Welcome to our site! This is the Lovejoy family blog where we talk about all kinds of stuff. Mostly we talk about minutia and our beautiful son Elijah.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
UPDATE: Looks like the dinomedia has picked up part of the Stormfront story - its founder has given Dr. Paul $500. I’d like someone to ask him, “How much money has come from Stormfront?” And when he says, “Oh, I don’t know - we don’t run background checks on our thousands of donors,” they should say, “Well, just run an e-commerce report by referral source.”
That’s REALLY easy. I do it practically every day at work.
_uacct = “UA-1770817-2”;
The code above is Google Analytics tracking code for Ron Paul’s web site. Because he has the tracking code installed, I know his webmaster can track who comes to the site, from where, and almost certainly, what people who came from a particular domain, like Stormfront, gave to the campaign. It will even generate a pretty pie graph.
So here’s the question, Dr. Paul. How much of the millions you’ve raised came through StormFront, the white-supremacist, neo-nazi hate site, which features a prominent fundraising link to your campaign on EVERY page?
And why haven’t you blocked referrals from the site? It takes perhaps, 2 minutes. Failing that, why not do something good with that money? Why not donate whatever amount can be easily tracked to Stormfront, through Google Analytics, to B’nai B’rith?
Friday, December 07, 2007
Article VI, paragraph 3:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Several of you have suggested I write about my disillusionment with politics. I’ll try to use the fewest number of words possible to make my points. I am not going to look up scripture references here. Feel free to excoriate me if I make a mistake.
Anastasia - you can read this and skip the rest.
I prefer a pragmatic approach to policy. What solutions work to solve problems in our society? Government solutions usually don’t work, and often make things worse. Many politicians don’t want to solve problems. They want to acquire power, essentially, to coerce people to do what they want.
Coercion should be anathema to Christians, who are commanded to “Turn the other cheek” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
There is no love in the thirst for power. Christians should be motivated primarily by love and treat power with great suspicion. Christians who seek power to right the evil they see in the world are almost always corrupted by this power.
You can see this corruption in all people by the way they post on sites such as DailyKos or Free Republic. It saddens me that Christians are no nicer, and may be even nastier than non-Christians on political web sites.
So, the essence of politics, the acquisition of power, is evil. Politics don’t solve most problems. Therefore, politics is almost useless and holds great potential for evil. You can see why I wouldn’t be interested.
I remember a time when I liked Rush Limbaugh. I thought he was funny. Now, on the rare occasions that I hear him, I feel sad and a bit embarrassed that I ever bought into his schtick.
As an 18-year-old, I voted for Pat Buchanan in the 1992 presidential primary. I thought that George H.W. Bush had become too liberal and lost touch with the Republican party. I was right, as we saw in November of that year. Bush 41 had lost touch not only with is party, but with the American people as a whole.
I have always deplored abortion, and hoped it would end. But I’m still not sure how that should be accomplished. I deplore the abortuary business, and the humanist interpretation of feminism that glorifies abortion as liberation from womankind’s unequal responsibilities in reproduction. I can’t abide politicians who support unlimited abortion rights, but I do sympathize with those who struggle with the issue. I understand that there is no simple solution to the problem.
I supported President Bush in the invasion of Iraq, thinking that we had no other choice but to intervene. I don’t know if I was right or wrong, but that’s immaterial, as almost everyone at the time, including virtually every Democrat in public office also supported the invasion.
Since age 20 or so, I have opposed the oppression of illegal immigrants, the imposition of English as the only official language of the US, and other policies which I believe to be at least partially motivated by racism. I have been fairly consistent on these issues.
I have always disdained the politicization of religion and those on both sides of the ideological fence who use religion as a tool to increase their own power.
I have always been pragmatic in my political beliefs, believing that most problems have solutions, and that good will and cooperation can bring those about. I didn’t understand why politics produced so few solutions.
While I am disillusioned with politics, I believe the United States is a great force for good in the world. I believe American ideals of liberty and community which transcend location, language, culture, and religion, are beautiful and worthy.
Progression of beliefs
Since I have begun to make progress in my recovery, I have come to understand the viciousness of politics and see it in myself. I have also been disgusted by politicians’ brazen and cynical pandering to those who oppose illegal immigration.
While I know there are many good, kind-hearted, principled people who resent illegal immigrants, I think it’s important that Christians recognize that xenophobia and racism are often at the heart of our discomfort with illegal immigrants, particularly Mexicans. These feelings are natural, but they are evil, so Christians should make every effort to exorcise these feelings.
In the last two years, I have worked as a volunteer interpreter at the Lighthouse Medical Clinic in Oklahoma City. I view this work as fulfillment of several commands, “Feed my sheep,” “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me,” “Do not oppress a foreigner,” and of course “Love your neighbor.”
While I still oppose illegal immigration, I find that I can’t disdain illegal immigrants. Their situation is so dire. I know that if I were in a similar situation - if Elijah were hungry and there was a job only 500 miles away that would allow me to feed him, I would break the law to take that job. Especially if everyone broke that law and the employer desperately needed people to do that job. These people are in the same situation, and I can’t disdain them for something I know I would do myself if our circumstances were reversed.
I also understand better the life they live here. They have no insurance, and they don’t qualify for Medicaid. They can’t afford medication, and getting a cavity usually means losing the tooth, if they’re lucky.
