Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baptist Position on Women Inconsistent

I’m confused by the hypocrisy of some people. I can take people disregarding and disrespecting others because of some difference. Stupidity I can deal with. I’m used to that. What I can’t take is the inconsistency that comes with making a decision to limit a person due to gender, race or sexual orientation.

An example comes from the good ole boys club called the Southern Baptist Convention. These Christians love to hate. Last year it was Mickey Mouse for Disney’s policy to provide benefits to gay and lesbian couples. A few churches got kicked out of the convention for being too loving. Give me a break.

The most recent attack, one mo time, is against women in ministry. It’s an old battle that is one among many issues that led to a split within the convention. Those Southern Baptist Christians get a thrill out of getting their women to submit to their husbands and remaining in their rightful place. Wash them dishes woman and get my food on that table.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the owner of LifeWay Christian stores. The convention decided to pull copies of Gospel Today, a Christian magazine based out of Atlanta, due to its cover story featuring five female pastors. God forbid! How dare that magazine promote the role of women as leaders! How dare they push for the equality of women given the Bibles clear position against women taking a leadership role!

I could engage in a long conversation into how those who take that position don’t know how to read. Please give me a break. Those Southern Baptist are so enamored with maintaining a culture that affirms those with male genitalia that they reject the truth glaring them in the face. I just wish people would learn to read rather than hate.

Local folks are livid because one of our local gems is on that cover. Sheryl Brady, the 48-year-old pastor of the River Church, was featured in that story. It irked me that the focus of the decision is rooted in the gender of the folks on the cover versus the theological basis behind their ministry. I have issues with the women on the cover, but it’s not because of gender. It’s their theology and lack of training that gets under my skin. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Let’s talk about that hypocrisy. Those same Christians, who have the guts to pull a magazine because it promotes the leadership of women, are positioned to vote for a woman to take second seat in leading our nation. Help me understand why that doesn’t sound like someone is hooked on stupid.

Are they saying a woman can lead the nation but not a congregation of 800 people? If a woman is prohibited, by gender, from leading a church, why would they grant a sister a right to lead the nation? If you plan on taking a sexist position please be consistent with your sexism. It’s getting complicated for those who are trying to keep up with your narrow mindedness.

I’m prepared to accept that those Southern Baptist Christians refuse to accept that God loves all people in the same way, and that men don’t get special privileges because they have a penis. No problem. That helps me in deciding where to go to worship. I’d rather not fellowship with people tainted by stupidity and hatred.

I will give them space to hate on their own, but please people, if you are going to disregard women, be consistent. That’s all I’m asking. Just stay on the same page so we can adjust to your foolishness.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Can See Russia From Outside My Door

You can see Russia from outside my front door. She said that! She made a point to remind us that those Russians can easily make their way over to American soil and attack at will! What a desperate attempt to strike fear among all those who remember the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War years.

Those darn Russians are close, and I, as the Governor of Alaska, serve the role of protecting our American borders. Give me a break Gov! The Cold War ended with the fall of the iron curtain. Russia isn’t what it used to be, and most intelligent American’s aren’t buying into that game anymore. Whoops! Forgive me. Maybe they are. Maybe Americans are dumb enough to feed into the “we better watch our back” game.

The implied statement made during Sarah Palin’s interview with Charlie Gibson makes it easier to understand how so many Americans think. I have been dumbfounded by how Americans are so easily duped into embracing a we versus them mentality that has the world snubbing us due to our arrogance. I know! I Know! 911 is proof that we should never take national security for granted. Things have changed in the good ole U.S. of A.

But that assertion was way over the top. Implied in her statement was a gross exaggeration of her role as head of the states National Guard. Because of her leadership, we are led to believe; those darn Russians have been kept from coming over here. Look at me. I’m like the head of state, leading our troops into protecting our national interest.

I sure hope Americans are smart enough to read between these lines of Bull fertilizer. But wait. Please wait. There’s more in her statement that Americans need to ponder. If she can see Russia from outside her door, doesn’t that prove how far removed she is from the typical American agenda? She’s a long way from where I live down in Durham, North Carolina. Shucks, I doubt if she has ever encountered some of the issues that are common within my backyard.

4,4875 miles. That’s how far Anchorage, Alaska is from Durham, North Carolina. It takes 75 hours and 13 minutes to drive there. You have to drive through Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver before you make it to Anchorage. I realize the state has some statistics that resonates with most Americans-number seven in the nation in violent crimes. Number one in the nation, that’s right, numero uno, in reported rapes. The people in Alaska have some of the same problems with crime facing the rest of us, but for different reasons.

Alaska has a thriving economy driven by the oil industry. In 2006, the State Gross Product was 43.6 Billion, the 5th highest in the nation. “Crime is really high there because people have noting to do,” a former resident of Alaska told me. “My father is a judge there, and he’s happy I no longer live there because it is safer in Durham, NC.” What! Are you serious! It’s safer in Durham “shoot em up, gang banga capital of North Carolina?” Has pops seen “Welcome to Durham”, the documentary that portrayed Durham as an unsafe place to live?

So, let me get this right. Crime is higher, much higher in Alaska because people have nothing else to do. It’s high because it’s so dark and people get depressed. They fill voids with alcohol and drugs and do crazy things because they have nowhere to go. That’s life in Alaska. Oh, let’s not forget you can see Russia from your front door.

Life up there is completely different than life down here. You have your social outcasts who live there because they want to remove themselves from life as we know it in the other states. You can’t take a drive to another state. You can go hunt and fish, get a few drinks and turn on the tube and watch “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars”. Sounds like a lot of fun! Life away from the rest of us, and Russia is so very, very close.

Those are the type of credentials we need in a person who may be called upon to lead our nation. Someone far removed from the rest of us. Who wants a president who has the benefit of the American label but never has to connect to American problems? Who wants a president who has never contended with the demographics the rest of us take for granted?

It’s one thing to deal with a few enraged people struggling to find a way to have fun. It’s a different matter when you have people who are grappling with finding a way to survive after the plant has moved overseas. It’s one thing to refuse to take a job with the petroleum company because it doesn’t fit your free and easy spirit, versus not finding work because work can’t be found.

Oh well. I suppose we have a few things in common. Can’t you see Russia from outside your front door?