all people do change their minds.  But that is unlikely; for to date, no one has figured out how reasonably to alter that which is unreasonable.

Makes no sense.  And that's the point.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, our president and his supporters are different

For evenness, look elsewhere

By Atticus Andrew

Currently outdated in Trumpland:  During these hectic weeks leading up to Election Day 2020, our time and energies would be better spent fine-tuning the policies and ideas that make good sense to reasonable people rather than in continuing any doomed-to-fail  attempts to give reasonable explanations for why Trumpism has acquired political power in America.

In Trumpland, there are few, if any  "reasonable' explanations.

Trump's most rabid followers love the derangement he has exhibited and caused.  And they passionately adore the almost total absence among them of any well-defined reasons for their discipleship.  They neither need nor want them.

Trumpites love, in particular,  the fact that their  leader's words and actions make no sense.  They glory in how befuddled lovers of truth get when their leader does the unthinkable, like when declaring himself a "stable genius" or when  offending reporters whose professional aim is to make public sense of important happenings.

Trumpites love nonsense.  They despise well-informed people who know things.  They despise even more the moralists who talk about decency, competency and integrity—values, which, for most of our history, have been important to talk about, define and live out.

However unsurprising it may be, Trump's core supporters seem magnetically drawn, as though seduced, to their hero's cozening up to arch enemies of the U. S. while also distancing himself from Free-World leaders.  These core disciples receive Trump's self-promoting, narcissistic traits as terrific, as  great sources for experiencing TRiUMPhant delight.

The most extreme of these nonsense worshipers adhere radically to silly ideas and stupid stuff, that is, to ideas and deeds that are silly and stupid to sense-seekers.

If all this sounds ridiculous, there's a reason.  It is.  Until Trump came along, well over half of all Americans consistently thought their politicians should do sensible things for America.

Nowadays, in Donald's governing irrationality, there's no reason really for Democrats and Republicans to try and work together on anything.  Only Phi Beta Kappa stuff shirts think that.  And boy!  Are they behind the times!

Indeed, in Trumpland the more we the people are confused and the more divided we are, the more inevitable is the triumph of Trumpism.

To say that his "followers" follow him blindly is no understatement.  Hard facts and logically arrived at conclusions interest Trumpites about as much as do the latest scientifically verified findings on Global warming.

Logical reasoning doesn't exist in Trumpland, with one or two exceptions (see below).  There is no thesis,  only antithesis, which also is the conclusion.

Understandably (?, pardon me), the scientific method is totally not weird enough, thus, must be scorned and ridiculed among serious Trumpites.

But forward to one or two exceptions, in and through which Trumpites appear to give rational thought a chance.

The first has to do with voting, and, specifically, with the votes of the Electoral College, through which Trump was able to emerge victorious in 2016 by winning 304 total votes while also carrying 30 of our 50 states.

Trumpites do not want anyone to forget the 2016 Electoral vote, which the hard core facts verify and which "rationally" gives them, so they think, a second path to victory in 2020.  Only 270 votes are needed.  And if Trump wins the sames states he did in 2016, or makes up elsewhere for any loses, he will serve a second term.

Take that, anti-Trumpites!   Also, absorb into your overly balanced brain cells every bit of economic good news there is!  And shove it!

Should their peculiar brand of "non-rationality"  fail them on November 3rd, Trumpites will no doubt resort to answering with one of their favorite absurdities; by screaming loudly about how illegal and unAmerican was the vote.

That's the way it is, and will be, as long as DJT is president of the U.S.  And you can take that to the bank.

For sure, the critical response to Trump's brand of nonsense is the sensible one:  Kick him out!  Simply put, that's the "smart" way to deal with incompetence.

Unfortunately, that's not enough.  In addition to rational and sensible reactions to Trump, Biden and his supporters must also fight with unprovable but effective means, with, that is, all the power they can muster in coming up with positive, well-crafted talk and actions, aimed, of course, at  building national unity and restoring hope to the American people.

Biden and his clan need, it says here, to capitalize on both sound reasoning and the wonder of creative envisioning.  Be unashamedly optimistic and hopeful, Joe.  Reach out, touch and embrace people of all colors and espouse every idea that hints at the beauty and magnificence of life itself.

And while you're at, Joe, make everything personal:  Lift up Trump's three marriages and four bankruptcies and the damage done to real people.   Tell all about how crazy are Melania's and his children's obsessions with style and appearance  Don't be ugly, just fittingly whimsical, all the while praising security and sound thinking in marriage and in community of every kind.

For some reason, surely strange, I'm sure, I'm reminded of Jesus having once asked what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?

The question and its meaning doesn't make sense in Trumpland, not from where I sit.

But it does to me.