…jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle.
This is what my brother Larry would often say, mostly in jest, sometimes for real, always in honesty. Perhaps it was an overload of thoughts and the lack of proper words to describe them, but I doubt it. It is more likely that it was just a sound he made sometimes. Hard to tell.
I made this sound tonight because of a brain overload, too many words to sort through, and some trepidation. But I have to say something, even if it is not entirely accurate, although I always try to be accurate. I hold this and many other things in common Larry, although some would not believe this to be true.
I am fearful of many things, but few are as troubling as the current polarization of everything. It appears the far liberal element slipped a bit down the slope, and the far right conservatives ran as fast to the right as they could go, then jumped off. I cannot possibly be the last moderately-in-the-middle-but-slightly-left-leaning-except-when-I-lean-a-little-bit-the-other-way person remaining in America, but perhaps I am. And from my little chair in the middle, I like to think I can see both sides pretty well, and this is part of what I consider:
Is it possible that “Hollywood” is no longer the den of iniquity and caretaker of immorality? Has that dubious honor been usurped by the faux evangelical mega-churchdom leadership that has risen to new lows of grandeur? Are those self-professed and air-brushed contenders of the faith willing to sell their souls for the glitter of gold and a shred of elusive, fleeting, and imaginary power. What do they profit, this brood of vipers full of dead men’s bones?
Well, THAT was a lot of out-of-context scripture, but you get my point.
Certainly, there is enough immorality to go around, but in the moral arm-wrestling contest between, oh, let’s say, Roy Moore and Francis McDormand, I know where I would put my money. A frisky game of Righteous Red Rover between ANY of the evangelical leaders scurrying to curry favor in the White House vs. well, just about anybody? There is no question. Not all who cry “Lord, Lord” get to hide in the cleft of the rock.
Let’s try this again, in another way: I love the church, even when I don’t like going to church, and I love the precepts found within that living organism that are consistent with the Bible, which I also love. Other than actual prayer, as opposed to the gimme-gimme-gimme-stuff and God-as-a-vending-machine-of-blessings prayer, the Bible is our greatest constant companion illustrating the big picture of truth and blessings, but not the book of rules and shaming and fear as interpreted by too many, nor the hammer used to bludgeon and ridicule the opposition. Many of my dozens of preacher/pastor/minister/priest friends reluctantly, or sometimes gleefully, say something along the same lines, albeit more eloquently and far more intentionally (I don’t have any rabbi friends, so I need to get out more). A few others wallow in the mire of legal statutes that simple are not there.
But I digress…..
Talent does not discriminate geographically (stick with me here). Astonishingly talented people grow up in disastrously desolate places. Likewise, feeble imitators are found in places of fertile creativity. Such is the case in the imaginary battle between Liberal Hollywood and the Conservative Evangelicals–plenty of both to go around
I shouldn’t cast the first stone here. I couldn’t hit the target anyway with this log in my eye. So am I ready to cut everybody a break? Pray without ceasing? Forgive those who trespass against me? Working on it. Have mercy on me, a sinner.
And don’t forget to vote.