Recently, United States Senator Ted Cruz answered former-child-actress Alyssa Milano’s pointed question about Biblical support for gun-ownership.
For effect, I’m going to repeat that.
Recently, Unites States Senator Ted Cruz answered former-child-actress Alyssa Milano’s pointed question about Biblical support for gun-ownership.
In a stunning display of unguided scholarship, Ms. Milano subsequently responded to Sen. Cruz’s interpretation in exactly the same tone and with exactly the same level of literacy. (Read their exchange here.)
There, of course, is another way to read the Bible–the right way.
To get to the “right way”, I have a few questions for the reader. First: Can you imagine being someone else? Can you imagine being anyone else? Can you imagine seeing the world through someone else’s eyes? If not, then move along. This post isn’t for you.
If so, however, if you can imagine being some else, then here’s a follow-up: can you imagine being a person who can see the entire time-space universe as it is?
What do you see?
Part of my own imagination was developed while I was working at a factory. The building, like many, was essentially square-shaped. The white collars worked in offices immediately to the left and right of the perimeter hallway. The blue collars worked on the interior.
As a blue collar, I couldn’t help but notice how many office changes occurred. This person moved to that office. That person moved to this office. It was like the white collars thought that if only they sat in a different spot, we blue collars would do our job better–IE show up to work on time, not complain, care etc.
Switching gears, in the case of “guns” in America, I can imagine something similar. I can imagine it. Imagine–mind you. I can imagine being some person who can see everything and, in this role as all-seeing person, I can imagine watching us down here on Earth. We’re slaughtering each other with our own invention. I see that in response to the slaughter, one group (Milano-led) insists that the slaughter will stop when ink is applied to paper (gun-control laws). Then I see that in response to that claim, another group (Cruz-led) insists that it takes more than ink on paper (gun-control laws) to end the slaughter–but then the same Cruz-led group uses other, older ink on paper (the Bible) to defend that they are right.
The problem is not that gun-control laws don’t work. Other countries seem to have great success with them.
The problem is not that the NRA wants the slaughters to continue.
The problem is that no one has any imagination.
I have imagination. And I have more than imagination. I have more than imagination because I have my daughter. And I teach her to have imagination. I teach her that someone like me, someone very much like me, is watching this whole universe unfold. I teach her that for as long as people have lived this person has been watching. And I teach her that this person does not mess around. I teach her that, like me, he disciplines those who disobey. And I teach her that, like me, he rewards those who obey. I teach her that, like my love for her, in both situations he loves us all very much–as evidenced by the discipline and the rewards, as evidenced by the attention itself. I teach her to desire and be grateful for the attention. And I teach her that he did one additional thing to prove his love. I teach her that he became one of us, and that he walked the earth as one of us. And I teach her, that like her veteran dad who risked/s his life for other people, Jesus died for us. I teach her Jesus died for her.
Why do we slaughter? It’s not complicated. But it does take imagination to understand it. We slaughter each other because we don’t forgive each other. Okay? We don’t forgive each other. There, I said it. Happy? And don’t argue with me here. I’m sick of your bullshit denials. It’s because we don’t forgive. You don’t forgive. I don’t forgive.
We hurt, and rather than forgive, we hold tight to the pain. We nurture it. We feed it. We love it. We use it. We allow it to mature. Then, right before the slaughter, if we happen to take a breath, we sometimes have a moment of clarity–a moment that allows us to see that we’re no longer in control. It’s a spiritual moment. And, if we’re blessed, then that’s the moment when we remember words like, “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” And this recollection inspires many folks to stop and reconsider. But that roaring lion does win at times.
To stop the lion, we must teach each other. We must teach each other the truth that has been taught first to the Jews, and then to the Christians. What’s that truth? Well, let me ask you a question. Can you imagine being someone else?
On Wednesday, in what can only be described as a stunning and devastating admission, GOP leaders took full responsibility for the recent controversy last weekend’s release of “Anti-Rape” underwear caused. The party, clearly in no position to risk alienating women voters, is yet again doing an about-face after choosing the wrong side of an issue. This time, however, the demand for an explanation has elicited an even more shocking revelation than simply owning up to having created the controversial AR underwear itself.
Speaking under anonymity, one leader shared, “Times are tough. The rules seem to be disappearing. We just care so much about America that we were willing to try anything. We made a mistake.”
Karen, a local feminist leader, went so far as to claim, “The creation of AR underwear is the single largest setback in the struggle for gender equality. Ever. Rape is not a woman’s fault. Period. Historians will record this as the straw that broke the GOP’s back.”
The details are still sketchy, but we now know that the GOP is, in fact, the creator and sole financial backer of the AR underwear. Constructed out of blade-resistant materials, the AR underwear is nearly impossible to remove without knowing the combination to a special locking mechanism in the waistband. Had the public blindly accepted them at face value the story might have ended there. Unfortunately for Republicans everywhere, the public didn’t accept the underwear. Public pressure mounting, one of the creators finally came forward with an explanation yesterday.
