Trumpocalypse Now

5ylmetr

 The following journal entries are an account of the first 100 days after President Trump’s election. They are now on display at the Trumpsonian Institute.


Day 1:

Madness. I thought it had all been a dream. A nightmare. But no. The election had taken place. My newsfeed confirmed my most desperate fears. I tore off the covers and looked out the window. All was eerily quiet. My suburban street was obviously catatonic with the news just as I was. Should I go to work today? Would there be work? Businesses may have given up and are just waiting for the market to implode. Better just stay home. Well, go to Starbucks, then stay home.


Day 2:

Things are still strangely normal. Too normal. In the real world at least. Facebook is full of memes trying to cope with what happened. But I barely have the will to scroll and “like” anymore. Nothing much happened today. But as the sun went down I saw two actors flee north. They looked harried and afraid.


Day 3:

Sick. I came down with some sort of flu bug. My stomach is torn up. Have to wonder if they’re releasing germs in the air. Just in case I’m removing myself to the basement for the duration. My wife sent down black beans and rice. Can’t help but think that’s a little racist. Maybe the germ warfare is more than just a stomach bug. Would only make sense. Checked my skin to see if it was turning orange. Hard to tell.


Day 4:

Can’t hear the racial slurs from my basement but I know they are out there, reverberating in the redneck KKK air. It’s all been clearly documented in the memes. Just because I can’t hear the deplorable shouts doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there it still screams in agony. Poor trees. They’re all goners now. Is it getting hot down here? The basement is usually so cool. But … climate change is on the move. It knows this is its time.


Day 5:

Work’s been calling, wondering why I haven’t been showing up. They sound … overly concerned. I don’t quite understand their expectations under the circumstances. Most likely the place has been over-run by capitalists trying to make money and grow wealth. But I’ll show them. I’ll write a biting review on their web page … anonymously, of course.


Day 6:

This is the end. I’ve had enough. Maybe I should join the riots and let them kill me. There’s no where to go. It doesn’t matter where we go. HE will be everywhere. But … there is one hope that I’ve heard about on Vox. An underground society seeking to set off the San Andreas fault. There’s a chance it could crack off California and turn it into an island. The glorious Isla Cali! Of course, there’s also a chance it could sink. It’s worth the risk.


Day 7:

This will be my last entry. I’m heading to California and I’m leaving this behind for posterity. I don’t even know if anyone’s left out there. Starbucks is most likely shut down. If I’m caught, think of me rotting away in a dungeon somewhere with no coffee and consider it a warning to you. Never go outside again.


Day 14:

Plans changed. I decided to keep the journal. Something told me I would stay alive a while longer and that something was my passion for justice. I figured I might be the only one left who knew what justice was. Turns out, though, there are others like me out there. I happened to meet up with some in the last Starbucks left standing after the election. It became our bastion against injustice. Surprisingly, the workers still made us pay for coffee. That means I’m a little low on funds. But we think together we still have enough to make it to the west coast and meet up with the secessionists. We’ve decided in the spirit of riotism that we will take what’s left of the coffee here for the cause. It’s a small price for them to pay for such a good cause.


Day 28:

We finally made it west. It’s been a long and difficult journey. Mostly because of the barista in the trunk. We have to let him out to pee, feed him, listen to his yells … Very stressful. But worth it, I guess, since none of the rest of us know how to make coffee on the go. We are a little worried though. He doesn’t appear satisfied with his living conditions during the trip. Some of us started to wonder if we should have given him one of our gas masks. He may be … turning. Into a capitalist. Some of us want to put him out of his misery. Others think we should try to detox whatever’s in his system. Whatever’s in the air.


Day 30:

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month. There are no overt signs of change around, which makes me very wary. And it turns out there are still Starbucks here. Thank Mother Earth for California! We don’t need the barista anymore so we decided to lock him up in the Starbucks closet. The coffee beans should be able to cleanse him of his strange tendencies, like thinking his own needs are more important than the cause.


