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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 35,563

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The Unacknowledged Religious War

It became clear to me after Trump posing with a Bible (allegedly) in front of St. John's Church on Monday and the strong pushback from non-evangelical Christian churches: There is a war for dominance (I know, I know) by the Evangelicals for political primacy over the non-evangelical Christians. The latter has enjoyed recognition and non-harassment by the U.S. government for the most part since the founding of this nation and the codification of the Constitution. Evangelicals could have enjoyed the same except it wasn't enough for them. They want to THEIR version of Christianity to become part of federal and state statutes, to become case law in federal and state courts, and of course, to receive federal and state tax dollars in addition to their parishioners' tithings. And to do that, they have to have someone like Trump recognize their views as legitimate and to disenfranchise mainline Christianity when it protests.

There are regular protests by Christian groups like Interfaith Alliance. But no calls to neutralize the raw power grab by Evangelicals. Truth told, I'm uncertain whether mainline Christianity recognizes that it's under attack. Already there is a schism in the Methodist Church, whereby it appears that it is going to split in half over the issue of allowing gay ministers to administer over their churches.

Will non-evangelical Christian churches remain neutral and/or independent if there is a second Trump term?

I am a middle-aged white woman who has worked as a substitute teacher in schools that

are comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Arabs. Most of my time is dedicated to getting them to listen to instructions and directions and then following through. It actually takes more than half the class period with kids fifth grade and older. I get push-back. Sometimes it's anger. Sometimes it's passive-aggressive. Sometimes it's insulting me. Sometimes it's literally challenging me.

But I don't give up. One reason why I don't give up (and I really can't explain this to them) is because one day the authority figure near them won't be me. It will be a white policeman, telling them to halt, to stop running, to get out of their car, to put their hands on the steering wheel, etc. Because it's been my fear that unless they are used to following the directions of a (white) authority figure, they may be dead because they didn't listen -- or if not dead, then giving license for abuse by police. I can't say that in class, but I'm thinking it all the time. How do I teach them how to save their own lives, and maybe that won't even be enough to help preserve their lives.

And then I consider even if they follow the directions of the police, they can be dead anyway.

Where does it end?

I am a survivor.

A survivor of a vindictive, malignant narcissist.

Unfortunately, I'm talking about my father. My mother (degrees from Barnard and Wellesley) observed and was still cautious about running interference. My father was downright cruel to me.

I went to therapy for 3-1/2 years, mostly twice a week, commuting from NJ to NYC (90+ minutes each way), to reveal to at least one person what I was going through. My therapist didn't see me as a victim. She listened fully and with sympathy. She advised me that she couldn't tell me what to do, but offered to show me "tools" that I could learn to use and one day, those tools would help me when I had left her counsel.

Ironically, my father paid for this therapy. I often wondered why as the counseling would make me stronger, more independent, less afraid of him, more autonomous. Dad revealed himself shortly after I finished therapy. He stated that the therapy "returned (me) to how (I) used to be." In other words, under this thumb without complaint.

In a way, therapy made it harder to swim upstream metaphorically. Dad hadn't changed, but I had. But I wasn't wallowing in self-pity or self-doubt. And Dad continued his campaign to punish me, even if it meant harm to me.

Don't get me wrong. He was like this with my brother and sister. He was an authoritarian and his word was God's Law so to speak.

Today would have been his 97th birthday.

He didn't set me up to destroy myself. I'm older and wiser. I wish I didn't go through my sojourn, but I did and if I could do it, so can any of you. Choose to survive and not assume the mantle of victimhood.

I was made "Cashier of the Month" for March!

I work as a cashier at a grocery emporium in northern New Jersey. Not a grocery store. Not a supermarket.

I took the job on impulse last July when I saw an announcement online they were hiring.

I sailed through the interview and was quickly hired.

I started to work around Labor Day after weeks of training which included memorizing the four-digit codes for fruits and vegetables and packing bags.

I was given an overloaded shopping chart with items to "return" to the shelves on my first day at work and I didn't know the layout of the store but I did it and found I was good at it.

I didn't see the "COM" coming. Matter of fact, I thought I was getting seriously canned when I was called from my register and approached a committee of seriously-looking supervisors. Instead, they made a big deal of clapping, cheering. I got a $30 gift card and balloons. And my store photo with a paragraph describing why I'm special is hanging up front at Customer Service.

My coworkers have been congratulating me as well.

Jesus, I needed this . . . . . I was happy enough to be thanked for coming to work during a pandemic by both superiors and customers.

Finished work 90 minutes ago and I'm still steaming.

As you may or may not know, I work as a cashier at a grocery emporium in northern NJ.

We've instituted safety precautions: latex gloves, plexi-glass partitions b/n us and the customers, choice of wearing masks, tape on the floor to show six feet length, hand sanitizer, etc.

This was my day:

The lanes for check-out are supposed to be every other one (b/c otherwise, you'd be less than 12 inches away from customers in the next lane). But no, all day I was put at check-outs next to another check-out and those customers didn't wear masks. Then MY customers were as dense as bricks: they don't get what six feet apart means. They stood apart before getting to the belt and then proceeded to stand at a maximum three feet from me as I'm bagging their 10+ sacks of groceries.

