Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Sunday, July 24, 2011

80 in Oslo

Reports of the killing of 80 plus adults and children at a summer camp near Oslo, Norway continue to horrify me and I am sure the bulk of the people of he world. My granddaughter Mary Charlotte works in an Episcopal Church camp this summer.

Then there is the daily horror of death and maiming from wars, family feuds and earthquake, fire and flood showing us the sinful, painful and tragic part of life. Then I happened to tune in to Louis Armstrong singing What a Beautiful World with pictures of children playing, landscapes, sunsets and people in love. It is a wonder filled world.

I am so grateful for the Biblical teaching that we humans are both radically evil and marvelously and wondrously good. I am saddened by the horrors that befall us. I am delighted and thankful for all the beautiful and delightful things in our lives. Death and resurrection are all around us all the time. The life of Jesus is the great story of death and new life.

We Christians should find comfort in the fact that we live ambiguously and thankfully in a world filled with sorrow and joy. We are not surprised by evil, we rejoice in the good live with whatever life brings.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Liberals - Get Off Obama’s Back

Liberals - Get Off Obama’s Back

My liberal friends are hysterical about President Barak Obama’s failures to end the wars, cut salaries for executives, tax the rich, fix the debt and improve gay rights. What is it? Impatience, lack of faith, disappointments, frustration, or are they not willing to notice the enormous complexities facing each daily decision the president must make? Any president going into office faces a huge bureaucracy of military, government employees, the opposition party and huge pressures from foreign governments and lobbyists, all entrenched and protective of their turf. There is no such thing as a clean slate. Obama warned his cheering supporters that things were not going to be easy nor that change would happen quickly. He stepped into a huge mess.

The president is under constant scrutiny and criticism from the press, the opposition party and disgruntled elements in his own party. He is also attacked by the simpleminded who fail to see the complexities and resistance to change in government and politics.

The president is bringing down the wars and getting the troops home. He is grappling with the enormous debt and moving toward more and more recognition of homosexual rights. He has produced a medical plan for all Americans.

I am disappointed that things have not moved faster to end the wars and provide LGBT rights. However, I fully support Barak Obama in his efforts to provide medical care for all. He handles the viciousness of the Republican Party and the Teabaggers who do not see that government is to help people enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I will continue to support him and his efforts and marvel at his graciousness and humor in the light of the stonewalling of his policies by conservative forces in both parties.

For solid liberals to moan and groan about Obama’s failures can only weaken the president’s efforts. To call him a one-term president undermines his authority and his reach for more time to carry out his policies. Certainly no Democrat or Republican waiting to be the next president will bring progress for caring for the poor, the sick, mortgage homeless, unemployment or providing health care. We have a good president working for the benefit of most of the people. He compromises, works diligently and moves the government forward for the good of all the people and not just for business and the rich.

I hope other liberals will get off the President’s back and on his bandwagon to keep our government “for the people.”

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Israel Invaded by Arab Countries


If Arab countries or Iran invaded Israel what would the United States government do? We would honor our long time commitment to aid Israel. That seems like a simple answer. The recent wild reception of the prime Minister of Israel by the U.S. Congress leads us to be assured that such support would be forthcoming.

However, after the disaster of a ten-year debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan would the America people really support sending our troops and spending billions of dollars to yet another war in the Middle East?

Pressure on the President and the Congress by wealthy Jewish supporters of Israel would be tremendous. Elected officials would fear that any opposition to sending U.S. soldiers back into the Middle East would cost their re-election. Politics and money would top reason and restraint in responding to such a threat to Israel. Leaving it to the United Nations would not be seen as real support.

Most Jews and I still sense a strong anti-Semitic streak running through Middle America.

In June 2002, a nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) resulted in the following.