Day 31:

The secessionists are so cool! Finally we found others who realize apocalyptic things really are happening. Most people are completely ignorant, just going about life like mind-numbed robots drinking the cool-aid and shorting their circuits. Okay, maybe that’s too many mixed analogies. In any case, we had to get our skin tested for orange hue before the secessionists would open up to us. Even now we’re in some sort of probation period. Our first initiation task is to loot drug stores to stockpile contraceptives. We are told this is imperative, as even condoms will soon be outlawed. But contraceptives isn’t the only thing being stored. It turns out they’ve been stockpiling explosives since before the election.


Day 33:

Some of the explosives are actually being buried as I log this. Some of the lucky souls who came with me from the east coast got to give their lives for the cause. Billy tripped as he was making a delivery. Tom was being lowered down into the holes along the San Andreas Fault when his rope broke and he plummeted one of the deeper sections. But we were able to fulfill his dying request, tweeting out his last words in real time. I can’t repeat them here. Curse words will surely be outlawed by the time this is recovered.


Day 40:

Today was … wild. There must be a double agent in our midst because at the last explosive site we were confronted by some cops. We all know what that means. Now that Obama’s gone and probably assassinated orange is the new black. They were talking about us trespassing on government property which is totally bogus because if this is government property then it’s run by taxes and this one guy Dan totally pays his taxes so its sort of like his property really. We tried to reason with the cops but they just weren’t reasonable. Then things got sticky. They found some of the explosives. There was a lot of shouting. Gunfire went off and I dove behind a rock. I heard some more shouts and then BOOM! Followed by BA-BA-BA-DOOM! The ground shook. My insides shook. I couldn’t hear after that. I just lay there stunned for a long long time.


Day 41:

I must have dozed off. When I woke up it was pitch dark. I felt like I was moving. Slowly moving. Felt like a dream. Still couldn’t hear anything. Couldn’t really feel anything either, except my head was massively pounding. Tried to reach for my phone but couldn’t even do that, so you know this was serious. No phone. No coffee in hours. I passed out again off and on.


Day 44:

Today I witnessed a miracle. Or science. I guess I should say science. Rain. The patter of rain woke me up from my daze the last few days. I licked it off my parched lips. Might have well been coffee beans from heaven. Finally was able to pick up my head. Then what I saw made my head swim again. But better my head than my whole body. I found myself on a huge cliff. My head hanging just at the edge. Way down below was the ocean lapping. Where was I? This wasn’t right. But it was so beautiful. Then it hit me. The fault line. The explosions. We had done it! California had slid out into the Pacific.


Day 45:

Some other Californians found me today. They took me back to civilization, or what was left of it. The move had caused massive damage to the cities. No power. So much destroyed. But so worth it to be away from tyranny and racism. Everyone was dying their skin any color but white. It turns out no white people are allowed in New California. Makes sense to me. There weren’t any white people left anyway. Only orange. Blood orange.


Day 60:

Today it came to my attention that New California is getting smaller. That’s okay. There aren’t much of us left alive. Turns out living on a newly made island is kind of tough. And most everyone refuses to work at re-establishing generators and such. Turns out generators run on fossil fuels, which is disgusting. So we figure we’ll live on solar and wind power. But again, no one’s willing to get that set up. I certainly can’t do it. I’m way too busy writing these journal entries.


Day 62:

Well, it looks like it’s okay that everyone’s too busy to work on restoring civilization. The island is sinking. Must be the ice caps already melting away. I know how the polar bears feel now. I guess we always knew there wasn’t much hope in this little adventure. But it was fun while it lasted. There are helicopters circling to take us back to the mainland. Yeah right. Take us to prison is what that means. Some of the less determined of us have accepted their offers for “help.” But not me. The only government assistance I’ll ever accept is welfare check. One day no one will work. Everyone will just go around feeling love for each other. I think that’s a quote I saw once on a Chipotle bag. So good.


