Saturday, October 21, 2006

Grapski Defense

I have been out all day, but when I checked phone messages, there was an urgent message from Carol Thomas, who is working hard on behalf of Charlie Grapski’s defense.

I know that many of us are tapped out from election donations, but Charlie has about three days to come up with $40,000 for his defense of the trumped up charges against him.

If you can possibly help, go to:

or send a check to:

Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Charlie Grapski
P.O. Bos 190
Alachua, FLA 32616

Charlie’s situation is truly an abomination. He has been arrested for daring to question the integrity of the vote in Alachua. I truly believe that if Charlie can be made to disappear, than it can happen to any activist, anywhere. Even us.

donna in evanston

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Shut Up & Sing

This is going to be a very quick post, but I wanted to give a heads-up that the documentary "Shut up & sing" is due to come out in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 27. It won't be seen "everywhere" until November 10, but hopefully it will at least be in the news before the elections. Bush and his supporters have repeatedly invoked September 11 as justification for every affront to all that we hold dear about our country. And that was five years ago. If it is true that we must "never forget the lessons of September 11" (whatever those might be), it is also true that we must never forget what we allowed our country to become in the name of "fighting terrorists".

You can watch the trailer on the official movie site.

While I'm on the subject, if you'd like to buy their album "Taking the long way", which featured the song, "I'm not ready to make nice", you can get it through this link...

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Kirsten Gillibrand live-blogging!

As most of you folks know I've been deeply embroiled in the campaign of Kirsten Gillibrand for Congress in NY-20. Kirsten is a wonderful woman, a good friend, and will make a fantastic Congresswoman.

The campaign has been one of the nastiest in a nasty campaign season. The incumbent is John Sweeney. Sweeney knows nothing but back alley, thug-style politics. He learned at the feet of Al D'Amato and Bill Powers in New York and was rewarded for being a good thug by being annointed as Gerald Solomon's replacement in Congress back in 1998. Sweeney immediately began ingratiating himself with Tom DeLay.

In 2000, Sweeney lead the "Brooks Brothers Riot" to shut down the recount in Florida. Here he worked with Tony Rudy. It has recently come to light that Sweeney traveled to Saipan in the Northern Marianas Islands in January 2001 (a trip he did not report) with Tony Rudy to lobby CNMI to re-hire Jack Abramoff who had just switched from Preston, Gates, and Ellis to Greenberg Traurig. CNMI did sibsequently hire Abramoff, Rudy, and the rest of their team.

Sweeney met with Rudy several times over the next few months on "appropriations issues." Sweeney claims not to remember what they were.

In the meantime, Sweeney has run nothing but a negative campaign. He has refused to debate Gillibrand on the Iraq War (something Kirsten has made central to her campaign) or anything else. He is running on his 4th excuse for not debating. His ads have accused her of pretty much everything he is guilty of. Sweeney has learned well the modern day Republican trick of not letting the facts get in the way of a good smear.

The race is essentially tied. There have been outlier polls in both directions but the most recent reasonable polls have shown Kirsten down by 1 and then up by 2. We have put together a volunteer army the likes of which this area has never seen before. Labor unions have switched from Sweeney (a former state labor commissioner under Pataki) to Gillibrand and have been worked hard for her. Spitzer and Clinton and the DCCC have all joined us in supporting Kirsten in a substantial way. But the district is a tough one so we continue to need to work as if we are 5 points down up until the polls close at 9:00 PM Nov. 7.

Kirsten Gillibrand

... will be live-blogging today in the BlueAmerica fund-raising series at:

Saturday, Oct. 21
2:00 PM eastern

Please come meet Kirsten for yourself at 2:00 PM! She'll be coming straight from the largest lit drop Saratoga County has ever seen. We have an army of volunteers coming to Sweeney's home town of Clifton Park at Noon.



