Religion Feed

Trump and Tillerson: Fascists Hate Dissension

The fact that Trump keeps kicking people to the curb that disagree with him makes me think that he's so demented and hard line that he finds even the slightest bit of advice repugnant. If that's true, and by all accounts it is, then our country is in even deeper trouble than we imagined. His arrogance is unmatched by anyone, and he is the quintessential adult bully.  

As he becomes more authoritarian, his followers become more defensive of his behavior. The other day, when I was driving home from school, I tuned into Sean Hannity's radio program. I listen to Hannity so that I can hear the other side of the argument, and he is generally so facetious and such a liar that he makes me feel slimed while I listen. But he was one-upped last Friday by a whining female caller that couldn't get over the fact that the "liberal media" wouldn't admit that Trump is a "Godly man doing God's work." 

This kind of talk is sickening to say the least. Nothing anywhere is further from God than Trump, unless it's the devil himself. But the incident today ushers in a new low-level of hate mongering and potential violence because Tillerson's replacement, Mike Pompeo, supports and promotes torture as a method of extracting "information" from terror suspects. Even though it has been proven that evidence and intelligence garnered from torture is generally false or inconclusive, it appears that it will now become formal US policy. 

I can remember the first time it occurred to me that my country would actually officially torture a suspect, and I was in shocked disbelief. I knew that rogue military personnel would torture prisoners, but I had no idea that this behavior would ever be accepted by the leaders of my country. The unbelievable and hideous hypocrisy of these so-called Christians is just mind boggling. All of this is extremely disturbing, rather reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

Getting Trump and his mess out of our highest office must be a priority.

unknown cartoonist


Midland Texas Tonight: an open and prosperous town!

Lately, I have been a regular visitor to the Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo, Texas, area. Oilfield equipment trucks fill the roadways, people are busy and productive. There is lots of work here, and obvious prosperity. But the best thing about this area is the people. Everyone is friendly, hospitable, and helpful. I have yet to be treated rudely, or with suspicion.

In Midland you don't see any abandoned businesses, or vacant rundown houses. Places are open late, and the American dream is still alive.

It's just too bad that more Texas communities aren't more open and friendly. If you live in a place where ignorance and cronyism reign supreme, then you probably get the point.

 Do you live in a place where nosy women and men stare at you rudely, without shame (I was raised different)? Do you see lots of abandoned property and laid off workers? Are you constantly questioned about your personal life, and do you feel imposed upon?

If this is your life, then you are probably living in a community that strives against growth and prosperity...a place where being born there is more important than the contribution you can make to the community good.

This kind of territorialism is rather ethnocentric, however, it is usually just rooted in simple ignorance and a lack of grace.

Last night I laid over in San Angelo. I was treated with kindness and professionalism by the local people. I used several services in town, and I questioned some of the business owners and employees about their origins. One business owner was a proud atheist. I know a couple of places in Texas where you simply would not admit that fact to anyone. On the wall he had a picture of a gay male couple with a sign underneath that said, "P~~~~ off the world, one person at a time." I found that picture extremely funny since this place is a thriving business with ranchers, truckers, and travelers running through all day long. Only in an educated community could one expect such a level of tolerance and support from the population. I was impressed, because the people around San Angelo obviously know that only with love, and understanding, can a community truly thrive and prosper.

Compare this with suspicion and nosiness found in less educated and informed areas; the quality of life is lower for everyone. Places like that sort of die is sad.

I am not an atheist, nor am I a gay person, but I love people from all walks of life. There is something to be learned, and something to enjoy, in every race, ethnic origin, and religious background. All of us are important; we all count to each other, and to God.


Casey Anthony and other assorted Liars

Frightening how many people will lie, and the lengths they will go to in order to twist facts and alter conclusions, but nothing lives longer than the truth. You can obscure the truth and hide it behind words, comments, and confusion; inevitably it lives longer than life itself. The truth is not one thing to someone, and another thing to someone else. The truth is the fact of any given situation. It is powered with physical and verbal evidence; it simply is.

