So much happening, so little to say (another grab bag)

I’ve been neglecting this outlet in favor of Facebook and Twitter these days. I think it’s mostly because I’m spread so thin on my outrage about things, that I can’t decide which of the many things bothering me deserves a whole entry here. Like before, it’s deserving of a Grab Bag kind of post, just to get it all out there.

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When (flawed) theocracy comes to town

I posted this on Facebook, along with a video that might still be available here.

I’m opposed to theocracy, and I don’t think religious law should ever be the basis for civil law. That said, many Americans claim to want laws based on Christianity. Oddly, many of these same people are now so enshrined in the cult of Trump, that they can’t even see how they’re being led so far astray from their religious teachings.

What’s even more strange to me is how often some groups of Christians talk about fearing the devil, and how he will lead them away from Christ if they aren’t super careful. I can’t imagine these folks following anybody less Christ-like than Trump, but there they go, without a fear in the world that they might be falling into the trap they’ve been warned of over and over.

Of course, I don’t believe Trump is the devil. I don’t believe either exists. But if I believed in those things, I can’t imagine not being very afraid to watch people following the obviously wrong guy, without thinking twice about it. If you made a movie about the devil, his life story could look a lot like Trump’s

I wanted to hold on to this post, outside of Facebook, but I also wanted to preserve one comment on the post, that came from a Jesuit Priest I’ve known since I was a teenager. I don’t know if he would be OK with me sharing his words outside of Facebook, so I won’t credit him by name, but I want to preserve his message nonetheless.

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Feeling good by doing practically nothing for refugees (otherwise known as, I can’t be racist because I like that one black guy)

I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to make an effort to take this blog/diary/lunatic ranting more public. My thoughts today make me want to keep it more on the private side. Mostly because what’s got me riled up this morning is about people close to me, and how sad they make me sometimes. I know they mean well, but it’s amazingly frustrating to watch them do what they do, and support what they support all at the same time. So I’ll probably keep things private for a while, at least until this gets buried enough that they’d have to read so much to get to it, making it unlikely that it will ever come to light. This is about refugees. More below the fold.

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A safe world? With lots of flight? How are both true?

On Point, from wbur radio (broadcast on NPR stations), had a segment yesterday that created a bit of a conflict for me. The story was about migration (of people) and the dangers of migrating through particular parts of the world. On the show, Leonard Doyle, from the International Organization For Migration, described the present time as being in the midst of a boom in migration. The segment starts with the host reading a statistic:

…sixty five million people are now in flight because of war or persecution or terror. It’s considered the largest displacement in human history.”

The guest confirms this to be true, and continues to paint a picture of humans being at a time of mass movement, all because of war or persecution or terror. I don’t doubt that these numbers are true at all, but I have a hard time reconciling them with something I wrote about earlier: that deaths from war, worldwide, are remarkably low these days.

I don’t have an answer for this inconsistency, but, looking at both stories, it appears that people are fleeing their homes at a very high rate (historically), even though combat deaths are markedly low. That makes me think there is some other factor at play. Perhaps it’s the increased communication and awareness of the rest of the world. Perhaps more people see what other cities look like, and are more willing to uproot and try to reach them. I don’t know, but conflicts like these excite me. Maybe I’ll get an answer someday…or I’ll forget all about it by this afternoon.

Alternate “news” sources give us alternate realities

The sustained popularity of Donald Trump has been making me very sad lately. His twitter feed is just one horrible statement after another. He’s said that he would consider shutting down mosques, that he wants surveillance of mosques, and, perhaps the worst of it all, he has walked the line of advocating for, or at least not refuting the idea that we have an identification system for Muslims. That last one is a bit complicated, and there might be room to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but that’s a bit of a tangent for this post. What this post is about is how different views of the world can be, depending on where we get our “news,” and how that difference can actually make me feel much better about my fellow Americans.

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