thank you.

From Salon.com. (read the whole thing here)

When you don’t take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don’t support, I don’t feel bad for you.

When you don’t have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test — a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics — I don’t feel bad for you.

When your project is reliant on gaining the support of women whose reproductive rights you would limit, whose access to birth control and sex education you would curtail, whose healthcare options you would decrease, whose civil liberties you would take away and whose children and husbands and brothers (and sisters and daughters and friends) you would send to war in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and wherever else you saw fit without actually understanding international relations, I don’t feel bad for you.

I don’t want to be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It’s a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have gone from watching a woman who — love her or hate her — was able to show us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string a complete sentence together.

In fact, the only people I feel sorry for are Americans who invested in a hopeful, progressive vision of female leadership, but who are now stuck watching, verbatim, a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

Palin is tough as nails. She will bite the head off a moose and move on. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for women who have to live with what she and her running mate have wrought.

just desserts.

John Claypool has said that too often we rely on the eyes of Justice, rather than looking through the lens of Generosity (according to this morning’s sermon).

I believe they are two sides of the same coin. That justice, in fact, is supposed to be generous. At least the justice I read about from the prophets, and hear in the words of Jesus. It is because God is generous, that God is fair–that it is because we do not deserve what we receive that God is just and generous—that it doesn’t really matter what we deserve.

I believe there is a difference between getting what we need and getting what we want. (I guess Fulghum was right.) The parable today of the workers in the vineyard each getting a day’s wage, regardless of the length of their days’ work. It causes us to balk—unfair! I believe in the absurdity of the story. The absurdity of what is fair–to us–finding definition in what others receive (or don’t receive). The absurdity in recalculating ‘need’ based on other people’s (un)deserving. The workers in the story all get what they need. Maybe they deserved more or maybe they deserved less. None of them walked away rich. They remained day laborers, their pockets contained a day’s pay. They received their daily bread. There is absurdity, I believe in even attempting to line up according to desert, or order of appearance. Last, first, doesn’t matter. What matters is that we come at all. And we receive what we need.

And maybe others are lazy. Maybe they don’t deserve subsidy after subsidy. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe generosity is what matters. And generosity in the form of provision of needs. I believe that we all deserve to have our needs met. And I believe that food, clean water, good education, safety, and adequate healthcare are needs. Generosity, therefore, might just be providing all of these things for all God’s children. Because it doesn’t matter at the end of the day our assessment of their deserving, but it does matter that we all are given, and help give to others, daily bread.

fuel for the flame

I’ve refrained from forming words regarding the election since the candidates have been chosen, and the circuses have ensued full swing. Why add any other voice to the choir—the unintelligible drivel of lipstick, pigs, and (false) sexism will just drown it out anyway.

Perhaps I’ll always be gullible, but I continue to be surprised by the noise to which I wake up every morning. The amount of outright bullshit that we are fed under the guise of ‘nourishment’—sensationalist headlines offered to us as ‘breaking news’. I watch and read these ‘news’ stories and ‘interviews,’ I hear about the games campaigns are playing—and yes, McCain/Palin I’m talking about you—not allowing the press to talk to Sarah Palin until they show her ‘deference.’—and I am outraged. Why are we not calling these people on their games? This is a woman who very likely could be president, we do after all scrutinize vice presidential candidates because of the clear and present danger that they could ascend the throne, as it were. Sarah Palin is not running for beauty queen (anymore), she is on the ticket as the potential leader of the free world—a very broken, corrupt and unjust world, but The. Free. World. Nonetheless. And her ‘people’ want the press to show her deference? How much confidence does that show in their candidate? If they were truly confident that the woman who might lead us is capable, then they would welcome the scrutiny, welcome the questions, welcome the opportunity to prove themselves. Rather, they are hoping that her gender and her ‘pretty’ will fool us all and will be enough to cover up her vast and scary inadequacies and utter incomprehension of who We are, what the Constitution says, and even the conception of “God’s task.” I ought to know by now the limits of the intelligence of the voting populace. Yet, I keep hoping… “Surely they’re not buying this.” I watched both conventions (okay, one more than the other), but how do we look at an overwhelmingly old, white, male, homogenous gathering of Americans, and think, yes, they understand me, they understand my neighbor, they understand the ‘tired, the poor, the huddled masses.’ They don’t. And the garbled response to straight forward questions, the muddled justifications for earmarks, war, and wealthy privilege, should prove to us anything but ‘straight-talk’ and ‘maverick’.

But somehow they’ve duped a good portion of us. Judging by the microcosm of public opinion represented by Facebook, Sarah Palin’s record on leadership corresponds very little to her ability to lead. But rather her identity as a pretty, Christian, mother is all we need to know. Since when do we assess who understands our country and is best equipped to lead it based on with whom we’d rather grab a beer? I don’t care if I’d rather ‘hang out with’ the Obamas over the McCains (though, incidentally, I would), but I care about what Obama cares about, and hope for my country what Obama hopes for my country, and believe in the kind of collective responsibility and public welfare and justice that he does.

A couple of links for you (thanks Traci):

Some fact checking. Also, of course, check out this. (the link wasn’t working–but it was supposed to go to http://www.factcheck.org)
She says it better than I could

A slideshow from Alaska