I know, and you know, where the hate comes from. There are consequences to words especially when those words are uttered by people in positions of power. But, this isn't about the current occupant of the White House...this is, sadly, about you. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee, thanks for coming by.
Pastor John Pavlovitz
Not sure if you've every read him. But, early this morning a friend tweeted, "This isn't about Donald Trump, this is about you and it is so true." So I went to the link and read what Pavlovitz wrote back in April of this year. It is stunning. Here is just part of what he says as he writes to a "Trump Supporting Friend" as he says, "This is about me, and you...
"It’s about my disbelief at your sudden tolerance for his infidelity, his cruelty, his intellectual ignorance, his immorality, his disrespect for the rule of law, his alliances with dictators—things you once claimed you could never abide in a leader.
It’s about my incredulity at your surprising resentment for marginalized people; for your inability to muster any compassion for those who are hurting or frightened or threatened."
And, there is more:
"It’s about my amazement at your capacity to make your faith so pliable, that you could amen a compulsive liar, a serial adulterer, a fear-mongering bully; a man in nearly every way antithetical to the Jesus you’ve always said was so dear to you.
It’s about my sickness seeing you excuse away his coddling of racists, his public attacks on the FBI, his impulsive firings of Cabinet members, his Tweet rants against individual citizens and American companies."
Terror in America
It's been a tough week as two more home-grown American Terrorists took out their twisted logic of what America is, should be or has become and flooded the news cycle. Houses of worship have been a favorite target of these American Terrorists. Churches, a Sikh temple a Jewish synagogue a Muslim mosque... Next in line are schools, public gatherings...the list is long and getting longer each year, month, week.
Who is doing the killing? Terrorists who are Americans. While you're thinking about that what are you doing about it? Where is your courage to stand up and call out hate speech and hateful acts?
Just this month anti-Jewish leaflets were plastered all over Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines for cryin' out loud. One of the whitest most Christian places on the planet. And, while some business and civic leaders called out the terror for what it was. Others, too many others, were silent.
Worse yet when a Christian Church, in a very white neighborhood, displays a sign that says, "Black Lives Matter" the spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department takes offence and says the sign should read "All Lives Matter". Marginalizing the reality of the message that African Americans continue to be killed at an alarming rate...many at the hands of police officers.
We are now nine days away from election day. Yet, many...so very many have already voted. Beyond the congressional elections it's most interesting to be "out in the field" talking to voters at their doors. What I've found is that most of the people I've come in contact with are weary of inaction and efforts to contain rather than free people to make choices. This is what I'm hearing and no, it's not all from registered Democrats:
- Health Care - Families are sick and tired of being taken for a ride by the current healthcare system. A system that doesn't work, that costs too much and picks winners and losers. It is the most talked about issue as people realize that they are one serious sickness away from bankruptcy;
- Public Education - I have been told, countless times, about how terrible it is that government seems pleased by the fact that it is strangling our public schools. That passing budgets that fail to fund education is a stain on our past and future. Iowa once was a proud education state. Today, people realize that time has past;
- College Education - Many of the people I visit with were fortunate to go to collage when costs were much, much less and were able to get out of secondary education without crippling debt. There is so much interest in finding a way to reduce that debt and find ways to unleash the buying power of graduates rather than hold them hostage for decades;
- Mental Health Care - We talk a big game but when it comes to care and treatment we are failing. You would think that in a nation that is supposed to be so very wealthy would have put funds into what is clearly a national tragedy;
- Sexual Harassment - It's been my experience, this cycle, that men don't want to talk about it. However, women do and they are vocal about workplace and public harassment. And, it doesn't help that many in powerful places give only lip-service to the issue. But, then again, many of the people in power are...men.
Yes there are other issues. Things like voting rights, equal protection for LGBTQ individuals, abortion and race relations. However, unless the people I am talking with are really into politics those issues don't rise to the top. Just thought you should know...
If you are interested we've done a number of candidate profiles over the past several weeks. And, yes they are all Democrats. You see this election is not so much about persuasion of turning the hearts and minds of Republicans this is about getting out the vote. You can click on any highlighted name for that conversation:
- Cindy Axne - We went "Out to Lunch" and took along our microphones;
- Andrew Yang - His idea is a guaranteed income stream for all Americans 18 to 64;
- John K. Delaney - The first announced Democrat for president in 2020;
- Rob Sand - He is running for Iowa's State Auditor and wants to "Wake up the Watchdog";
- Tim Gannon - A farmer whom the Farm Bureau is spending tons to defeat for Secretary of Agriculture. Odd...no?
- Ro Kahana - He is a congressman from Silicon Valley with thoughts about Amazon and $15 an hour;
- Sen. Kamala Harris - She sits on the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate and is from California;
- Karin Derry - She is running for the Iowa House from Johnston, Grimes and Jefferson Township;
- Tim Winter - He is running for the Iowa House representing Hamilton County, Boone County and part of Story County;
- David Weaver - He is a farmer running for the Iowa house in Boone County;
- Joaquin Castro - He is a congressman from Texas who made a swing through the Hawkeye State.
- Sen Amy Klobuchar - A senator from Minnesota who, by the way, was back in Iowa this weekend;
- Eric Garcetti - The Mayor of Los Angeles talking about immigration;
- Ruth Ann Gaines - She is seeking re-election to the Iowa House from NE Des Moines;
- Pramila Jayapal - A congresswoman from Washington State who was speaking about immigration and more;
- Eric Swalwell - He is a congressman from California and we talked business.
Coming up over the next several days you'll hear from Iowa Senate candidate Amber Gustafson who is seeking to become one of the many women in Iowa running for the State House, Heather Matson running a tight race for the Iowa House from Ankeny, Gov. Martin O'Malley who has been in Iowa so many times I asked him if he had his drivers license here and Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who was back just this past week.
I really should have started these profiles a year ago...there are so many that I have missed but the focus of The Business News Hour isn't politics but...well, business.
I have been honored to have had the opportunity, since 1986 to lead two Jewish congregations. Beth El in Fort Dodge, before it closed in 1996, and currently Adas Israel in Mason City...both in Iowa. I have also served as the president of the former Orthodox congregation Beth El Jacob in Des Moines. To be honest with you I have always feared what happened this past Shabbat (Sabbath) in Pittsburgh. Sure, during the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we would have armed police at the door for Beth El Jacob...but that was only twice a year.
I think back to several incidents of anti Jewish events. Like the time, in Fort Dodge, when a ham was thrown against the front door of the synagogue with a note saying, "Get out of town you filthy Jews!". Or the threatening phone calls that were made to the president of the Mason City congregation just last year. Or the time when a board member of a client of mine said, "Had I known you were a Jew we wouldn't have hired you."
So, I am grateful for the people who offer their support. To the dozens of multi-religions who just showed up at a Sabbath service in Mason City to express support for the Jews there. (Photo) For the Iowa Interfaith Alliance and Connie Ryan who has been an outspoken friend of all faith groups. To my friend Rep. Ako Abdul Samad who talks about unity and peace at every turn. To Dr. Mark Finkelstein of the Iowa Jewish Community Relations Commission for his efforts at bridging the gap between knowledge and ignorance. To Rabbi David Kaufman who has championed education and understanding among people of all faith groups. To Tom Henderson and Matt Strawn founders of Iowans Supporting Israel. And, yes, I know I'm leaving some out and I am sorry...there are many who rise up against hate and we are grateful.
At least we are trying.
Thank you for reading...