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Saturday Comics

And my favorite for today: Midterm Elections

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Friday, October 20, 2006

David Korten on the problem with corporations

Last Saturday I attended an Earth Charter Summit here in Columbus. The featured speaker was David Korten, author of The Great Turning: from Empire to Earth Community. Today, I got a start on transcribing his talk at my Religious Left Blog. What you see below is a brief excerpt.

Now, from time to time, someone will ask me, "Why are you so obsessed about corporations? Aren't they just communities of people?" Well, I think most of you here have been studying this issue just a little deeper--you probably wouldn't ask that question. Because, what we know, is that there are many highly thoughful, ethical people who work at corporations, but they are all, including the CEO, employees of the institution. They are paid to serve the institution at its pleasure, required by law to leave their values at the door, and subject to instant dismissal at a moment's notice. These are not qualities we normally associate with community.

We're talking here about an institution of enormous power, governed by absentee owners and accountable managers, in the business of converting the life energy of people and nature into money for the short-term financial gain of already wealthy shareholders and managers, without regard to the human or natural consequences. In other words, the publicly traded Limited Liability Corporation is a gigantic pool of money with an artificial legal personality, required by law to behave like a sociopath.

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Classic Howard and Fiona

A while ago, I was asked to post to this blog when there was something special going on in Connecticut. It has seemed as if just about every moment of the past several months have been special. However, today, something very special happened. Gov. Dean came to campaign for Democrats in Connecticut.

Kim and I received the honor of driving him around, and we took advantage of this to put up a new photograph of Gov. Dean with Fiona, as well as asking him to say a few words.

Fiona and the Governor
Originally uploaded by Aldon.

Click on the image below to view the video.

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Ken Blackwell remix

Via Buckeye State Blog, this remix from Ken Blackwell's performance at the last gubernatorial debate, done as an "interview". As Staff at BSB notes

The reason a candidate should never utter the words NAMBLA ought to have been clear, but just in case that lesson hasn't been learned, a reader passes this along

As someone noted in the comments at Buckeye State Blog, "That has Daily Show potential written all over it. Classic."

To help peak your interest, it ends with:
Disclaimer: This video is intended purely as satire.

It is highly unlikely that Ken Blackwell supports Man Boy Love...
...on demand

In other news, Ken Blackwell was unendorsed by the Republican-leaning Findlay courier.

Both Blackwell and Strickland have campaigned as religious people. Blackwell is an evangelical Christian and Strickland an ordained Methodist minister. The Monday debate showed which one has a greater understanding of Christian conduct.
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Open thread

From Cute Overload. And I thought my cat was weird for trying to fit into a shoe box. This is just classic "cat" isn't it?

From Connie in the comments of the previous thread...


Here are links to two articles published in our local weekly:

Alachua admits to not considering some election ballots
By Ronald Dupont Jr. , Editor
High Springs Herald | Thursday October 19, 2006

Grapski, who sued over elections, still unhappy with being banned from the city

Editor's note: Imagine! Being unhappy with being banned from your home town. Some people are so hard to please! ;)

Here's the website for Charlie's Defense Committee

Any help you can give will be most appreciated.

For snail mail:
Checks can be made to:
Committee for the Defense of Charlie Grapski
PO Box 190
Alachua, FL

And here's a comment from Charlie that was posted earlier in the day...

Hey all, just checking in. Hectic as usual - running around. Just got to a computer to check in and let you know I am alive and well (and still free) - good articles today on the front page of the High Springs Herald.

I think someone will scan them so we can spread them around. Side by side are artciles, top of the fold, with some of what we have proven in the election case and the issue of my being charged and arraigned.

Please help spread this around if you can. Again I am sorry I cannot post much and have to be so brief (I think some people probably like the brief part - given my tendency to write long posts!) - but its so hectic right now.

Thanks for everyone's support and help.

Also - if anyone needs to contact me - is the way right now. I am trying to check it every few hours if I can get access. I have no phone currently.

Charlie Grapski

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Dems, PLEASE prepare for dirty tricks

Thank you to Alan for posting this link. I hope people will read and crosspost this one.

