BETWEEN FLIGHTS TO MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND BUS RIDES TO NEW YORK CITY…

There are many facets and moving parts to the drama(s) produced by Republican Governors Abbott and DeSantis which are above my paygrade and outside my purview – especially with this blog.  To be frank, I have a little sympathy with these governors on this one.  I am not straight up shocked and appalled.  Though, I am a little appalled.

But that’s not my point in writing about it.  I could point out that they are right on this one, and their gesture is almost prophetic in nature as they share the load they didn’t ask for either, one the federal government should be working out, one that currently overwhelms streets in El Paso, according to local reports.  But then I would temper all that with observations such as how this isn’t really DeSantis’s problem or how that after making his point, Abbott could continue this newfound program only play nice with NYC, DC, and other cities and coordinate like a shepherd of the sheep who actually cares about the lambs.

But in various ways, these points and others like them are already being made.  And people seem to be listening only to the points that suit their political slants, by -n- large.  So, there isn’t much useful dialog going on even between those qualified and making these observations before me.

No.  I have a different point to make altogether.

I recognize that plenty of liberals and Democrats are not Christian people, and plenty have no interest in Jesus or his teachings and example.  But some are; some do.  More than a few, in fact.  And of THOSE, if I can get your attention, I say: HELLO, BROTHERS and SISTERS from Texas!  But also, I say: You have been given a tremendous gift!

The sojourner in your midst needs your hospitality tonight.  I encourage you to open your houses of worship, your homes, your community centers and welcome these strangers like the sanctuary cities you claim to be.  Open your arms and put on the fatted calf.  Share your table with needy people and elevate their status with yours.

You will be blessed more often and in more mysterious ways than you probably imagine possible.  If more of us imagined it, our world would be a better place, so I know you need some encouragement to do it.  But Jesus tells us that he is the least of these brothers, and he reveals himself in the breaking of bread.  You have a very important guest in your midst now.

Oh… and when you figure this out, send Governors Abbott and DeSantis THANK YOU NOTES!  They should be jealous of you for the gift they just gave away.

12 comments

  1. laceduplutheran · 14 Days Ago

    I think you are making a bad assumption that plenty of conservatives and Republicans are Christian people just people they either say so in polls, might attend a church affiliated with a Christian denomination, etc. But considering the fruit that is observable, well, I’m wondering how Christian these churches are? Some of the most Christ-like folks I’ve ever met are self-proclaimed atheists who work daily with those on the streets. The label that one gives oneself is one thing. but it’s just words. The actions tell me far more about what someone actually believes. I trust my eyes far more than my ears these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · 14 Days Ago

      Making a bad assumption is one thing. Giving the benefit of the doubt is another.

      I live, probably, somewhere in between. I hope to provoke my brothers to jealousy.

      By the way, I am also making the assumption that some of my liberal Democrat neighbors are Christian too. The irony is not lost on me that DeSantis hits the Achiles heel when he sends the poor migrant to the ultra wealthy island. He is calling the bluff, the same bluff I call in conservatives. That has value. Not as much value as someone of either persuasion actually taking the role of shepherd of the flock, but value.

      At the end of the day, I have no allegiance to either political persuasion. I am not pulling for the Republicans or the Democrats with this. I am hoping that Christians, people allowing themselves to be carved up in these divides, from either side will catch the scent.

      AND especially, I am saying that there is treasure there. One governor’s trash is creation’s treasure! I am hoping that those who are inclined to imagine that actually do imagine that. It’s a chance to make a true change!

      Liked by 1 person

      • laceduplutheran · 14 Days Ago

        The whole situation just stinks. People being used for political points. But this is nothing new. It’s just another in a long string of such actions. The names of the politicians change, but the actions are the same. And yet, the mighty will fall and be sent away empty and be forgotten. Yet, the hospitality of strangers will be remembered by the families. That’s what will matter. I’m just so tired of the cruelty of partisanship and abstract politics and hoarding wealth.

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      • fgsjr2015 · 9 Days Ago

        The exploited migrants with whom some American conservatives are disgracefully playing political games are people — human beings like the rest of us — that can feel and be hurt. Yet some people are treated by a large portion of an otherwise free, democratic and relatively civilized society as though they’re disposable and, by extension, their suffering is somehow less worthy of external concern. It could be something similar to how human smugglers perceive their cargo when choosing that most immoral line of business.

        Similarly, there’s also an inhumane devaluation by external-nation attitudes [usually of the Western world] toward the daily civilian lives lost in devastatingly long-drawn-out war zones and famine-stricken nations: the worth of such life will be measured by its overabundance and/or the protracted conditions under which it suffers. Often enough, those people will eventually receive meagre column inches on the back page of the First World’s daily news.

