Holy crows. It's been a while since I found time to write. I renovated the bathroom (well, I put in floor and wall tiles). I've been training new people in the boys' program. And I'm getting ready to go back to the Autism Treatment Center of America next week. Saturday, I leave. I'm so excited. Crackle made such huge gains, but he's leveled off (not regressed back, but leveled off), and I'm hoping for renewed energy and new ideas for his program.
And today is Election Day in the US. There's no question that I'm cheering for the lesser of two evils: Obama. He's nowhere near as progressive as I'd like, but he's hamstrung by their idiotic governmental system. I'll be watching with drinks in hand tonight. Because what they do affects us. A lot. I suspect I'll be shutting it off in anger by about 8:30pm. I know anger doesn't help and isn't useful, but I still jump into it sometimes. Maybe I'll just watch Arrow. I rather enjoy that show.
What brought me to my blog today though wasn't American politics. It was the story of the conservatards (that's "conservative bastards", lest you think I'm using a variant of the r- word) cutting funding for non-Christian chaplains in the prison system, saving a whole 6 million bucks, and defending it by saying that they're going to a multi-faith chaplain like in the military. It's a travesty.
I know some people don't want to pay for any religion with their taxes, and that includes chaplains. Those people are remarkably short-sighted. If someone is raised in a faith, and faith can take them to a place where they're able to function in society, then that's a hell of a lot cheaper than a prison. And if you think that faith can't do that, give your head a shake. It can and does. Not for all. No program works for everyone. But it most certainly does help some people.
I don't even know where to start with "multi-faith chaplains". Do you know how few people are able to be that truly ecumenical? I bet most United Church ministers could do it. But how's that gonna fly with the First Nations prisoners (who are disproportionately represented in the prison population) when the United Church ran some of the residential schools that caused so much devastation in their communities? How are the Catholics going to handle it if the minister is a woman? Or are women not eligible because it might offend someone's faith? There aren't many Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh prisoners, but there are some. Do we say they can suck it up and convert? Where are these multi-faith chaplains going to get the kind of indepth training on these religions that they'd need to properly minister to these people? Is the government going to pay for that?
Of course not. This is all part of their evangelical agenda, and it's disgusting. God knows I'm an evangelical person. I love to talk about God. I love to talk about the Bible. But I don't do it to convert anyone. I do it because it interests me and because it gives me joy, and I like to share. If it's not something someone wants to talk about, I don't talk about it. You know, like everything else. These guys are trying to eliminate the "competition", which is, I'm sure, how they see it. Harper's church, the Alliance Church, isn't particularly ecumenical, progressive, or liberal. They teach (with some exceptions) that only Christians, and only their kind of Christians, go to heaven. The rest will burn in hell for eternity. So it's no wonder that his government would cut the funding for the chaplains from other religions. And it's sad. Because that will not bring people around to their way of thinking. It will only make them resent religious people and turn away from whatever faith they have.
Seriously? Get 10 people to describe me to you. You will get 10 very different answers. Then think about the mystery and magnificence of God. Just how are people supposed to look at God and give the exact same description when they can't do that for someone as simple as you or me? Come on. I am so tired of people thinking they have a lock on what God is and everyone else is wrong, lying, or evil. Hell no.
Dear God, please show people that you are bigger than one religion. Amen.