COVID – Racism – And More

Lily looks like she’d like to sleep through the weekend. That idea does have some appeal, but then I wouldn’t get any chores done, not to mention fun with pens and colored pencils again.

I posted that picture of my cat because I thought it would be nice to start the blog with something to bring a smile before moving on to more heady stuff. Over the past few days I’ve been struck by some absurdities in the news, and, as much as I tried to just ignore them – don’t write about that Maryann – I simply couldn’t. Ignore it, I mean. That opinion columnist still lives inside me.

I’ve been playing on Canva again.

In many ways, I wish we could wind the clock back to pre-pandemic days, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that desire. The latest report I heard on NPR news on safety measures, vaccines, mandates, as well as data on how widespread COVID still is, was so politicized I wanted to scream.

I had to stop listening.

It’s disheartening, and frankly so wrong, for the two political parties to use the deadly virus and the horrible statistics for their own benefit. And shame on the media for constantly emphasizing the political repercussions of decisions made by governors and others in leadership roles.

A pandemic is not a political issue. It’s a public health issue. And politics should be taken out of the equation.

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On another note, students at a school in a small West Virginia community in Cabell County were recently taken to an assembly between classes. They were told to close their eyes in prayer and urged to turn their lives over to Christ to avoid the ever-popular threat of eternal damnation.

When a Jewish student asked to leave, a teacher told him he couldn’t because the classroom was locked.

Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd Flowers was asked how an evangelical revival became a requirement during the school’s daily COMPASS “noninstructional break,” and he said teachers mistook the voluntary event organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as required. “It’s unfortunate that it happened,” Flowers said. “We don’t believe it will ever happen again.”

I had to laugh at Flowers’ last comment. Evangelical revivals and rallies are becoming more and more a part of mainstream America, so situations where other religions, especially Jewish and Islam, will not be acknowledged – let alone honored and respected – will continue. Community and government leaders are afraid to buck that trend for fear of alienating a political base that is getting increasingly more strident and organized.
** This was reported in Daily Kos by Lauren Sue

Curious as to the demographics of Evangelical Churches in America, I did a search on Google and found these interesting stats: 76 % are white, 55% are women, and 35% are Boomers. Some of the numbers surprised me, with the exception of the breakdown of race.

The Pew Research Center is where I found that information, and there’s also an interesting map that shows the states that have the greatest concentration of Evangelicals. I wasn’t surprised to see that West Virginia is a state with a high ratio. Not that I wanted it to be. I love that beautiful state where my father was born and where I’ve spent many happy vacations. But I also know how racist some members of my father’s family were – and maybe some still are – and most of them were or are Evangelicals.

An article by Carol Kuruvilla in the National Catholic Reporter addresses the topic of Evangelicals and racism, including an interview with Anthea Butler, chair of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America.

“Why is it that evangelicals have not come to grips with the racism that’s been inherent in their movement?” she asked NCR. “And why [does] everybody else let them pretend that they’re really moral people when this is about power, not morality?”

In that interview, Butler continued by saying, “It is impossible to tell the history of American evangelicalism without acknowledging how racism helped shape its theology, institutions and culture. Evangelicalism has become so synonymous with whiteness, that evangelicals of color who enter these spaces must learn how to navigate white evangelicals’ cultural expectations and political priorities.”

In closing I want to stress that my intent is not to denigrate all people who belong to an Evangelical church. In fact, most probably don’t even realize how politics, and their churches have manipulated them. That, to me, is one of the saddest aspects of this whole mess.

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Now for some Friday Fun. Jokes are from The Laugh Factory.

So two Irishmen are traveling to Australia. Before they leave home, one of their dads gives them both a bit of advice: “You watch them Aussie cab drivers. They’ll rob you blind. Don’t you go paying them what they ask. You haggle.”

At the Sydney airport, the Irishmen catch a cab to their hotel. When they reach their destination, the cabbie says, “That’ll be twenty dollars, lads.”

“Oh no you don’t! My dad warned me about you. You’ll only be getting fifteen dollars from me,” says one of the men. “And you’ll only be getting fifteen from me too,” adds the other.

I surf the web a lot, and I guess I was using too much bandwidth, because the other day I got an automated phone call from my service provider. It was The Rolling Stones singing, “Hey, you. Get off of my cloud!”

Q: What computer sings the best?
A: A Dell.

In the immortal words of Porky Pig in Looney Tunes, “That’s All Folks!” Have a great weekend. Be safe. Be happy. Have fun.

2 thoughts on “COVID – Racism – And More”

    1. I’m glad you found the blog interesting, Jan. The way the pandemic is being used truly is sad and tragic. I just want to shake them all, including many journalists who have to keep reporting “the Republicans this and the Democrats that.” If the pundits would stop the labeling, maybe that would help in some small way.

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