Day 63:

California is pretty small now. I can walk across it in about an hour. Kind of cool actually. To be able to walk across the whole state in an hour. Probably will be even shorter tomorrow. That will be fun. Just wish my phone still worked to share it. See how many likes I could get. See who would click the last “like” before I went underwater. Then I’d know who my real friends are. My “like” friends. Made me think of the days when we really DID something in America. When we posted all the best memes. When we shouted out all the injustice and forced people to listen and take action by “sharing” our posts if they truly believe in … in … what was it we believed in again? It’s all getting fuzzy now at the end of all things. I can see a helicopter above me. So loud. People shouting at me. Why do they have to be like that. Always telling people what to do. Well too late for anything now. Going to be Waterworld. Water up to my chin now. Having trouble keeping the phone out of

[end transmission]



Day 80:

Some are calling our plan to break California off at the seams with explosives in order to create a socialist island foolhardy and ridiculous. Others have even gone so far as to consider it insane. But I ask you, is blowing up a state in order to get away from Trump really idiotic?

We tried. And just because we failed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate our attempt and our emotional fervor. It’s not about the do or do not, but the try. Didn’t Yoda say that once?

Anyway, there’s a new plan underway. #resistance. It’s mainly a Twitter hashtag campaign designed to … resist. We mainly use the power of the meme and short sentences describing the horror of Trump. It gets people angry. A lot of likes. Likes=progress against hate. That’s our motto. We’re going to put the social media world in turmoil until we get our way and the world realizes Trump must go. Otherwise the world will end. What people don’t understand is the world is blowing up!

That’s all for now. I think there’s an espresso machine downstairs. Going to check it out.


Day 81:

You’re probably wondering where I am and how I’m not drowned. It seems the Trumpians were not finished with me. They rescued me, if you can call it that, only to throw me into a monstrous tomb. Some sort of torture chamber, I think. It must be. The wifi signal is terrible! And the fridge is only half stocked. And on top of that there are all these Ts embossed on everything. Those Trumpian Ts are seared into my dreams like a brand on a poor, innocent cow. Maybe I’m just cattle now. They make my room just plush enough to placate me until they are ready to harvest my rights forever!

Oh, and according to the menu, the meat for the filet mignon is NOT grass fed.

#resistance


Day 89:

One of Trump’s surrogates tried to talk to me today. “See how I was doing,” he said. “If I needed anything,” he said. Ha! I refused to listen to the rest. I plugged my ears and sang Beyoncé songs. He tried to offer be a “bottled” water. Yeah right. I know what he put in that. I’m m surprised it wasn’t orange.


Day 93:

I’m wasting away to nothing. All the food is poisoned. I hate it here. They can’t keep me. And the racquetball courts always have a waiting list. So I told them to release me. They had the gall to say I could leave whenever I wanted. That I was simply being put up at a “Hotel.” These people must think I’m a idiot if they think I believe that. I know what really happens. Every night they brainwash me. I know it happens because each morning I wake up and think “This is a nice comfy place.” I feel so relaxed and happy. But then I fully wake up and force myself to remember that it’s all a way to play with my psyche.


Day 100:

I did a brave thing today. I left the building. The poor saps that have to live in a Trump- run government. All these people slaving away at work, putting on fake smile’s in case the cameras are watching. I now know my favorite quote will never come true. “I hope for a day when no one has to work. When everyone can just lay around feeling good about everything.” I think I am going to find a lonely hill with a little shade where I can live out the rest of my depressing days looking over the poor peons as they live out the American dream turned nightmare, where everyone works hard and has to pay for their own healthcare and goes to a government appointed bathrooms and fight wars against the peaceful terrorists and where homosexuals can never have a cake at their wedding again. They are brave souls having to deal with being triggered by insensitivities every day and every moment of every day. I alas am not so brave. Give me your triggered, your illegal, your unemployment receiving masses. We will find a Starbucks together and suckle at the drip of burnt coffee until the end of our days.
    

The Vagabond of Sidonia: an allegory

You … are … Rather Dashing, servant of the King of Sidonia. For a time you have been sent on business in a somewhat uncouth place known as the Strait of Dire. It is not a fun job but you willingly endure because you have the best King by far of any around.

