Under the influence

This administration has left many of us in a state of perpetual hangover.

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Édouard Manet 1882

With the glut of scandals and threats and lies that confront us on a daily basis, keeping up has become an unpaid internship with no end-date.

Anyone who follows this somewhat lapsed series has probably figured out that my favorite theme is about facing life with as much positivity as possible. And, if you’re at all like me, maintaining perspective is daunting when assaults to our sense of decency are non-stop. I seem to be toughening up, however. I’m becoming more realistic, with an added touch of cynicism just to keep things interesting. I believe it’s called “survival”.

Some people…

“Some people” believe that they have the right to degrade and insult others simply for being different. In their minds, they’ve been given permission to act out in a way that I’ve never seen. In my mind, however, they are throwbacks who are threatened by anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow definitions. The ugly in our culture is having a romp in the woods and is turning everything dank and dark. Mirkwood looms.

mirkwood

To help counteract this trend, it’s more important than ever to pause and consider before we react — on social media and in daily life. Our nerves are frayed and too many are simply looking for a fight. A twitter war or road-rage or launching insults might feel good in the moment, but it does nothing to right a wrong, change a mind, or support a cause. Standing in defense of someone when we see an injustice takes a different level of commitment and approach. Planning for that possibility seems wise.  (Resource, below.)

If you call yourself a Christian…

If you call yourself a Christian, but do not at least attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus, then you’re simply not a Christian.* If you support our current president because you’ve been instructed to do so by your clergy — or you hope that he will appoint ultra-conservative judges to the Supreme Court — while ignoring the fact that civil rights and common decency are being eroded, then you are not a Christian.**

There’s a popular acronym (and hashtag) that covers this sort of thing: #CINO, “Christian In Name Only”. Truth, at times, does hurt.

I am far from perfect, but at least I remember my Sunday School lessons.

beatitudes


Random thoughts…

Experience is a ruthless teacher.

We spend way too much time giving Donald way too much credit. Does a rabid dog think two steps ahead?

I’ve been accused of being a fascist for daring to criticize a hyperbolic reporter with shaky sources.
Beware of confirmation bias.

Several twitter accounts who self-identify as “progressive” followed me recently.
On 7 out of 10 points, we agree. Does that make us enemies?

Original thought and suppression of original thought is a conflict that has been on display throughout human history. That was probably not an original thought.

Donald’s world is divided between those who are loyal and those who are not. In his mind, the disloyal must be destroyed — the reptilian brain on full display.

Beware of false prophets, including bloggers who keep promising indictments as a way to get clicks to their websites.

VP Pence reminds me of Yul Brynner in the original ‘West World,’ minus the warmth.

Resources and credits…
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Édouard Manet, 1882
Mirkwood GIF: Creative Commons
The Rise of Incivility and What To Do About It (Psychology Today)
* Matthew 5:1-48
** Matthew 23:1-39
Meme: Creative Commons

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