Eye witness testimony has been responsible for the downfall of many an innocent victim. When the police want to convict someone for reasons beyond our understanding, then they foster the word of one who is willing to lie, fabricate, or otherwise manipulate the truth. The police will cherry pick their witnesses in order to slant a critical fact. The problem is, these liars come in all cloths, and we can never know for sure when one is willing to sell his/her soul. Most often it is someone with an otherwise failed life: an underachieving clerical worker, jailbird, or an attention seeker; sometimes, people lie for money.

Casey Anthony is simply a pathological liar. How do you get to that point? Maybe it starts with your parents, and maybe it is something she does for gain. Whatever the case, I believe we are primarily fascinated with her outrageously morbid lies. Her mouth outstages her actions somehow; it is so grossly false.

The lies the American public has recently witnessed are truly frightening in their scope and depth: Governor Arnold, Casey, her parents, Weiner....and on, and on! They are not generic, run of the mill fibs uttered from fear, or for cover. They are full blown horrific lies with severe consequences. In fact, these are the kinds of lies that ruin lives by the score.

My own life has been deeply affected by the lies told against me. I wish I could change the aspersions, the misconceptions, stereotype, and the completely false statements, cruel, and unconscionable people have wielded against my name. Maybe I still can. I am happy I have never falsely accused anyone.

In the meantime, I sit here horrified and fascinated, perplexed by the enormity of the lies around me. I wonder why, when the truth is so simple and clean, armored with its own physical evidence...the way it is. Casey Anthony, and others like her, will eventually realize the truth is never as elusive as they believe. It is in every corner of the lives forever. The evidence is undeniable. I am mystified.

Working on the Plane; a lonely, but fun, Thanksgiving

Lots of people are curious about what us truckers do when we work on special holidays. We do the same things we do any other time, except we usually have less traffic, (on the official holiday) and more time to meet our ridiculous schedules. Even though I really miss my little boy every Thanksgiving, I don't mind the fact that he gets to visit his Grandmother in North Texas. Holidays are a time when I can worry about him less and focus on my own work.

Yesterday I spent all morning in a Starbucks in Mecca, California, shopping online, drinking coffee, and reading my friend's blogposts. Later I went to the Spotlight 29 casino and enjoyed their fabulous holiday buffet with about 50 other truckers. After that, I hit the road and cruised on up to Eloy, Arizona, to the Petro. I drank a glass of wine over crackers and hummus finishing a fabulous story written by author/photographer Aggie Villanueva, "Rightfully Mine: God's Equal Rights Amendment." Her book is perfect to read on a Thanksgiving night, a beautiful Christian fiction appropriate for the holiday season.

This morning I took a long hot shower, and then headed over to Nogales to get the rest of my load. I am now in my favorite truckstop, the Triple T in Tucson, Arizona, a real old-fashioned place with everything for the traveler: a classy gift shop, clean and comfortable restaurant, delicious hot food, CB shop, truck shop, convenience store, and safe parking.

 Regular people who have no knowledge of the trucking and transportation industry have no idea the sacrifice made everyday by men and women like myself. I am only granted so many special days before it is time for God to take me home. For example, I may only get another 10 or 20 Thanksgivings, but I have donated another to my employment and the public. Truckers get pretty tired of civilian contempt; we work our rears off out here to deliver safely and on time.

A lot of people feel entitled to their holidays. They even insist, sometimes, that us taxpayers fund their days off. I think many of these people are spoilt and self centered. Very few of them have spent a holiday alone on the road with strangers, and so they have missed out on the true meaning of fellowship and community.

Our veterans are well aware of the emotional maturity one garners from working yet another holiday.

Well it is time for me to go crank up the Cummins and head on down the road. If I fly far enough and hard enough, I can get home tomorrow night. I have missed all the great homemade food, visiting my child, and seeing the people I know; but, I have enjoyed my holiday anyway. I have been part of something bigger than myself, and we strangers have felt a togetherness and kinship on another lonely, but fun, Thanksgiving on the plane.


The Gulf Coast, BP, and Honesty

Tonight I went back to Oklahoma to a time when the raindrops would just fall into the earth and leave dry round pox in the powdery soil. The wind was hot, and blew across the fields relentlessly, drying crops, and withering the faces of the people who lived in the shacks scattered along the narrow roads. I am happy to not be in Oklahoma, yet, I am afraid its era of failure and blight are coming to our more modern America.

