I’M BACK AND WHAT A MESS

                                                                                          
      For the past few weeks my blog page has been under reconstruction. As many of you who know me I am totally in the dark when it comes to technology but thankfully my manager and faithful friend Sue Carlson has once again come to my rescue.  Over several days of back and forth conversations with our new site Sue has successfully gotten my blog back on track.  She deserves kudos for her efforts on my behalf.
   I am mortified by the events taking place around the world and within our own country.  My heart breaks upon seeing babies and children being turned back from the borders.  Photos of these innocent families with their children clinging to their arms touches my heart deeply. Like many of you I care about these families and I am keenly aware of the intricacies involved with Immigration.  There are things you and I do not know about the countries from whence these children and their families come from.  I admit that.  I support the sentiments of Pope Francis who urges compassion over politics in caring for the children. Immigration continues to be a political football at the expense of thousands of children and their families.  Let America be America again for all of them.
      You may remember the letter I wrote to my two grandsons after the Zimmerman verdict last year.  Trayvon Martin who was murdered was the age of my grandsons.  His death could easily have been my own grandsons and your own sons.  So imagine my horror when I saw the video coverage of a NYPD cop viciously grabbing Eric Garner by his neck along with other cops dragging him to the ground in a choke hold!  Eric called out 11 times that he could not breathe but that was not enough to stop the cruel and brutal murder by a white cop. Most disturbing for me was the comments from Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton who said “race was not a factor” in the death of Mr. Garner.  Who do they think they are kidding?  Rev. Sharpton got it right when he said “if the mayor’s son (who is black) did not have the last name de Blasio he could surely be a victim of the NYPD.  Until America acknowledges racist and racism exists America can never be America again!
     It is dangerous to even have a conversation about Israel and its relationship with the Palestinians. News commentators are very careful and cautious with their reporting of the conflict between Hamas and Israel so much so they are careful never to openly criticize Israel. I support the position that Israel has a right to exist.  I support the position that Palestinians have the right to exist.  However, I do not support the wanton killing of over 1600 Palestinians in Gaza many of whom are innocent women and children,  Their homes are shattered as are their lives and it appears to be no end in sight to the violence. Short term cease firings have been violated by both parties fueling even more determination to destroy each other.  Both parties are guilty and playing the blame game has not stopped the killing of innocent people.  Israeli’s and Palestinians must find common ground upon which they may stand and if they will not nor cannot there is no telling what will be left of them.  The U.S. must call Israel to task when they are wrong.  The. U.S. must call Hamas to task when they are wrong.  What’s so difficult about that?  Replenishing weapons to Israel so the bombing and shelling may continue must be questioned.  How difficult is that?  Hamas continuing to relentlessly drop hundreds of missiles per day on Israel must stop.  How difficult is that?  I know it is difficult because the conflict between Palestine and Israel has gone on for years and there are bad feelings between them.  Killing each other is never an answer.  Scripture reminds us that it is “not by might nor power but by my spirit says the Lord.”
      Our do nothing House of Representatives is embarrassing, completely unacceptable and downright an abomination.  The way both parties are acting spills over into the lives of every American.  Unfortunately we are becoming accustomed to dumb and stupid statements from Conservative politicians like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan and Michelle Bachman to name a few.  What is newsworthy about any words spoken from the mouth of Sarah Palin for gods sake?  Call out the tea party for who they really are: homophobic, racially insensitive and hell bent on defeating any good thing that President Obama does for our country.  Why are we allowing this small band of people destroy our democratic process simply because they cannot accept a black man as POTUS?  Congress is just a few hours from leaving for a one month recess and what are they doing? Suing the President for doing his job because they won’t do their job.  How dumb is that and most importantly, when with the American people stand up and say “we have had enough.”?
    America has serious problems and we need serious and committed people to address them.  The do nothing Congress is wreaking havoc upon the psyche of the American people.  We say stupid and hurtful things to each other.  We treat each other with disdain.  We are so afraid to speak truth to power because of how our words will be interpreted or misinterpreted.  So, we say nothing and we demand nothing.  We are a nation of believers and we are a people who have common sense.  Now is the time for us to act out what we believe.  I continue to believe we can be better than we are.  I continue to believe we can know what is right and good for our nation.  I continue to believe that we can learn to live together as sisters and brothers if we only give ourselves a chance.  I continue to have faith in the art of lively and helpful debate.  I continue to be believe in a higher power that balances the universe we occupy.  I continue to believe the Creator has my best interest at heart even in the midst of everything going on in my life and yours.  We can be more civil and respectful of one another irrespective of our  race, ethnicity, our color our place of origin or our sexuality.  We can be better than we are.  We do not have to be so negative and we ought to be able to come together to solve our differences.  We can learn to live with our differences but we can only do so when we are truthful about what we feel and think.  Denial of our having blind spots in never good for any of us.  I continue to believe Dr. Howard Thurman’s words: how can I be me without making it difficult for you to be you.  Whatever your doing Lord please don’t do it without me.  Let me be the one daring to admit my short-comings and my weaknesses.  Let me be the one to devote myself to truth telling and to recognizing that it is “me, it is me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”  We only can come this way once in our lives so far as we know so may we find an opening- a pathway to a better understanding of one another.  May we find ways to seek forgiveness and to be forgiven.  May we walk more by faith than by sight until at last we come together before our Maker who lifts us up and says “well done thy good and faithful servant.”
And so it is!
Dr. Paul

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