Community Category


Stupid

Stupid

Masked, I was sitting in a local diner with my Dad, waiting for our breakfast when I overheard the gentleman at the next table.  Late seventies or early eighties, this man was expressing his dismay at the current occupant of the White House telling him what to do.  Going so far as to compare President Biden to Hitler.    He further described to his friend how he doesn’t watch the News and he will not go to WalMart because they are now, once again, requiring employees and customers to wear masks.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Miriam-Webster.com defines stupid as: slow of mind, given to unintelligent decisions or acts, acting in an unintelligent or careless manner, lacking intelligence or reason, dulled in feeling or sensation, marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting.

Careless manner … dulled in feeling or sensation … marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking …

I would say these definitions explain the thoughts, words and actions of DeSantis, Abbott, other Republican lawmakers/leaders, and anybody that voted for, votes for or supports them in any way, shape or form.

Angry? You bet!

A great many people are sick and dying because of the actions or lack thereof of stupid people. A great many people will not get vaccinated or wear masks because of the self-absorbed and maladroit leadership of stupid people.

I am constantly confounded by the absurd diatribe that erupts from the mouths of DeSantis, Abbott, McConnell, Greene, Cruz, Carlson, Graham, Hawley, et al, like volcanic vomit. My mind reels wondering how seemingly well-educated individuals can be so mind-boggling, idiotically stupid.

Threatening to defund school systems and not pay school superintendents over mask mandates?  My God, DeSantis, how ludicrous, not to mention stupid!

The health and safety of children are at stake; and so these kinds of mindless and unreasonable decisions break my heart.

I have five grandchildren, two of whom will be headed back to school in three weeks—one in sixth grade and one in second grade—and I am highly distraught and concerned for their health and welfare; for all the children’s health and well-being. My grandchildren will be masked—their parents are not stupid—it is the stupid parents and stupid leaders that concern me.

You know the ones … those like the parents in Idaho that had a mask burning party in March of this year. Or those who say it takes away their freedom and civil rights, or that it is discriminatory, or those who believe the outright, bold face, blatant, sinister lies of the aforementioned bigwigs.

What is it going to take, before people wake up and realize how stupid they have been to remain unmasked?

Stupid people did not wear masks when the elderly got sick and died due to COVID-19. They did not wear masks when the middle-aged began to die. They are not wearing masks now that young folks are dying, with 615,000+ and counting now dead here in the US. Are they waiting for children to get sick and die in greater numbers before they wear masks and get vaccinated?

According to the CDC, “unintentional injuries—such as those caused by burns, drowning, falls, poisoning and road traffic—are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children in the United States.”

Let’s be clear, children’s deaths due to COVID are occurring as a result of people’s intentional behavior, due to the folks who are stubbornly and intentionally continuing to remain unmasked.

This, among other things in this insane world that is deeply lost in so many extreme beliefs in separation, makes me absolutely sick at heart.

Please do not waste your breath telling me about my lack of faith or that I am not a Christian or that I should just pray.  I trust God, I am a follower of the Way, and I do pray.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20

The fact of the matter is every time you look into someone’s eyes, you are seeing God whether you believe it or not. Or if you prefer:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

To be fair, I have done and do stupid things–more than I would care to profess. If we are honest with ourselves and will humbly admit it, the vast majority of us do stupid stuff. If we didn’t, our human world would not be in the predicament it is in— dying in so many ways now.

This stupidity is a result of believing the BIG LIE. No, not the lie that Trump won the 2020 election. I’m talking about the lie in Genesis 3:4-5 …

The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die; because God knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

… THAT big lie.

We took the bait—hook, line, and sinker—and have been believing ever since in the illusion that we are separate from Eternal Love. Even though later in the same chapter, God proved the illusion false by asking, “where are you?”

Until and as we stop seeing and acting out of unconscious belief, we cannot know how our action and activity can become different; or to borrow some of Albert Einstein’s words, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

For more on this, please read Charles Eisenstein’s article;  but be prepared for the ‘twisties.’

I know some people have legitimate reasons for not wearing masks, such as claustrophobia, anxiety, Legionnaire’s disease, interactions with lip readers (WebMD).

I also know that getting the vaccine is a personal choice and that there are some various mitigating factors. I hate needles and the possible side effects of the vaccine did frighten me. Ultimately, I decided the reasons for getting the vaccine far outweighed the reasons not to.

That being said, the very least all of us can do is wear the stupid mask …

… and make sure it covers your nose!

