Cromey Online

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

Friday, January 07, 2022

WE ARE NOT LOSING DEMOCRACY

 


Look at Our Strengths


Many people are frightened about losing our democracy. I’ll admit there are serious problems with Trumpist Republicans regaining power.


Here are what keeps me hopeful that Democracy will hold.


The Supreme Court is full of Republicans but of varying degrees of conservativism. Chief Justice Roberts has broken with his colleagues in the LGBT issue. These are smart men and women. Voting rights bills take a long time getting to the court. The court will be slow to cut voting restrictions and impede freedom of speech or religion.


The military does not want to go to another war. The Joint Chiefs of staff will not let a nutsy president start another war. Some have already said they will prevent that former president from pushing the red button. They will be slow to have their soldiers and sailors fight other Americans in a civil war.


Black and Hispanic Americans are in large numbers and growing in power. They have everything to lose if Democracy falters. They will unite to resist fascism.


American business wants peace. Business will resist fascism as it will be bad for profits. Free market capitalism needs freedom. It wants freedom from too much government. The munitions business in the Nazi era did well but depended on war needs. 


Labor will resist growing fascism as it threatens their power. In Nazi Germany labor unions were very weak. In the US labor in fact is growing in strength and power. Labor will lose negotiation and strike power if democracy fails.


I will add that much of the fear and worry comes from watching TV news. It is designed to stir emotions, divide opinion and sell soap. Television invades our eyes, ears, emotions, prejudices and our loves, hates and our intellect.


I only read the SF Chronicle, NY Times digit and The New Yorker. I find even in that media a lack of objectivity and tilt to the left, which happens to align with my views.


I do not think we are losing our democracy or that 

facism will prevail. We have too much to lose if we let that happen. Freedom of speech is too precious, for even loudmouth Trumpists, to lose.


rwc

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

GAD AGAIN

 God Again


Here I am thinking about God again. My definition of  God, is being itself, God is the ground of all being. God is not the creator of the world but of the universe and beyond. That is the very large concept of God. But it sure is not very personal. It is hard to pray to being itself or the ground of all being. To make God more personal I see God as a metaphor. A metaphor is a something simple that represents something much bigger.


When I pray to God the father, I know that Father stands for the the ground of all being, the earth, universe and beyond. I can pray to and talk with God the Father. I can pray Our Father who art in heaven. I give thanks for my family, friends and nature. But I know that my concept of God is much larger and greater than simple idea of God as father. (I use father because I always have. God the Mother is fine and necessary too.)


So what do we do with the concept of evil? I do not blame God for evil. That is something that human being cook up. Concentration camps, holocausts, wars, plane crashes and torture are creations of our human minds and creativity.  Babies born blind and disfigured happen because we humans pollute the planet with our lust for possessions.


What of God is love? The universe our island home is a gift we have. The concept of love is something we humans call the feeling of joy, thanksgiving and peace that comes as we humans relate to each other and to the world we see around us.


I am happy to call love and the beauty of the earth gifts from God of whatever size.


Saturday, November 06, 2021

IS MY LIFE WORTH LIVING?

 



I am asking the question, “What is the meaning of my life at 90 3/4 years old.” I have arthritic pain, poor balance, impaired hearing and eyesight. I take a dozen pills a day, plus vitamins. I take CBD gels and Tylenol to relieve arthritic pain.


Is my life really over? Is it worth living longer?


I have a glorious wife who loves and cares for me. My daughters and grandchildren are loving and caring. My many friends are attentive and supporting. We have warm comfortable home, plenty of money and healthy food and booze. I can read, watch good TV movies, exercise and entertain, exercise and walk.


I have fought the good fights for peace, justice for blacks, LGBTs, women and abortion. I served the Episcopal Church and members of my parishes.  Baptized the babies, taught the faith, administered the sacraments, counselled the troubled and buried the dead.


I really have no complaints. The thoughts about the meaning of my life just swim into my consciousness. I am not suicidal. (Terrible coward) I have everything to live for.


New home, moving away somewhere, another cruise, buy more toys, all come to mind but are immediately rejected. More outward stimuli are not the answer. The answer lies within.


I am a Christian Existentialist. I am a follower of Jesus and I accept what is. I live each day questioning, with no clear answers. In fact there are none.


It is like being a pacifist. I know wars will never cease, but I will always be against war. I accept what is.


Oh, well on to wash the pans from last night’s dinner.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

9/11 2021

 


Twenty years ago today planes hit the twin towers in NYC and destroyed them, Some 1500 American men and women were killed. The event triggered twenty years of war against Afghanistan and Iraq. Revenge was the motive. Pure revenge. They hurt us, we hurt them.


I was in New York when the buildings were hit and went down. The meeting of the trustees of the The General Theological Seminary had concluded. Reading in my guest room at 175 Ninth Avenue, I heard the police and fire sirens blasting away. I found a TV set and saw replays of the planes hitting the buildings. My stomach lurched and my heart froze. Everything is going to change, I worried. 


I tried to call Ann to tell her I was all right. No connection. I called Leigh and asked her to call Ann in San Francisco to report that I was OK, not hurt.