Even so, you end up living there longer than expected and there comes a time when someone asks you to play Scabbers and you say “No, Sidonians don’t play Scabbers because our laws don’t allow us to pick at scabs and because, really, they just can’t heal that way.” Well, that unfortunately sets off a firestorm of accusations, not the least of which being “Scabaphobe!” and eventually you become imprisoned and let me tell you they have rough sentencing for Sidonians in Dire. You could possibly get the death sentence!

Now you know that ultimately it will be up to your king whether you live or die, but there’s also a crazy law in Dire where you are allowed to have a say in who the arbiter is for your case.

Now for your particular trial there are only two viable options. There are conflicting opinions on them but generally speaking, by Sidonians standards, they both stink out the wazoo. In fact, their reputations are such that you kind of hate to pick either of them. However, you’ve learned that one seems to be the more calculating and evil of the two. With her you’re almost sure to get the hung from your email server until dead penalty. And then she might string up your friends by Ethernet cable if she’s feeling particularly nasty. The other arbiter is less consistent. Some like him, some hate him. It sort of depends on his temperament of the day. You might get off with a huge warning or maybe, quite possibly, the death sentence but whatever it is it’s going to be big deal. Ask anybody.

As an added stress, some people are telling you that as soon as you pick one, there are those who will say you’re pals with the arbiter you pick. Of course, you don’t have to pick one. It could be picked for you.

So, Rather Dashing, the choice is yours. What do you do?

The Biggest Problem this Election is that We are Acting as Bad as the Candidates

Current social media political attitudes among Christians:

Hopeless Christian: my candidate is gone and everyone left is horrible so I’m going to stay at the compound and watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show on Election Day and pretend this isn’t happening.

Begrudged Christian: I’ve finally resigned myself to voting for a candidate but you can’t make me like it and I’m not going to tell you for fear of being told I’ve lost my salvation. Now I feel like taking a shower.

Outraged Christian: depravity! Hillary is Satan incarnate and Trump is a wolf in an ass’s clothing, and anyone who dares vote for either is headed toward HELLFIRE!! Ayieeee!!

Impractical Christian: vote for (insert unknown moral person here) who wasn’t in the primaries and won’t win but at least we will show the world we failed with dignity and didn’t play their game and we aren’t really a part of this world anyway so even so come Lord Jesus.

Trump Christian: GO TRUMP!

Hillary Christian: (whispered) go hillary.

I make some fun of each camp only because I can’t help but find humor in things and to illustrate that, in short, it’s messy. And I hate to say it, but we’re making it messier. I’m getting uncomfortable. Not by the depravity of candidates but by the degradation of Christians by other Christians either through blatant attacks or subtle hints. We’re putting cracks in our unity because we’re promoting a worldly election above its proper place. We don’t need to unify behind a candidate. In some ways we need to have the attitude “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” Put things in perspective. Let your unity be in the Spirit of God, not the banner of our favorite cutting meme.

Don’t get me wrong. Speak your mind! But separate your mind from God’s will when you do it. And by all means speak God’s word! But not as a means to promote your will.

So some people want to vote for the lesser of two evils. Okay. So others say voting for anyone is against their conscience. Alright. Some say even Hillary is better than letting Trump win. Ok then.

At the risk of sounding sappy, I’m going to love you whatever type of Christian you are this election. And if I disagree with you, that’s okay. Because, like I said, this is messy and this is hard.

Let me just end by giving you some bad news and some good news. Bad: somebody much less than ideal is going to be elected as president. Good: Somebody greater than all is on His throne.

Habakkuk asked God “How could you use such a vile heathen nation to attack and punish your chosen people!?” to which God said “The just shall live by faith.”

So how can God let these be our candidates!? The just shall live by faith.

Personality Test

You can find a whole host of personality tests out there. Some silly, like which Disney princess you would be. Others are a little more involved and give you a combination of letters that label you in a similar way that an astrological sign might. “Oh, you’re a Leo?” Someone said to me once, then began staring suspiciously. “I never would have guessed.” Or “Oh you’re an IFSP? I would have pegged you as an IFGQ for sure. But that’s just like an SP to come across as a GQ, right?”