Out of Step

Out of Step

I find myself feeling out of step with the world these days.

Between the pandemic and a recent painful personal experience, I feel like any blinders I may have been wearing have been ripped off. The only place I don’t seem to feel at loggerheads is in experiencing nature.

I use to be a night owl, but since adopting my dog, Polly, I am rousted out of bed between six and six thirty every morning; and I couldn’t be happier! Our early morning walks set the tone for the rest of the day.

Have you ever listened to a foggy dawn? When the fog lays on the earth like blanket on a cozy bed, it dampens any sound perpetuating calm stillness and unfathomable peace. Have you ever looked at a field of unmown grass swaying in the breezy sunshine and seen a kaleidoscope of greens? Absolutely mesmerizing! What about walking through dewy covered grass? One morning I looked down at the beads of perspiration and noticed what I thought was a five-leafed flower. Turns out it was the remains of a dandelion completely seed-barren looking like a misty star. My path was littered with these shining gems.

Birds singing, rooted trees lifting their dancing limbs towards the lemon sun, snow-white puffy clouds moseying across an azure atmospheric dome, amber sunrises, magenta Peonies, deep violet Irises, golden Sunflowers, the mysterious delights of each season …

… this is where I feel most at home. This moment. This now. This awareness.

This is where I go in my heart when …

… I see the human rights abuses of the Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu, what is your objective? You have taken a page out of Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews.

Or I hear Senate Republican lawmakers speak with forked tongues.

Mitch McConnel, aren’t you tired? Aren’t you tired of all your and your party’s lies? Only an artless hasty-witted miscreant such as yourself and your party legislators would be committed to being “100 percent focused on stopping Biden’s administration.” That’s not much of a party platform; certainly not one worthy of re-electing spineless mealy-mouth blaggards to office.

Andrew Clyde, do you seriously believe that January sixth was “a normal tourist visit?” If so, why did you block the Senate chamber doors? Why not welcome them in? Greg Abbot, do you really think that an “extreme six-week abortion ban” is admirable and praiseworthy? You have just set women’s rights back 150 years at least. Brian Kemp, how can you sign such loathsome, oppressive and despicable voting laws? Face it, you are out of touch with the reality of the 21st century as are most of the elected officials in your party.

Wait a minute, I thought I was out of step?

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
—Viktor Frankl

That’s where and who I am.

That grace-filled space of Truth, Beauty, Equality, Diversity, Peace, Love and Light.

If only we all realized that is who and what we are; what a lovely place this would be.

Dear Reverend Graham

Dear Reverend Graham

Dear Reverend Graham,

Your continued support of Mr. Trump is ungodly, immoral, unholy, dishonorable and corrupt; not to mention just plain inexcusable!

What is wrong with you? Do you really not see the truth of who and what Mr. Trump really is?  He has absolutely no sincere interest in defending the free expression of religious faith or safeguarding the rights of unborn children, whatsoever! You are of no consequence to him. He is and has been using you and the faith you profess to gain and maintain corrupt power and unscrupulous control.

You keep defending a man who has committed multiple crimes against women, treason and sedition against the federal government of the United States and genocide against the American people and the world. To say nothing of money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and who knows what other heinous crimes he has performed.

Mr. Trump is one of the most morally bankrupt individuals in all of history. If I believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible, I would say you are the false prophet touting the wonders and accomplishments of the antichrist.

In a recent Newsweek article, you claim:

… the U.S. is entering a “dark winter” not just because of COVID-19, but because God is “turn[ing] his back” on a country with deteriorating morals.

If that is the case, you certainly share in the blame, considering your apparently unswerving subservience to a pathological liar and what appears to be a willful misunderstanding of biblical teachings as well as God.

How could God who is everything ever turn His back on Himself? It is simply not possible. Jesus maintained as such:

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark 3:24-25

Jesus never turned his back on anyone, not even the pharisees, sadducees, or teachers of the law. He reserved his harshest words of criticism for them (see the book of Matthew, chapter 23) because, like you, they were all about appearances, pride, and hellfire judgement. Yet his interactions were always Truthful and Loving, all the while he reminded everyone to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly” with God.

Literally speaking, who turned who’s back on whom in the Garden of Eden? Didn’t Adam and Eve turn their back on God? What was God’s response to their betrayal?

Genesis 3: 8-9 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Where are you is a far cry from what you propose about God’s behavior. Yes, there were consequences to their choices. However, even after God sent the pair out of the garden, He spent the remainder of the Torah and Christian Old Testament wooing mankind into relationship with Himself. Over and over again God is met with resistance and duplicity.