The findings in brief … Strongly anti-Semitic:

17% of Americans

35% of Hispanics

35% of African-Americans

3% of U.S. college and university students

“The 2005 Survey of American Attitudes Towards Jews in America, a national poll of 1,600 American adults conducted in March 2005, found that 14% of Americans - or nearly 35 million adults - hold views about Jews that are "unquestionably anti-Semitic," compared to 17% in 2002, Previous ADL surveys over the last decade had indicated that anti-Semitism was in decline. In 1998, the number of Americans with hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs had dropped to 12% from 20 % in 1992.” (Wikipedia)

“For 2007, FBI figures show that among 1,477 religiously motivated hate crimes reported by U.S. law enforcement authorities, 9% were anti-Islamic, 9.5% were "anti-other religion," 4.4% were anti-Catholic and, by far outstripping any other category, "68.4% were anti-Jewish." (Forbes Magazine 1/22/09)

Some people decry a new anti-Semitism. They are liberals who are opposed to the Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinians or who call for a boycott of Israeli products as a fight against these policies. This group would oppose another war.

As an anti-war activist I would oppose such a new war. But more importantly, I suspect a war to support Israel in the near future would not gain popular support.

But there is time to negotiate.

So far Israel’s leaders have refused to negotiate with the Palestinians until they repudiate Hamas, a group democratically elected to leadership by the people. In addition Israeli leaders have indicated they would not negotiate with any group who does not believe in the right of Israel to exist.

Negotiating about those two important should be exactly where the discussions must start. People of good will can sit down and deal with the hardest issues. They must not be pre-conditions to talking together. The refusal to do so smacks of not wanting to negotiate under any circumstances.

A willingness to negotiate and deal with the concrete issues is certainly needed to show the people of the Unites States and the rest of the world that Israel is serious about ending discrimination against the Palestinians and seeking peace.

Such action would put off any nation’s desire to invade Israel and assure protection if Israel was invaded.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

JULY 4th - TERRORIST NATION

Independence Day 2001

This disturbing message came to me from a very dear friend.

A few Americans will not be flying flags this weekend.

We will not be attending parades.

We will not be singing the National Anthem or the idolatrous "God Bless America."

We will not be celebrating America's "victories", past and present.

Instead, we will commemorate our Declaration of Independence by meditating on the most troubling and searing questions of our age:

HOW DO WE JUSTIFY CONTINUING TO LIVE IN THE WORLD'S GREATEST TERRORIST NATION???

WHY DO WE STAY?

ARE WE AFRAID, OR DO WE JUST NOT CARE ANYMORE???

Peace,

Bob

I also do not celebrate this holiday with flags, go to parades or sing patriotic songs. I will read over that wonderful document the Declaration of Independence that moved the colonies to separate from Great Britain. I rejoice that Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson was of course a slave holding hypocrite, as were George Washington and others of the signers. However, the words do express what others and I want for all Americans and the people of the planet.

I believe with my friend Bob that we are a terrorist nation, vengeful, mean, lacking compassion, hurting the earth and enslaving the poor. On 9/11 several thousand Americans died in a vicious attack against American buildings and institution. The then president and the congress chose to go to all out war against two of the poorest nations on the planet seeking revenge, not peace or justice. The present incumbent continued the revenge model by finally joyfully assassinating Bin Laden.

Meanwhile in a ten-year wasteful and meaningless war, The United States of America has killed hundreds of thousand of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to the thousand upon thousand of soldiers of those countries. The use of unmanned stealth bombing of villages, the brutalization of prisoners of war and supporting corrupt governments indicates further that we are a terrorist country.

The U.S. unqualified support for Israel, disregard for the brutal treatment of the Palestinians indicates all the more our terrorist agenda.

Conservative Republicans, military propaganda, Big business, brazen supporters of Israel’s brutality, and sadly unthinking, lazy, frightened American citizens sit by and let it all happen.

Yes, we are a terrorist nation.

WHY DO WE STAY?

I stay because I have place else to go. I am comfortable in the United States. Social Security and the Church Pension Fund give me money to support my self and my wife. I do have some voice as a writer, keeper of the Vigil, and supporter of social and political groups that keep the pressure on the government to be humane.

I also believe that all people are created with an infinite power to be and do evil. A human being’s job is to work for good knowing it will never be perfect. As a follower of Jesus I am clear that my job is to work to feed the poor, house the homeless, heal the sick and bring peace and justice to the world. I am content to be frustrated, do not expect to win and am grateful to be alive with a sense of purpose and delight.