Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On the B033 Bridge to Nowhere & Town Hall Melees

So I got up early (for a vacation day, that is!) to log on to Southwest and do the online check in thing for my flight to Nashville tomorrow morning. Was rewarded with both an "A" boarding pass and the chance to hear Justice Sotomayor from the White House. What a hopeful reminder of who we are at our best -- in contrast to those increasingly absurd "town hall melees."

And as long as I was up, checked out Facebook where my friend Pam had posted
this link to this blog post over at the Bilerico Project.

It's called "Cry Me A River:"


I'm not smiling at the misfortune of the fundies. Really, I'm not.

The good folks over at Amplify got a pleading letter from Focus on the Fundraising... er... "Focus on the Family" whining about the hard economic times and what looks to be a 6 Million Dollar budget shortfall:

"Right now we're facing a serious budget shortfall that threatens our ability to reach out to parents, families and married couples who count on our help. Income is down nearly $6 million from what we expected and planned for this year."

I'm shedding a tear ...

Maybe if they didn't spend so much money on anti-LGBT ballot initiatives or lining the pockets of their founder and board (I wonder what verse in the Bible that comes from), they wouldn't be in such a pickle. They have thrown multi-millions into every ballot battle across the country- from California's Prop 8 to Florida's Amendment 2.

Forgive me if I do a happy dance at their money woes.


And forgive me if I take this opportunity to "bookmark" this one for the next time someone tells me/emails me/refers-me-to-a-blog that blames budget shortfalls in The Episcopal Church on our "liberal agenda."

Remember that cigar that is sometimes "just a cigar"???? Sometimes a sucky economy is just a sucky economy -- but never underestimate the determination of the misinformation mavens to refuse to allow actual facts to influence their already made up minds. And I'm thinking this morning that there's a parallel between the acting out we've seen in the Town Hall Melees and some of the behavior we've been living with in the Anglican Communion over these last few years.

Every night the news is full of reports on those who show up at meetings designed to discuss solutions to health care in America prepared to shout down solutions with slogans that perpetuate both polarization and misinformation. ("Socialized Medicine" and "Killing Your Grandma" come to mind.)

Substitute the full inclusion of the LGBT baptized in the Body of Christ and you get a similar methodology ("Abandoning the Faith Once Received" and "Undermining the Sanctity of Marriage" come to mind.)

The sad truth is none of these folks want solutions -- to the issues that challenge us as Americans OR as Anglicans. They want to shout down "the opposition" to keep compromise from happening or coalitions from forming.

It took The Episcopal Church awhile to figure that one out -- but what I'm wondering this morning is if B033 won't be looked at in retrospect as "the bridge to nowhere" that finally called the question on continuing to tolerate intolerance. And what I'm hoping this morning is that maybe -- just maybe -- these Town Hall Meetings/Melees will prove the same.

Because I really believe we are better, brighter, stronger and more capable of solving problems as a nation than our recent history has demonstrated. And -- as Justice Sotomayor said from the White House today -- if a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx can grow up to be a Supreme Court Justice then maybe there's nothing we can't do!

And I'm thinking that includes making health care available to all who need it in this country AND making God's love tangible to all who seek it in this church!


Ann said...

Thanks - so true. I am tired of the posters on HOBD who beat up everyone with the Bible.

PseudoPiskie said...

The difference between the men on HoB/D and the health care rioters is noise. I tried asking some very pointed questions of several of those Bible thumping men and got silence in return. It is easy to ask questions they can't answer. And I'm female so I don't deserve an answer apparently. Just like the Democrat Senators and Representatives don't have anything of value to say.

Paul A. Gonzales said...

Pastor Russel,

Can you please call Channel 4 news at (818) 840-4321 and ask for Paul Gonzales? We would very much like to interview you today.


Paul A. Gonzales said...

Pastor Russell,

Can you please call Channel 4 News at (818) 840-4321. We would very much like to interview you today.

Paul Gonzales
KNBC Assignment Desk

Paul A. Gonzales said...

Pastor Russell,

Can you plese call Channel 4 News at (818) 840-4321? We would very much like to interview you today.

Paul Gonzales
KNBC Assignment Desk

IT said...

There's a link here to find your local town hall. Don't let the rowdies be the only ones speaking out. Let YOUR voice be heard too!

Matthew said...

Wow, Susan, you are very popular. Go get 'em!

David@Montreal said...

'The sad truth is none of these folks want solutions -- to the issues that challenge us as Americans OR as Anglicans. They want to shout down "the opposition" to keep compromise from happening or coalitions from forming.'

that's it in a nutshell,
and worth repeating- so I did!

Thanks Susan


LGMarshall said...

Re Focus on the Family: How can a Christian Pastor (Susan Russell), be so gleeful when her brothers and sisters are in need? It's beyond understanding.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight... don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?" (from James 3.)

Have you ever listened to one broadcast of Focus on the Family? Thousands of familes have been ministered to in their obedience to their Christian faith.

I urge you to try it, 9am weekdays, 640 AM. Radio. You may be pleasantly surprised and blessed. It can't hurt right?

You may want to look into the differences in financial support between conservative Christian Churches vs. Liberal Churches. I think there is something to be learned there.

LGMarshall said...

Correction: "Focus on the Family" is on 740 AM, weekdays, 9 am.

MarkBrunson said...

I'm also gleeful when evil and harmful groups find themselves in dire straits.

Perhaps you should look at the harm the people you like actually cause, Marshall, and there'll be something to learn there.

uffda51 said...

At 9 am weekdays, if I have work, I’m working, trying to get enough hours to keep our health insurance.

As it happens, I learned all I need to need about the “Christian faith” practiced by James Dobson and Focus on the Family by watching “For the Bible Tells Me So.” That and the fact that Dobson endorses corporal punishment.

“I think there is something to be learned” by looking at the domestic violence and divorce rates among evangelicals and in the red states.

Jim said...

My sense of the honorless group involved is that they could simply be using the market decline as a fund raiser.


jason miller said...

Perhaps the financial deficits in TEC are more related to the economy than we conservatives would see.

But you can't blame tanking ASA on the economy.

LGMarshall said...

There are over 80 entries in the Bible re Discipline. Do you think that may mean that God is serious about it?

James Dobson does not ignore God's Word on the matter. (Did you when you raised your sons?)

Where does it get you, if you ignore discipliing a child, especially a male child? (James Dobson: "We're talking about a swat on the touche not a lashing or a beating.")

"Disipline your son, for in that there is hope, do not be a willing party to his death.' proverbs.

(In other words, if you don't discipline your son, a worse fate will befall him. ) It's not wrong to instill fear in him.

Do you think that all those young men in Prison recieved any discipline (discipline means: 'teaching'.)from their Fathers?

What IF they would have received proper discipline ('teaching') from their Fathers? Can you imagine a different scenario?

What's harmful, is Divorced & Single Mother's raising sons. At best, it is a lopsided affair.

Boys benifit when a Man raises them into Manhood.

Treating him as if he is to behave like he's neutered -- that's ineffectual. They are not girls.

Where is the 'evil' and where is the 'harm' in teaching from the Word of God,

'The fear of the Lord leads to Life, then, one rests content, untouched by trouble...' Proverbs 19:23.

'A hot tempered man must pay the penalty; if you resuce him, you will have to do it again." proverbs 19:19.

"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul
from death." Proverbs 23:13.

'My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways, for a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well.: Pr.23.

Ann said...

LG - most of the men in prison were disciplined - there is a high correlation between receiving spankings from parents and being in prison. Mostly what children learn is that bigger people can hit smaller ones.

jason miller said...

Ann--do you have any statistics to back that up???