A high-ranking party member confessed, “You want to know the truth? The truth is we need liberals to stop breeding. That’s it. It’s a numbers game. To achieve this, we created a ridiculous pair of underwear that can’t be removed. Everyone involved loved it–until we realized we still needed to give liberal women a reason to wear them.” Clearly agitated, the informant then bemoaned, “Liberals are so damned captivated by the infantile desire for a life without consequences that we thought this “Anti-Rape” marketing campaign might be a winner. Boy were we wrong.”
The informant further lamented, “Everyone knows we’re desperate. We were thinking of our children. We had to try something to put them back in the majority. Regrettably, it looks as though this will be the final nail in our great party’s coffin.”
In what seems little more than a swan song, the informant assured this writer that all remaining GOP congressional and senate salaries will be donated to organizations dedicated to reducing sexual assault in America.
I don’t like President Obama. Can I still admit that even though in doing so I might offend a “sizable group of people?”
Here in the purple state of Colorado, expressing this opinion–my opinion–gives me pause. It can be difficult to tell if I am speaking to someone who agrees or vehemently disagrees. Discovering the answer is always an adventure.
Here’s why I don’t like the president: The president pretends to not know his own influence.
From the moment he took office, it was made known that he would be a very accessible president. “Ask him anything and he’ll tell you,” they said. The unthinking American loved his openness. His openness surely attracted positive popular sentiment. But make no mistake, it is a very calculated move on the president’s part. Think about it. What would happen if your boss started voicing that he or she really liked a particular camera…right around Christmas time? What would happen if your boss started describing how much he or she disliked the color blue? In my experience, in the first situation the boss would likely be given that camera as a gift at the company party; in the second, the color blue would be avoided in the office where possible.
The credible boss, the boss with high character understands the economics of his or her language. He or she understands that there are only so many hours in a day and many things have to be attended to. The boss knows, therefore, that he or she cannot afford to communicate for forever. They have to offer their guiding leadership eloquently, and rely on an able-bodied workforce to carry out the plan. This happens every day. Even the most micro-managing boss has limited time–thankfully–to communicate all that he or she wants to.
Likewise, when a president offers his opinion on something, it starts a chain reaction. Decisions are made based on the opinion. Take this together with the way our country’s political sphere has unfolded–the president being viewed as newsworthy celebrity rather than public servant–and there is a problem.
Bob Costas attempted to use his power to persuade the Washington Redskins owner to act. So far, it has been ineffective. Bob Costas is a virtual nobody. He is a talking head. Generally a pleasant to listen to talking head, but he is as effectually powerless over another man’s actions as the next man. The same is not true for the president. No matter what he’d like us to believe, it is not just “his opinion.” And he knows it. But he pretends not to. He pretends like he really is one of us. He isn’t. It’s categorically impossible. The us he is attempting to fit in with know their place.
For example, I know that this blog will have no appreciable effect beyond providing momentary pleasure for no more than 10 people. It’ll receive 1-2 ‘likes’, if that. More likely, it will irritate some people and be a stumbling block to my professional possibilities as I’m publishing it on LinkedIn.
Don’t buy this argument? Just wait. History will prove my point. Like the boss receiving a camera for Christmas, the Redskins will change their name. When they do, to deny the president’s influence will strain even American credulity.
In the end, I really don’t wonder what President Obama thinks about me. I just want him to stop pretending that his opinions are inconsequential. I want him to stop using his limited time to weigh-in on ridiculously un-presidential matters. I want “more work, less talk.” Is that too much to ask for?
Dear Mr. Keefe,
I am writing to you in response to one of your recent works, “The Civilian Need for Military-Style Assault Weapons.”
Here’s the thing, civilians who argue for the right to own “military-style assault weapons” are not arguing that they need to own them for hunting purposes. The reason civilians need to be able to own assault weapons is to maintain the ability to prevent and/or defeat tyranny.
It was during my second deployment that the idea struck me. It doesn’t matter how many planes/boats/tanks the US has. The reason we are running the show in Iraq and Afghanistan is because we have more guns and bullets than the enemy. Before 2003, I might have had to argue my point simply on principle (still a winning argument), but after a decade of fighting men armed only with assault rifles, I can convince you with practical experience as well. How else do you explain these last ten years during which the most powerful military in the world hasn’t been able to definitively defeat men armed only with assault weapons?
Let me state the main assumption in this argument; that is, the point on which we may disagree: every government trends towards tyranny. Our founders recognized this and put a check in place in the hope that it would be enough to prevent the tyranny from occurring. That being, governments should fear (just a little) their people. The real genius, of course, is that an armed population can actually overthrow a tyrannical government, not just threaten to overthrow it.
To sum up, your cartoon totally sets up a straw man in the debate on gun policy in America. By defeating this straw man as soundly as you do, you miss your mark. Rather than offer insight on the gun-control debate in America, you do two negative things. First, you confuse a reason for assault weapon ownership that isn’t worthy of attention for one that is. Second, deliberately setting up a straw man on an issue that restricts my everyday freedom to spend my money as I please actively promotes tyranny. No thank you, Mr. Keefe.