Populie: We Support the Troops… September 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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we support our troops

The greatest courtesy I can offer to any of my readers is to attempt to provide a non-prejudiced format of information which is vacant of opinion. (Of course, this is basically impossible to do since I am a mortal, and love to hear the sound of my own voice.) But let me attempt to be more faithful with today’s populie.

In the first one hundred years of our existence as a nation–1776 to 1876–our young, fledgling experiment was involved in nineteen years of war. In other words, 19% of the time we were sending young men off to die in some sort of escapade “for freedom.”

In the next one hundred years–from 1876 to 1976–we were involved in seventeen years of war. 17%. A drop.

From 1976 to 2001, a span of twenty-five years, we took three of those to be involved in war, placing us in a descending 12%.

But from 2001 to present–thirteen years–we have been involved in eleven years of war. An astounding 86% spike.

This increase in blood, guts, aggression and interference has caused us to develop several national policies, quietly, to sustain this burdensome effort. Among them is the popular notion that the military is honorable and should be given special consideration, and the hypocritical populie of “we support the troops.”

Entertainment loves it because even though they tout themselves to be liberals who want to preserve the turtle doves in some park, they have never met a movie that does not require a gun.

Religion favors this populie because it gives us something to pray for, allowing us to feel we’re transforming the world one bullet at a time.

And of course, politicians not only rattle their sabers, but occasionally brandish them to warn infidels and heathen of the power of our nation, while stirring the blood of the voters in their favor.

Do you really want to support the troops? Then get real instead of putting on a phony patriotism and a theatrical appreciation for our men and women who serve. Here’s how you can support the troops:

1. Stop starting wars that have nothing to do with us.

If we really believe we’re a Christian nation, we should only attack if we’re attacked. Period. I will guarantee you that soldiers would be satisfied to be “at readiness” instead of in peril.

2. If you find yourself in the position of starting a war which is considered to be necessary, then institute the draft.

Don’t go to your volunteer army or your reserves and ask them to take on innumerable tours of duty because you don’t want to bother the elite young people of our country. I will tell you, if George W. Bush had instituted the draft in 2003, the Iraq War would not have lasted more than four years, and if it had, there would have been protesters in the street, just as there were in 1970 regarding Vietnam.

3. Take care of the obvious needs of our veterans, granting them the dignity of acclimating back into society without being impoverished second-class citizens.

Don’t tell me you support the troops and then fail to notice that we are not taking care of their medical needs or helping them get off the street–homeless ex-soldiers.

I do not like a charade. Since we have come across the same situation we had in the Civil War, in which our weaponry has outgrown our medical ability to take care of the human body, we might want to slow up the carnage so we don’t have so many combatants trying to move around without limbs and hampered by severe brain injuries.

The United States has decided it’s the Roman Empire, and just as the Romans did, we are beginning to over-extend ourselves under the guise of being the “muscle men of the world”–to eventually be taken down by our version of Vandals from Germany, whom I am sure the Romans also considered to be terrorists.

I support the troops with all my heart–so much so that I work for peace, I challenge avarice and I question my government when it tries to excite the populace by waving the flag over the next conflict.

 

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My Body is in Temple… January 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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First Lutheran Temple

It’s been forty years since my body has been in Temple.

Temple, Texas, that is.

I have passed by this fair town several times on my journeys, but never actually plopped down for a few minutes of food for thought, by breaking bread.

Four decades ago when I landed in Temple, it was during a brief tour when I was invited to come to Waco, Texas, to Word Records, to share my music, with the aspirations of having this fledgling company record my musical ensemble and make us famous. (Well, at least as famous as one would get by being the first fruits of a fledgling.)

I remember that visitation vividly. Being raised in Central Ohio, I was told horror stories about the depravity of the South and the backwards nature of unseemly locations like Texas. So up to that point in my life I had never gone any further south than Nashville, Tennessee, or further west than Chicago.jesus rally

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a different time. Even though Temple was a rural community, ingrained with the traditions of its heritage, a new breeze had blown through, initiated by the winds of Spirit.

