Can you say whacky reality ?

(want to know what is wrong with society? Add this. Is Dr.Ruth in the house?)
 
Let me introduce this person who is a blogger. She must be first rate if she’s on HuffPo.

    “Featured as one of the Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2012, Charlie N___ has been dishing out dating advice since middle school.”

    “In addition to writing and speaking, Charlie is a boutique sex and dating coach. She works with all kinds of clients, but specializes in those who have specific and often significant barriers to dating — she prefers to call it Extreme Dating!”

Fame and all ….

Okay, so she says she is a “sex and dating coach”. Now to the point, I read this column of hers. I know, why would I? Not sure, but the comments beneath it at least were rational, so there are sane, thinking people out there. But in her words in this column were some interestingly strange tidbits.

The tip-off is probably in the title, “Oops, I slept with your boyfriend“.

    “I think of myself as a woman of integrity, a lady of honor, an upstanding broad. If you had asked me when I was in high school if I’d ever sleep with a man I knew was otherwise entangled, I would have given a proud and emphatic “no way, sister.”

Well, she has integrity.. So far so good.

    “But as I got older, this view of relationships, among other things, got complicated. I’ve been married, separated, divorced, monogamous, polyamorous, celibate, and in recent years I’ve once in a while been the “other woman.” “

Okay, that begins it; just imagine similar rationalizations for ‘anything goes’ after that.

Then she makes a point to say she wants only consensual and intentional sex, without the pretense that “it just happened”. It must be deliberate. Ah, a hint of limits. (sigh)

Then, there is the 50 dollar statement at the end, after saying what all she does, did, or would do. She said, before you worry, her friends’ boyfriends are taboo — well sort of.
So there is the pretense that there are limits beyond which even she will not cross… or maybe not. Remember, she is a professional.

“I’m sure some women will read this and worry about being friends with me. Up until now I’ve never slept with one of my friend’s boyfriends. I can’t imagine a situation in which that would feel right in my body. There are a whole other set of promises and agreements between me and my friends.

Maybe we don’t have a promise to not f*** each other’s partners, but we do have promises around caring for each other and if I thought my friend would be upset, I suspect I wouldn’t be turned on.

But if for some reason I am there with my friend’s boyfriend, and we have a crazy intense connection and sleeping with him doesn’t feel wrong in my body, I might do it. I feel the need however to emphasize that despite an incredibly vivid imagination, I can’t actually imagine any scenario in which this would happen.”

Okay, this is not my normal thing to blog on but this one just rang the “gong bell” and did a drum roll. People wonder what is wrong with society? She is a professional sex coach. I’m sorry I cannot spell out all the irony there. It does, however, make you wonder who her clients are? Then she nails the rationalization box shut with this:

    “Relationships are complicated; and emotions and promises and sex and bodies are complicated. I don’t think it’s possible to make absolute rules.”

Well, now that we got the rule book out of the way…. I could have saved her a whole lot of time and all that self-absorbed, unnecessary excuse-making — especially the posturing about a pretense of limits when there are none — by just saying: “my view on sex is that there are no limits as long as you can rationalize it, just do it”.

So there you go, a glimpse into the culture we like to poke fun at and criticize. Que the Twilight Zone music. I really don’t want to know if she votes, based on her rationalizations. I’m not sure if she makes decisions, or only excuses. But a “sex coach”? She found her little niche in life, even if it includes ruining someone else’s life, or countless others’. This is a long way from “Dear Abby”. Possibly Bob Filner has a future as a sex coach?

Obama adopted, then became Trayvon

‘Travon Obama’ gives race lecture from White House

Black and white ain’t so Black and White

And the race-baiting continues.

There is absolutely zero reason to believe anything said here is being politically correct. So if you cannot stomach that, you may not want to read this, it may offend your sensitivities.

My Bullshit Meter has exploded. I knew it would at some point about this Zimmerman verdict — since the verdict is the real source of the problem now. Everyone has followed it or at least heard the story of the “child” who goes to the store to buy some candy and a drink and is shot in cold blood on the way home, just for his innocent efforts.

I wonder how many parents and friends can truly say that about someone they knew in Chicago? Just walking along and gunned down, and they don’t even know by who. There have to be hundreds if not thousands of those — through no fault of their own — murders. This one case, in Florida, does not happen to be one of those. Maybe it is fortunate for Trayvon’s parents that they have someone to blame and had their day in court. How many kids or surviving families in Chicago never had either of those?

Now, flash forward nearly a week after the “verdict”. We all heard clips and coverage, even since, about the case and the outcome. One important thing they want to ignore is where Trayvon attacked and was beating Zimmerman. (for whatever reason they do) They made it a national case way before trial, and had their storyline framed in the media.

