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Member since: 2001
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TygrBright sez: I will not let them win the War on Christmas

This War on Christmas, that is.

John Pavlovitz gets it right:

Christmas, is a child of Palestinian parents desperately fleeing politically ordered genocide. Christmas is a dark-skinned refugee, born amid the smell of damp straw and animal dung, because no human-worthy welcome could be found. Christmas is a poor, itinerant, street preaching Jewish rabbi, living off the generosity of those around him. Christmas is a compassionate caregiver, feeding and clothing and healing whoever crossed his path. Christmas is a liberal activist fighting for the poor, condemning violence, shunning material wealth, and calling the world to live sacrificially for the common good.


The white Evangelical Church in America in 2018 has no use for this Christmas. In fact, worse than that—it has open contempt for it.


And this Christmas, is now hiding here in plain sight among the “least of these:”
It is the weary father of four taking refuge from ICE in a suburban church building.
It is the exhausted family sprinting through barren borderlands under the cover of darkness.
It is the transgender teenager trying to feel at home within their own body, while being terrorized by lawmakers and preachers from without.
It is the homeless veteran starving to death on the corners of its opulent megachurches.
It is the grievously ill toddler whose parents have exhausted their resources trying to keep him breathing.
It is the young black man terrified during a traffic stop, because he has seen this viral body cam video a hundred times before.


And so this season, while they hide behind ceremonial religion, armed with recklessly wielded Bible verses, dressed in ornamental piety, and drenched in flowery prayers and sweet songs—these religious people wage their war on Christmas; with every social media diatribe, with every piece of legislation, with every cell phone complaint to police, with every ICE raid, with every homophobic rant, with every manufactured crisis, with every incendiary Sunday sermon.

Once upon a time, Christmas was not about shopping. It wasn't about partying. It wasn't even about donating to a good cause. It wasn't about taking time from a hectic schedule of scrabbling for economic, social or political advancement to spend a few days being kinder to one another.

Once upon a time, Christmas was a call to action. It was a reminder that one birth could change everything. It was a reminder that love can take human shape, and make an immense difference that resounds through eternity.

In the darkest and most difficult times, Christmas is about the Light which overcomes the darkness, and the darkness' inability to comprehend the Light.

However you wish to define "Christ" - as Divine Source manifesting within a human form, as a Divinely-inspired preacher/prophet/practitioner of love, as a mythological figure created to inspire the practice of the Golden Rule, a culture-wide focus on the presence and meaning of Christ provides an opportunity to shine that Light on the power of every human being to live with love.

May Christmas bring you inspiration, joy, and the transcendent flow of love in all you connect to, whether you are "Christian" in any form, any kind of believer at all, or a proud atheist invested in the ethical and humanitarian potential of our species.

It's a door. I will embrace the Christmas call to action, and bust that door wide open.


The Qualifications This Democrat Seeks in a 2020 Presidential Nominee

First, and most important: Family values. The candidate I support must understand that the well-being of families of ALL types and configurations, of all races, faiths, national or ethnic origins is the most important concern of the Federal government. This certainly includes basic security (especially security from Russian propaganda, economic and political manipulation) but also educational and economic opportunity and - MOST CRITICAL - breathable air, drinkable water, sustainable food production from the earth for generations to come.

Second, and almost as important: A character appropriate for leadership of a complex and diverse people. The candidate I support must have maturity, compassion, intelligence, and an innate sense of ethical grounding. They must be able to weigh the benefits of a compromise against the costs- especially the non-monetary costs. They must be able to see the long-term as well as the short-term possible outcomes of a policy. And they must be able to make difficult decisions when competing interests and priorities among their supporters are at stake, and communicate effectively their reasons for a particular decision.

Third, and very important indeed: Political viability. This is a complex quality that balances experience and accomplishments against charisma and communications skills. It includes a "clean closet", a minimum of burned bridges, and enough humility to acknowledge what they don't know as well as what they do know. It strikes a balance between standing up firmly for core principles, and being flexible in accommodating differing agendas and priorities.

Fourth, and also important: The candidate should be in some way symbolic of the end of white heterosexual Christian patriarchal privilege. This doesn't mean that I won't support a caucasian male under any circumstances. It does mean I'd prefer someone who isn't a caucasian male, and if a caucasian male does want my support, their experience and their record should demonstrate their clear commitment to ending the privilege that comes with their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. "Clear commitment" including risks taken and accomplishments already achieved.

I do realize that I'm unable to get everything I want. While I've listed these qualifications in a rough order of importance, that doesnt' mean that I wouldn't weight them differently in combinations unique to distinct individuals.

Some of the definitions of terms I've used are also pretty individual to me as well- my definition of "innate sense of ethical grounding" will probably have ramifications that others may not have. But I'll know it when I see it.


Here's What They'll Do Next if Tuesday Brings an Overwhelming Blue Wave

I have seen it before, in many forms.

When they lose, this is what they do: They look for a fault line.

Then they start inserting wedges. Small ones at first. Silly-seeming ones.

They get lots and lots of wedges in.

Then they start banging on the wedges, trying to fracture and divide the ones who defeated them. Rob us of effectiveness and capability. Get us fighting one another, rather than pursuing the agenda that brought about their defeat and promised hope, making liars of us.

And we have one BIG fault line offering itself as a target.

So let's prepare.

What fault line am I talking about?

We're fighting back against racism and misogyny. We want to redress centuries of oppression of those marginalized for their brown skin and non-european ancestry. We want to root out the systemic patriarchy that has deprived half of our citizens of agency and equality. This is essential, if we are to secure the existence of this planet and a future for all children.

And therein lies the fault line.

All those white women who pick up the cell phone to tell the police about black people doing the scary stuff of daily life, not to mention the 'soccer moms' who voted for [Redacted].

All those rap lyrics about "hos" and "bitches" and the machismo cultures that produce stunningly toxic misogynists with brown skins.

It may be all too easy to divide us along that fault line. What are we going to do about it?

Can we prepare?

If we are lucky, Tuesday night may usher in an unprecedented wave of new leadership: Black and brown leadership. Female leadership. Young leadership. Exactly who we need to map out new paths to a better future.

Unless they successfully exploit that fault line and get us wasting all that energy against ourselves.

Can we be ready?





This enquiring mind wants to know.


Here's the thing about "Birthright Citizenship":

UNLESS you are a naturalized citizen, you are a "birthright citizen."

I'm a birthright citizen.

My mother is a birthright citizen.

Her mother was a birthright citizen.

Her mother's mother was a naturalized citizen.

My daughter is a birthright citizen.

My grandson is a birthright citizen.

If [Redacted] wants to 'end birthright citizenship' NONE of us would be citizens. Except maybe my great-grandmother who was naturalized.

What is [Redacted] even talking about?

Amendment 14, Section one, says: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

So if [Redacted] takes out the words "born or", we're left with... what? "All persons naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

WTF is he babbling on about? Disenfranchising millions of Americans?

Why is the country not rising up en masse and demanding his resignation?

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