Jamaica verandah

The day after

I remember distinctly waking up the morning after George Bush had been reelected. It was not a good day. The enthusiasm and hope had been replaced by a type of deep, dark, profound sadness made even more so by shocked phone calls from family members in other countries who asked simply “what have you all done?” I don’t ever want to feel that way again and it really doesn’t matter how much of a spin the media, the GOP, or any pundits put on this story, they can never fathom the depth of despair I felt on that day which is why I am doing my utmost best to ensure I never do again.

I am not necessarily someone who will approach someone on the street, that’s typically out of my comfort zone. Over the past few days, however, I have been canvassing my neighborhood and asking my neighbors if they are registered to vote and signing up the ones who are not. At my office they have actually asked me if I am on the Obama payroll, I’m not. My passion to see a change fuels this fire and when I look at the Democratic convention and see a sea of faces representing the diversity in this country, that somehow is not represented among the Republicans, then that is all the incentive I need to do what ever I can to see a change in Washington next year.

This country is larger than its individual parts. There is no room here for the divide and conquer tactics of the past. The world is changing and the pistol packing, “America love it or leave” it paranoia that has made this country the laughing stock of the world, even as China owns us lock stock and barrel, must also change. It is time for reasonable people to sit down and talk to each other if we are to survive. The Republicans do not have the market cornered on religion; in fact if they did they would remember the verse in Proverbs that reminds us that “When a man’s way pleases the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Where is the peace and how does one justify being pro life, yet bombing villages to shambles. Is it only American lives that matter, did not the same God we worship on Sunday create these people. And if we call ourselves a Christian country, why don’t we care about them.

My religion and belief system simply does not fit into a convenient Republican paradigm and in fact as people who profess to follow the example of Christ might I challenge them how their beliefs relate to what Jesus had to say: Matthew 25. 35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,

36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

37 Then the righteous 16 will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

This sounds more like marching orders for a community organizer to me.

Where in those words is justification for the total disregard of human lives and treating our neighbors on the planet as collateral damage. It is this type of parochial, internalized religious zealotry that has propelled Sarah Palin into the GOP’s darling where titles like “McCain’s Pit Bull is an acceptable description. I for one choose not to be sucked in by hyperbole, nor will I abdicate my right to being an intelligent, probing, questioning member of the human race, simply because someone is coming at me with bells and whistles. I would rather be known as someone who understands that maintaining mutual respect with other countries does not equate to mutually assured destruction, that there is much more we can do to uplift each other than spew some ridiculous “slapdown” rhetoric and that the time is now to decide if what worked in the past is how we really want to be defined in the 21st century. That and the fact that I don’t want to wake up November 5th with the sinking feeling that the zealots are once again in charge, is why I support Barack Obama a reasonable, thinking man who is truly the person for this moment.

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