Jason, Josh, and Jimmy

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller Aug 24/15

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller Aug 24/15

This morning I saw Jason arrested on St. Jacques Street.  He’s a large man, blond hair, bushy beard, wearing a white loose cotton tunic style top that was falling off the shoulder.  He looked like Jesus’ older brother.  A group of the homeless men regularly panhandle from cars at the stoplight coming off the highway into this part of the city. A new-ish fancy condo is also at that corner, and the tenants regularly call the police to remove the beggars from that corner.  Sometimes Jason can be loud, but he is very articulate and obviously educated.  Some people see his size and booming voice and body language and find him frightening.

I had just purchased canned meats and crackers at the Dollar Store and was out looking for the Lionel Groulx Knights (as I have nicknamed them) so I could distribute the food among them.  I saw Jason on the sidewalk, quiet and sober, a police car on the street, and three cops surrounding him.  He was not resisting, he was completely cooperating. I called him by name, so he would know I was there, witnessing, and so the cops would know that somebody knows him by name.  I realized another person was standing by for the express purpose of witnessing on behalf of Jason. Jason told me he was being arrested for doing nothing, for walking down the sidewalk.  The man witnessing told me that was entirely true, that he had followed the encounter from the beginning.  We exchanged cards in case we ever need to  be Jason’s witness.

Earlier at the Dollar Store filling up my bag with pop-top cans of meat and fish, I mentioned that I was buying the food in order to go feed the homeless people.  I expected a smile or an “awww”, but I got vitriol over those people who don’t want jobs, and if they are mentally ill they should be in institutions.  I doubt he was a church-temple-mosque going kind of man but I made a point of saying I am a Christian, and Jesus expects me to have compassion.  He seemed totally pissed at our exchange.

On Mondays, I often treat myself to bacon and eggs at the local diner.  This morning two men, one very old like my dad’s generation, the other closer to my age, were laughing about the Eskimo who had come in drunk, laughing that she should go back to her igloo.  You have to be of a certain generation to still use the word Eskimo (it would be like saying Negro) instead of the commonly used correct term of Inuit.  When I paid my bill to the as-always gracious waitress, I tipped her as I normally do – and said in a low voice that the old man was an offensive racist.  I shouldn’t have to listen to crap like that when I am enjoying my breakfast.  Quite a few of the Lionel Groulx Knights are Inuit.

Forgive me, I got caught again

Forgive me, I got caught again

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  (Matthew 6:5)

I have never been a fan of the Duggars.  As Josh Duggar continues the downward spiral of being caught for all manner of sexual and duplicitous behaviour, he gives the expected plea for Christian forgiveness – as temptation is the real villain here.  The Duggars have made A LOT of money on their version of happy Christianity, but the cracks are showing. His pleas for forgiveness remind me of the way we used to look at the Italian Mafia – Hey it’s okay to murder, extort, and steal as long as you go to Catholic confession each week – then your slate is wiped clean, and you have a brand new week to murder, extort, and steal until next confession.

I was SO disappointed that a certain Christian woman I know as an acquaintance saw his plea for forgiveness as sincere and proof that temptation can claim even the most devout, and isn’t he so humble now confessing his sins!!

Jimmy Carter's smile lights up my screen

Jimmy Carter’s smile lights up my screen

I was pissed because she missed the point.  In front of our faces and screens this week is a TRUE Christian – Mr. President Jimmy Carter.  I was a teen when he was elected, and not that interested in politics.  During the ensuing Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush years, I did become political and the political IS personal.  As a statesman, Jimmy Carter might be the most important influential American since JFK (I was 4 when JFK was assassinated).  

The Carter Center has spent the past 30 years trying to eradicate guinea worm, a parasitic disease that is both painful and grotesque…

The Carter Center’s efforts to eliminate Guinea worm have been impressive. When their program started in the mid-1980s, there was an estimated 3.5 million cases in over 20 countries around the world. In 2014, there were just 126 cases for the entire year affecting just four countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan…

He talked about work still to be done and, in particular, an enemy he hopes to vanquish before his own time is up. “I would like the last Guinea worm to die before I do,” Carter said Thursday.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-08-21/jimmy-carter-i-would-last-guinea-worm-die-i-do

Healthcare for those who cannot obtain it. Homes for those who are poor through Habitat For Humanity. Respect for woman of all ages and nationalities.  Am I dreaming?  Peace!  Obtainable?  He makes me believe. 

I am worried for Jason.  I am disgusted by the opportunism of Josh.  I am inspired by Jimmy.  All in one week.

Jimmy-Carter-brain-cancer

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