Electronic voting machines can be pre-programmed, re-programmed, re-calibrated, electronically adjusted, hacked, jimmied, jammed or otherwise blessed with a few well-placed electrons and---LO AND BEHOLD!---a Democratic landslide can be born again to a Republican deliverance.

We already see the signs. The corporate bloviators predict a last-minute surge for Bush. The Fox/Rove media machine has planted suggestive stories at the New York Times and elsewhere about the alleged hidden powers of the GOP juggernaut. They will, they say, once again turn out those invisible legions of evangelical voters when and where necessary.

Every two years, Rove leaks some story that is implausible and easily refuted: four million new evangelical voters are identified nationwide; or, a late surge of homophobic Old Order Amish rush to the polls in Ohio; or shy and reluctant right-wing Republican women flood the polls at closing and slip out unseen without speaking to exit pollsters (but, they are only shy in the early evening in Republican counties).

And the Democrats? They say they are also turning out voters. But what happens when their names are miraculously gone from the new electronic registration rolls? When there aren't enough machines in their precincts on which to vote? When they press a Democratic name on their touch-screen and an anointed Republican's lights up? Or when techno-gods from private partisan vendors barge in unchallenged to "adjust" the e-machines in the middle of the voting process.

So far, the Democrats have heaped abuse on those who dare to warn of all this.
Here's the link to adopt a Board of Elections. And here's the Ohio Honest Elections site. What else have we got? If you don't have a related link to post, maybe you can tell us where you've crossposted the article I excerpted above.

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Olbermann: Beginning of the end of America

Here's the link to the transcript of Keith Olbermann's special comment from earlier this evening...

Beginning of the end of America

...In times of fright, we have been only human.

We have let Roosevelt’s “fear of fear itself” overtake us.

We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”

We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.

Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.

Or substitute the Japanese.

Or the Germans.

Or the Socialists.

Or the Anarchists.

Or the Immigrants.

Or the British.

Or the Aliens.

The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And, always, always wrong.
But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.

You, sir, have now befouled that spring.

You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.

You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.

For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

And — again, Mr. Bush — all of them, wrong.
Click here for the rest.

PS. Lobsters in AR stopped by tonight--gotta love a family reunion!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Riverbend returns

I thought this was worth a front page post since I'd mentioned a few times that people have expressed concern about Riverbend. Her blog is called Baghdad Burning, a "girl blog from Iraq", as she terms it.

Here is her most recent post, which is about the Lancet study:

This has been the longest time I have been away from blogging. There were several reasons for my disappearance the major one being the fact that every time I felt the urge to write about Iraq, about the situation, I'd be filled with a certain hopelessness that can't be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also.

It's very difficult at this point to connect to the internet and try to read the articles written by so-called specialists and analysts and politicians. They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that- I suppose- is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse. They fall between idiots like Bush- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.

We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?

There are Iraqi women who have not shed their black mourning robes since 2003 because each time the end of the proper mourning period comes around, some other relative dies and the countdown begins once again.
Click here for the rest.

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Ken Blackwell: Dirtbag

This is a semi-open thread, in which I plan to link to a few different things, but I do wish to highlight, in particular, the dirtbag qualities of J. Kenneth Blackwell, so I am giving that top billing.

But first, quick reminder to check out the Raw Story article about Charlie that was featured in yesterday's post Florida Activist, Candidate, charged with felony wiretapping. Charlie posted this comment in the thread below:

Hi all,

I hate to impose again - but I am unable to get onto the internet extensively today - and we really need to keep the issue alive and spreading and the only way I know is through our community here on the internet.

If any of you can help to keep this story alive and spreading today - please do. Anyone who has any questions or suggestions - email me. I will try my best to check email every two hours or so. I can email a phone number as well if anyone would like.

Thanks again for all your help.

Charlie Grapski | 10.18.06 - 1:53 pm |
So, whatever help you can give as far as spreading the word would obviously be appreciated. Here's a video of Charlie on YouTube, for anyone who hasn't seen it.

