SAINT OLGA

SAINT OLGA
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER, SAINT OLGA, PATRON SAINT OF CONVERTS

Sunday, July 15, 2018

IS POVERTY A PUNISHMENT FROM GOD?




Even though Jesus famously said that a rich person has a hard time getting into heaven. some modern folk have this weird idea that rich people are the chosen people of God. This is especially true in America, where we have a lot of Christians who believe and loudly proclaim that God rewards us in this life if we are obedient to him. They say things like "God wants to prosper me if I obey him."

Conversely, they believe that anyone who is poor has not been "prospered" by the Lord because they have NOT obeyed him. This Biblical bastardization amounts to an excuse to despise poor people and blame them for their troubles. After all, if they weren't "bad," God would have prospered them, right?

Wrong.



"God did not create poverty. We created poverty
because we do not share with one another."
~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta ~

The Bible and our Christian tradition very clearly teach, over and over again, that the Lord gave us free will when he created us and it is human beings who cause each other grief - not the Lord.  If we do not obey the Lord in this life, he will not accept us into heaven when we die. In the meantime, we exercise our free will. We can torment one another or love and help one another. It is all up to us.

If people are poor, it is because others are too selfish with the largesse of resources with which the human race has been gifted. Millions of people have nowhere to live because a few people think they deserve to have gold plated toilets.


Donald Trump's gold-plated sink on his airplane
(There is a toilet to match.)


Lately, I have watched good, sincere and motivated Christians, twisting themselves into knots, in order to put a good spin on some really awful life circumstances - trying to figure out what "God" is trying to teach them by the unrelenting stream of sorrows in which they nearly drown. Because of the bastardization of the Christian message, they are traumatized with self-loathing and blame themselves for their inability to pull themselves out of a crushing socio-economic corner. They do not realize they are trapped in a massive pyramid scheme, along with millions of other struggling people, who have been brainwashed by the incessant propaganda of the wealthy and those in collusion with them.

There is no dearth of resources on this wonderful planet of ours. There is more than enough for every human being to eat and live and thrive and have a little fun while we do it. The lie of scarcity, created by the rich as a tool to dislodge all the wealth and send it hurtling into their always-open maw, is a vulgar insult to the good God who made us all. It is NOT representative of the message of Jesus. In fact, it is the opposite.

"Sell your possessions and give to charity; make
yourselves purses which do not wear out, an
unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief
comes near, nor mother destroys."
~ Luke 12:33 ~


Entire books have been written about how the guys at the top of the pyramid create and cultivate the systems that serve to impoverish 99 percent of humans while 1% take their morning constitutional on a gold plated seat. That is not my specialty. I am a lone voice in the wilderness of the world, with no resources to speak of, either financially or physically, and few people will even read this blog, but advocating for the poor in this small way is all I can do on my short term on earth.

I never expected to be in this position. I am, myself, one of the millions of disabled, poor seniors in America. Ending up this way was a surprise. In addition to my "plan" to make money from my art ( admittedly, an iffy proposition), I was expecting to inherit at least enough to get me through my "golden years" without going hungry. My whole life, my father told me countless times, "when I die, kid, you're gonna be rich!" Somehow, after he got dementia and tried to start his car with a credit card, instead of his keys, I was written out of the will. You can draw your own conclusions about this fairly obvious set of circumstances.

"Open your mouth for the dumb, for the
rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth,
judge righteously, and defend the rights of
the afflicted and needy."
~ Proverbs 31:8 ~


It is because I have been the target of greedy, unprincipled people and then smashed into the corner at the bottom of the pyramid, that I am able to empathize with poor people, as a class, throughout the world. I have experienced, first hand, the greed of those more comfortable than me. I have been the subject of countless lies and misrepresentations, because thieves usually have to lie about the people that they crush under their feet in order to justify stealing from them.

Many thieves camouflage themselves as highly religious people. It is part of the long con.

At the very least, I hope to encourage the poor to take heart in the words of the Lord instead of those "Christians" that try to blame them for their poverty. If I can encourage even a handful of people to take heart and be assured of the love the Lord has for them, I will be happy.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where

thieves break through and steal."
~ Matthew 6:19 ~

Donald Trump's gold toilet


Silver Rose

Monday, June 25, 2018

DONALD TRUMP IS NOT THE PROBLEM



Jesus blessing a poor man.


Donald Trump, though the current poster child for the hard right in America, did not invent the callous, heartless, and decidedly unChristian worldview with which we are currently fighting.

The policies of this president are met with joy by people who have been here all along but who, until now, have had limited power to realize their selfish and distorted world view.