I don't feel any rain in the air today, just dry heat and hot wind. This is something that everyone born in Oklahoma lives with, the feeling of doom.

When I was young my family would load me into the Peterbilt and haul me to Houston to unload grain grown in my home state. I would get out of the truck and play in the clam shells, watching the public port cable-lift strain with the weight of our truck dumping our load into bins for the ships to haul away. We would go into the cool air conditioned bar and order sandwiches, short glasses of Coke, and beers for my step dad. Sweat ran down my shirt, through my shorts, and into my sandals, and I could smell the fish frying and see the prostitutes joking with the truckers. They all looked so normal.

My Mom would walk me down to the wharf and we would gaze at the ships together thinking of my dad. We could smell the Gulf air, and watch the fishing boats come into port. We would visit my brother who lived near the waterfront, and then my Mom would be ready to go back to Oklahoma and her normal life.

Now that she is long gone, and my brother too, I often wonder what they would think of our new world…

My brother would be heartbroken about the mess in the Gulf. I know I am. They all would see it for the nightmare it is…

I went back to Oklahoma to a time when men were more honest about religion. I knew a man like that. He was as honest as dirt, yet, he lied about facts. I loved him anyway. We would sit on the step together and I would ask him a question about some dramatic female event, and he would answer with simplicity, earthiness, stripping away the frilly-dilly nonsense forcing me into reality and a sensible, logical solution. I am thankful for those tough men in my life…those honest about religion. He had a voice like velvet, but a hard face and frightening temper. He looked like the devil, but he was honest about religion.

Most people are not honest about anything.

Sometimes I needed a ride to school. When I was desperate and the weather was really miserable, I would call Don. He talked in riddles and it would take me weeks to figure out what he meant. I would be completely confused and finally I would understand his message. People stood aside when his big brown car pulled to the curb; he had a reputation. He was honest about religion. He would be sick about the Gulf, but he died in prison.

Strange how none of these tough and honest people can take BP by the horns, and force them to stop this gaping wound in the floor of our earth. My guess is that the men and women at BP are not honest about religion.

Symbols, Stephen Sudduth, and Facing the Lie

This Easter season we have been inundated with fat wide crosses littering lawns in the strangest of places. I like crosses; and I believe they are beautiful, simplistic, meaningful, and, placed in the right location, they remind us of forgiveness, humility, and truth: unity intertwined with an appropriate motive. This year, however, some of us should have foregone the temptation to symbolize our religious preferences…they fall far short of certain truths, and are misused and out of character on certain lawns and locations. The pretrial hearing for our local accused kiddie porn pervert is looming in July; and fodder for the defense attorney, JC Castillo, is fangled around by local citizens, who are unwittingly supporting the nastiest and cruelest crime. This travesty against little helpless humans seems rather muted in this quiet Texas town. I am disgusted by my fellow citizens and their lack of legal understanding or empathy with the small little victims. I do not want my child subjected to the politics of this horror via his school, or insensitive neighborhood cronies. I have told him enough. I have explained in the plainest language what I expect from the judicial system, and how I wait with gusto for what will surely be a joyous slamming of the prison gate.

We are having our local school board election, and I am confused. Not only is the cross misused this season, but so too is a political ad plunked on the lawn viewed around the world: a man kneeling on the driveway in handcuffs while his father fussed with the police. I disagree with this usage of our symbols from everyday life. They have meaning and influence; they chart our way into the future and lend credibility to people who are unworthy at times of their tangible presence.

Vans parked in prominent places: vans of all things. I dislike it. My mind leaps around to innocent little humans carted away to die in kiddie porn pervert hell. This crime occurs all over the world, often from vans. This makes me think of priests hiding their tendencies in robes flanked with symbols…yet, some of them nothing more than pedophiles. Not mafia men, or gangsters, not business people, or executives, nothing but trash in human flesh breathing valuable air, and hiding behind religion, academia, or whatever.

I haven't been privy to any regret; no apology from the root of this monstrosity. Yet, this crime is smeared in my face day after day, as I drive by the home where he lived. I pull up to my son's school each day with specific concerns and questions unanswered.

It reminds me of a hot October night. I am bothered by the filth below me. I am confused.