It's been a busy time, and aside from the TransPacific Partnership, which is, to borrow Ross Perot's phrase, that giant sucking sound of more American jobs going overseas, our super cool President O has had a massively affirming week. The picture above was taken when he learned the Supremes validated Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act for purists. One wag pranked Joe Biden by photoshopping him wearing a Pride flag like Superman after the Supremes validated equal rights in marriage.
And then the bit about being able to prohibit the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia from appearing on license plates. The housing protection decision wasn't as good as it could have been, but it was based on what the lawyers argued. The Supremes did the right thing with that one, too.
So, yes, we liberals have had a very good week in spite of the sorrow in Charleston and the subsequent church burnings in North Carolina.
In our town, folks rallied to decry Congressman Bob Goodlatte's refusal to convene a congressional committee to deal with the erosion of voting rights. This, in my estimation, is our next target for the big upheaval. it's one thing to pull down a symbolic flag, but it's completely another to fess up to the actual harm done by the GOP when it comes to voting rights.
Bob Goodlatte needs to face up to this, confess his party's sins and do the right thing. The restrictions on voting are regressive and harmful to the American body politic. Absolution could be his, but if he doesn't take this important step, it will likely mobilize the Democrats to find a candidate who could beat the snot out of him at the next election. His term limit could well be nigh.
And that brings up another good one from the past week or so. Pope Frankie stood up in front of [ ___ ] (insert deity of your choice - or not) and declared that climate change is sinful. Well, maybe not those exact words, but the message was clear: defile the Earth and you have sinned against our Creator who gave us this Earth. The Republicans are telling him to stick to his own business. I call that a massive case of testa deruta. Hard headedness. The Republicans do not worship a deity like us common folk....theirs is the old payola. Piss off the Kochers and lose your power. That, to them, is more important than doing the right thing for their constituents.
So, we're back to the idea of the confessional. We all have a lot for which we must atone, and the first step in that process is admitting when we've done something wrong. This is hard for people who cling so desperately to symbols, no matter how convoluted the faux history has become. How can it be wrong to worship a symbol of a bygone era of graciousness?
First of all, that graciousness came at a price for a group of people who were brought here in order to enrich a class of people who needed labor. And while their masters lived the high life in the big house, and sowed wild oats by raping their slaves, their poorer neighbors worked endlessly for very little return. Yet, in spite of the disparity, together they fought a war based on greed and an inability to admit wrongdoing. How different is that from corporate America and poor whites who vote against their own interests?
We could ask why anyone would want to cling to that, but we already know it is a sense of fear brought on by self-loathing. When the preacher only tells a congregation how sinful and bad and undeserving they are and does not preach love and forgiveness, as did Jesus, eventually those congregants will believe that. They vote for rich celebrities because they live vicariously in just about every aspect imaginable. It's how they escape the realities of their own sad existence.
Where I'm going with this today is the idea of facing up to what is hard to admit, acknowledging it, and then, in the words of Ruth Frazier, "chewing up our ghosts." We need to accept that our fellow citizens are being denied certain rights and then we need to jump in and help out. Pretending that someone else more effective can do it is wrong. Those massive shifts made by the Supremes were brought about by a simple majority vote. That's all it takes to effect societal change. But to get to that vote, there has to be a lot of work accomplished and it won't happen by Tinkerbell flinging fairy dust.
Today, hit your own confessional. But please, take time to praise, to send up gratitude, to open your heart to forgiveness and to embrace those who need your love. Be kind, even to someone who doesn't deserve it. It'll make you the better person, and if want to fight for social justice, you damn well better be setting that kind of example.
I nearly forgot. That sin I needed to confess. Well, it has to do with a sense of pride in my own work. I created a painting that was supposed to remain at my alma mater. I didn't want to do that. I thought it was going to be dated in a very few years and just had problems with leaving behind a mediocre piece of art. So, aided and abetted by the fact that my '69 Pontiac was a hardtop, and when all the windows were down, I could slide that huge thing into the car, I just strolled into the building where it hung and took it back. Yep. Stole a piece of art. An unsigned piece, come to that.
It currently resides in our storage locker because it is too large for this little box we live in. However, I've been exploring a different kind of trendy art, and the other day while Jasmine was applying potions and lotions and scrubs to my feeties and legs, I realized how I could update said purloined painting. Stay tuned. I'm hoping the art gods will forgive this one, and my sense is that by being honest about its mediocrity, they might give me a pass. Let's hope so. I really don't want to spend eternity consigned to a gallery of paintings on velvet!