If Only One Actually Followed Jesus

Serendipity….first I read,

When you love people, you see all the good in them, all the Christ in them. God sees Christ, His Son, in us and loves us. And so we should see Christ in others, and nothing else, and love them. There can never be enough of it. There can never be enough thinking about it. St. John of the Cross said that where there was no love, put love and you would take out love. The principle certainly works.

Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much. – Dorothy Day

And then I read…

Basically the lesson is this – we all suck. Judge us on what we’ve done, our actions. Inside we all have ugly thoughts, the question is how much do you act on them. If you think I’ve created something interesting, consider that perhaps I could do it again. If I’ve been generous maybe I am generous. Maybe you have prejudices. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been dismissed as too old to do what I actually did. Like the time, at a conference, a young person asked if I knew what a podcast was, with a doubtful look on her face as if oh god I can’t believe I’m actually talking to someone this ignorant. – Dave Winer

After I read about how a Walgreens employee refused to sell condoms and felt the need to embarass the people trying to buy them.

I continue to be shocked by how people who claim to be Christians make no effort to live out what Jesus taught and thus actually follow him. Richard Rohr says that a Christian is someone who sees Christ in everyone and everything. It is how we love God, by loving what God loves. We all sin, we all have imperfections, and never once did Jesus teach us to refuse to serve or cast out someone who we think might be sinning. Jesus didn’t teach to do whatever we want to prevent sin to happen, because frankly, that is not possible. Jesus taught us to do one thing, follow him, mirror him by loving God through loving what God loves, which is everything!

Honestly, we in the United States must stop using the claim of “religious liberty” in the name of not doing things one does not want to do. Freedom of religion does not make one superior over another, and the first amendment is more about preventing government (power) from using religion to take freedom away for citizens, as was common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries leading up to the founding of the United States. It is thinking that that the U.S. Constitution is all just about us as individuals that will lead to all of us losing freedom because forget the Constitution’s true purpose of restraining government.

Qualcomm’s announcement of their new smartwatch chips makes the Google WearOS market more confusing, in my opinion. The problem with WearOS is that there is no real flagship watch that you know is the latest and greatest reflecting how Google thinks WearOS should work.

So, you would think the forthcoming Google Pixel watch will be that flagship, except that it is not going to have this new Qualcomm chip, instead it will use a Samsung chip. If that Samsung chip doesn’t match the performance of Qualcomm’s then Google’s own watch will not be a flagship.

Tried using Gluon on my Pixel 4a to upload that photo, but it wouldn’t load the dialog to select photos. Used the official micro.blog app instead. Nice to have options.

Google reminded me about the last concert we attended before the Pandemic, on this date in 2019. The arena sent me an email a few days before about discounted tickets, otherwise we would not have went, but so glad that we did.

At one of my favorite parks on the shore of Green Bay (Lake Michigan)

Five things to know about the new James Web Telescope images. Each speck is a galaxy, far, far, away.

As I sit out here on the patio, all sorts of wild life passes by.

Stop With the Opinion Polls

Dear world, or at least anyone who cares, particularly the media. In the United States based on how the Constitution is structured, and how the political parties take advantage of its deficiencies through gerrymandering, lobbying, and campaign financing, majority opinions do not matter.

The United States is effectively under authoritarian Republican rule overseen by six Supreme Court justices, and it is obviouse the Republicans don’t care about any polls that report anything about majority opinion. It only matters what those in power in the Republican party want because they only need Republican votes to stay in power.

Right now what you need to pay attention to is, how are state legislatures structured and are voting districts gerrymandered to favor on particular party over another. If gerrymandering exists, what is being done about it, either through the courts or the existing legistlatures? Citizens need to know their state constitutions and what power they have for referendums, etc.. to overcome the games being played by the parties, particularly Republicans.

In short everyone, in particular the media, need to pay attention to and put bright light on what is going on within the state legistlatures and courts. Every since the last Presidential election Republicans have gamed the systems to gain even more power to basically nullify the will of the people. In many cases, gerrymandering means it won’t matter how much this pisses off Democrats and Independents.

Where we are heading toward, as will likely be supported by the current Supeme Court, are state legistlatures having near absolute power to override the citizens of the state to select Presidents. We will need an equivalent to the 17th amendment to prevent this from happening because this Supreme Court is going to say it is powerless to do anything about it.

I have been lacing shoes all my life without even considering that there could be a different way until I found this page that shows 62 different ways.

A Hello page sounds to me to be like the Home page of years ago.

In a way, gerrymandering is baked in to the constitution by way of the Electoral College. Consequently, the idea of democrats moving to already blue states like the California governor suggests does not help the cause. Most Republicans will be more than happy to have all Democrats living in California and Massachusetts because they will then easily retain power with less populated but electorally powerful states. The problem right now is that Democrats are too centralized in urban areas. Elections in the United States are not based on population, which is why Republicans win presidencies and can always have a chokehold on the Senate and instill minority rule.

How it began, but we don’t want to face history thus appear destined to repeat it.

“In 1544, Sepulveda wrote a manuscript justifying the wars against the Amerindians, based largely on what he saw as their inferiority. In it, his thinking is strictly hierarchical; he considers the Spanish Empire, like the Roman Empire, to be entitled to subjugate barbarians in order to civilize them. He regards the Amerindians as inferior to the Spanish, and, following Aristotelian concepts, declares them barbarians, incompetent to govern themselves, and destined to serve. War is necessary to Christianize them.“”

Christ & Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times by Joerg Rieger

Still Enduring For Now

Heather Cox Richardson:

“For all the fact that the congressmen got around the sticky little problem of Black and Indigenous slavery by defining “men” as “white men,” and for all that it never crossed their minds that women might also have rights, the Declaration of Independence was an astonishingly radical document. In a world that had been dominated by a small class of rich men for so long that most people simply accepted that they should be forever tied to their status at birth, a group of upstart legislators on the edges of a continent declared that no man was born better than any other.