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    • fgsjr2015 · 9 Days Ago

      “Some of the most Christ-like folks I’ve ever met are self-proclaimed atheists who work daily with those on the streets.”
      ___

      Very well said! I’ve been saying this —- indeed having it published via letters to newspaper editors wherever/whenever they were interested — for decades: Some of the best humanitarians were/are atheists or agnostics who’d make better examples of many of Christ’s teachings than too many institutional Christians (i.e. those most resistant to Christ’s fundamental teachings of non-violence, compassion and non-wealth); and, conversely, some of the worst human(e) beings are the most devout preachers/practitioners of institutional Christian theology. …

      Jesus Christ’s fundamental nature and teachings were/are notably different from the unambiguously fire-and-brimstone angry God of Judaism (not to mention the Almighty of Islam and the Biblical Old Testament). This fact left even John the Baptist, who believed in Jesus as the savior, troubled by Jesus’ apparently contradictory version of the Hebraic messiah, with which John had been raised. Perhaps most perplexing was the Biblical Jesus’ revolutionary teaching of non-violently offering the other cheek as the proper response to being physically assaulted by one’s enemy.

      Yet, he also most profoundly washed his disciples’ feet, the act clearly revealing that he took corporeal form to serve. As such a hopeful example of the humility of the divine, Jesus joined humankind in our miseries, joys and everything in between.

      Followers of Islam and Judaism generally believe that Jesus did exist but was not a divine being. After all, how could any divine being place himself/itself down to the level of humans (and even lower, by some other standards)? How could any divine being NOT be a conqueror — far less allow himself to be publicly stripped naked, severely beaten and murdered in such a belittling manner?!

      All of this is why I expect those in public life who claim to be Christian yet behave nothing like Christ nor his basic teachings. … It’s because Jesus was/is meant to show to people that there really was/is hope for the many — especially for young people living in today’s physical, mental and spiritual turmoil — seeing hopelessness in a fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator requiring literal pain-filled penance/payment for Man’s sinful thus corrupted behavior. Fundamentally, that definitely includes resurrection.

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  2. laceduplutheran · 14 Days Ago

    BTW, I don’t say all of that because I’m somehow all on a liberal or Democrat bandwagon. As you know I’m not registered in either political party. I just challenge the assumptions that are common in this land about who is considered “Christian” because most of the time it’s a bunch of bunk. There are stories of Christians who, not that long ago went to church, then formed a posse, found a black man, and lynched him, had a picnic, and smiled for the camera. These aren’t ancient history. These were “good” Christian people. I imagine “good” Republican and Democrats too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · 14 Days Ago

      Oh yeah. I get all of that. And I have opinions and sympathies with BOTH sides of the argument. Leaving these folx to languish on the sidewalk in El Paso is NOT the answer either, and whatever else is wrong with Abbott and DeSantis, they call attention to this in a way that now has the nation talking.

      WE are in a conversation (assuming again that it is a conversation) that we were not having just a few weeks ago, but one sorely needed. Thanx to these guys!

      I do not, thereby, champion them. IF THEY CARED, this stunt would be the opening to a DIALOG and an olive branch. I totally get that these guys have NO INTEREST in fixing the problem. They are scoring political points, and that is disgusting. I agree.

      But HERE WE ARE.

      WE ARE HERE.

      And actually, despite all the shame and travesty of it, there is TONS of opportunity in it too. This is a chance for liberals and Dems to shine, to OUTSHINE the “Christians” in fact, as so many atheists (as you point out) already do with relative frequency.

      I fear that this opportunity will be missed by all the OUTRAGE of both sides. Plenty of it justified. But sooner or later someone’s got to change the diaper! (An analogy that makes a lot more sense in my house where two of us have five little butts to keep clean.)

      My post will be read by maybe 10 people. I make mention of MOST of the usual banter and then attempt to CUT through it with this other idea. WELCOME the STRANGER! There is reward and treasure for whoever does it. Some of that reward and treasure will surprise us right here right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • laceduplutheran · 14 Days Ago

        Opportunity is the key. And I wonder if anyone is actually going to seize that. Or will too many just seize the political points and move on to the next round of the political game. I’m reading a book called “Community” by Peter Block. It’s excellent. The subtitle is “The Structure of Belonging. There’s an idea in one of the chapters that could seize this opportunity. It would be for an elected official to convene a gathering of citizens who care about the plight of immigrants and talk deeply about the situation and discern what is best for the common good and what the community could invest in and actually do to help people. The people would have ownership in the solution. The community would take action. There would be engagement. There would be care. There would be empathy. There would no need for partisanship. There would be no worry for political points. There would be seeing the reality of people suffering and people seeing that suffering and taking acting to do something about it. It doesn’t even take a politician to do that. A church convene that conversation. A neighbor could. Anyone who is there could. Know anyone there? I’d be happy to walk them through it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agent X · 14 Days Ago

        I totally get it that these are intended as dirty rotten tricks, that they even do real damage both to the lowly AND to the political system. I am not denying that.

