Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Tale of the Great Dream

Once upon a time a small group of people left their home land, and sailed to a far away island to begin a new life. The home land had become unbearable. Greed and oppression ruled their lives. The differences between rich and poor had become excessive. Rich men were carried around upon gold gilded sedan chairs on the shoulders of slaves.

The small group of people sought a new life free from the oppressions of the rich. The first years in their new country were hard, as they scratched out their survival in the soil of their new land, but each person worked, and each person shared the extra they gained with those who lacked.

As the years passed the people prospered, and whenever someone was sick or injured the people shared what they had with those who suffered. The differences between rich and poor were never evident to visitors from other lands. The stories of oppression from the old home land reminded the people of the evils of greed, and every single person in the new land gave as they were able, and worked for the good of all.

One day the chief minister of the land had a dream. A dream of sharing this new way of life with other people in the lands of oppression. He shared his dream with the people, and they too shared his vision. So, the chief minister and his helpers began to set aside money to travel, and spread this dream. They began a campaign to raise money from the people of the new land.

The first minister traveled a returned with stories about traveling from land to land sharing the dream with the people of the world. His fame spread throughout the world, and the people of the new land were thrilled to hear the stories from distant places. Because of the first minister's success, the campaign to raise money to share the dream increased, and the money poured into the first minister's office.

After many years of this great success, the people of the land began to experience lack. When drought struck, the people began to suffer. When people were sick or injured they often went without, and the poverty struck the new land for the first time since the first hard years of sacrifice.

And so one day, a young man lost his family to sickness, and he packed his bags to sail to new land in hope of starting a new life like his forefathers had done before him. His small boat took him to an island not far from the coast of the new land. High on the hill of the island was a large castle with a gold gilded roof. He set shore, and walked up the hill to see the great castle. There at the castle servants hustled and bustled about cleaning, and preparing for some important arrival of a great king, and so the young man sat to watch the preparation and wait for the event.

As the sun rose high in the sky, people gathered at the gates of the castle, and a procession began. A gilded sedan chair could be seen coming up the hill to the castle carried on the shoulders of slaves, and as it drew close the young man saw the first minister from his home sitting in the gilded chair, and the people all cried "Hail the King of Dreams!"

Giving has a potential of being a cycle of support for all. The cyclical nature of giving is siphoned off by the greedy who hoard their treasures, and do not share with others.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Why I am Ashamed of My Fellow Americans' Response to Susan G. Komen Foundation

The media furor over the choice of Susan G. Komen Foundation to drop the Planned Parenthood donation support of the relatively minute $700,000 is something I find disheartening.

The behemoth organization of Planned Parenthood which brings in $93 million would barely even be touched by the loss this money, and they pretend this would somehow stop breast cancer screenings, but that is not why I am so disheartened.

Yes Planned Parenthood is a major contributor to the abortion industry in the US, and I am pro-life, but that is not why I am disheartened.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a major private philanthropic organization, and it has the right to choose where its money goes without being beholden to 26 Congressmen, and a percentage of the public who may not hold their views. But, that is not why I am disheartened.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is about fighting breast cancer, and not funding specific popular programs, and has the responsibility to place their funds in the most effective locations. Planned Parenthood has actually proven itself to be both negligent, and incompetent in a number of situations recently. But, this too is not why I am disheartened.

Today I had a discussion with a friend about an event at a Christian gathering. It was a discussion about the Bible and sexuality. Someone asked an honest question about human sexuality from a conservative perspective, and was shouted down and booed. There were no answers given, just a gross mob response (and I use the word "gross" in every capacity here.) This highlights why I am disheartened.

There is no place for agreeable disagreement in American politics today. There is no place for someone to walk an uncommon path without being demonized today. Nancy Brinker who started the Susan G. Komen foundation 30 years ago, because her sister died from breast cancer offers her reason for the board making this decision, and clearly states that this does not change the current funding. Of course, her detractors insist she is lying, and that this is politically motivated. (That is how we prove our point in America today.) Yet, the response is political, and there is political force being exerted to change the course of their decisions as a board. Who is playing politics here?

America has become a mean nation. We are mean to our own, and there is no more discussion on any philosophical level. We live off nasty threats and lawsuits. We pretend to be civilized and find a new witch hunt around every new corner. The left is the new bully who threatens at every right turn, and demonizes conservatives who really do care, and right is the old bully who punches at every left turn and pressures every disagreeing party. We are eating one another like cannibals at a horror theme park. This is zombie politics.

If you think Planned Parenthood deserves support then do something about it and give. If you disagree with the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision and want to say something about it - fine, but if you do it disrespectfully - shame on you. Those $700,000 once dedicated to Planned Parenthood will still help fight breast cancer somewhere else, and will still help reach the poor.

I am looking for a new political party - the Listening Party. A group of people who will actually listen to those they disagree with. I am ashamed of those who do not listen but only shout, because we have become a mean nation, and consequently, a stupid nation.

That's what I think. What do you say?