To which I smile and nod with true SP subtlety.

Not that I know what any of these things mean. But it feels good to be labeled and generalized according to letter codes and star shapes. It gives one a sense of confidence to have your uniqueness reduced to one of five love languages.

There are thousands of personality tests because there are thousands of miniscule differences to personality. That’s what makes everyone unique. But its also what makes us confusing. So to add to that confusion I give you the following:

There’s another aspect to personality that doesn’t seem to be talked about as much as some others. We discuss how people “charge” and say that introverts charge by being alone and extroverts charge by being with others. But what about the other end of things? How do we USE that energy? It’s more complicated than just “likes to be with people” versus “likes to hide in caves.” What do we put our energies into? Are you a slow burn or a quick explosion? Do you like to use your charge on yourself or others? In small groups or large? I am an introvert. Buy if I’m fully charged, I enjoy spending all that energy at once with large crowds. Even being the center of attention if there is the need for one. So I keep my energy in eco mode until one of these opportunities arise. Then bam, I let it out.

So lets call this the Benjamin’s Battery Test of Personalities. I wanted to call it Benjamin’s Battery Battery (BBB) but the Better Business Bureau beat me to it.

Answer the following important questions.

1. How do you charge? Do you feed off people like a piranha (P) or do you hide yourself away from the world like a rock badger (RB), living off abundant fat storage?
2. Next, how do you store the energy? Do you store it nervously as like an oft beaten hunting dog (OBHD) raring to show his stuff? Otherwise you may keep your energy on ice like a slumbering manta (SM) ray at the bottom of the sea, ready for action only if some stupid kid comes snorkeling and messes with you.
3. How do you expend that energy? Like a cheetah (C) on the hunt, bursting forth but tiring quickly? Or more like the komodo dragon (KD), taking your time, infecting a target with your poisonous teeth and then waiting to see how it goes before trying another bite?
4. Finally, how well do you demonstrate the expenditure of your personality energy? Awkward like a T-Rex (T) doing pushups? Or smoothly as a Michael Jackson (MJ) doing the moonwalk?

Personally, I’m an RBSMCT and proud of it. But if anyone can think of another aspect involving cooler animals I would probably be those too.

Full Circle: Bizzaro Edition

In many ways society has come full circle. But in its newest variants, I am forced to wonder whether we have entered a Bizarro alternate universe.

First consider the doomsayers of the twentieth century. Old ragged men in New York City sporting cardboard clothing and housing flea colonies. In a raspy voice they proclaim the end of the world is coming. These characters were considered comical, written off as loony right-wing religious nuts. Contrast that with today and consider the new face in end of the world extremism. Clean cut, left-wing pseudoscientists along with Igore-like henchmen (also known as celebrities) proclaim the impending doom of mankind brought about by global warming. We are all going to die unless we repent of our carbon emissions and plant ten thousand priuses in recycled coffee grounds. It’s all just as ridiculous as the crazy-eyed old codgers. But this time it’s the norm. It’s like millions of those old guys laughing at the few sane people left.

Now let’s think back to segregation. To separate water fountains and schools. To blatant inequality based on skin color. Blood, sweat and tears were poured into change, so that color could not stop you from achieving. Fast forward to college campuses today where a previously segregated shade of people are now demanding that other color groups protest inequality in separate areas. Where instead of blending and uniting, minorities are calling for their own spaces free of white-skinned people. It is only a matter of time before they decide they want their own water fountains.

Now lets think about Ronald Reagan. He was a fighter and a great president. He did what needed to be done. Yet he started out as an actor. Many made fun of him for speaking too simplistically. Many said he would never get enough votes to be president. Yet he did and in many ways he accomplished more than many other presidents before him. Fast forward to Donald Trump. Another who is labeled as stupid and unable to win an election. Another outsider from the establishment in Washington. Only this time around we have someone who doesn’t state things simply. He states outrageous things braggadociosly. He reminds me of the character from Napoleon Dynamite who said “I bet you I could throw this football over that mountain!” He makes over the top statements to get air time then slowly brings it down a few notches. He is Ronald on crack. Or perhaps, Ronald cracked. And he may be the best option for president we have in this ….