On the streets I saw hundreds of people, many covered with ash, scurrying up Ninth Avenue fleeing Wall Street and heading home.


Airpot, bridges, tunnels and subways were suddenly shut down. I want to leave the city that day to get to New Haven, CT to spend sometime with Leigh and family.


I remembered a small iron bridge connecting Manhattan and the Bronx. I bet that that bridge would be open. I rented a car and drove to the bridge and got out of Manhattan. I drove north to New Haven and resumed my family visits to Leigh, Sarah and Jessica and their families.


These thoughts dominate my mind and spirit on this anniversary.

NEWSOM DOESN'T LOSE

 


The following letter that I wrote was published in the San Francisco Chronicle last week.


California Governor Gavin Newsom did not get recalled. The Republican effort to oust him failed. “You Can’t Fool All of the People All of the Time.” The governor is imperfect like the rest of us. He has faced issues of virus, fires, education and a myriad of others. He has done well and not to everyone’s satisfaction. He has my satisfaction and admiration. Republicans tried to fool all the Californians into thinking Newsom as incompetent all the time. Most Californians voted not to be fooled all the time by lies, exaggerations and hoaxes.


I think that was a good summary of what happened.


I like the publicity and minor notoriety the letters provide. People have often said, “I like your letter in today’s paper.” I asked them what did I write? They usually replied, “Oh, I forgot.” In the 80s and 90s my letters were signed with Rector of Trinity. That was a bit of publicity for the church.

HONEY MONEY

 Honey Money


Our hard earned money is  sweet. We work, collected pensions, social security, tips, presents, investments and luck. We did not earn our ability to add and subtract. Parents and teachers taught us how to do the numbers. The ability was an unearned gift. We did not earn our eyes, our hands, or our fingers. They too are unearned gifts. Christians know that life itself is a gift. Our response is always thanks for all we have been given.


Some of us are poor, some well off and others wealthy. Jesus taught us to care for the poor, the sick and persecuted. From our money and resources, we share some of that sweet money helping make others eat and heal.


There is a woman in our parish who is an actor. She has not worked or performed since the pandemic hit. She makes some money from Lyft, cooking and cleaning when she find the work. Our Vicar and Deacon have discretionary funds to help people in need. In addition to our annual pledge for the support of St. John’s, we can send a thanksgiving gift to those discretionary funds.

ON BASEBALL

 


Dear Susan,


I know you love baseball. I lost interest in baseball when my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1958. Then the hated New York Giants move to SanFrancisco the same year. The Cromeys moved to San Francisco in 1962. I tried the Giants at Candlestick a couple of times. I was a tepid fan for a year or two. But it just didn’t take. There was a players strike when they wanted even more money. Prices for tickets and refreshments skyrocketed. Poorer people could no longer afford to go. The arrogant, slouching, rude Barry Bods sickened me. I was at one game where Bods hit two home runs. I still thought he was a thug. 


At Ebbet’s Field in Brooklyn I had seen Jackie Robinson play his first games in 1946. He was booed and hissed, but his gallantry inspired me.


I am glad you and others love the game and the players. The thrills, excitement and the ominous crack of the bat create an almost religious atmosphere. The joy that being in a crowd of fans is elating. The feeling of camaraderie is exhilarating. So have fun, eat hot dogs and peanuts and crackerjack and I am glad that I never look back.


Love,


Robert

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Newsom is still governor

 Gavin Newsom did not get recalled. The Republican effort to oust him failed. “You Can’t Fool All of the People All of the Time.” The governor is imperfect like the rest of us. He has faced issues of virus, fires, education and a myriad of others. He has done well and not to everyone’s satisfaction. He has my satisfaction and admiration. Republicans tried to fool all the Californians into thinking Newsom as incompetent all the time. Most Californians voted not to be fooled all the time by lies, exaggerations and hoaxes.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Labor Day

 


Labor Day


Labor Unions are to help workers have higher wages, better working conditions, on the job safety, health care and pensions. Union representation is at the lowest level since the early 30s. Workers resist unions for the same reason many resist taking anti-virus vaccines. They want independence and freedom. They feel they can do thing better on their own. The result is that  wages have been stuck for decades. Management has astronomical wealth and workers far less. Inequality of wages is still rising. No unions, no increase in wages and benefits.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

THE TALIBAN

The Taliban 


We Christians are to forgive our enemies. Jesus taught that. Here is a chance to really try it out.


The Taliban has taken over Afghanistan. They have been our enemy for at least twenty years. The US government will have a response to them. What would be a Christian response?


The Taliban says it will be less restrictive than it has been in the past. They won the war, give them a chance to rule and see what happens.


Yes, they are known to oppress women and suppress the press and civil rights. They have inflicted harsh punishment for crimes. Perhaps that will change.


The US media does nothing but criticise. The NY Times published a photo of a Taliban fighter apparently striking a women, who cannot be seen. The picture is pure propaganda. There is no explanation of the action.


Christian leaders can start by urging us to forgive our enemy, the Taliban. Americans can send money, food and clothing as soon as possible to help the poor and oppressed. Medical help can be made available to the sick and the wounded. The people of Afghanistan need help, no matter what government is in power.


Forgiveness means a change of heart and that results in healing action.