Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ain't no time to hate

Hosanna - Rick Griffin
I got an interesting, thought provoking and rather challenging email this morning from a long time neighbor who I like and respect. Remember that I recently asked people to share the reasons they voted for Trump. I think that this person's identity shall remain anonymous even though he signed his letter.

Hello Robert,

You are the second person to ask why anyone would vote for Trump. The first time was on Facebook and I submitted what is in the brief doc below. What I learned from that was what good debaters already know: debate one tiny specific topic at a time. My answer created a firestorm…you are against abortion therefore (then they completely change the topic) you hate women. Trump said those awful things in private on that bus and I replied, “Yes that was disgusting. It makes him 40% as bad as Bill Clinton.” I actually tried to phrase my answers so liberals and conservatives might unite but all that did was alienate me from both sides.

I claim you have something in common with DJT: You both say what you feel to be true and forget PC. Which I find refreshing. In your case the fact that you do not hide your hatred of Christians. [ed. emphasis added]

The file below has too many topics to debate but you asked for it.

I would like a president who: Is a lady/gentleman in public AND in private. Believes the constitution is a great document and has and will obey it. (As our founding fathers knew big government is anathema to our continued freedom.) Is a strong negotiator and will dismantle the horrid Iran Nuclear deal, NAFTA and the sadly one-sided China trade agreement. Understands that higher taxes devastatingly drives businesses out. Realizes there is a huge difference between legal and illegal immigration. Remembers that the disastrous Obama Care Bill was doomed until the politicians exempted themselves from it. Has a thorough working knowledge of how our economy functions. Wishes to grow the middle class not by crippling the employers and taking them down a notch but by bringing back jobs for the poor lifting them up. Is horrified by the thought that it is legal for a doctor to insert a sheathed scalpel into the womb and slice a fully 100% developed baby into pieces as it frantically tries to avoid the pain. The person I’m voting for gets an “A” on all but one of these.


First of all I would like to thank my friend for being forthright. I am not going to debate Trump with him, I think I have said all I need to say on the subject, don't want to either repeat myself or run the subject into the dirt. Like he found out on Facebook, there is little middle ground to be found on the subject, zero chance of winning hearts and minds at this point.

I do admit to some pain and consternation at his statement that I hate christians. At the risk of embarking on a rebuttal on the eve of what is a sacred holiday for most Americans I will tell you that he is wrong. I do not. Critical? Yes, on occasion. Hostile? Once in a while. Hateful? I don't think so.

It sounds like a cliche but some of my best friends and the people I love the most are christians. Jeff and Gena, Steve and Sue, Gary, Kerry, the list is actually very long. We agree to disagree on certain matters of faith and politics but hate never enters the picture. Even pray with them on occasion.

I was raised for the greater part of my childhood in one christian church or another, baptized Methodist, with stints in the Presbyterian, Unitarian and Catholic churches as well. I went through confirmation classes. I read the bible cover to cover at least three times, know the book inside and out, maybe even better than some of the experts out there. It just felt like a big concocted fantasy at some point, no longer worked for me.

I do not happen to accept the christian doctrine but I don't hate the adherents, well any more than I hate any other particular ideology anyway. My misanthropy is much broader by nature.

There is not a religion in this world with clean hands. Look at what the Buddhists are doing to the Muslim Rohingya in Burma, the predations of the ultranationalist Hindi and Tamil, the Christian Eric Rudolph and the killers of abortion doctor George Tiller in America, the depraved followers of ISIS in the Moslem world. The Jews have their Deir Yassin, the Catholics had their inquisition. Good christians perpetrated massive extermination campaigns on native americans in this country,

Humans are a nasty lot and religion has provided cover for some of their greatest acts of terror, usually involving ways to pick up new real estate.

I had an Israeli father but no jewish identity until I was surrounded by two hundred or so fellow campers in the hills of New Mexico as a nine year old and accused of killing Jesus. It helped plant the seeds of feelings of not really belonging to the mainstream, like a scene from Kafka or Lord of the Flies. I am  now quite comfortable on the outside.

I have a tribal identity but really don't follow any belief system besides a basic interest in psychology and science with maybe a little golden rule thrown in. When I see people adopting positions that are anti science, like pointing to climate change as evidence of God's will, I get a little queasy.

Politically I do have differences with Christians as they do with me. When a Marco Rubio says that a Zika infected mother must carry a microcephalic baby to term, I take umbrage. I don't find it godly, I find it self righteous and barbaric. Same with the denial of rape and incest exceptions. When the poor are cut off from medical services because of a battle over reproductive rights, like in Texas, I get angry. When gay spouses are denied survivorship benefits or LGBT people are denied services, lodging or employment on the basis of sexual orientation I get enraged.

It is the moral authority of those that profess themselves to be "saved" wish to inflict on the rest of us heathens that makes me squirm and see red. The propensity and need to make moral choices for others. Christians like to say that this is a "Christian Nation" although the fathers took pains to declare that not so. Yes they are a plurality and majority but we have no national religion, at least not yet.