Bizzaro world!

Light of Glory

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol opens by saying that Old Marley was dead as a doornail. And that nothing wonderful would come of the story unless that was first known. Well for my devotion tonight you must remember that God in all His glory has never been seen at any time. The wonder of this message depends on our understanding of that.

So what’s so glorious about this God? Is He really too great for our eyes to handle? Well He’s the one who speaks and atoms come into being, organized exactly as they need to be for all of them to coexist. He is the creator of light itself, which is the means by which His good and beautiful creation can be clearly seen. He is the origin story of the universe or multiverse or whatever. He is greater than our terrestrial minds can fathom. Darth Vader once said “Never underestimate the dark side.” Well the dark side’s got nothing on God and His light. We cannot help but underestimate his power. Look at every vision in the Bible about the throne room of God. You can tell by the descriptions that the prophets have no clue of what they are seeing. Their brains can’t cope with it and their bodies keel over like they’re dead.

But even so we long to comprehend it. We long to be in the light as he is in the light. Moses said to God “Show me your glory!” He wanted to be know who God is in a real, tangible way! When I first was getting to know my wife I lived in Florida and she lived in Virginia. Emails had been exchanged through her siblings and mother. As we corresponded I started to realize I was falling in love with her. But I needed more! I needed to see her! My friend and I scoured the internet looking for pictures. But I needed more than that. I longed to be with her and see her in real time. To hold her.

This is where things get even more amazing in our story. Because God provided a way … the only way … we could be close to Him and truly, intimately know Him. Jesus, enthroned in splendors unimaginable, Creator and sustainer of all things, was funneled into a human baby. Stop and think about that. I’m reminds of a line the genie says in Disney’s Aladdin. “Phenomenal cosmic powers … Ity bity living space.” Its unthinkable. But its true. Through Jesus the glorious light of God can actually be witnessed. John says he touched and handled the Word of Life. Seeing Jesus was seeing the Father, human edition. Think of Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent. It is mild mannered Clark with those unassuming glasses who is able to build relationships with the humans around him. And it is through a relationship with Jesus, the Son of Man, that a relationship with the Creator was possible. And through him, an enlightenment of truth and the concept of grace.

He bottled up all that glory so we can identify with him and he with us. His glory can now be revealed in a way that won’t kill us instantly. But our story doesn’t stop there. It gets even more wonderful. Because this galactically impressive power, through the work of the Holy Spirit, can now be inside us. The greatest intimacy with the Creator God, made possible by the coming of Jesus, is now within those who believe on Him.

Do you get the implications here? Do we recognize and live like we have the eternal power of the most high God burning hot inside us? That’s better that Darth Vader and Superman put together … inside us. That glorious light has the potential to shine through. We just have to let it. Matthew says “let your light shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven.” Just let it. Just turn yourself off and get transparent, baby. Let Him do the rest.

But there’s one more place to follow the light. That is to the end. Revelation 22:4-5 says that in the end, when all evil is dealt with, those who are God’s will see His face. There will be no need for a sun because God will be their light.

Show Me

One of the United States is called the Show Me state. I don’t know what that means in context but I’d like to think it has to do with demonstrating action. I like that idea.

Action is antequated these days. Why act when you can feel enough satisfaction winning a point on Facebook while driving your opponent into the digital mud? Now that’s satisfaction, right? Don’t deny it. We’ve all felt it, whether it’s the pride we have when a friend posts something to demolish another point of view or we do it ourselves.

But to quote the song, “I can’t get no satisfaction” from these wordy attacks. Not really. In fact, they only lead to a false view of Christianity from outside the church and divisiveness inside. So that satisfaction quickly turns to discouragement.