Except that far too many in the United States, some who even call themselves Christian, do not believe this. For them there is a natural, divine order that places particular white men above other white men, women, people of color, and everything else on this planet. You find these men in Russia, in the Vatican, and in the United States.

“Four score and seven years ago,” Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans, “our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” In 1863, Lincoln explained, the Civil War was “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

Truth is, the test Lincoln describes began the moment it started on July 4, 1776 and has never ended since, particularly after the Civil War. During the 20th century the test expanded beyond the shores of the United States to the entire world. Those who think World War II decisively ended the test are sadly mistaken. The U.S. has been lucky the two world wars were not started or fought within the continent, but I fear the next one will start right here and by our own who cannot abide the disorder that freedom demands.

The holiday weekend has begun with beautiful weather. On days like this I am grateful to live in Michigan.

YouTube advertising is becoming more obnoxious by the minute. Starting to wonder about whether there are better alternatives. Google is close to jumping the shark.

I believe this will be a growing sentiment about Christianity, and it will be deserved. We are doing things very wrong. Jesus never imposed his teaching on anyone, and he taught his followers to not be like those of the world who lord over others. Words and laws do not transform anything, only a better alternative way is truly transformative, and that is what the kin-dom of God is all about! Anything else is not truly good news.

Did you use a Pocket PC back in the day? If so, do you remember a media player called ActiveSky? Click here to see a review I wrote, if for nothing more than to see an animated Steve Ballmer holding a Pocket PC.

Do you remember Frontpage? Here is a site I built and maintained in the late 90s using it. Before that I created web pages writing HTML in an editor, such as with my very first home page, complete with an animated GIF. Thanks to the Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine for the walk back in time this morning.

If Republicans were rational, smart, and intune with the majority of the nation that includes the minorities they court, they would reach out to Democrats to craft a bi-partisan bill that wrote the right for all Amercians to chose what happens to and within their bodies, including women’s right th chose an abortion up to X number of weeks, in to law. It would undercut a building backlash, make them look like doing something Democrats cannot do, and and showing they can govern.

Of course, this won’t happen because Republicans are not rational amd not intune with the nation.

What should concern every citizen of the United States is not just that SCOTUS overturned Roe, it is how it was overturned. To quote David Frum:

Likewise, many of the men and women poised to cast Republican ballots in 2022 and 2024 to protest inflation and COVID-19 school closures may be surprised to discover that anti-abortion laws they had assumed were intended only to prohibit others also apply to them.

I think that the Democratic Party devolved into being ndearly identical to Repubicans when it ended it’s relationship with unions in the 90s. We are feeling the consequences of the Bill Clinton years during which Clinton assimilated Republican ideas like NAFTA and welfare reform for the sake of staying in office and thus retaining power. Clinton’s argument to Democrats is you have to be in power to affect change, but the consequence was a near equivalency to Republicans. Now Democrats are unable to fight for anything because their real constituency is the same capitalists as the Republicans.

In the past, replacement parties would evolve as a fix to when a party goes off the rails, but with the current election laws and the amount of money they involve, the power class has a strangelhold on the United States. The Supreme Court, particularly as it is constructed, is all about returning the country to when capitalists had no restrictions.

What do you do with a Supreme Court that makes decisions based on lies? What I learned in high school civics is that the United States Constitution established checks and balances against the three branches of government, but what is the real check against the Supreme Court? Lifetime appointments with no qualification requirements and no term limits enables tyranny when five members always make the same decisions. Citizens have no recourse but absorb the brunt of the decisions. Only Congress can impeach or add justices. By definition, that makes SCOTUS the most problematic of the branches of government and why it became the prize of the right.

Irony: “The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly give the American judiciary the power of judicial review.” Or said differently, the Constitution does not enumerate the judiciary the power of judicial review. wikipedia Thus Marbury v. Madison was a court decision that gave purpose to the Supreme Court.

Two years ago the Supreme Court said federal courts can’t do anything about partisan gerrymandering, the consequence is insuring that ruling parties can stay in power even if they don’t represent the majority of citizens in a state.

It seems incredible that the court then says the remedy to overturning Roe is legislation when they do nothing to make sure the voting and thus legislative process is truly representative of the people.

How Evil Persists

The way of Jesus is not a direct confrontation with evil. Why? It is because when you directly confront evil one becomes evil. We have seen this in modern times with the bombing of abortion clinics, and we will likely see it now in attacks on churches and other “pro-life” institutions. Instead, the way of Jesus, which he called the kingdom of God, is an alternative to evil. In reaction to the bad, it is a practice of the better. One resists evil by loving everyone and seeing them as a part of themselves they do not yet know.

Making abortion illegal will not stop abortion. Why? Because laws are reactive. Laws are not an alternative path rather they are a way for society to hold one accountable. Laws do not stop evil. Nearly all of Paul’s teaching is about this shortcoming of laws. Christianity would know this best if it truly had the mind of Christ and followed Jesus as a movement rather than be a reflection of the human empire that assimilated it into an institution.

Jesus would not be impressed by the overturning of Roe for he would recognize it for what it is, putting new wine in to old wine skins. Jesus would have the church focus on the kingdom, the alternative to evil, a reality on earth as it is in heaven. Today Christian churches may feel victorious, not realizing that while they may have won the battle, they are losing the war as more and more people see it for what is, no different than all the other institutions of man.