Every time they leave their homes, they have to wonder if they will be picked up and deported, possibly separated from their families. Every traffic stop is rife with stress and worry.
My time in Japan also informs my beliefs. First, I understand racism much better, as Japanese have a very strong cultural identity and have ingrained in them the concepts of uchi - inside and soto - outside.
In Japan, I was a gaijin. (outside person) When I lived there, every sleight became a way for me to ask “Was that because I’m a foreigner?” Did they refuse to let me donate blood because I’m a foreigner? Did the store clerk not see me, or is she ignoring me because I’m a foreigner? Did they overcharge me? If so, is it because I’m a foreigner?
As a result of these experiences, I understand racism better, and perhaps more important, the perception of racism by those who are victims of it.
More important, I am motivated by the many Japanese, Christians and non-Christians who treated me as an honored guest in their country. Japanese people, as a rule, were very, very kind to me. I want to be like them.
The current disillusionment
The Jesus I have come to know was apolitical. He lived in an occupied land, but spoke about politics only when prodded. And his answers were spiritual, not political.
Jesus did not distinguish between races. With one bizarre exception, he did not distinguish between His people and the gentiles. And even then, he healed the gentile woman who asked.
Jesus spent his whole life rejecting earthly prestige, wealth, and power. He could have been the earthly king of Israel, but he cared nothing for that meaningless title. He was interested in His people.
The politics I see today do not reflect Jesus. Many conservatives would have us refuse to educate the children of illegal immigrants, separate children from their parents by deporting them, refuse to give them medical care and require medical personnel to report illegal immigrants. These proposals are not only cruel, they are counterproductive.
These politicians are building their careers on oppressing foreigners and the poor. What would Jesus say about that?
Most liberals are no better. The liberal base is vehemently anti-Christian and dismissive of Christianity as a worldview. Liberals see no problem with abortion, pretending that fetuses are just inconvenient tissue.
Politically active people are often quite nasty. A casual look at political web sites and blogs reveals great disdain for our fellow children of God. Nasty liberals wish someone would murder our President. Nasty conservatives wish Elizabeth Edwards would hurry up and die of cancer.
Politicians of every political stripe are motivated by money and power. Republicans and Democrats bathe their districts in unnecessary federal spending, cynically bragging that they have brought home the bacon. They essentially buy our votes. I believe reform of this system is impossible.
Stupid laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are regularly passed because stupid organizations and companies have deep pockets.
The Byzantine tax code is impossible to reform because it is a tool for extending power, and because every lobbying group in the US has some special interest in their own tax breaks.
So, while it’s true that government sometimes helps, it usually doesn’t. The powerful care little for the powerless, because they focus almost exclusively on getting and consolidating their power. Politicians will pass stupid laws and oppress the poor and the unborn to get re-elected and acquire more power.
Politics, essentially, is a tool for us to fill ourselves with things that aren’t Jesus. We fill ourselves with prestige, with power, with civic pride, with righteous indignation and hate for the other side. For me, politics was an idol. I no longer want any part of that idolatry.
I’m not sure how much I’ll be involved in politics in the future. Perhaps I’ll vote. I’m not sure. There are good people in politics, and worthy causes. But the whole thing is bathed in the stink of the evil one. So for now, I’m just staying away.
Monday, March 12, 2007
My goodness, I hope so!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Ok, you can start breathing again. I’m not campaigning for Barack Obama. But isn’t that a great logo? It’s a bit Web 2.0, very 2008. We’ve got the “O,” the red stripes, and blue. Great logo.
Now, he just needs to recruit Oprah for VP, and he’ll have an O
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
On the Dallas Cowboy’s new stadium site, we find this gem:
Welcome to the Dallas Cowboys new stadium. This tour will give you a feel for the enormity of the structure…
“Enormity” (particularly definition 2) seems to me precisely the word to describe a one billion dollar taxpayer-subsidized playground for millionaries, billionaires, and the upper middle class.
But I don’t think it’s what they meant.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12: 13 - 21
I understand that there are many different perspectives on this kind of spending. I’m concerned though, that this kind of conspicuous public gluttony doesn’t even tickle our public conscience. The same Christians who mobilize to enforce Christian morals upon non-Christians don’t have anything to say about this. I think Jesus would have said something.
Troubling, to say the least.
Thanksgiving: Thank you God, for those who have a heart for the poor. Please convict us, as a society, to turn our hearts back to you and direct our enormous resources to do good in this world.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The Democrats have already started screwing up our national security, and they haven’t even taken power yet.
I’ll bet Jane Harman would have known these answers.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for a free press and people who are willing to serve our country.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Attention African-Americans: The other white people have left me out of this plan to destroy black people, so when the time for the reckoning comes, I promise I had nothing to do with it. I don’t even have a retina scanner.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I’m not in a post-election funk. I’ve just been scraping the exterior of the house, preparing to paint. It’s pretty heinous.
Interesting to see if the Democrats can govern. If they continue to act like they did in the opposition, they’re in for their own drubbin’ in ‘08. For everyone’s sake, I hope everyone succeeds.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Dennis Hastert’s career is over. He will likely resign his seat. Good riddance.
Lincoln (I wrote in George H.W. Bush) Chaffee is gone.
The Republicans should be very, very chastened. They (we) deserved to lose this one, at least on the House side. It’s a miracle (so far) that we retained the Senate
. (Maybe we didn’t)
Perhaps the Republicans will now remember the reasons we elected them in ‘94.