With that said, here’s my attempt to be exhorting instead of divisive on the issue of Syrian refugees. I’ll try to keep it short.

1. If you feel convicted to help these particular refugees, go and do it. Or at the very least dig into your wallets and send money to those who are helping.
2. Remember to separate government and personal service. For those calling on the government to bring in refugees, this, according to FBI, CIA, and many other officials, increases risks of attacks on this homeland from the inside. If you promote bringing them here, remember that you are not only putting your own life at risk, but those of all Americans. I’m not saying its right or wrong, just saying to be ready to live with that.
3. Remember that whether refugees come here or not or where they go is largely out of our control as citizens. So all of our shouting does not do a lot to change things. What does change things is each one of us answering the specific call God has given us. We can’t tell every Christian to be the same. Some are missionaries to Mexico. Some to the Philippines. Some to the old lady next door. That’s awesome. That’s how everyone can be reached, because we all have convictions to different people and groups.

So in conclusion, saying what you believe is good. Even saying it boldly as long as it is in love. But make sure that whatever level you are using to preach on social media, you are matching that with corresponding actions. It’s a tough challenge. And I have failed it many times. But when I envision all the posts people are sharing about providing help to these refugees and then think of each one of these people actually DOING something about these refugees, then I think …. Wow! If all the tweets became real people going and doing and sharing the gospel with the refugees I think the world would be blown away by the glory of God.

(Update. Source: http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/missouri/state-nickname/show-me-state: )

Missouri’s nickname is The Show Me State. There are several stories concerning the origin of the “Show Me” slogan. The most widely known story gives credit to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver for coining the phrase in 1899. During a speech in Philadelphia, he said:

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

The phrase is now used to describe the character of Missourians – not gullible – conservative and unwilling to believe without adequate evidence.

The Night Before Equality

Twas the night before veterans day and all through Mizzou,
Not a minority was stirring, not even a Jew.
We were all snuggled in safe healing places with mace at our sides,
Calling Reverend Jackson on our cell phones to come save our hides.
An oversized pickup had roared right down the street
With their racist flags flapping, we knew we were dead meat.
We had visions of white boys in big pointy hats;
The privileged in shadows shouting “We’ll get you and that’s that!”
“We’ll oppress all your hopes and cut minimum wage.”
“We’ll take your insurance as we burn with white rage.”
It doesn’t matter they were figments of our imagination.
The point is the threat is quite real even if confabulation.
But no one will take away what we deserve.
If they think they’ll get our handouts then they’ve got to have nerve.
So on Sharpton, on Wright, on Obama, on Lynch
On Holder and Hillary, to make a big stench.
We’ll whine and we’ll cry until the rich are all poor
And everything’s free at Big Al’s department store.
We’ll get A’s just for breathing the stifling air.
We won’t rest until everything’s ten thousand times fair.
Until then we’ll lament and tweet all our woes
With a powerful whimper we’ll defeat our white foes.

Banning Humanity

Everywhere you go there’s a call for something to be banned or boycotted. Take Starbucks red cups, for example. As far as I have scoured social media, maybe two people in America are offended by these cups, but we all believe the hype because its just like something Americans would do. We protest things. Mizzou has taught us that we protest having to pay our bills. We protest being afraid. We protest that there are white people. We protest that there are black people. We protest that they are separated. We protest they are together.

We have gotten into the habit of walking around with, not just a chip on our shoulder, but a whole truckload of mulch. Just taking a step will make one fall. “Who put that step there?! I almost tripped!”

Every offense is immediately attacked by an army of hashtags like white blood cells. They don’t always end up destroying the offensive material, but they certainly nag it to shame (nag being a sexist word soon to be protested.) #nagisbad

But what does this mean? Why do we let it bother us so much when someone flies a flag we don’t approve of? I think deep down its because we’re looking for perfection. The problem is that humanity is imperfect. The things we ban and protest are simply part of being human. But somehow we think that if we can just shave off all the rough bits of society we can all live in peace. What we’ve found, though, is that shaving off the rough bits just makes us all weak and fearful and mean.

