Clearing the Air
In reading over the past 999 posts it occurs to me that I have skirted the issue on some posts, trying not to upset people I know would disagree with me. It’s been convenient to use euphemisms from time to time to avoid outright disagreement with people. Reading over them now, I find myself uncomfortable. Therefore, I’ve decided for this 1,000th blog posting to be as honest and clear as I can about some volatile issues. Here goes:
- I really don’t believe Mormons are mainline Christians. I know that’s not very PC of me, but the more I hear about the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the more I’m uncomfortable with them. There are a lot of sects and groups who embrace some characteristics of Christianity, but who still don’t measure up to what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I include among them the snake-handling fundamentalists, Unitarians, Opus Dei, and others who just plain make me uncomfortable. I believe Mormons fit into that same category. They may be good people, practice good things, and even sacrifice greatly for the oppressed. But being a Christian is about putting belief and practice together. I struggle with some of what it means to be a Christian, so I know of what I’m speaking. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the “mainline Christianity” label is without its problems these days. However, it has been common over the past couple of years to relax the boundaries around Christianity for fear of offending some very good people. I don’t want to do that anymore.
- I’m really put off by the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, which, of course, begins with the Pope. I think the American Nuns have it right in questioning the Holy See’s relationship to the Gospel as opposed to the rules of the organization. Every now and then I’ve thought it would be good for the Anglicans and the Romans to get back together, but of late I’m not so sure. I don’t like what we would have to swallow in doing so.
- I’m going to vote for President Obama, and I think that he is, by far, the better choice in the presidential election. Having said that, I want to say that I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the style of President Obama.I think he has some serious problems as a President and needs to correct them if we’re ever going to make headway in cleaning up the mess in this country.
- I think the President has surrounded himself with the wrong people. There are good people around who could make a huge impact on his choices, his programs, and his personal appeal. (I don’t include in that group Timothy Geithner, who I don’t believe has the trust of the American people.)
- He is too much of a lone wolf. Even when he makes a presidential announcement, he appears alone, walking down a royal carpet toward a microphone, speaks and then turns and walks away down that same red carpet. It’s not a good image. Such announcements can be made from in front of the desk (not behind it) in the Oval Office or in a smaller room, with others standing or sitting with him. I’m one of those people who would have a hard time mentioning the names of more than a couple of the members of the Cabinet. Where are they?
- We all know that he has strong feelings about some social issues about which he waffles. Go ahead and say it. Get it out there. The response to his same-gender marriage comment should have been a clue. The American people like clarity.
- Being tough on issues doesn’t have to mean the same thing as taking personal shots at people. It is the issues people care about. Go ahead and push the FDR-type employment agencies the nation needs. Don’t let the fear of it being rejected by small-minded Representatives deter you. The clock is ticking.
- On the local scene, I support Representative David Cicilline for re-election. I am not as angry over his last year as Mayor of Providence as I am impressed with his first two years as my Representative in Congress. I’m convinced that Mayor Taveras has things under control in Providence and can handle the problems just fine. Let’s move on and assure good representation in Congress. David is good at it.
- If I could vote in Massachusetts I would vote for Elizabeth Warren for Senator. Not because Scott Brown is a bad guy. He’s actually done a decent job on some levels. It would be a win-win if both could represent the Commonwealth. But she is good stuff. If it’s a neck-and-neck race, I give her the edge for maturity, smarts, and stamina. And, to be honest, I want to protect the Democratic edge in the Senate. It’s all about the Supreme Court.
- The Tea Party has become just another example of fundamentalism to me. They didn’t start out that way, but they have hurriedly moved in that direction. I have real trouble with fundamentalists, whether they be religious, economic, social, or even sports fanatics who are rigid, and who depend upon interpretations which are ignorant. I don’t think they have enhanced our government. I think they have caused a huge break-down in trust and mutual respect among legislators.
- I suspect that Bobby Valentine should go as the Manager of the Red Sox. Yes, Ithink he had a tough time inheriting a flawed organization. But I’m not sure he has the right characteristics to put it together for them.
- I really like Blue Bloods, the Friday night cop show. I think it is the best written show on television. Good cast, great writing, excellent mix of action and family values.
I’m tempted to go on to a round number, like 10, but this is enough. I feel as though I’ve come out of the closet on some issues. Maybe I haven’t been as concealed as I thought I was. But the columnists I read and like are the ones who tell it like they see it. From now on, I can’t pretend to be neutral on some of these issues where I’m not. I’ve broken one of my standards, which is to try to stay around 500 words. But 1,000 postings only comes around occasionally, so I’ve taken the liberty of exceeding 1,000 words. I know some of my ideas are problematic to some of you. That’s okay. These are just my personal reflections.
Photo Credit: John Lund