        To be fair, I am not denying that these stunts MAKE A VALID POINT too.

        Wow! Just imagine if everyone on opposite sides just heard those two elements of this situation. Just for ten minutes, you know? Absorb the legit point the OTHER side is making about this. That would be something. Wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t that really be SOMETHING?

        Yes it would.

        But…

        But…

        But…

        Wait for it…

        BUT! There is the OTHER thing too. In fact it is so huge that if we REALLY think about it, it overwhelms those previous points. The magnitude of the difference is so tremendous I don’t have words. Where is Carl Sagan when I need him? That’s a man who knows every possible word in the English language that expresses the idea of BIG.

        Yeah. Abbott and DeSantis just treated this treasure like trash! I know! That’s not lost on me. But they are overwhelmed with this problem. I know! I get that too! BOTH are right…

        BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT…

        But in the meantime, a special gift has been given BETWEEN ENEMIES! A GIFT! A GIFT!

        Do YOU HEAR ME DOWN THERE??? I SAID GIFT!!!

        G – I – F – T !!!

        A GIFT! A TREASURE!!!!

        Open your eyes! It’s a gift! And even though all those other observations are right, accurate, and true, there has been a gift given here too. A tremendous treasure.

        Let’s not bog down in the negative on this one. There’s plenty of people covering that part. It’s real; it’s true. Somebody needs to point it out, but then again, practically everyone already has.

        So, let’s get over to this OTHER thing. The GIFT. And let’s say THANK YOU! Somebody in Martha’s Vineyard, please say THANK YOU FOR SENDING US JESUS!

        Oh… and treat him like Jesus too, while your at it.

        Otherwise, if we are not careful, you can go score a political point (with us much cash value as a brownie point) overlooking the GIFT you surely would have wanted to enjoy! Otherwise, you reduce this moment to a chance to blame Republicans for the very thing YOU TOO are now not doing.

        Oh my. And then if that happens, NOBODY is enjoying the GIFT!

        But if we do enjoy this gift, the appropriate thing is to say THANX. And … AND… AND… look closely now… AND suddenly, you will make those “Christians” (maybe they were asleep or drunk on the wrong spirit – after all, who among us is sinless?) anyway, maybe some of THOSE CHRISTIANS – ahem “Christians” – will become (insert drumroll here please) JEALOUS.

        It’s almost biblical when you put it like this. (Rom. 11:14)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Agent X · 14 Days Ago

    IF you are reading this far, please visit the next post which is a continuation of this one

    MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND MARY’S SON

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  4. laceduplutheran · 14 Days Ago

    The gift. It’s almost like Jesus telling a parable with a supreme plot twist and it upsets everyone listening. Yet, there it is – the gift. Only this is more than just a parable. Its people. It’s like the actual miracles. the miracles are more than just physical healings of individuals – they are restorations of relationships and entire communities.

    But we’d rather just fight – it’s so much easier to fight rather than restore. It’s so much easier to fight and lay blame and scapegoat rather than show hospitality. It’s so much easier to fight rather than see the gift. Lord forgive my tired eyes when they can’t see the gift but only see the fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fgsjr2015 · 9 Days Ago

    Though no pushover, Jesus fundamentally was about compassion and charity. Therefore, Jesus may have been viciously killed because he did not in the least behave in accordance to corrupted human conduct and expectation — and in particular because he was nowhere near to being the vengeful, wrathful, and sometimes even bloodthirsty, behemoth so many people seemingly wanted or needed their savior to be and therefore believed he’d have to be.

    Thus, many institutional ‘Christians’ may find inconvenient, if not plainly annoying, trying to reconcile the conspicuous inconsistency in the fundamental nature of the New Testament’s Jesus with the wrathful, vengeful and even jealous nature of the Old Testament’s Creator. I, a believer in Christ’s unmistakable miracles, like to picture Jesus enjoying a belly-shaking laugh over a good joke with his disciples, now and then. (Imagine a Creator with a sense of humor!)

    Jesus was/is meant to show to people that there really was/is hope for the many — especially for young people living in today’s physical, mental and spiritual turmoil — seeing hopelessness in a fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator requiring literal pain-filled penance/payment for Man’s sinful thus corrupted behavior.

    Many Christians nevertheless have effectively created God’s nature in their own fallible and often-enough angry, vengeful image — especially the part insisting via publicized protest pickets that God hates this or that group of people. Often being the most vocal, they make very bad examples of Christ’s fundamental message, especially to the young and impressionable.

    This is why I expect those in public life who claim to be Christian yet behave nothing like Christ nor his basic teachings.

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