“Deserve” Has Nothing to Do with It

​https://youtu.be/dpDkYZWeeVg

It’s easy to talk about our accomplishments

It’s easy to talk about what we’ve done

What we’ve built

And look down from our safe, high places

And say to those below, 

“If I did it,  you can do it!  

Don’t be so lazy!  

Pull yourselves up! 

Don’t ask for a handout!  

Nobody helped me up! ”

When we know that last one is manifestly untrue. 

Did I build the roads that carried my mother to the hospital where I wss born? 

Did I build the hospital?

Did I make the water clean, the mosquitos relatively disease free, the food plentiful and the land peaceful? 

Did even my parents build all that? 

Did I chose my nation,  my parents wisely, as I was waiting to be born? 

No. I did not. And neither did you.

39 Million Reasons to Hate the Culture War

In the last ten years, various conservative and Christian political groups have spent tens of millions of dollars to fighting against the legalization of gay marriage.Over $39 million was given to promote just one initiative, California’s Proposition 8.

What does $39 million buy?

World Vision lists a deep well (which can provide clean water for an entire village, preventing cholera and other outbreaks that kill many infants and children every year) at $13,700, a home for orphaned children at $5,100, a school at $22,000, and a health clinic at $39,000.  You could have one of each for $79,800. So you could transform 488 towns in developing nations for $39 million, touching literally millions of lives over many generations.

With $39 million, you could set up a foundation and use the interest and dividends from the principal to help people. That would give you, conservatively, $429,000 million a year (anyone who can’t get 1.1% on $39 million needs to find a new financial advisor). That sum would sponsor over 1,000 children through World Vision, forever.

Instead, we spend our $39 million making sure two men and two women can’t get married in one state. And we spend more fighting it in the courts.

Even if we ignore the emotional costs to our gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual neighbors.

Even if we ignore the spiritual costs of getting in bed with a money-and-power driven government in order to continue pressing down an already subordinate class of people.

Even if this culture war can be justified in theory, its opportunity costs cannot be justified, because they are paid in the sickness, pain and death of others.

We pay for our traditional, 1950’s-inspired lifestyle in the blood of the world’s poor.

Tell me how this follows Jesus’s example?

Tell me how this fulfills the Greatest Commandment?

Tell me how this honors Christ’s name?

 

Coming up on Christmas…

So much sadness, so much to do.

Building a nursery, welcoming a new life into this world

Saying goodbye to so many children I never knew

So much sadness, so many questions

Why?

Why did they have to die?

Why do I mourn them so?

Why do I mourn them so much more

Than the ones who die everyday,

Killed in my name by Predator Drones,

Weakened by hunger, claimed by disease,

Poisoned by foul water and dysentery?

Why?

And how do I move on, knowing it could be my daughter someday?

How do I wrap presents and decorate the tree?

How do I cook and eat and feast?

How do I put it all behind me and laugh and love and share?

Should I even want to?

Sometimes I wish I had a river I could skate away on…

Gluttony

The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony by Hieronymus Bosch

The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony by Hieronymus Bosch, c 1450-1516 AD

You know what I like?

I like it when skinny-jean wearing hipster-Christians  talk about how “Fat gluttonous pastors will get up on stage and talk about living like Jesus,” and then compare them to worship leaders who visit prostitutes.

I really like  it when they write these articles on their brand new iProducts (made with real Slave Labor[TM] and assembled at a suicide factory!)

And I absolutely LOVE it when they conflate obesity with gluttony, and forget that the POOR in America are the most prone to obesity, but the RICH (and middle class) use far more resources.

You see, Gluttony isn’t about weighing too much to put a full-body photo of yourself on your blog as promotional material. It’s about devouring all you want, without concern for those who are going without.

Back in the day, those were correlated. But today, in America? No-name hot dogs are 99 cents per package. Fresh fish is often ten times that much. White bread? 99 cents a loaf. Health-conscious stone-ground wheat? Two or three times that much. Low-grade, high-fat ground beef? You guessed it, 99 cents a pound. Boneless, skinless chicken breast? Four times that much.

It looks like we fat gluttons “got 99 problems, but being rich ain’t one.”

I know I’m sensitive about this, because I’m a super-heavyweight myself. But the thing is, I freely acknowledge my gluttony.  I am a glutton.

I’m not a glutton because of my waistband.

I’m not a glutton because of my BMI.

I AM a glutton because I use resources carelessly.

I AM a glutton because I buy and throw things away for no good reason.

I AM a glutton because I’m hip-deep in the stream of cheap consumer goods that flood into America like lemmings over a cliff.

I AM a glutton because lights stay on in my house. The DVR is on non-stop, scanning, waiting to record. I’m always charging something. Like most of my countrymen, I use electricity like it’s free.

I AM a glutton because I drive wherever I want, without stopping to think how much gas I’m using.

And chances are, if you’re an American, you are too.

Even if you squeeze your hips into 28″ waist blue jeans, and still have enough room in your pocket for your iPhone.