Then the apex of the evening: We're supposed to close the store by 8:00 by order of the governor and the county executive. Fine by me. Except at 8:05, I received word that there was one customer left. Well, we don't throw out customers whose shopping cart is overflowing with groceries that may ring up to $400+. Yup, that was my last customer. 25 minutes and 12 bags later, I was too tired to be livid. All I could do was ruminate "You had ALL FRIGGIN' DAY TO SHELTER IN PLACE. ALL DAY! And you decide to re-stock your proverbial bomb shelter at 7:45!"

OK, rant over.

Trump wanting the country to return to "normal" in the light of this pandemic

reminds me of our father.

It was Thanksgiving evening ten years ago. My sister and her husband are childless and had four dogs to love.

The newest puppy somehow escaped the house and tried to follow my sister when she went to walk our father's dog right before the meal. It was dark and raining. The poor dog was run over by a car. My sister's crie de coeur was unearthly.

She and my BIL cradled the little corpse in the hallway. I was crying with them.

Not our father. His idea was predominantly to ignore the obvious tragedy and the profound grief of his daughter. His idea of "comforting" was to re-direct their attention. He pointed out that my sister had three other dogs. That's right. You have too many dogs and that was a spare that was killed. He continually tried to get us to return to start the Thanksgiving feast he had prepared. Because nothing whets your appetite than putting aside a dead baby dog and digging into turkey and stuffing.

My sister, BIL, and I decided there would be no celebration, no holiday. I offered and they accepted a cardboard box I had in my trunk and we all went home in shock.

Now, granted, our father was 86 at this time. It wasn't dementia or senility. This is who he was. A narcissist. He was unmoved by what happened and tried to move us to gaslight the event so that his work in the kitchen would not go to waste.

My point: like my father, Trump has his own agenda and what happens to us is irrelevant. Easter and we're open for business again. Jesus makes everything better again.

For Mom, I think it was the realization of impending death.

Again, without telling her, Dad had her put on morphine, wherein she lapsed into what he called a "coma," but in reality, it was a drug-induced sleep that allowed her to avoid the horror of trying to take a breath and nothing happens. She didn't know.

I was with her at the end, counting the seconds between inhalation and exhalation, until the last breath.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Tue Feb 4, 2020, 08:15 AM (2 replies)

Stage IV lung cancer

My mother died of it.

She didn't find out she had it until one week before she died, partially b/c our father made her doctor not tell her, but she figured it out anyway.

She knew she had lung cancer, but she didn't know how fatal it was. She did radiation and chemo. Lost her hair and a lot of weight.

Once it's Stage IV, the die is cast. All you can do is prolong your mortality and do palliative care (pain management). So to speak, Stage IV doesn't last very long.

Mom was a former smoker like Rush. She quit 20+ years before the cancer and it still happened.

As much as I like to be right, one of Mom's last comments was that she shouldn't have yelled at me when I was 9 and threw away her boxes of Marlboros.

I am heartbroken about my friend.

Exactly one month ago, he was involved in a head-on car collision, sustaining a broken neck, a concussion, and shoulder injury.

His spinal cord miraculously was not damaged. He can walk, think, speak, move all four extremities, breathe independently. He had successful surgery to align and position his neck and head.

However, his recovery is dependent upon his family and that is not optimal.

He is 72 and his wife is 68 and she dominates him emotionally and psychologically. That has been the basis of their marriage but it has not been determining until now. She browbeat him until he agreed to prematurely leave his rehabilitation where he was receiving physical therapy for three weeks and where he was making good progress. He echoed her pronouncements that the room was too small, feeding his claustrophobic feelings. The reason she wanted him to leave: so she could attend their daughter's Thanksgiving dinner 3 hours away in Pennsylvania.

And so he agreed to be driven with a newly repaired and still healing broken neck for three hours during (arguably) the most dangerous time to be out on the road (greater risk of accidents) with a woman who drives with her left foot due to having a drop foot. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, they made it safely to the daughter's home. And you figure, well, the daughter is a physical therapist. Good, right? Nope. Daughter was preoccupied with feeling extended family of 12, understandable. My friend has not received physical therapy for four days now. No prospect of getting it as of today.

I spoke to his sister who attended yesterday's Dinner. He was stuck in a corner and ignored by everybody. His two children, his grandchildren, his in-laws, his wife. Neglected and ignored. He only got food when his BIL prepared a plate for him. The irony: he told me he wanted to go to Thanksgiving so that he could enjoy the company of his family. It didn't exactly work out that way.

He lacks the personality and the will to protest. He is meek and accommodating. I understand that it's his decision on one hand to submit to this situation. But he deserves more, better. He is an accident victim and one would think that at least a fuss and true thanksgiving of his survival would be made.

It's time for drastic measures.

To get to Trump, you have to get to the FOX News Channel.

And it's simple: BOYCOTT THEIR SPONSORS. You don't have to watch those awful shows. You can still exercise your freedom to purchase otherwise and write to the manufacturers to let them know why you aren't buying their coffee or potato chips or pillows.

Reverse blacklist.

If we all do it, we have leverage.
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