The President even gave a remark at the onset that if he had a son he would look just like Trayvon. Now, I don’t claim to know exactly what he intended saying that, but I do know he personalized it. He also intervened in an arrest of a black Harvard professor. That was biased too – before knowing the details, he said police acted stupidly. Beer summit?

The family did post-verdict interviews and pleaded with the President to step in or intervene in some way, as well as countless others. They demanded Eric Holder and the DOJ to investigate, again, and press a civil rights case. We all know.

So the President does come out and give a 20 minute speech about it. (no questions — something Carney claimed Obama waited for all week and expected, but hadn’t received) Now he talks about it, and said his earlier remarks should also mean that could have been him 30 years ago. He upped the personalization to himself. Well, at the risk of Obama making this about himself, it is in effect what he did. Putting his DNA on it. I knew that was the intent of his first remark but he wanted to clarify it unless people didn’t get it.

In his latest rambling lecture on race in America, he rattles off a list of grievances of African-Americans regarding race. Feelings were a big part of his message. He spoke of being profiled in a store, crossing the street with locks clicking on cars, or standing next to a white woman clutching her purse. It was not lacking in typical examples.

And while rattling all these grievances off is where my bullshit meter exploded, (not fizzled… it exploded) because, as he said, we needed to add context to the issue. I can appreciate that. So I’d like to add a little bit of context — not an exhaustive one — of an average white guy. And yes, there is a context for that, too.

First though, by “context being denied “, as Obama puts it, I presume he meant denying the justifiable excuses for behavior, or denying that “experience” is causal.
Here is what Obama said in part:

Now, this isn’t to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.

They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration.

So Trayvon is a product of a violent history and poverty? There’s the unacknowledged context for it. So racism and others are to blame?

So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys. But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied.

But to start with, he repeats claims, like the commentators did, about conversations they must have with their children and those societal lessons they must learn. Educationally of course. Yes, white people have had to have and deal with some difficult conversations too. And knowing that these situations do not go away, they remain there like a scab that just won’t heal. We don’t appreciate having to talk about such issues but they are there.

So let’s put a geographic picture on it for openers. The small city or town, in rural America, where one cannot travel in a section after dark. You may walk though in the daytime, but even then it is risky. A likely scenario is someone says, “boy you in the wrong hood, what’cha doing here? Are you lost?” The message is clear this is their turf. It may not be the bloods and crypts but their turf, no doubt about it. God help you if you did break down in that section at night, you are at their mercy. (“they” meaning any opportunist)

Just crossing a main street in one section puts you on the black side. Blacks freely walk in other sections but everyone knows everything across that street is basically off limits. You have to let your kids know that. You wouldn’t send them over there unaware of the circumstances. While at the same time, avoiding that section does not make you immune to a bad encounter in the other parts of the city. (but your chances are better.)

I am not just referring to gang related problems. At night, ambulances run back and forth across that section. It’s a part of life, something you must live with. It doesn’t change. How does that make people feel? Those neighborhoods are off bounds to whites and might as well have signs on them. Anyone venturing in them would be at their mercy. Frequent shootings. I lived in a sprawling town like that at school. A block from the action as we called it. What happened there would not surprise you. Someone was stabbed while standing in front of a bar on the demarcation street. Fortunately he had a legal handgun. (he did not kill him) It was a message of the unfortunate truth.

But you never hear their concerns about that, those problems, tensions and feelings, or that history. They never mention the social problems whites deal with. You can be considered prey in the wrong part of town. How would any woman feel? The hospital borders that section and nurses had to travel back and forth at all hours. No, we did not have cell phones or GPS then. I’m thinking e GPS will catch up to say “Safety alert: you should know what part of town you are in, lock your doors, roll up your windows….and do not get out of the vehicle.”

So, let me tell you about some typical scenarios for white people. How about the life of white people and how they are forced to “feel”? How about when going into a gas station and there is a crowd of young black guys in front of the door with 40’s? Or maybe you have the pleasure of being offended hearing all the expletives they yell. And you have to explain to your children waiting in the car what is going on or why they were saying that? Or the playground being off-limits due to crack dealers. Or the unavoidable sight of men with their pants around their thighs with the entire underwear showing, groping their crotches every few minutes. Or the rap blaring expletives at deafening levels. Conversation starters for kids, or a conversation waiting to happen? Yep. I can hear the kids now, why is that?