I do not pretend to know, for certain, the origins of America's reversion to such primitive, tribal and harsh standards, but, when I think back to the infancy of this country, I see the seeds of it right there. Women were not allowed to vote. African Americans remained in slavery to rich landowners. Many of the founding fathers did not want to give voting privileges to anyone but landowners.

If you analyze the group of people who had all the rights in the beginning of our nation, it is the same group of people who are now trying to keep everyone but themselves from having any.

Even though I am functionally poor and cannot afford to buy the assistive devices and furnishings that I need to accommodate my disabilities, I STILL live much better than the poor souls who are trying to immigrate here from other countries, and this disparity in standards of living is a crucial part of the current debate on immigration. A large segment of the American population is selfish and doesn't want to help anyone. The character assassinations they employ to justify their selfishness give false witness, and are a scandal in themselves. A lot of it appears to be racist, but underneath the apparent racism, I think this selfishness is the primary fuel for the current hostility toward immigrants.

"Today the illegal migrant 
comes before us like that 
"stranger" in whom Jesus 
asks to be recognized. To 
welcome him and to show 
him solidarity is a duty of 
hospitality and fidelity to 
Christian identity itself."
~ Pope Saint John Paul ~


Just look at the way we treat our OWN people! We have more than 40 million poor people in our country, but the hard right doesn't care about them. They dismiss us by saying that we all need to go to work, which is another lie because most poor people ARE working. The rest are disabled, elderly, or children. Less than 3% of people who receive entitlement income are able-bodied people that aren't working - and most of them are searching for work. Despite these facts, the hard right persists in pushing the lie that poor people are just lazy bums that need to go to work. I am quite sure there are some lazy bums among the poor, but there will always be a few people like that in the world.

Although there is a lot of talk about the hard right being "Christian" and following "Christian values," the only people they seem to care about are babies in the womb. They excuse Trump's brutal reign with all sorts of nonsense, supposedly because he will make abortion illegal, vis-a-vis conservative Supreme Court jurists.

While it appears that the hard right have sold their souls in exchange for one or two seats on the Supreme Court, their doing so is a pointless endeavor. Abortion will not become illegal, now that the flood gates have opened. It would be more effective to evangelize the heart while making survival a bit easier for moms, but, instead of taking care of people after they have been born, and establishing family-friendly economic systems that would assist families, the hard right advocates for cuts to food and shelter assistance, cuts to healthcare, cuts to the minimum wage, and a tax structure that caters to the ultra rich. They create an environment that is hostile to women, children, families and poor people, then criticize the people they impoverish when they are driven to abortion.

Since poor Americans are treated so shabbily by other Americans who have benefited in our culture to a greater degree, it is no surprise that they don't want to help immigrants from other countries, regardless of our completely immigrant past (except for the Native Americans.)

The idea of scarcity, that there are not enough resources to go around for everyone to be happy, is the biggest lie of all. There are a few men at the top of the socio-economic ladder who have nearly all the wealth of our nation. For years, our economic policies have shuttled all the wealth to the top of the ladder, while the people who actually do the work to create the wealth - the workers - are suffering with stagnating wages for more than 40 years! We have poverty in our country, not because the poor are lazy, but because the rich are filthy greedy. Those few men at the top of the ladder have enriched themselves unjustly at the expense of the common man, and they currently spend some of their ill-gotten gains to spread lies about the rest of us so that they can continue to rape our economy.

There is no scarcity. There is enough wealth in America so that all people may get a living wage and feed, house and clothe themselves, with a little extra for fun. There is enough wealth to help immigrants and refugees come into our country and become part of our economy. There is no scarcity. There is greed.

Many "religious" people think you cannot call yourself a Christian unless you are a Republican. The reason that this drives the rest of us crazy is because the hard right advocates for harsh policies that hurt the vulnerable, something that jesus would NEVER approve of.

Donald Trump didn't start this, though he is the lightning rod for all the animus that followers of Christ feel toward the policies and prejudices of the current administration. Trump is an icon of far right thought. His attacks on the press and the first amendment, his vulgarity, his commercialization of the office of the Presidency, his corrupt business practices, his objectification of and assaults on women, his constant lying, his long-term ties with Russian oligarchs and American mafia, his destruction of the offices of government by promoting people unqualified and/or devoted to their destruction, his extreme mental laziness that is demonstrated by his refusal to be properly briefed, his continually affirmed admiration for dictators and his repudiation of our allies - ALL of this makes us cringe. All of it is unChristian.