Why do the adherents make such efforts to get us nonbelievers to toe their religious party line? Why the push for creationism and intelligent design in the schools, not to mention prayer? That quest to have everybody else adopt their belief system and moral code is part of what drives us nonbelievers so crazy. Think what you want but please try to leave the rest of us alone if at all possible. Respect our space and we will be more respectful of yours. Try to be more like christ, feed the poor, wash feet, the great stuff. And have a Merry Christmas.


Brigitte Schlemmer said...

Amen and AHEM super complicated topic(s).

Anonymous said...

Robert sometimes I forget what a gifted writer you are... And funny!
I would say this particular gentlemen is a tad dramatic especially regarding the third trimester abortion that's primarily a Saline solution which induces a miscarriage and I don't even think that is being used often, ((though deep down it does sadden me for my daughter would dance in mom's belly when she would hear my voice)) let alone fetuses being hacked up within the womb of a living mother... Some of his other points I probably agree with more.. He seems pretty intelligent.

But what I don't think he grasps
Is the Enormous hypocrisy and the division within the church... There is nothing in the The Bible that says you cannot masturbate, the spilling of the seed had nothing to do with masturbation it had to do with resisting impregnating the wife of a dead brother... A tradition of the times... There is nothing in the Bible that says you cannot drink but it does say to not be drunk...it also says to help the weak and the poor it does not say only help them if they are drug-free...or are wearing a cross around their neck.... I know countless Christians that are in the field, they had no part of the inquisitions or the reformations they don't care what sexuality you are what religion or ethnicity, they just want to be Christ like, make a difference and help... they witness atrocities at times work in life-threatening situations, I applaud them...and send them money.... But only directly to them not to a "church"...too often they have been bad investments.. I invest in non-legalistic Christ like Christians, doers of the word not self proclaimed judges no different than the early Sadducees and Pharisees that Christ himself couldn't tolerate.... Brood of vipers..

There's absolutely not one scripture that says a woman does not have the right to her own body,
some may stretch scripture,
But it is a generous stretch.
Abortion it's a fairly touchy subject it saddens me, but I wouldn't say it was not the mother's choice first, far Before A bias governing mass.
And nobody and I mean nobody has found me a scripture that says anything contrary.

I believe Christians that are Christlike would agree with a large portion of what you wrote...
As far as the past, from reformations to inquisitions and everything in between... Well you might say I'm more concerned with the present... I read recently there was a group of powerful Buddhist monks in Tibet who not only raped and murdered but also engaged in cannibalism but I sure wouldnt equate them with the Buddhist I know today...
Yet new atrocities in the Philippines which are only the beginning...why help the mentally ill that need to self medicate due to an extremely tough life, mental illness, disabilities, severe poverty and or depression....
Would it not be easier to let vigilantes and Police with Wyatt Earp syndrome be able to eradicate The situation... Thousands are being murdered... And how many of those are Catholics from the word "Catholicism" believing in the deity of Christ... I don't think the Holy Spirit nor Jesus approves in anyway... Only saddened by man's inhumanity to man...something Goya noticed in the Inquisition...

It's quite easy to say you're doing Gods Work, but each soul was given a conscience and choices A gifted Free will...Yet in time they pay the price for their merciless actions or should we say the wrong choices...A haunting I would want no part of knowing you murdered ones that actually needed your help...
Somehow now I'm feeling guilty.. I think I will go take some food to the homeless I will look for the most wretched... Perhaps I can find a tax collector...

Givers and Takers
Altruism and Narcissism

Anonymous said...

Hey Robert,

This is draft B. In draft A I spent more than a few hours typing my response to each of your many points. There was more than a tiny part of me that wanted to send it but then I realized I was falling into the trap. We each say a little bit on several different topics. All that does is make us mad.

I would like to apologize for the 200 kids who bullied you. Many people say they are Christians but don’t know much about it. I would guess several of the 200 actually were Christians and I wish they would apologize to you but at least I can. I apologize for their actions and how that must have made you feel.

There has been much evil done in the name of Christ throughout history. Many people came into power in the church because they had money or they had the rare talent of being able to read. But there were hundreds, maybe millions, with power who actually were Christians but still did terrible things. For them I apologize.

It looks like there are things I have done that caused you grief, consternation, lack of sleep, and/or angst…I apologize. I’m sorry.

Your OLD friend,


Blue Heron said...

You have nothing to apologize for. I appreciate your input and need to listen more closely to who I may be offending.

Best, Robert

Ken Seals said...

Ref the points in your post: RIGHT!

Anonymous said...

JM's first sentence told me all I need to know...
"I would like a president who: Is a lady/gentleman in public AND in private."
Trumpers are delusional. The president-elect is a pig in public, so he must be even worse in private.

Blue Heron said...

I am going to quit the comments on this post. I have had to delete several. I asked these people to speak honestly and don't think we need to debate the matter at this point. We got what we got.