When I was in the church I joined several “Accountability Groups”; groups of men who shared their struggles with the common temptations that face young Christian men.
I remember many nights standing in the garden after worship services, confessing, encouraging, and sending each other off emboldened to do better in the coming week. It was clear to me: Accountability was a deep part of Evangelical culture; when we weren’t afraid of confronting each other on sin, we all did better.
The Two Christians
As the years passed I studied the word and I applied the morality that I derived from scripture this way: That we should love sacrificially, we should take care of the poor above all, we should uphold non-violence, scorn power and riches… tenets I thought were reasonable interpretations of the bible.
But many of my brothers took their faiths a different direction: Their own rights/freedoms are the priority, we should laud the rich, romanticize those with guns, insist on political power… and I found that this competing version of Christianity was, in fact, not derived from scripture, but rather a different source:
Why would anyone want to be a part of an institution that can only unify behind controlling women?
I left the faith not because I wanted to go rape, murder, or have premarital sex and smoke the occasional organic matter. I didn’t do it so I could have an abortion. I didn’t leave the church because of its unholy matrimony with the Republican party which is a morally bankrupt and corrupt institution (although this one is true).
I left the faith because God is weak.
When I fell for Jesus, when I committed my life to it, I believed in a powerful God, one who could create galaxies and tapestries of life with a wave of his hand. I would rather believe in no god than a weak one; nothing proved how weak God is as much as what happened last week.
A lot is pulling me toward England, even more pushing me away from America.
When I was young I remember watching episodes of “20/20”, journalists were exposing stories of toys that were choking kids. After one kid died and the 20/20 show aired, the toymaker recalled all of their products and released a new one safer for babies.
I recall having the feeling that adults would change their practices and lose a ton of money, all to save the life of one child; it was too costly for a company to appear ok with even one child dying.
I want to make out with Aaron Sorkin’s words. I love pretty much everything he’s done from the West Wing to Charlie Wilson’s War. When I heard about the “Trial of the Chicago 7” I wanted to watch it immediately, but I have a 2 year old, so I’m on a strict diet of Pixar movies.
I finally saw it last night and found an extraordinary film encapsulating the polarized nature of American society and its disdain for protest and civil disobedience… but I’m not here today to review a movie.
Watch this Movie
It’s a near perfect cast, with Sacha baron cohen delivering a career defining performance and michael Keaton somehow managing to steal the show despite the pedigree of the ensemble. Nearly all of the dialogue is true. The quick, balanced, and perfect dialogue is what you come to expect in a Sorkin release.
And yes, the most shocking event to happen to the founder of the Black Panthers actually happened. But this review is not about any of that.
Nearly everything Trump touches is chaotic and confusing, but one simple argument against him only gets better with time.
Trump’s own failures and scandals distract from each other. There is so much evidence for his incompetence and corruption that it’s really hard to focus on one thing, and that’s where his supporters can focus on a single accolade and put it above all the static.
What do we do with all the static? From caged children, to approaching 200,000 coronavirus deaths, to his ties to Russia, to his failed border wall… I’m out of breath naming each of these MONUMENTAL scandals, any single one of which would have ended any normal political career.
There is one specific argument that has all the elements of a sound, focused, repeatable, irrefutable argument against this president: “the universe of criminality” surrounding trump.
Asians have been given the keys to white privilege, but we also know the struggle of the immigrant. What will we do with this dual identity?
Asians are not usually cast as heroes.
We’re usually the ones in cubicles, silently animating the CGI to make the white heroes look even more convincing.
But our unique identity as both privileged and immigrant Americans puts us in the sniper’s seat to defeat the monster wreaking havoc on our land. I am calling on all fellow Asians to shake off your stereotypical soft-spoken and submissive identities and rise to the significance of our time; the beast before us needs new heroes to rise.
The Bridge Between Privileged and Immigrant
Born in the US to Taiwanese parents, I grew up in the 80s in a white world surging with asian immigration. As a child, white on asian bullying was commonplace. I heard “Go back to your own country” shouted at me as a preteen when I rebuffed a panhandler.
The only thing that can keep white privilege in check is people of privilege
Applause for the unified anger from the American public. I see folks from all political and religious backgrounds unanimously condemning violence against black men.
But it’s a mistake to think that convicting the police officers who killed George Floyd will solve the problem. The questions we ought to be asking: What is behind the violence? What led us to this point?
It’s not just plain old racism, there is a monster that feeds it from behind the scenes, a monster we let grow like a cancer; the true enemy is when the privileged don’t stand up to white privilege.