What really scares people who actually follow Christ is not Donald Trump. What really concerns us  are millions of people who think just as Trump does. Although he did not win the popular vote, Trump won enough votes to enable him to come to office through the quirks of the Electoral College.  Though Donald Trump lied about the crowds at his inauguration, his crowd is big enough to be of grave concern.

Donald Trump is not the problem. He represents the problem, and he does a good job of it.

Evangelization and some truth telling would seem to be in order.

Silver Rose 

Monday, June 18, 2018

PLEASE DON'T JUDGE JESUS BY THE "CHRISTIANS" WHO SUPPORT TRUMP



Even though Donald Trump's outrageous lies are easily unmasked by watching a video of him speaking his own contradictions or of eye witnesses, experts and professional testimony and photographs, some people choose to believe Trump and his lies.

They believe the lies of his lackeys and sycophants, such as Jeff Sessions, when he claims that jailing children at our borders is Biblical because God has installed our leaders, relying upon a text-twisted Biblical reference divorced from its moorings and rendered opposite in its meaning by removing the surrounding text that directs and defines it.

The idea that all the policies of all heads of government are holy because God installs all the leaders is another version of Nixon's comment that "if the president does it, it isn't illegal." This idea, if followed to its logical conclusion, would mean that all actions of every dictator and despot in the world are a positive good from God. This is patently ridiculous. It is neither legal nor Biblical.

Unfortunately, when Trump apologists cite the Bible and Christianity as authorities for their actions, they make claims about Christianity that are completely false. For instance it is the antithesis of the Christian message to behave in a cruel way toward immigrants. The Old and New Testaments are very clear on this. Jews and Christians alike are told to be kind to strangers, for once we were also strangers. Dire warnings are given for those who fail to do this.

Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you
accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was
thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me
no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in 
prison, and you did not care for me.
~ Matthew 25 ~


The Bible consistently affirms that Satan is "the father of all lies." Many Christians are saying that it doesn't matter that Trump lies continually because "all politicians lie." Excusing Trump's lies because someone else has lied would excuse Hitler from murdering millions of Jews because some other leader killed someone at some time. "They all do it."

Shall we excuse all the murderers from prison because someone else, somewhere, in some way, killed someone?

If we justify Trump's continual lies because, supposedly, "Hillary did it," should we then adopt all of Hillary Clinton's actions as our model to follow? Should we follow the worst behavior of other people, or should we uphold Biblical values?

If so-called "family values" Christians think it is fine that Trump has brought with him a legion of women who are suing him for various assaults because he is, supposedly, a "baby Christian," then how much more forgiving would they be of Clinton and the two women who sued him? Right? No?

Sometimes I worry that the "Christian" support of Donald Trump has obliterated the possibility of bringing the Gospel message to non-Christians. Today, we do not have a prayer of gaining converts, unless they are people who are devoted to principles that are the OPPOSITE of Biblical principles. Neo Nazis, white supremacists, sociopaths who blackmail voters by tormenting children, and pathological liars would feel at home in the "Christianity" that is being advertised by the Trump administration. Jesus weeps!




Having studied and been a part of many different religions in my lifetime, I can tell you that people come to religion for a variety of reasons, not all of them honorable. Every religion has its hypocrites who neither follow the religious precepts nor advocate for them. Each of them has a certain number of people who use the religion to get things they want on earth, or simply to make themselves feel good.

Religious institutions are full of people - and people are very flawed. A good portion are sincere and make a good faith effort to live their faith. The rest are either coasting or perverting the message to their own ends.

Jesus knew this would happen. He said that, in the end, people would cry to Him, "Lord! Lord" and He would reject some of them, saying, "I do not know you."

This is why I do not judge a faith by any of the people that fail to live up to it. I would not want the Christianity that approves of the sins of Donald Trump and his people. THAT "Christianity" is abhorrent to me and to every Christian who knows the message of Christ. Thanks be to God, I do not belong to that Christianity.

I can only pray that people inclined toward true Christian values do not turn their backs on Christianity because of this vile circus that is being played out in our halls of so-called "justice."

Silver Rose

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

THE LADDER TO HEAVEN

LADDER BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH



Sometimes, when I hear a pro-Trump mob shouting approval for his xenophobic, racist and nationalistic comments, it really frightens me. It sounds very much like the recordings I have heard of Hitler inflaming the German people, urging them to hate the Jews and blaming Jews for everything that has gone wrong in their lives.





White Germans went on to kill Jews, Armenians, artists, homosexuals, and anyone who violated the cultural norms of middle class whites or disagreed with the Nazi methods. What is next for Americans if the far right wing of the GOP stays in power?