Charlie Grapski, then a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, speaks to the Democratic Party's Fourth of July picnic in Gainesville, Florida in Alachua County.

And here are some Charlie updates from earlier this year.

puddle has some new posts on her blog.

Keith Olbermann has another special commentary coming up on Countdown tonight, on Habeas Corpus.

On to Ken Scum-of-the-Earth Blackwell

Racist ads are running on Black radio in Ohio and other "battleground states"

A group that ironically calls itself "Christians for Social Justice" is planning to crash a Strickland rally in Columbus.

An article on Ken Blackwell's attempted "October surprise" smear against Strickland: Lawyer: Ex-aide has built new life

Fro the Cincinnati Enquirer: Governor's race turns ugly
Blackwell campaign links Strickland to predators, hints he's gay

On a related note, an article about the poet who referred to Blackwell as an S.O.B. at a recent Cincinnait event: Giovanni is unapologetic
'All I have is my voice. I don't want it silenced.'

Giovanni added, "I think Kenny is not a nice person. I think you can tell that by what I wrote."

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National Irony Week

Couldn't let this piece of irony slip by without comment:

National Character Counts Week, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

America's strength is found in the spirit and character of our people. During National Character Counts Week, we renew our commitment to instilling values in our young people and to encouraging all Americans to remember the importance of good character.
The snark almost writes itself, doesn't it?

Character counts...Vote Democratic on November 7

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Countdown: The day Habeas Corpus died

Via Crooks and Liars. Keith Olbermann interviewed Jonathan Turley, who said of the signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006...

Turley: "People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system.—The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It's otherworldly..People clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're gonna change back anytime soon."
The full video of this interview can be found at Crooks and Liars.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The State of Florida has filed felony wiretapping charges against election reform activist Charles Grapski for audiotaping his efforts to obtain public records related to his investigation of alleged election fraud, RAW STORY has learned. He faces arraignment Tuesday, October 17th.

"The State has held charges over my head since May 1st, six months," Grapski told RAW STORY. "I have not been allowed until now the right of subpoena power to do discovery in my own defense. Now the State is saying I must choose between two rights: the right to a speedy trial, and my right to a fair trial."

RAW STORY has previously reported on officials' attempts to suppress Grapski's investigation and that Grapski was later banned by a judge from campaigning in the City of Alachua.


Subway Serenade

Update from Connie:

Charlie was arraigned this morning. TV20 will have something on the 6pm news. The AdHoc Defense Committee had a press conference at the court house which they covered. Things are moving along. CC

There is a Kos Diary on Charlie's situation. Give it a recommend. We want to keep the spotlight on this.

There is also a journal at Democratic Underground.

Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!

Alt Comment Link

DemocracyFest 2007 & 2008

Based on feedback from groups interested in hosting future DemocracyFests, we will now be accepting proposals to host the event 2 years in advance to provide more time to plan the event.
If you are interested in hosting the 5th Annual DemocracyFest (2008) click here.

If you would like to nominate a group to host the 5th Annual DemocracyFest (2008) click here.

To fill in the extra year needed to impliment this change, Democracyfest Incorporated will produce and host the 4th Annual DemocracyFest (2007), June 9- 10 in Manchester, NH. Save the date and stay tuned for details and ticket purchasing info.

If you are interested in being a trainer, speaker, or entertainer at the 4th Annual DemocracyFest (2007) click here.

If you would like to sponsor the 4th Annual DemocracyFest (2007) click here.

If you have another suggestion or idea for the 4th Annual DemocracyFest (2007) click here.

The DemocracyFest Incorporated Team
Charlene, Jessica, Liane, Pam, and Quintus

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Edwin's memorial service

Update from floridagal...Howard Dean and David Kuo are coming up on Tavis Smiley.

The first thing I'm most glad about, was that two small circles of the many people whose lives he touched profoundly, came together not only to celebrate one who had gone on ahead of us, but also honor the Love that he shared with Puddle.