Young hippies, fresh from California, had just arrived in the region to sing a new song. So it was really amazing–you had long hairs and butch haircuts side by side, finding common ground with guitars and Jesus. They were tolerant of each other and seemed fairly oblivious to the differences that might build up over hair follicle preferences.

Many of the engineers in the recording studios were good ole’ boys, and the performers were fresh off the street, many of them ex-drug addicts who had been thrust into salvation, with a movement through Jesus.

Shoulder to shoulder, they worked on beautiful tunes, laughed, shared pictures of their families with each other, and acted like they had known one another for a lifetime.

I shared in several of the area’s religious establishments and was greeted with warmth and tenderness by folks who had just come out of the field with mud on their boots, curious about whether what they had just planted would ever reach harvest.

Even though I was a very young snap-off-the-whipper, I realized that what made this thing work was finding something in common with each other and sealing it by believing in the same message of love.

So as I come back to Temple, Texas, in a much different time–when it is considered to be righteous and upstanding to be at odds with one another over miniscule issues–I want to bring that same breeze with me.

I would love to allow the Spirit to permit commonality and faith to blend together again, to make us one.

It is a piece of idealism I permit myself without apology. For I know this: the world will never be a decent place to live until we find reasons to be alike.

And I also know that we will never find reasons to be alike …  when we work so darned tootin’ hard on trying to be different.

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Andrew It Out … April 27, 2013

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fiVe loavesAs I get older I realize it more and more.

The game is not fame. The game is not acclaim. It’s about leaving behind a plain path of understanding concerning your life so that others can study it, follow it and progress the idea.

Imagine how excited I was when I discovered that my Sunday would be spent at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas. Andrew is one of my favorite Bible dudes. He is one of a quartet of fishermen from the little town of Capernaum who Jesus welcomes into his “kingdom dozen.”

Andrew was among the first to discover the message of Jesus.  Here’s an interesting fact: even though he was one of four fishermen, three of them–Peter James and John–became what we refer to as the “inner circle.”

Andrew was not included.

We do not know why. We don’t even know if there is a “why” to it. But there is no incident listed in which Andrew pitched a fit or ended up betraying Jesus because he felt cheated. What we have is a man who found his place, occupied his space, made his case and finished the race.

Andrew did three really notable things.–and as I said, as the years pass, I realize that I want to have more of the spirit of Andrew in me, and not insist on being a Peter, James or John.

1. He came early. Dear God, may I learn that in the matters of spirit, justice and equality, to arrive first and jump on the bandwagon of freedom instead of dragging my feet because my culture and prejudice have taught me to be reluctant. Andrew met Jesus and went with it. How amazing. Come early, folks. It’s not as crowded, and you get to share beautiful moments with something beginning instead of later on just being part of the maintenance crew.

2. He brought a friend. Yes, the Bible tells us that Andrew brought his brother, Peter. Every night when I walk onstage and share my thoughts, I realize that they may never gain international attention, but there is always the possibility that I will inspire the mind and spirit of someone in the gathering who has the capability of doing things much greater than me. Sometimes the best thing you can do for the world is to stimulate somebody else who has the power to change it.

3. Andrew encouraged young humans. When it was discovered that five thousand men needed to be fed, Andrew was the one who found a young lad with five loaves and two fishes and brought him to Jesus. He gave this fledgling kid a chance to be the hero of the day. He gave him a lifelong memory. He gave him a place in the Bible.

There are two ways to become old: you can become old and grouchy or you can become old and hip. If you’re old and grouchy, you think everything young people do is stupid. If you’re old and hip, you look at what young people do, remember what you did, laugh and encourage them in their better choices.

I want to be Andrew. I want to ignore the inner circles of life. I want to show up early, bring a friend and encourage young humans.

If that’s what’s going on at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, they are on the verge of revealing the Kingdom of God.

Andrew: enjoying your portion without needing the whole platter.

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