While Hitler was a true believer of his own toxic political philosophy, I think that Trump is simply using the presidency to fill his empty coffers. I believe that Trump is leading his followers into a cruel future, not because he wants to help us reach some kind of ideal, but because he needs the money. He is using his power to fill the government with people who are dedicated to making the rich even richer, removing all obstacles to the wealthy being able to amass even more money than they already have. Along the way, his businesses and the businesses of his relatives, are being flooded with foreign cash.





I suspect that Trump refused to publish his tax returns because he was broke - at least his version of being broke. He gave government positions and offices in the White House to his relatives who manage his business interests. Since becoming president, money from foreign governments especially, has come pouring even harder into the Trump businesses, including his daughter Ivanka's business, which, just this week, received another 7 special trademarks with China - within days of Trump's announcement that he intended to save China's ZTE Corporation, a sudden reversal of his "policy" that no new foreign contracts would be allowed during his presidency.




Ignoring my suspicions about this venal motive of his, which can only be inferred at this point, I am concerned that a large percentage of Americans are being manipulated with tried and true techniques used by authoritarian figures throughout history. They are being turned and formed on the lathe of hate and ignorance. They have given themselves over to it willingly because Trump, a typical authoritarian figure,  either promises them relief from responsibility for the bleak condition of their lives or gives them reassurance that their country will not be overrun with brown people. The authoritarian figure capitalizes upon the mob's fears. He sacrifices the immigrant, the poor person, the black person, in a social lynching.




"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me,
you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil
and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no
food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger
and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me
no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me."
Matthew 25


Many of Trump's supporters are white evangelicals, according to recent news articles and statistics. These supporters of the far right ignore the continual and insistent message of the Bible to love one's neighbor as much as oneself.  The Bible is full of references to helping the poor and the stranger. Trump supporters imagine that it is acceptable to support the destruction of all our vulnerable populations and to turn away the refugee under a supposedly "pro life" and "pro family" banner. It boggles the mind.

"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and
her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless
ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they 
were haughty and committed abominations before me.
Therefore, I removed them when I saw it."
Zek. 16:49



I wonder what kind of family they have in mind, when I listen to trump brag about grabbing women "by the p...y" and then, later, denying he had actually done it when 19 women complain about being assaulted by him. He called them liars and impugned their character, as if being groped by Donald Trump was something anyone would want known about them. There is no advantage in it. It is nothing but humiliation.


"Stormy Daniels"

The affair with the porn star, how he tried to cover it up, lied about it, lied about the payment, got caught lying, then had to fess up, does not sound like family values to me. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani, paints a picture of a man who regularly needs his affairs to be cleaned up in this manner and who feeds money into a slush fund for this purpose. Trump's wife, Melania, was pregnant and then had just given birth to their child when Trump was having sex with the porn star, risking the health of wife and baby. What kind of family values is that?

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has
faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food
for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace,
keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the
necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith
of itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
James 2:14-17

I am not being obtuse. I am well aware that the only criteria for "pro family" in the minds of evangelicals is often nothing more than making abortion illegal while at the same time starving the hungry. Abortion is not going to become illegal in America until America experiences severe trauma as a result of not having enough young people working to support the society.

Trump has made some movements in the direction of making abortions more difficult to get, but they are not permanent. As soon as he leaves office, all of that will be overturned. People will have to stop killing their babies of their own accord. Men like Donald Trump would have to stop having affairs that need to be hidden, for one thing.

It is a mystery to me why evangelicals have sold themselves so cheaply, with so little to gain, and so much to lose. Associating Donald Trump with the topic of abortion automatically denigrates the position of the pro-life movement with the majority of the voting public.


Donald Trump - the choice of white evangelicals


It isn't just the evangelicals. Just yesterday, a priest blabbed some far right propaganda onto Facebook that supposedly most of our refugees are Muslim and that he believes they should not be "given welfare," (i.e., helped to survive) because they come from Muslim countries and they're old enough to be in the Army. This convoluted, logic-strained rationalization based on a false narrative is what passes for compassion in his world, apparently. He is sucking up all the admiration of his flock, enjoying the status of being a priest, and gut-punching Jesus at the same time. Hypocrites like this make me want to scream and tear my hair out.

Jesus told us that going to heaven when we die is not a sure thing. He said that many people would come to him, in the end, and beseech him, saying, "Lord! Lord!" and He would tell them to get away from him and that he does not know them. Getting baptised, donating to the church and appearing now and then are not going to get us through the pearly gates.

This topic reminds me of an icon that I look at quite frequently. It is the ladder to heaven. All along the ladder, people are falling off and falling into the pit of hell, where Satan's demons await them.