We aren’t going to change society by banning humanity.

But we can change lives by transforming humans. That doesn’t start with taking the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. It starts with realizing that, under all those chips on your shoulder is someone who’s just as bad as the rest of humanity. Someone who has already been banned from God’s presence because of a diseased, rotten, reprobate heart. Your sin against Him is the most offensive thing in the world. Because he made us and then we rejected Him and His plan for us. The difference is that God isn’t making mean hashtags about you. He doesn’t want you banned. He wants you transformed into His image. #armsopenwide

Lines in the Sand

You cross this line and you are Hitler to me.

That pretty much sums up the picture of American worldviews colliding. Doesn’t matter if its politics, religion, or the style of your hair. If you cross my line for what is right and decent I’m going to inevitably revert to a Hitler comparison. For instance “That haircut is as bad as Hitler’s!” or “Driving your gas guzzling car is as bad as Hitler’s gas chambers.”

Do not doubt me. Someone will find a way to compare you to Hitler if they are enraged enough by what you are doing or saying.

So why do we do this? I think pur view of what is wrong with the world is based on the lines of presumed righteousness we draw in the sand.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, believes a baby can be aborted at any time the mother doesn’t feel like being a mother. Line drawn … Sort of. Others would say abortions can’t be performed after the second trimester. Line drawn. Yet others say you should not inhibit even the flow of seed to egg. Line drawn.

In scripture some would say things can be interpreted loosely up to the creation of Adam, but then, baby, you better tow the line and know that Adam was a real actual person or you’re not a Bible believing Christian. Line drawn.

Everyone has a reason for drawing the line where they do. Everyone has a motive. Everyone uses some sort of Evidence. Kill, but only in war. Speed, but only if the cop doesn’t see you. Vote third party, but only if the nominee is Donald Trump.

Many times the rules are based on emotional responses. “I couldn’t believe in a God who could allow so much suffering.” Many times the rules are arbitrary. “I could never love an octopus with less than seven arms, but I would cherish a dog with only one leg.” Awww. Little brudder! (Obscure Homestarrunner reference)

What you end up with is a wide sea of sand crisscrossed every which way imaginable. Hard to follow. Hard to keep because they are constantly being erased and redrawn or smudged. No wonder most people end up saying “I’ll do what I want, you believe what you want, just don’t talk about it or make me feel bad and I will relegate all my negative energy to snarky memes.” I call this the Law of the Meme.

But there’s something deeper we have to get to. Literally and figuratively. Otherwise the world doesn’t make sense. If there is no deeper logic … No firmer truth … then the world fails to be more than an abstract art, interpreted based on “how it makes you feel.”

That’s why you have to blow away the sand. Yep, that’s right. All that sand is just the transient cover atop something far more solid. You thought you were looking at art but lo and behold it was just plain old dirt.The sand is all the puny human philosophy that gets carried all over the place. Messy. But underneath … Ahh … There are lines drawn there too, but those are carved in stone … Permanent. Organized. You peer closely and find that not only are they structured but they are meaningful. They are the distinct truths beneath all the indistinct musings of simplistic human minds. They may not all make sense, but instinctively you feel that that is your problem not theirs.

And so you have caught a glimpse of something greater than you … Deeper than you … Graver than any superficial groove you have been able to come up with on your own. You have tapped into a reasoned, purposeful plan … A map written the Creator we have come to call The Bible.

Don’t go back to the sands of time. Keep the timeless truth clean of your own thoughts on the matter. God’s word is truth. The truth. The way. It doesn’t need you. You need Him. Stand firm on what IS firm. And don’t get sidetracked by little Hitlers dancing in the sand with silly mustaches. Just sweep their sand piles away and show them that you stand on something greater than yourself.

That’s the only way to make a difference. Because there’s one more part to this analogy. There’s the magic part. The part where, looking at the glyphs of truth, you are transformed; the things engraved copied onto the flesh of the heart until you are a living, breathing copy of the eternal.