“Share your story with the President”

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Funny thing happened to my computer last night after replying to an unexpected whitehouse.gov email with the subject line “Share Your Obamacare Disaster Story“.

I did.

“Obamacare meant that members of the congregation I served for eight years received insurance coverage for the first time in their adult lives. It meant that children under 26 were covered by their parent’s health insurance. It meant that the American working poor were part of a movement toward having in the Unites States what all other industrialized western nations regard as a basic right to be honored.

I write this because Whitehouse.gov asked me how Obamacare “impacted” me. Although far from perfect and needing improvement, the proposals to improve the Affordable Care Act met with iron-clad resistance from a party intent on destroying it rather than improving it.

Now, today, it is estimated by reputable sources that 20,000,000+ now-insured Americans will lose their health insurance with repeal. Shame on you. In the name of Jesus and all things compassionate and merciful, shame on you! Do the right thing and stop the blame game.

Having completed the submission and click with the mouse, the President’s voice spoke through my computer, thanking me for my support and going into an extended attack against Obamacare which, he said, was getting worse even as we spoke.

When I clicked again to silence him, my computer cursor went mousey, jumping all over the screen beyond my control.

An hour or so later I watched KellyAnne Conway explaining how I could be surveilled through . . . my microwave, and I wondered whether I’d just fallen into a dark alternative universe with KellyAnne, Steve Bannon, and their boss.

Today, just in case, I think I’ll get rid of the microwave.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 13, 2017.

The Hoax – an Exceptional Performance

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“He became President of the United States in that moment, period,” said Van Jones, one of the President’s harshest critics, on CNN’s Anderson Cooper following the President’s Address. Jones was referring to President Trump’s recognition of Carryn Owens, the young widow whose husband Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed in the raid in Yemen, the first American soldier casualty in his Administration.

“That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics,” Jones added.

It was that. But did anyone else recoil at the scene and the President’s remarks? Watch her eyes and face closely. “Than you. Thank you! But then, after it went on too long, “Can we please stop now?”

She was a prop. And she was abused in her grief. Her grief was FRESH. Her husband was killed 30 days before in a raid, authorized while the President was sitting at dinner in his Margo-Lago Dining Room – a long way from the White House “Situation Room” where Presidents, Secretaries of Defense and State, and other Presidential advisors gathered for other high-risk attack like the one that killed Osama ben Ladin.

Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens’s father, Carryn Owens’s father-in-law, had called for an investigation into the raid and had refused to meet the President upon return of his son’s body at Andrews Air Force Base. Click HERE for the NPR report.

Last night’s excessively prolonged applause from the floor of Congress was “a record,” declared the President, after he used the “heroic” Navy Seal and his widow’s grief, against William “Ryan” Owen’s father objection, to establish himself as the nation’s Pastor-President, declaring that the aggrieved widow’s husband was looking down on her, and that he is “very happy. His legacy is etched in eternity.”

Are we happy now?

“That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics,”said Van Jones. It was extraordinary. Truly an exceptional performance.

It’s a hoax, folks. It was a hoax.

-Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 1, 2017.

 

Not good! Not good!

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Learning to trust my eyes and ears took years. But now, I’m old, and I do.

What I see looking at the President’s face and body language and what I hear from his mouth send chills down my spine. I’ve seen and heard it before . . . inside the gates of  locked down psychiatric institutions.

As the President said during Friday’s press conference to shut up a reporter:

“Not good! Not good! Not good!”

Lord help us all.

 

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Feb. 18, 2017.

Should we pray for the President?

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“Should we pray for Trump?” asks The Washington Post Saturday Opinions piece by Colbert I. King.

While it’s well worth the read, we draw your attention to After Presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray? which looks deeply within a single Christian denomination for a look at the meaning of prayer for the President in this time of deep national division.

Over the last eight years of ministry in a Presbyterian (USA) local church, we often used the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer‘s Prayers of the People. It became our practice to pray for the president, governor, and mayor by their first names, not because we voted for them, liked them, agreed with them, or approved of them, but because the public trust was in their hands; they, like us, were human – weak and frail, and in need of guidance; and, even though we may have despised one o them, we were called to pray for our enemies.

Increasingly I sense beneath our new President’s bravado a deep insecurity and fear, a deeply troubled, as well as troubling man. I see a lonely little boy desperate for approval playing with some very big toys. I’m doing my best to pray for him even as I pray for the world. I cannot pray for the world without praying for him. In the end he’s just Donald, and I’m just Gordon, and only God is God. God, help us all.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Feb. 11, 2017.

 

 

Barack Obama after the Presidency?

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Ever wondered what President Barack Obama will do after he leaves office? 

The President’s 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” speech in Selma, Alabama is a masterpiece in the tradition of the Church of the Bridge (see earlier post “The Church as Bridge” on Views from the Edge). Think of the President as pastor-preacher in the prophetic preaching tradition that speaks truth to power, celebrates hope, honors courage, and preaches a gospel that calls us all to cross the Pettus Bridge toward the world for which our hearts yearn.  The President’s speech was, in fact, a sermon rooted in Hebrew and Christian Scripture, freely quoted from memory.

Click HERE to hear the President on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.