Monday, February 02, 2009

A rose by any other name... might smell like a lemon

Have you ever had those moments where you hear something differently than anyone else? I have had two examples of it in the last few weeks. I wanna get some thoughts down on LCD screen about one of those experiences. It was on inauguration day. I was watching president Obama's speech over the live internet feed on One of their features on the live stream was a connection to face book where you can see people's status updates as the speech was underway. As the speech unfolded I was amazed at the status messages that were scrolling down the right side of my screen. One in particular made me shake my head. It only flashed for a moment but someone had posted " 'so and so' is calling all her friends to say we can live again!" Now I understand that many people don't like the direction our country seemed headed in recently (I included). I understand that many people don't like the politics of the Republican party (even some of us who are registered Republicans) . I understand that many people don't like George W. Bush on a more personal level, or the way he expresses his faith in God. But to say "I can live again" now that a new administration is in office?? Give me a freakin break... Some of us are just spoiled. Tell that to the millions of people who have been brutally slaughtered when they stood against their government’s policies, or spoke out. “My album only went quadruple platinum after i said bad things about our president in other countries”... Oh God the horror of the persecution... I can hear people in Laos saying “Holy crap how do they live in America when your album only goes quadruple platinum?” (Ok getting off my soap box). What I found even more ironic was that I was utterly unimpressed by our new presidents speech! While others were expressing euphoria at the new found life Obama was offering I was thinking "Wow, this is the same speech I have heard from president Bush at least 4 times, Senate Republicans and Democrats too.” Appeals for God's blessings on our country, personal addresses to our enemies, pledges to defend our "way of life"... Even comedy central picked up on it ...

When I was in college, Gov. Jerry Brown was running for president and he came to my college to make a speech. I was never planning on voting for him. I figured his first official act as president if elected would be to legalize pot. I wasn't really his “demographic”. In fact I was holding a student advisory position at the college at the time, and Gov. Brown was using our office as a staging area before the speech. I was amazed to see the Governor's body guards dressed in tie die t-shirts, dread locks and sunglasses. BUT Jerry's speech was an eye opener for me (no i didn't vote for him). He spent the majority of the speech laying out how the two parties are basically run by the same people, corporations, and same pursuit of power and money. No matter what party you vote for you get the same thing... I think Jerry was right. He went on to say that he was a candidate who was going to be different than the same old politics and policies (and yes he would have been... I don't mean that in a good way :-) But from that moment on I have viewed political rhetoric with a heightened sense of skepticism.

I prey that our new president does lead us into a new chapter as a country. I hope that those who heard something i didn't are motivated to be something, and do something different. I do pray for God's blessings for our country (and for all the other countries of the word for that matter!) But most of all i pray as my entire congregation does every sunday that God's "kingdom would come, on earth as it is in heaven"