05 September 2008

The community organizer, the hero, the old party guard, and the mom...

Well, I was afraid that this was going to be a boring election and as I said yesterday, a fresh wind blew into the arena. Some thought that I was supporting Governor Palin was endorsing her. I was not, I was excited to see that there are debates going to happen that will be fun. They have not been. Old politics seem to be the continued soup d' jour. The easiest thing is to put the opponent down instead of encourage the party to be more than they have been in the past.

CMD, I believe that this country needs to be changed, community by community, and that it cannot be done by one guy or woman in DC. Change happens on street corners, PTA and AA meetings, with conversations on garden swings, phone calls of accountability, Tuesday night prayer sessions, lunch meetings at the taqueria, around the dinner table, in the fields at harvest time, in Research and Development laboratories, not in DC and not on the convention floor.

I am not offended by speeches that put down community organizers, heroes, mothers, or party hacks, that is part of the show. I am greatly offended by rhetoric that is the same old tripe year in and year out as we put our hopes in one person to lead us to the promise land. These are the same speeches that I have heard many times since I started watching them in 1968. Reality cannot not be in a convention center or in a speech on TV, all of that got changed when debates started being televised and it was more important what people looked and sounded like than their character and actions. The money and time that was spent on those two events could have done a lot more good in the streets than on the stages.

Palin, Obama, McCain, Biden's real character is seen by their children and not when a camera is around. It is just a show. Would people really say those things if there wasn't a camera around. Can leaders really say those things about a mom with children who are dealing with the same thing that happens in each of our homes and neighborhoods? Can someone really say those things about a man who worked to bring about real change in community or spent years in a ?

I love speeches, but they are no different than television or radio shows unless there is action to follow. Both Clintons gave great speeches, that gave the impression that they are in 100% support for Obama when just the previous few weeks they were opposed to him. They talked about his lack of experience and said the same thing that Palin said but now that the party must be seen as united they say these things. And people believe them.

Even though I love these conventions, I don't put any hope in them. My hope is not in the olympics either, even though China did an incredible job hosting this one. Russia marches into Georgia, Darfur is an atrocity, AIDs as well as malaria is still taking too many lives each day, and too little is said or done. Rwanda is spoke of by politicians as as an ebenezer of inaction yet the same thing continues in many parts of the world.

Sometimes I think that Obama and Palin would do more as community organizers, but then are we suppose to be doing that?

03 September 2008

01 September 2008

Labor Day...

I was studying Genesis this past year and spoke on it during the summer and one of the things that caught my attention was the curse on Adam.

Genesis 3:17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

I thought, "Is that really the curse for Adam? Is that curse still relevant today? Is there an emergent curse? One that deals with us, white, middle income, males, who sit behind a desk, works with computers instead of farm implements, and who buys their groceries at Von's or the Piggly Wiggly? We have overrode the curse with technology and hired out the labor to laborers."

Then I started thinking of the Kingdom and who is blessed in the Garden. Those who work in the Garden. Not by profession but by heart and soul. It is easy to override the curse but that doesn't give us the blessing. Just because we don't sweat in the toil for our food doesn't mean that we find ourselves blessed in the living of our lives.

We have transferred the curse and the humiliation to those who toil in the fields and sweat for the food which we eat in our air conditioned homes. We treat them with contempt when they want a better standard of living for their families by asking for a fairer wage. Farmers are not the villains here, we are all.

We cannot use scripture to demand our family values are held by government but turn our backs on the people who labor for our food, when those same scriptures call us to love justice and mercy. We who follow Christ cannot be blind towards those who the curse is cast upon and expect that we can keep our family values intact. Are the laborers without family values? Are the laborers not worthy of the redemption to the garden and isn't the Garden where we find our values?

I think Labor Day is for us to remember the laborer and not just another day off from work...