Every sincere and thoughtful examination of the Bible reveals God as lovingly seeking shared awareness with Her creation. Always!

For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. John 3:16-17

Where is the back turning?

Sincerely,
Susan Fridinger

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-supporter-franklin-graham-says-dark-winter-due-moral-decline-not-just-covid-1558436

Unity

Unity

The following is an excerpt from ushistory.org about the Pledge of Allegiance:

“The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time, it read:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower (a Republican, by the way) encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration. Today it reads:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

What does this covenant mean to you? In light of the fact that Mr. Bellamy wrote it to “be used by citizens in any country,” shouldn’t there be a deeper more enlightened interpretation than simply devotion to one’s country?

There is a lot of talk about “unity” these days … unity and healing.

Both of these concepts appear to be the go-to sentiments since the 2020 election results were called for Mr. Biden by the Associated Press just a week ago. After a bit of research, I found the word ‘unity’ is a fairly common term in presidential inauguration, acceptance and concession speeches especially after particularly contentious campaigns and close election outcomes.

After all, we are the United States of America.

In light of the way so many people vehemently support the Pledge of Allegiance, how can those same folks say “America, love it or leave it?” Also, please note, right-wing Republicans and fundamental Evangelical Christians, that this oath that is at the very heart of your patriotic nationalism was written by a “socialist minister.” How is that for irony?

I have few enough friends on Facebook that it is very easy for me to tell when someone has unfriended me. As a result of my outspoken support of truth in the face of Mr. Trump’s lies and Mr. Biden’s win, I lost several of them in recent times. They felt, it seems, they could no longer associate with me due to, what appeared to them, as my supposed “hatred” of Mr. Trump.

And that’s just the thing …

I do not hate Mr. Trump. I do not hate anyone who supports him. To do so would be to believe they are not also children of God, and that is simply not true. Furthermore, in this very shared, interactive and interdependent world of ours, we cannot ever for very long disassociate from “our enemy” as some bloggers I have read suggest.

Jesus is adamant about how we are to respond to our enemy. Over and over again, His mandate is crystal clear in stories like the Good Samaritan and in the message of the Sermon on the Mount.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Matthew 5:44-47

If you do not believe him, perhaps the wisest king in Hebrew history can persuade you. Solomon said:

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25: 21-22

To “heap coals of fire” on the heads of our enemies means to choose to act out of generous, selfless love rather than vengeance and retribution.

This is not easy! Just ask Malala Yousafzai or Corrie Ten Boom or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi or Nelson Mandela or Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

As I write this, I am looking out my front window through my neighbor’s yard to a house on the next block that has a blue Trump banner flying on the front porch. I have never met the person(s) living in that home but I could certainly make assumptions about them.

What good would that do? The anger, frustration and, yes, hatred toward them that fills my heart as I look at that pennant only hurts me!

And just because I have not been formally introduced to them, does not mean that I have not stood in line with them at the grocery store, or sat beside them at the doctor’s office, or had some kind of interaction with them in the course of one of my days.

Whether we know who are enemy is or not, we are called to treat people the way we want to be treated.

Perhaps this the true spirit of awareness Mr. Bellamy was calling forth in all God’s children.

Love is who you are. When you don’t live according to love, you are outside of being. You’re not being real. When you love, you are acting according to your deepest being, your deepest truth. You are operating according to your dignity. —Richard Rohr

For further perspective on this topic, please visit: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/14/europe/nazi-grandfather-store-scli-intl-grm/index.html

For more on the meaning of “heaping burning coals,” please visit the following site:
https://free.messianicbible.com/feature/time-heap-burning-coals-enemy-2/

Debate

Debate

“I’ve never been happier about being a Canadian.”

I received this text message from a friend this morning to which I replied:

“And I’ve never been sadder to be an American.”

Before I even received her text, I woke up crying. I did not watch the debate between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump. Too much seemed to be at stake, so I prayed. I did not need to watch what I knew would be a loathsome and spiteful performance by Mr. Trump.  My friend’s uncharacteristically insensitive comment only added to my grief and quite frankly made me feel angry—no, not just angry … F***ING pissed off!

I could not imagine what would cause her to be this flippant.  I do not know the circumstances surrounding her citizenship status and have never thought to ask. I never saw her as “Canadian.”  I thought we were beyond labels. Our friendship is based on a spiritual kinship of caring for all God’s beloveds. We have discussed politics and share the same progressive bent, but her statement felt like she was kicking me when I was down.