God help me, but the address of Jared Kushner's beleaguered property on 5th street is 666. I'm just saying.



The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed
robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have
oppressed the sojourner without justice...Thus, I have poured out
My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of 
My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,: declares the
Lord GOD.
Ezek. 22:29,31


Silver Rose Parnell






Thursday, May 24, 2018

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR WHEN YOU'RE VOTING

Teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary School after a
tornado destroyed the school
{NY Daily News}

Here is the situation: The Russian government infiltrated our political system and installed a corrupt businessman as president, by manipulating social media, broadcasting lies and propaganda, secreting bad actors into our system, and generally wreaking havoc with our democratic process. American co-conspirators remain in place in our government, though 19 have been indicted and 5 have pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy and subsequent attack on the American people. We need to clean house in order to restore our freedom to choose our own leaders. Our freedoms are permanently limited, if we do not do this. Once the conspirators gain control of the government and populate the House, Senate and presidency, getting them out may never be possible.

I read in The Washington Post this morning, however, that some leaders of the Democrat Party are underestimating their constituents. People like Senator Sherrod Brown, who is "running for reelection in a state Trump won," thinks that his constituents are more interested in "jobs and health care." He, and others like him are afraid that, if they talk too much about the Russian conspiracy and attack, Americans will tire of it and they will lose votes.

The idea is that they think that Americans only care about themselves and their own "kitchen table" topics, i.e., the things they worry about and talk about over their kitchen tables. Even though it would be extremely dangerous to leave these Russian co-conspirators in place to destroy our entire way of life, these leaders of the Democratic Party are focusing their energies on more pedestrian topics.




"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind and with
all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your
neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment
greater than these."
Mark 12:30-31

Our country is not built on pure selfishness. Yes, there ARE some narcissists who only care about themselves and their personal fortunes, but those people do not define our national personality. We are, historically, a Christian nation based on enlightened Christian values. [This does not mean everyone has to be a Christian to be an American. Christian values help, support and nurture everyone. Even organizations that are specifically Christian typically help all people, regardless of faith.] The most important commandment, according to Christ, is to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.

When I vote, I vote in a way that I believe will benefit everyone. I have the confidence that most Americans also do this. Even those with whom I disagree about method have good intentions. Many of my friends voted for Donald Trump with good intentions. I trust that. I disagree about him, obviously. He is terrible for our country, but I think that, were it not for malicious propaganda and manipulation of "news" outlets, such as Fox News and The Heritage Foundation, those friends might have voted differently.

What we need is MORE information about the criminal acts of Donald Trump and his co-conspirators. This information needs to reach more people, and it needs to be clear. 19 indictments. What does that mean? 5 people have pleaded guilty, and there are more to come, who will either be proven guilty or will admit to it without having to go through the trial process. The legal ramifications for these individuals needs to be advertised. What these people did needs to be detailed publicly.

We are not a selfish people, and we do not need to be coddled with topics that are more personal or more fun. The state of our government is in our hands because our votes determine who serves us in Washington. We need more information in order to make informed choices, not less.

Silver Rose Parnell



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DONALD TRUMP AND SATAN




"You shall worship the Lord your God
and only Him shall you serve."

As a religious woman, truth is naturally important to me, but truth is in short supply these days when considering the state of our government. I feel compelled to speak out, because it appears that some of my fellow Christians have abandoned devotion to truth, giving a pass to a corrupt businessman who was made president through the machinations of enemy foreign powers and who lies continually, unreservedly, shamelessly and unrepentantly.

Apparently, they expect a completely amoral, dishonest and corrupt businessman to act in the best interests of Christians. Why?

Every day, some fresh horror is revealed, and Trump blithely lies his way out of it, destroying the reputations of good people and institutions as he smashes his way through the halls of government, firing anyone who disagrees with him or does not accede to his every demand.

Given his craven dishonesty, complete lack of ethics, barely disguised corruption and personal financial gains, why do my Christian brothers and sisters defend him?

According to modern psychology, their brains have no chance against the constant, daily onslaught of bologne. All presidents lie. But "Donald Trump is in a different category. The sheer frequency, spontaneity and seeming irrelevance of his lies have no precedent." [See Politico Magazine link, below.] "A whopping 70 percent of Trump's statements that PolitiFact checked during the campaign were false, while only 4 percent were completely true."







Links to articles about Trump's lies:

Politico Magazine - Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain - Here’s what psychology tells us about life under a leader totally indifferent to the truth.