Puddle, I don't think anyone in the room could sum up the two of you in one word. It's certainly fitting. Words like "wife" or "soulmate" seem like such small containers.

Democat, Thankful, Agatha, Sylvie, ChrisNYC, and Paine were there so this community was well represented. Chris began a tearful reading of a rememberence sent by Joe Trippi, that was very moving.

Other friends from the theater related stories of Edwin, on stage and off, and all agreed that The O C was "An Actor's Actor." right up to his new beginning.

It was no surprise that everyone there was most appreciative of Puddle for filling Edwin's heart in the time they had together.

Edwin surely broke a leg.

Subway Serenade

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Final Strickland/Blackwell debate tonight

From Ohio News Network:

WBNS-10TV and ONN will partner to enable local and statewide viewers to see a final face-off between gubernatorial candidates Ted Strickland and Ken Blackwell. WBNS-10TV will host the hour-long "Campaign 2006: Gubernatorial Debate," which will air live on both stations Monday, October 16 at 8pm.

In traditional question/answer format, the debate will be moderated by veteran 10TV Anchor Jerry Revish. The four-member panel will include John Fortney, 10TV anchor and host of ONNs premier political talk program "Capitol Square"; The Columbus Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallett; Julie Carr Smyth, of the Ohio Associated Press; and Karen Kasler, of Ohio Public Radio and TV.
For the convenience of viewers who can't see this debate live, ONN will provide a replay on October 16 at 11pm.

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Big Tobacco backing deceptive issue amendments

It's hard to keep on top of everything that's going on, but ever since Demetrius forwarded an e-mail to me explaining the differences between Issue 4 and Issue 5 in Ohio, I've been meaning to post something about it.

Here is the NBC Nightly News video and transcript of a story done by Lea Thompson in August.

What's the difference between Smoke Free Ohio and Smoke Less Ohio?

Well, you can't tell by the names. Smoke Free Ohio would ban smoking in all public places. If Smoke Less Ohio passes, smoking would be allowed almost everywhere — bowling alleys, bars, restaurants. The real difference? Smoke Less Ohio is backed by tobacco companies. But you won't find that anywhere on the petition.

"It's clearly a wolf in sheep's clothing," says John Seffrin with the American Cancer Society. "It makes it sound like they're trying to protect people when they're doing just the opposite."

And it's not just happening in Ohio. In Arizona, there are likely to also be two initiatives on the ballot: One called "Smoke Free Arizona" — backed by health groups — the other called "The Non-Smoker Protection Act" — which certainly sounds like it's in favor of a ban on smoking in public places. But it turns out to be almost entirely funded by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Click here for the rest of the article, and here for the web site of Smoke Free Ohio. I think probably the most important point from the site is this: Don't be fooled into skipping Issue 4 or voting for both! Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment. If Issue 4 passes, it would trump Issue 5. Vote NO on Issue 4.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Which path will we choose?

Today is "Liberty Sunday", which you can read about at Pam's House Blend here and here. I truly do not wish to post *any* of the "religious right's" vileness here, but am thankful to Pam for keeping us apprised of what that crowd is up to. I just don't want to use my energy in that way right now. I don't want to feel the anger rise up inside me and feel compelled to react. I'd rather *act*. I'd rather focus my life force on positive efforts. Here's another excerpt from the article in Yes Magazine I linked yesterday...

Changing the prevailing stories in the United States may be easier to accomplish than we might think. The apparent political divisions notwithstanding, U.S. polling data reveal a startling degree of consensus on key issues. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe that as a society the United States is focused on the wrong priorities. Supermajorities want to see greater priority given to children, family, community, and a healthy environment. Americans also want a world that puts people ahead of profits, spiritual values ahead of financial values, and international cooperation ahead of international domination. These Earth Community values are in fact widely shared by both conservatives and liberals.

Here's an analogy David Korten described in his talk yesterday, in an essay by Jan Roberts.