In what identity of separation did I appear to be caught?

Her sentiment seemed to be lacking in awareness, compassion and kindness. What does one say when tragedies happen anywhere around the globe? When the building exploded in Syria, would one say “I’ve never been happier about being a (fill in the nationality)?” Does one think one’s citizenship or lack thereof will save him or her from dying of COVID? Would anyone really state he or she is glad to live on the east coast of the US while the west coast is awash with devastating conflagrations?

This is the problem! Too many people continue to see through the eyes of judgement and condemnation, as if one nationality, or ethnicity, or religion, or gender or any imagined identity of separation is better or worse than another—they are all delusional anxieties. Tragically, the US has a “leader” who inflames those labels of separateness and alienation to his demonic-like pleasure.

Some of you may be thinking that I prayed for Mr. Trump to lose the debate or that I prayed for Mr. Biden to win. I did not pray for either of those short-sighted and limited  outcomes! I prayed for the eyes and minds and hearts of all people to be open and to really see Mr. Trump’s true character.  I did not differentiate my prayers based on anyone’s citizenship or nationality.  I prayed for Mr. Biden to endure the onslaught of Mr. Trump’s satanic-like attacks—which Mr. Biden did with decency, empathy and great feeling.

I prayed for the choice that is before us and how our nation will move forward after all the votes are counted.  This 2020 US election is not about making America great again.  God forbid.   This election is about reducing/eliminating world wide suffering because Trump, like any despot, is utterly unaware of the interconnectedness of all of God’s creation.

My tears were a mixture of many feelings–tremendous relief that the debate was over. I was unaware of how much tension and disquietude I was holding within my spirit.  Millions of lives quite literally hang in the balance as we await the results of this upcoming election.  Another feeling was doubt. Can the hardest of hearts be softened? Can blind eyes really be opened? Can ignorant minds be unlocked? I do not know.  I am heartbroken and bewildered that any American needs to be convinced that Trump is not fit for office.

Mostly I cried because it is all so painful. We are a nation in mourning. Hell, we are a world in mourning and the last thing we need is a bully kicking sand in our face.

In the meantime, I’m going to talk to my friend, I’m going to celebrate the little things in life, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing—listening, praying, grieving, healing, being …

… that is more than enough for the times in which we are living.

I already voted, that was easy!

COVID

COVID

Mr. President,

Should I become sick with COVID and/or die as a result of becoming infected, I will hold no ill-will against you; but you would be responsible–as you are for the 6.75 million COVID cases and the 198,000+ resulting deaths in the US, as of this writing.

If I became sick I would let you off the hook, NOT because you deserve it or have done anything to have earned it, but because you have no idea what you are doing–it’s called Grace.

You believe in an illusion and you are not even aware that you are completely unaware. You have believed and continue to believe in something that simply is not true—that we are separate from God and separate from each other. You have put your faith and trust in wealth, fame, sex, power, and all manner of man-made, ego-centric delusions and ideologies.

You hold a Bible in your hand in front of a church to make people think you are a moral man, all the while your misogyny, bigotry, and blatant racism increasingly informs and inflames social, economic, and political division. You pander patriotism while holding illegal rallies, criticizing peaceful protestors, and kowtowing to Putin. You claim to be pro-life, while threatening to rescind healthcare, deregulating hundreds of environmental laws, and reinforcing intolerance through violent “Law and Order” tweets.

I can only imagine the pain and hurt you must have endured and carry with you to go to such extremes in building irreverent walls that only reinforce your separation from all that is holy and sacred.

You are blind to the interconnectedness of all of life which is why you use and abuse anything and everything in your way. Because you fail to see the eternal value of all God’s beloveds, people become a means to an end in your over-indulgent, one-man narcissistic and morbid theatrical performance.

There is a better way! Unfortunately, I fear your heart is so hard that you cannot hear Her calling you.

place your trust in Allah. Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him.” (Q. 3:159)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. [One] experiences [oneself] . . . as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of [one’s] consciousness. . . . Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —Albert Einstein

Since tomorrow only exists in theory, it is not too late for you to change, to come to terms with your pain and heal, to let Light and Love flow into your heart in order to begin the awakened journey.

Your pattern and past practices of selfish, self-absorbed behavior, however, suggest this may not be possible.

I can only hope for your sake that when you die—because all would-be tyrants do—somehow your eyes will be open and you will recognize the Divine and accept the mercy that is freely available to you even now.

With respect to the office you will hopefully be voted out of,
Susan Fridinger