Washington Post - In 466 days, President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims

Metro - The number of Trump lies just hit 3,000

CNN Politics - President Trump lied more than 3,000 times in 466 days

CNN - Toobin: Rudy's interview and Trump's lies create a crisis

Fact Check: Trump Blames His Own Border Policy on the Democrats

Politifact - False Statements Involving Trump

Factcheck.org - Trump's Phony "Fake News" Claims

2016: Politico Magazine - Trump’s Week of Errors, Exaggerations and Flat-out Falsehoods

Despite his authoritarian methods and constant falsehoods and misleading comments, Trump's supporters continue to cheer him on. I used to think that they were just lacking information or that they were shielded from the truth by outfits like Fox News and EWTN Nightly News that deliberately omit information that does not flatter Trump. That isn't it. Americans are not stupid. I believe that most of them can easily see just what kind of man he is. They just don't care. They dismiss it as irrelevant, or not as important as something they feel they are gaining by having this barbarian in charge of our country. They do not mind risking the stability of our government. They do not care if other countries hate us.

By supporting the man of lies, Christians become the people of the lie. Satan is "the father of lies" and anyone who supports the lies are supporters of Satan. Non-Christians are watching this and their opinion of Christianity has plummeted. Who knows how long it will be before the reputation of Christ and his people recovers? I am having to defend the Christian faith against the hypocritical acts of Christians on a daily basis these days, and this is a very odd position to occupy, considering the fact that I am a relatively new convert to the faith.




"When we are overwhelmed with false, or potentially false,
statements, our brains pretty quickly become so overworked
that we stop trying to sift through everything."
Maria Konnikova
Politico Magazine

Trump supporters have said that all politicians act this way - they all lie. That excuse, itself, is a lie. First of all, I've never seen anyone lie this much. The sheer volume of lies is almost overwhelming. It is a daily scandal. Even if another politician HAD lied so much, so often about so many, the fact that they had done so is certainly not an excuse for the present case.

Others are quick to chastise us to "forgive" the President - a supposedly "baby Christian" - but they seem to forget that forgiveness is not given to the unrepentant. Someone who deliberately lies to get ahead in life, knows that he is lying and knows that it is wrong is not getting forgiveness from the Lord who is all truth and goodness. "Baby Christians" are forgiven for their former evil lives, but are expected to make an effort to improve. Instead, Trump doubles down and increases the number and extremity of the lies. It is a sin to presume upon the future forgiveness of the Lord for sins engaged upon today.


"There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his
own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from
on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy
(hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory
without merit."
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2092

In addition to the lies, some of the behaviors would have caused enormous public outrage, were they done by any other politician. For example, can you imagine what would have happened if Barack Obama had filled key government positions with unqualified family members and had given them offices in the White House, despite their inability to pass a background check or get security clearance?  What if he had called White Supremacists "very fine people," and defended them against public outcry? What if Barack Obama had reached out to our national enemies to gain their help in winning the election?  What would have happened if Barack Obama had bragged about assaulting women and grabbing them "by the pussy" and then later denied having done that and called the 2 dozen women who came to complain about him liars who were just trying to make money off of him?



Barack Obama receiving Nobel Peace Prize


Can you imagine if Obama had multiple sexual liaisons with other women and had to pay off porn stars, embarrassing his wife and causing her untold grief? Republicans went nuts when Bill Clinton had an affair with a staffer and then lied about it. They impeached him for it - but not a word about this MOUNTAIN of corruption we have now. Barack Obama, whom Trump tried (and failed) to label as an immigrant, was certainly not a perfect man. There are many things he did while in office that I wish had been done differently - but at least the man had some integrity and dignity. HIS entourage didn't get indicted. The world gave him the Nobel Peace Prize! Trump will not be winning that, I can guarantee you.

In addition to the mountain of lies, we have incontrovertible evidence of massive corruption of the worst kind, which is, in itself, a lie in action. Trump is benefiting financially as a result of his governmentally bestowed power. Multiple governments were promised favors in exchange for money paid into Trump businesses. It isn't just Russia. Oligarchs from countries around Russia are involved. Within the last few days, we learned that Trump's people also met with officials from the Arab Emirates for assistance in gaining the election. Now that Trump is in power, governments that do not benefit Trump personally and financially are punished governmentally, such as in the case of Qatar.


Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani meets with President
Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia


Links to information about Qatar and Trump:

Slate - The Most Important Questions to Ask About the Kushner 666 Fifth Ave. Deal

TPM - Trump’s Lawyer’s Lawyer Is (Was) a Foreign Agent for Qatar

The Atlantic - What Trump's Qatar Tweets Revealed

In order to ensure that Trump's actions would not be reported upon, complained about, or worked against, he deliberately left hundreds of jobs unfilled when he came to office. He fired many people. Some resigned in anticipation of what was to come. The offices are mostly empty, except for the king's family and their servile lackeys. This type of organization is calculated to concentrate power with Trump, his family, and his sycophants. The fewer people that have access to him and his family, the safer he feels. He can conduct himself in secrecy.

