27 June 2014

An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee

I get it. It's rough as we approach what could be a disappointing midterm election. Between recurring gun massacres and our national apathy toward violence, an unhealthy obsession with denying whatever President Obama proposes regardless of merit, and the endless assault on a duly passed piece of health care legislation, you're feeling the strain. I am, too.

But your recent emails have gone too far. I'm not a Democrat because I don't like John Boehner - he seems a decent guy who just doesn't see things the way I do. I'm not a Democrat because I want Republicans to lose (okay, maybe Steve King, but I bet there's plenty of Republicans who feel the same way). I'm not a Democrat because I like Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, even though I do. I'm a Democrat because I believe our vision for the future of the country is a good one, and I'm willing to vote for that vision. I vote for ideas and for policies, not for people - and not against them, either.

Sending me an email saying "If we sit this out, these guys win" is not the way to get me to pitch in another $5. Any politics or policy founded in fear is going to fail miserably. Tell me what we're doing FOR the country and I'll support it. I don't have to be afraid of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan or Scott Walker to believe that their policies will continue to widen the gap between the plutocrats and the rest of us. I know that just by listening to them and using my head. I also know that even when I disagree with people of other parties, it's more than likely they will bring perspective to my own beliefs and help me see things in a different light. Single-party rule is tyranny regardless of which party is ruling.

Enough of the scare emails. Enough of the polarity. Enough of the attempt to target people for defeat. That's the sort of anxiety-riddled jingoism that caters to the lowest common denominator and debases the entire country. Plenty of people are already playing this game and exploiting it to fill their pockets. We have to be better than this. We used to be better than this. Let's be better than this again.

26 June 2014

Sermon Podcasts - Ten Commandments, Weeks 1 and 2

Two sermon podcasts just so you know I'm still here!  First, Luther Seminary student Emily Martin preaches a poetic reflection in three parts:

This past Sunday, I was intrigued by Dr. Thomas Long's vision of the Decalogue (another name for the Commandments, from the Latin for "Ten Words") as something to be danced rather than a burden to be borne.

Enjoy, and have a great week!