Now maybe that doesn’t equate to walking across the street and hearing the locks click on all the cars. But I think I could handle that precaution pretty well, in context. Anyway, we are lectured by Obama to do some soul-searching. What about where whites are not dealt justice, and receive biases in courts and family courts? (Nichol and Ron Goldman) Yes it is there too. Where is that context?

Oddly enough — OR NOT — not a word from Obama about the race-baiters like Sharpton and Jackson. Not that we’d expect it. Or little about race riots spawned in California. And nothing about Black Panthers issuing a 10 thousand dollar reward for Zimmerman. Nor anything of substance about his own hometown, Chicago, where murders are practically hourly. Only a vague reference to violence over the verdict and protests.

Obama sounded like he was warning school children about violence. This isn’t a schoolyard and he is not a referee. It’s dangerous to make such casual remarks about it.

I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family. But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.

Wow, tough ultimatum. “I will remind them.” (I may have to lecture…)
Their rhetoric is: “What are we going to do about it?”, and “No justice no peace!”

And then, finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching.

How about store owners with thousands of dollars to replace signs and windows, only to wonder if it will happen again? Soul searching?

Then Obama says we ought to ask if we are “wringing as much bias out of” ourselves as we can? Give me a break. Is he? He believes that dividing us somehow unites us. Or maybe he really doesn’t believe it but that’s his formula.

If he sees any violence he will remind them? We’ve already seen acts. “Remind” who?

Speaking of “wringing out biases,” from the same guy who blamed an internet video for a terrorist attack in Benghazi, and months later says it was a long time ago. He won’t confront the unfortunate context of why those heroes died, but he’ll jump because a teenager was shot in self-defense to say, “that could have been me.”

He had no soul-searching, identity bonding to Benghazi or Fort Hood victims. No problem labeling an act of jihad work place violence. Benghazi was a long time ago.

Here’s an inconvenient racist reality for you. The Congress can’t even get basic accountability from the Attorney General on Fast and Furious without the Black Caucus crying racism and staging a walkout. Where’s the context and history for that? Better to worry about car locks clicking.

Soul searching anyone?

No lack of politicking from pulpits

Can’t get no, can’t get no… satisfaction … no, no, no. [part 1]

I never imagined saying this, but our problem today does not stem from a lack of taking on political issues from the pulpit. No. Wait; hold the tomatoes! It’s just that when they do mention anything related to politics, it is mostly a sanitized politically correct view. I know that is not every church or pulpit. Some pastors treat social issues equally serious.

But many pastors and clergy who will not talk about something in any way related to politics often do find their voice, but on other political matters. One could make a list: social justice, peace, being thy brother’s keeper, not judging others, not using certain outdated labels that may sound offensive, tolerance, and so on. So it is just so-called hot button issues they will not talk about – i.e. abortion, gay marriage, etc. Is that what we are called to do, effectively “screen” our speech? And to do it for political correctness?

Pastors to Endorse Candidates from the Pulpit on Sunday by Albert Milliron

(Note: keep in mind that I had written this a while ago, over a year, as the elections were still heating up)

I recently got schooled from the pulpit about vocal support and candidate endorsements. The sermon was basically we should “be very cautious about endorsing” in politics. (one notable Texas pastor’s endorsement of Perry was Exhibit A) You can read into that, ‘you ought to refrain from publicly endorsing politics or candidates’. You would be reading my mind too. The basis was probably meant as endorsing from the pulpit but there it was in broad daylight, an anti-activism type message to Christians.

It is far deeper than just candidate endorsements of clergy from the pulpit, the same principle is then applied to all politics and all of us. Message: stay clear of politics. You also might correctly assume the basis for all this was ‘render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’. The actual passage and I’ll give various scriptures:

Mark 12:15-17
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Matt 17:24-27
Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes — from their own sons or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

This is usually the reference used

Matt 22:17-21
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Of course, many use that latter exchange to broadly lecture us to “Give to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Thus, since this politics stuff is rendered Caesar’s turf now, it all therefore belongs to him. “Go back to your prayer closet, Christians.” The truth is our life and rights come from God. With that we have some responsibility. We are accountable to God. And we are responsible for our leadership, and choices.

Something similar may unfold in the Middle East, in countries where people are crawling out from under brutal dictators. We might sympathize with them but they could be headed down a tough road – do they know it? That is, if as they say claims are true that they strive for democracy. Whether that is really the case or not, let us accept that premise for now. They might discover the ideal is not as simple as it sounds. They will share some responsibility for their democracy at some point. Then, they cannot just blame a tyrant and authorities for the results. They will have to accept some blame for problems and consequences, or reap credit when things go well. So they might have a few surprises ahead, such as accountability. It will not be easy for those who have not experienced “freedom” before. Providing they get that far … and that is their goal.