What few positions he did fill were with people whose stated aim has been the destruction of the departments to which they were assigned. Betsy De Vos, for example, worked for years to eliminate the Department of Education, which she now heads. That is just one of many examples.

Over the last year, a long list of government officials have been fired by Trump. Anyone who doesn't treat him like the dictator he aspires to be, is fired. Few people left in power on The Hill have any spine and they will not stand up to him. Rod Rosenstein is about to be fired, apparently, because he will not kowtow to Trump's furious demands.



Rod Rosenstein

Read article and watch video here:



Background information about this matter:




Now that multiple co-conspirators have been indicted by the Russia probe, and the investigation is creeping ever closer to Trump himself, Trump's hysteria has reached epic proportions, and he has invented a spy scandal and is calling it "spygate," claiming that Barack Obama had a spy embedded in Trump's campaign. His lies know no bounds. He gladly skewers the reputations of honest people in service to his massive ego and, lately, to hide his crimes. Does anyone remember, "THOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR?"





CLICK THIS LINK FOR BACKGROUND ON SPYGATE:



Leslie Stahl just revealed in an interview that when she asked Trump why he continually trashes the news media, he told her that he bashes the press to "demean and discredit" them so that, when they report on him, they will not be believed. This is the liar trying to ensure that the lies are swallowed whole, by giving false witness.


Leslie Stahl, discussing Trump's comments to her

SEE THIS LINK TO WATCH VIDEO
AND READ ARTICLE:


Christians cannot allow themselves to be aligned with this man of lies whose behavior and speech is in complete opposition to the Christian faith. There is no excuse for it. Nothing is worth allying oneself with Satan, the father of all lies.

It is time for Christians to re-examine all their beliefs around this president. There is too much at stake to do otherwise. Fortunately for us, we have the internet, without which it would be ever so much more difficult to conduct the kind of research that one will need to do in order to de-program themselves. Politifact, factcheck.org and snopes are good resources to check the reliability of whatever one does find on the internet. Stay away from inflammatory sources that are paid for by partisan organizations. Stay away from publications that are not strictly news news outlets. I love EWTN News Nightly, as a Catholic television program, but I don't rely upon it for all my news. If you are Christian, and if truth means anything to you at all, you must do this. Do it now, before the mid-term elections.

Silver Rose Parnell

Thursday, May 17, 2018

THE DUMBEST GIRL IN THE ROOM

My modest garden


I've noticed since becoming disabled and retiring from salaried work that people have started treating me as if I am the dumbest girl in the room and, 15 years into retirement, it is starting to grate on my nerves.

The disdain of some is demonstrated by refusing to listen, discounting my opinions, telling me what to do, say or think, or dismissing my concerns with an imperious air usually reserved for pre-teens who have grown to big for their britches. I have reached the limit of my patience with this nonsense.

I was just as aggravated, at age 20, when people who customarily would not give me the time of day were crawling all over me, begging to be "my friend" as soon as I sold my first story to an episodic television series. That is the opposite side of the same coin. I gave up writing for television many years ago and, although I am not the slightest bit interested in people fawning all over me, I likewise object to being dismissed.

Recently, I spent the day with an acquaintance who I met subsequent to becoming disabled and who continues to treat me as a lesser being. When she arrived, I had to tell her 4 times in the span of 90 seconds to PLEASE stop petting my dog when I'm trying to discipline it. She continued to interfere, and I finally had to put the dog in the kennel. Later, she attempted to dictate how I should interact with others in several different venues.  During lunch, I politely paused to ask for her opinion about a topic, and she blurted out the most nonsensical, disjointed and unhinged stream of words that I realized she wasn't paying the slightest attention to anything I said. I pretended not to notice that she had not been listening, though it did give me a hitch in my giddyup. I couldn't imagine her behaving like this with any of her other friends and I had, indeed, seen her interact with a mutual acquaintance.

Multiply this experience a zillion times, and you will get a picture of a typical day in my life. Thank God for the few friends I have who are generous with themselves and don't treat me like I am a developmentally disabled child who is incapable of discursive thought and needs to be directed.




During my conversation with the acquaintance mentioned above, this woman let me know that she was under the impression I was on the dole and that, when my Social Security kicks in sometime during the next couple of years I would get a "bump" in income, and my finances would improve, which is completely wrong.

