Friday, March 28, 2008

John Hagee, Anyone?

Here’s my question: Why does Barack Obama get so much crap for being associated with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and John McCain gets absolutely no grief whatsoever for actively seeking out the approval of Rev. John Hagee?

Here we have the leader of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), which actively calls for an end to any peace agreement in Israel-Palestine, because to support the so-called Biblical Mandate for Israel (basically, the secession of all Palestinian land to the original borders of ancient Israel) is a “moral mandate for all Christians.” (see

Rev. John Hagee has repeatedly denied the very existence of Palestinians as people:

"God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a covenant in the Book of Genesis for the land of Israel that is eternal and unbreakable, and that covenant is still intact. The Palestinian people have never owned the land of Israel, never existed as an autonomous society. There is no Palestinian language. There is no Palestinian currency. And to say that Palestinians have a right to that land historically is an historical fraud." (from

This is interesting, since there are Palestinian Christians who have been living in the land for generations, and, I imagine, would be surprised to learn that they have no right to their land, and, in fact, no culture at all. From one Christian to another, Hagee denounces any plan to give up ANY land from Israel.

This is not because he has a sincere love for Jewish people. Jews simply have a part to play in the sick end-times scenario peddled by Left Behind creator Tim LaHaye and others. For Jesus to come back again, Israel needs to expand, and the Temple needs to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. That’s all there is to it.

And perhaps the saddest thing of all: Hagee and his ilk have been so incredibly effective in their message, that if anyone questions their motives – or even considers the experience and plight of Palestinians themselves – they are often times labeled anti-Semitic.

So, you have Rev. Wright, who questions Israel’s treatment of their occupied people behind their separation barrier – he’s “racist,” and a “demagogue.” Then you have Hagee, who waves away any effort at peace in the Middle East like an annoying gnat. He’s not even heard of. Just another Bible-believing Christian.

Obama must deny, distance, and denounce himself from Wright (even so, that won’t stop FOX News’ Sean Hannity from calling him racist and anti-Semitic without a shred of evidence, treating his own fantastic conjectures as carved-in-stone fact).

McCain, however, can court Hagee all he wants. Even though he’s recently tried to distance himself, this still gets absolutely no coverage in the media. We'll be watching five-second clips of Jeremiah Wright every chance we get.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Peanut Butter and Tetanus Shots

Oh, if I could only contribute to this blog as much as I want to. Alas, there is no time.

So, I have to get on here when I get the chance, sneaking away a few moments to throw some words out into cyberspace. If only I could do this daily, as a sort of meditation. If only.

It's my mom, again. She's always right there, on the tip of my tongue, at the forefront of my mind, coming and going each and every day. It doesn't take much to bring me back to her.

Today it was peanut butter sandwiches and tetanus shots.

You see, she was the one who thought of the brilliant solution for her youngest son, who happened to dislike all flavors of jelly, to continue consuming that which he adores - peanut butter. Aside from eating it raw off the spoon (which I have done my fair share of times), she devised a way I could still eat it on bread without it sticking to the roof of my mouth.

Butter. That's right, add butter. Brilliant, I know. That was my mom. And, to this day, I slap butter on to a fresh piece of toast (well, okay, mostly half-toasted bread, at most), top it with peanut butter, and close my eyes with enjoyment. And every time I do this, I think of her.

And...tetanus shots. Yes, I need to know when my last tetanus shot was. And, of course, I don't. This question always falls into the category of information for which I called my mother. She had all of this information in her home, in her head, or some combination of both. She knew the random details of her kids' lives. She even knew things about us we would never know.

So I scramble in my room, searching long-forgotten corners for the elusive piece of paper which holds this unknown date, all the time remembering Mom. Wishing I could call her.

She's always right there, waiting to be triggered again.

I don't think I would have it any other way.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Lenten Reflection

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in God’s word I hope;

my soul waits for the Lord

more than those who watch for

the morning,

more than those who watch for

the morning.

|Psalm 130: 5-6|

I’m not a morning person. Anytime my alarm clock wakes me up, especially if it’s before 9am, I feel a certain emotion – but it’s nothing close to the hopeful anticipation that drips from the psalmist’s pen.

The psalmist stuns me with her attempts to describe how powerfully she waits for the Lord. Like those who watch for the morning. At my Ministry in Context church – Bethany Lutheran Church on the South Side of Chicago – people often thank God for “waking me up this morning.” The response is always the same: “Amen. Amen!”

But for the psalmist, it’s not just “like” those who watch; it’s more. So much more, in fact, that she has to write it – to say it, to sing it, to shout it – twice.

She asks, knowingly: You know how people watch for the morning, for the beginning whispers of the sun, for the soft rays that illuminate the sky while we are still half-asleep and swimming in dreams, for the life-giving light to shine on God’s awesome creation? My soul waits for the Lord MORE even than that. My soul waits for the Lord more even than that.

Amen. Amen!