September 17, 2005

just for the record

just for the record, 
i am staunchly, unwaveringly for
the separation of church and state

that means i don't want some other flavor
of christianity, islam, judaism or buddhism
running and ruining my government

i expect the prevailing majority
to rule my government
not to try to make the minority
speak, pray or believe as they do

i don't want to endure the changing
pedestal of the bible, koran, torah and the veddah
on display in front of my courthouses

i rather prefer plurality in all things American

God, Allah, Abraham or Buddah
aren't required to keep our citizens safe
our borders secure
and our economy functioning

somehow far-right leaning zealots
have forgotten how their ancestors got here
in the first place
fleeing religious persecution ...
longing for a place where they could
live in freedom of expression and peace

And since God, Allah, Abraham and Buddah
or the local pastor, imam, rabbi or lama
has no special insights into my infrastructure,
tax code, economic policies or environmental concerns
leave them out of my government

it is an extremely slippery slope
the extremists on the left or right are pushing for

i hope we don't wake one day to our
own version of the taliban making decisions
moral, ethical, judicial and legislative
in our own backyard

September 15, 2005

judge roberts can you tell us

I've been watching with fascination the senate confirmation hearings for Judge John Roberts in consideration of appointment as Supreme Court Chief Justice. The heart of the matter can be boiled down to one simple question no one dare asks:

Judge Roberts, can you reassure me that you won't disappoint me?

It's the same question we wish to ask of our betrothed, our surgeons, our heros and our associates -- yet it is a question that will always lie unanswered until the retrospective of time.

We can't ask because they can't answer. We want our future partners to agree with us on all things but they never do. We want our surgeons to make all the right decisions but they never can. We want our teachers to present it all but they never can. We all bring bias and baggage. We seek to be fair but fair is in the eye of the beholder.

My husband wants pure predictability with me. He would like to know that when he does or says something, he can count on my same predictable response. It doesn't work that way.

Nothing human is predictable or reliable. We make promises to each other that are broken every day. While we want Judge Roberts to reassure us he will vote our own conscience, someone else wants him to vote theirs -- and there in lies the rub.

There are no predictive guarantees. No views are universally held. Reasonable minds will disagree. No human can reassure us that they will not disappoint. No matter how much we wish it, those in positions of power can never reliably deliver the consistent comfortable existence we desire.

There will be potholes. There will be taxes spent on matters that don't directly benefit us. There will be wars. There will be injustice. There will be legal rulings we disagree with.

Through it all, we will live this life, our life, without warrany. We know not when we will be born and we know even less the exact time when we will die. And no one can ever reassure us they will not disappoint.

September 14, 2005

lay down the stones

all you self-righteous observers of those stranded in Katrina
lay down your "I would have done better than you" stones

stop condemning those who remained as if the only reason was lust for their possessions
and stop preaching about God laying wrath on the wicked

God isn't responsible for their misery -- nature and callous human oversight are the culprit

in the U.S. we ALL live in the path of destruction
of tornados, floods, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes
and terrors entirely man-made

when the rescuers wouldn't rescue your pets, would you leave them?
if you had no car, how would you leave?
if your path across the bridge was blocked by idiot police/sheriffs, where would you go?
if you were in a nursing home, how you would leave?
if you were in intensive care in a hospital, how would you leave?
if you are waiting for your goverment check and had no
money to afford transportation or lodging, how would you leave?
if you trusted the levees not to break, would you leave?

give money
and be grateful for all that you have
which is starkly different than what they have just lost

remember the first word in our country is "United"
and take that stone and find a nice lake to skip it on

September 13, 2005

dude where's my country?

That's what the bumper sticker
on the car in front of me read
i grimaced and hmmmd in agreement

idealists from birth, we wish for too much
as has had every human before us
we complain that our leaders
and heros and baseball stars
don't quite measure up
never do, never will

disappointed we continue to
believe the empty promises
dream that we'll conquer and win
and hope these mortals
perform better tomorrow

they never do
and we never learn

human foibles and lust for power
mix with terror and tragedies
and steriods and things that end in "gate"
creating a poison for which
there is no remedy, no cure

we think we know we live
among humans who treasure peace
and freedom and life
only to wake again one rainy morning
to find that the one thing
we can always count on
is that our foibles and failures
will always float to the surface
regardless the height of the flood.