It is this passive allowance that attempted to lynch Christian Cooper in Central Park. When we leave privilege unchecked it emboldens white people to become the vigilantes who lynched Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight. When we are too afraid to speak against white privilege we press our knee down on George Floyd’s neck, staring into the camera without remorse.
The true threat to the US is not Covid19, it’s the fact that members of the Cult of Stupidity are in charge of solving it.
It’s a bold statement: stupidity is worse than the Coronavirus Pandemic. Yup, Covid19 is bad, and I don’t mean to diminish how deadly it is, but there is a more nefarious character: the Cult of Stupidity, fueling the virus’ growth and killing far more Americans than poorer less educated countries… and it’s all of us, even non-members, who are paying tribute.
Anti-vaxxers, climate deniers, Trump defenders, Flat Earthers, these are all movements of people who harden their own stupidity when faced with hard evidence… Trump is merely a symptom of the Cult of Stupidity phenomenon.
This phrase gets thrown around a lot: “This is the most important election of our generation.” Well this time, I can tell you with steeled surety, it’s true.
The last three years, 22 days, 12 hours, 34 minutes have been a dumpster fire with sprinkles on top. Sprinkles of C4. Amazingly, 49% of the US population is wearing goggles that make the US look like a utopian economy where you get to hold a red Starbucks cup and say “Merry Christmas” 365 days a year.
On this election We The People will make the decision as to whether we accept corruption, whether we honour truth and facts, whether we are a country that looks after the poor and needy, whether we cage up children or not….
For any of my friends/readers out there who are struggling to make sense of the maelstrom of media and ads, I’m here to give you one piece of clarity. From my perspective, Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate. And your vote in this primary: Matters.
The Factory Speech
Warren got her start in politics by standing up to banks and protecting consumers. It’s the sort of non-glorious, in-the-trenches work that takes up the lion share of government.
Warren inspired my loyalty because of the following speech she made early on in her career.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
She boldly confronted the 1% in this speech with a simple and compelling reason why we should support taxing the ultra rich. Yes I am a socialist, but I am a pragmatic one; Warren is the best connection between democratic socialism and the stubborn, fickle, and superstitious voting public.
She is more palatable than Bernie Sanders, and far more progressive than the rest of the candidates. She deserves and receives my enthusiastic endorsement.
I am a Follower of Jesus
Scripture compels me to support Warren because I am a person who understands and knows the power of Jesus’ teachings,
Acts 4:34-35 says the following:
“…There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
It is no mystery that Warren’s dedication to advocating for the common man over the billionaire hedge fund manager is driven by such verses in the bible.
The vast majority of Christians support a billionaire president cutting taxes for the ultra rich, and just a teeny remnant of believers support candidates like Warren; this is one of the main reasons I identify as postchristian.
Get Involved. Vote.
Your voice WILL BE HEARD if you vote in the primary to choose Trump’s opponent.
Just as important as your vote in the primary is your opportunity to vote for school board members, state legislators, or other small local offices. Thse lawmakers have MUCH more influence on your day to day lives than any national office.
I joke about the dumpster fire that we are currently immersed in, but seriously, the US is taking steps toward authoritarianism. If you stay unengaged you are complicit in this fact. I know it’s exhausting to care but the weight of it all makes it that much more important!! Vote in this primary, and vote with me for Warren.
My primary mission, for the sake of my daughter, is to prevent this man from being elected again. A vote for Donald Trump is simply immoral. A non-vote or a third party vote is just as immoral. Let’s say that voting for Trump or not voting earns you 0 morality points. And Warren, my politician of choice, earns you 100 morality points, this is what I think about the remaining candidates.
Fuck factionalism in the democratic party, there is no time for that. My full support is behind Warren but no matter who my party chooses in the primary, I will support that person; because she/he will be the only thing standing between Trump and the Whitehouse.
I have a question for you. I hope our years together in the faith would bring you to honour me with considering this plain question… although it may make you uncomfortable. I am deeply troubled by the diseased state of Christianity right now, I’m hoping that you can illuminate how it got here.
Tell me if there is any validity to this perspective that I hold: radical religiosity is dangerous. It leads to all sorts of harmful events from the Crusades to 9/11. But extremism is only half-fueled by radical/violent belief… the other half comes from moderates standing by and feeding the flames with their silence.
The rise of Donald Trump is particularly on the shoulders of the Christians, and despite scandal after inept scandal, the unshakable support of the church allows him to cling to power. As the impeachment process grinds on via a mountain of evidence, I ask you: Why have you remained silent?