The caterpillar is a voracious consumer that devotes its life to gorging itself on nature’s bounty. When it has had its fill, it fastens itself to a convenient twig and encloses itself in a chrysalis. Once snug inside, crisis strikes as the structures of its cellular tissue begin to dissolve into an organic soup.

Yet guided by some deep inner wisdom, a number of organizer cells begin to rush around gathering other cells to form imaginal buds, new and initially independent multicellular structures that begin to give form to the organs of a new creature. Correctly perceiving a threat to the old order, but misdiagnosing the source, the caterpillar’s still intact immune system attributes the threat to the imaginal buds and attacks them as alien intruders.

The imaginal buds prevail by linking up with one another in a cooperative effort that brings forth a new being of great beauty, wondrous possibilities, and little identifiable resemblance to its progenitor. In its rebirth, the monarch butterfly lives lightly on the earth, serves the regeneration of life as a pollinator, and is capable of migrating for thousands of miles to experience life’s possibilities in ways the earthbound caterpillar could not imagine.

During the film, A Quiet Revolution, that I saw yesterday, I learned about the Green Belt Movement for the first time. I just found the web site today, and am posting the link for anyone who is interested.

So, fellow organizer cells, let's get to work on turning humanity into a butterfly.

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People Of Faith

Now if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead. But He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:12-26
One thing that I find amusing is the popular clumping of "People of Faith" into one group. It's similar to the clumping of "People of Color" — the only thing that Blacks and Nigerians and Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and Vietnamese and Japanese have in common is the fact that we're not White. Now to some (many?) that's all that matters — that key difference makes us "those people," the undesirables — and likewise to a secular culture the difference between a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Jim Jones cult member is essentially moot: we're all "those people," religious kooks. Kanye West said that George W. Bush doesn't care about Black people and this is true, but Black people comprise a small subset of the people that George W. Bush doesn't care about - Bush doesn't care about anyone who isn't a part of the Haves and the Have Mores, and that includes the overwhelming majority of Black people. Likewise, secular opposition to all things religious tends to clump all religions into one group — people of faith — and some religious people have taken that label onto themselves, but it is a misleading grouping: "faith" is about all that we have in common.

It is not faith that redeems us, it is not faith that restores us, it is not faith that gives us eternal life — it is the object of our faith that provides us with redemption, restoration, and eternal life. It is Jesus Christ who saves us, not some nebulous notion of faith. Faith has no power in and of itself, it is merely a means of connecting with the One who does have the power to save, seal, and deliver. I can have faith in my ability to fly, but if I jump off of a building then I am going to discover the objectively real ground in a hurry. I can have faith in the Detroit Lions' ability to beat the Chicago Bears, but when the Monsters of the Midway come to Ford Field it will be proven whether or not that faith is well placed. I can have faith in the human potential to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly, but the presidency of George W. Bush is proof-positive that if such a potential actually exists then it often goes unrealized. It's not about faith itself, it's about the object of our faith — can the object of our faith actually do that which we believe it can achieve?

In whom — or what — do you place your faith?

The Christians in Corinth were speculating that there was no resurrection from the dead, that once you die that's it — you're nothing but worm food in the dirt nap. Paul had to take the Corinthians down the logical progression that their little speculation necessitated — if there is no resurrection then Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead, and if Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead then you are wasting your time placing your faith in Him, making you quintessentially pitiful. But, in fact, Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead — as Paul immediately reiterated — and we who place our faith in Jesus Christ will be raised to walk with Him when He returns. We who place our faith in Jesus Christ will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Jews, Muslims, or Jim Jones cult members won't affirm that, and therein lies the difference — it is not about our faith, it is about the object of our faith and whether or not our faith is properly-placed. Those who place their faith in the Detroit Lions will frequently find that the Lions are incapable of achieving their objectives — they are winless so far this season — such that those who place their faith in the Lions will yet again find themselves utterly disappointed this year. The Lions lack the skill, the will, and the ability to win championships, but Jesus Christ will accomplish all that He set out to achieve. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Are you in good hands?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to place your faith in Him,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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