To put it simply, if you have substantial work history, such as I do (with 30 years under my belt), disability is simply drawing on the Social Security Insurance into which I have paid my entire working life. It is the same Social Security Insurance into which the rest of you are paying with every paycheck.

Essentially, disability causes one to begin to receive early Social Security retirement benefit. Only the monies that you've already paid into the fund are considered when determining your monthly retirement amount. The average Social Security benefit is $1,000 a month. Just try to live on a thousand dollars a month, with no help from any quarter. It is almost impossible. (I do have some friends who have adopted me as family and contribute very kindly, but it is still very difficult.) A huge number of seniors, especially those left without a mate, are struggling to survive on the pittance that Social Security gives us.


Silly Goose

You could easily do everything "right" throughout your working life, and still end up poor poor poor when it comes time to retire, giving the lie to the idea that if you are poor you have done something wrong.

If you haven't made much money in your lifetime, and your Social Security benefit is less than about $700 a month, and if your assets do not exceed $5,000 - then the government will step in with a little monthly stipend to get you up to that $700 a month. That hundred or two hundred dollars a month that the government contributes is a type of welfare, but it disappears if you get income or assets from elsewhere.

Not only do I not receive any government assistance in addition to my Social Security benefit, I also do not qualify for any other benefits except some really lousy slow internet service and a small discount on my rent in a bad part of town.

There are so many stupid and bigoted ideas floating around now about people "on disability." Most Americans are ignorant of what is meant by that. They imagine, wrongly, that all disabled people are living on WELFARE, and that is not the case. It is also wrong that people who ARE receiving welfare are cheating the system and are freeloaders.

Medical and mental illnesses are private matters, and no one is obligated to reveal any of it to anyone. Many people will expend a great deal of effort to hide mental illnesses, especially, and they would rather the public believe they are freeloaders than to have anyone know the nature of their illness. Having gone through the disability determination process myself, I am confident that "fakers" are few and far between. The criteria is rigorous. Recently, countless stories of people with serious, verifiable illnesses that cannot get approval from the medical board have come to light. Apparently, it is becoming harder and harder to get assistance, and many Americans become completely destitute, then fall into homelessness while waiting for benefits.

Americans criticize other cultures for caste systems and class systems, but we are the worst hypocrites about this topic. The underlying belief of most Americans seems to be that you are less of a person if you aren't financially well off.

No matter why one is poor, it is assumed that you must be stupid, because if you were smart, you would be rich. Calvinism is very strong in the hearts of many Americans. They tend to believe that good people are rewarded financially. If you do not have money, then you must not be good - or intelligent - or worthy.

Being egalitarian by nature and philosophy (as well as the lessons of Christ), it is my firm conviction that we should treat everyone with equal respect, whether rich or poor and regardless of the source of their income. Human beings are not animals, contrary to the proclamations of Donald Trump (who keeps calling immigrants "animals" these days.)



The happiest countries on the planet, for many years running, are the Nordic countries that have very strong social programs that guarantee you will retire on 80% of your former salary (instead of the 20% we typically give.) They also have free college, day care for the children, free medical care, etc. These people do not have to compete against one another for their basic survival. They are better educated, healthier and more prosperous, as a whole, than we are. If "love thy neighbor" is the mark of a Christian nation, then Finland, this year, is the MOST Christian nation of all. America is not even on the chart for that award. If I had known about this when I was younger, I could easily see myself moving to Finland or Denmark, which captured the award for 3 years running.

America is undergoing a huge revolution. While the current American leadership is more corrupt, dishonest and vulgar than we have ever seen, it HAS done us the favor of bringing a lot of ugliness to light. People with bigoted, racist and classist ideas have heard Trump's dog whistles and, sensing that it is safe to crawl out of the dark, have become emboldened in their prejudices, flinging the covers aside in an appalling display. After Trump said that the Nazis were also "very good people," white supremacist groups were responsible for a sudden uptick of violence. Now that they have been flushed into the clearing, we know the job that lays ahead of us.

Having grown up in they 60's - the era of peace, love and equality - I really had no idea there were so many people with such despicable opinions. Now that we are aware, however, we can work together to restore our American dignity of purpose and philosophy.

So, puhleeeze, people - if you happen to interact with someone who is a different color, or disabled, or older, or in some other way different from you, don't assume that they are less intelligent, less valuable or have less to offer the world than you do. Don't assume that someone who is poor is living on "welfare." We need to treat every other person as our peer, regardless of financial status.

We have a lot of work to do in our Christian walk.I will continue to try to educate the arrogant and advocate for the poor, even if I am the stupidest girl in the room. Please join me.

Silver Rose Parnell
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