We have the example of Jesus crucifixion. Remember Pilate washed his hands of the deed, or tried to, in as much as the event was already in process. He wanted to escape responsibility for Jesus’ death. Though we still associate Pilate with Jesus’ crucifixion. In Acts, the apostles made it known to political elites that they had a shared responsibility for His death. That was not a convenient message they wanted to hear, and it did not tickle their ears. In fact, they wanted to shut down the apostles for that reason. It made them look bad. Some people suggest “…but we must keep clear of politics.” But we can see in Christ’s time the air was thick with politics.

The Sadducees didn’t care much for the resurrection message; and the apostles didn’t care to be silenced by political pressure. The point is the apostles did not stop preaching, even as it was seen as a form of political speech and dissent with powers that be. On the contrary, they prayed and with the help of the Holy Spirit grew bolder in speaking out. (even to those who sent Jesus to his death)

I don’t read those events as an example to stifle or tone down one’s message to suit elite politicos, and cede one’s virtue to authorities or powers that be. Likewise, those cautious clergy today never suggest taking a silent approach on, say, the “social justice” agenda. They endorse that. The social justice advocates will demand taking a bold approach to preferred “social issues” – just not certain others – while likening their stand to bold traditional Christian activism.

So my instinctive reaction about ceding certain aspects, political issues or turf to powers that be – under the guise of giving to Caesar what is his – is to remember Pilate. Are we to reject our own responsibility for the circumstances we are in and our God-given rights, remaining silent, then try to wash our hands of the blame for the results in view of the consequences? That would be slightly hypocritical, wouldn’t it? Should we render to Caesar the all-encompassing political turf, stifling our conscience or virtue, and cede all “controversial” social matters to his authority? Politics have usurped cultural matters

Our first allegiance is still to God. If I silence my voice, or cede to status quo those matters over to political authorities or others, I cannot escape accountability. I still bear some responsibility for the outcome. So what then about what we owe God?

The double standards are amplified when the pulpits do talk about their pet issues, social justice and peace. They want to do that “loudly and proudly”. Seriously, are the rest of us demanding injustice, or are we actively opposing peace just for the sake of it? It’s been a while since I attended a good anti-peace march, or a rally against justice. Sorry, I never did and don’t know anyone who has. But I somehow am vehemently against peace and justice according to them, if you follow their accusation to its logical conclusion. That is, to follow their entire “social justice” agenda – as they define it. In fact, they actually posit in their rhetoric that, unless we jump aboard their political agenda, we must be anti-peace or anti-social justice. Many Christians resent that insinuation but it does exist. Many Christians have signed on to that. (one only has to look at the [message of churches])

It’s like that with “99-percenters”, Wall Street Occupiers. They point to everyone outside that 1 percentile of wealth as part of the 99% they speak for. Thus, we must be part of that 1%, then, if we don’t agree with their agenda. I think there are more than 1% of us who look past this fallacy and their unreasonable approach. Some Christians are disgusted by these political tactics. But many buy into them.

When I hear preachers and leftists claim their staunch support for social justice, I wonder who is opposed to justice? It must need a whole lot of defending. Of course, their subjective, ever-evolving definition of “social justice” holds the real key to them.(and we are beholden to their definition) But in simple and clear terms, supporting true justice or peace is a no-brainer. Who could really disagree? We can support justice. It’s a fallacy that we do not.

However, many of these passionate advocates are reluctant to take on matters of abortion, gay marriage, or state-sponsored euthanasia from the pulpits. (all presently ensconced in politics) Their ‘passion pond’ dries up quickly. Statistics are reserved for issues like war or hunger. No, those “political” issues are too controversial. “Better to wash our hands of those. We don’t want the stains that come with those.” In doing so, they advise the flock to leave those “cultural” matters alone. But if their advocacy were not so lopsided and full of double standards, it probably would look much different.

We may better ask if we are really cheating God and not rendering to God what is His? And are we giving Caesar more power authority and control than he should have? Those questions do not seem to come up.

Today, rendering to Caesar not just what is his but what he wants is far more popular and convenient than giving to God what is God’s.

The message is clear: “everything will be fine if you just leave those divisive, controversial, cultural matters alone.” Leave that all to Caesar. Otherwise, full steam ahead. Some see all this as “a culture war”, but I think it’s more like ‘cultural survival of the best fit’, to compliant Christians.

So some clergy can keep right on making blanket disclaimers about not endorsing any specific political candidates or Party politics. But they will likely keep right on endorsing specific “preferred” political issues .

Part 2 to follow
(continued- Part 2 )