07 August 2006

What kind of Christian are you?

I am not a Christian and was not raised in a Christian household. However, my husband was and his grandmother, who is one of the people I admire most in this world, is the epitome of what I think a "good" Christian is supposed to be. Gram is neither preachy nor judgmental. I'm sure she could recite the bible forward and backward and has a great deal of faith in her religion. She never once made our differences in religion or beliefs a factor in getting to know me and making me feel a part of her family. An oft repeated refrain from Gram is, "It's not for me to judge." And she firmly believes this. She is one of the most giving, generous and open people I've ever met. Even if she disagrees with you, or knows of a wrong you may have committed, another thing she'll tell you is, "I'll pray for you." And she means both of those things. She DOESN'T judge and she WILL pray, all the while not trying to impose her beliefs on you.

The people of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are supposed to be Christians. Yet I find their behaviour so bewildering and appalling. These are the very people that go to soldiers' funerals to protest. These aren't anti-war protesters, these people go and hold signs that read, "Thank God for dead soldiers," "Soldiers Die, God Laughs," Their website is called "godhatesfags.com" The reverend of this flock, Fred Phelps, firmly believes in preaching hate. Click HERE for full article.

What spurred me to write this post was the following article: "Family, friends honor Cpl. Baucus" And while the headline of the story looks innocuous enough, it's the content that is worth reading.

While I am all for free speech, this church's actions are so abhorrent that there have been laws passed limiting their ability to protest. "The Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act (PL 109-228, 120 Stat. 387) is an Act of Congress, enacted on May 29, 2006. It prohibits protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Penalties for violating the act are up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment." (read more)

Are these people so blinded by hate and a literal interpretation of the bible that they forget about respecting life? How do you call yourself a Christian and not have respect for life? These are the same people that think abortion is murder, yet will gun down an abortion doctor outside his clinic. They think that embryonic stem cell research is morally reprehensible because it's murder. Yet already formed, viable people are dying every day from Diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease because valuable research cannot be performed. (read more) Do they not see the contradiction in this?

I wonder if it shames Gram to have people like the flock of this church and people like George W. Bush call themselves Christians and wrap themselves in their "Christian" morals, yet contradict themselves in everything they do? I certainly don't understand it. As a Christian, does it make YOU feel bad?

02 August 2006

WHERE is the oversight????

I am enraged by a story I just read on washingtonpost.com...

Click HERE for the complete article

The headline reads:
Much Undone In Rebuilding Iraq, Audit Says

Here are several choice quotes I plucked from the article that need further commenting:

"NASIRIYAH, Iraq, Aug. 1 -- A flailing Iraq reconstruction effort that has been dominated for more than three years by U.S. dollars and companies is being transferred to Iraqis, leaving them the challenge of completing a long list of projects left unfinished by the Americans.

While the handover is occurring gradually, it comes as U.S. money dwindles and American officials face a Sept. 30 deadline for choosing which projects to fund with the remaining $2 billion of the $21 billion rebuilding program. More than 500 planned projects have not been started, and the United States lacks a coherent plan for transferring authority to Iraqi control, a report released Tuesday concludes."

So we're handing back to Iraqis a stalled, actually FAILED, reconstruction effort that they should have been involved in in the first place.

This next part really takes the cake:

"This story is a very disappointing one. Everywhere you look, goals have not been achieved," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who will hold a hearing on the reconstruction today. "I don't think we can ever get back the billions of dollars that have been lost to poor planning, outright fraud and corruption."

"We paid for air conditioning and ended up with a ceiling fan," Dorgan said. "You had a big pot of money and you had a lot of hogs in the creek wallowing and shoving and grunting, trying to get some of it. It looks like they were a lot more effective at getting the money than they were at doing reconstruction."

So U.S. hired private contractors to do reconstruction work in Iraq, work that plenty of Iraqis were probably MORE than qualified to do. We spent, or squandered rather, billions... BILLIONS!!! of dollars for projects that 1. have NOT been completed or 2. have NOT been started, and yet these contractors STILL get paid!!!???!!?!?


If a private citizen hired a contractor to do work at their home and the contractor didn't show up for work and didn't complete the project, would it seem out of line to NOT pay the contractor for services NOT rendered?

Why should it be ANY different for THIS COUNTRY??

If the head of a company were to squander 21 BILLION dollars, that person would at the very least be fired and hopefully be thrown in jail AND asked to pay restitution. Hmm, wait... That DID happen to the head of a company. Does anyone remember ENRON???

WHERE is the oversight?

I REALLY hope that come this November, the Democrats take at least one of the Houses. They don't even have to take both... I'll settle for ONE... then maybe, JUST MAYBE we'll get some MUCH NEEDED oversight.