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Mitt and Faith

Mitt Romney, who the Republicans call “Him”, has a past that speaks to a matter of his soul, which I believe is the foundation of his core beliefs. Mitt spent 32 years in a religious organization that indoctrinated the idea that blacks were fundamentally cursed — by God — and that by virtue of their birth were unworthy of the highest spiritual affirmation. Being an African America and someone who believes in God this ideology is a huge problem for me.

Let me give just a brief historical background of his faith. The word Mormon most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as “Latter-day Saints” or sometimes just “Saints.”

The term has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably the fundamentalists, while other Saints denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. The term Latter-day Saints (LDS) was given to its founder Joseph Smith during an 1838 revelation mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants. The term “saint” was used by Paul the Apostle to refer to early members of the Christian church with “later-day” being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church.

Most people associate the Mormon religion with polygamy or sex with young girl through marriage which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons. However, it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890, and now they say is discontinued. Today, polygamy is practiced only by fundamentalist groups that have broken with the LDS Church.

From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call Zion, a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a “pioneer era” under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century.

Now back to the cult’s racial views. Romney was confronted during a NBC’s Meet the Press (12/07) appearance when the late Tim Russert brought up the ban on blacks and the fact that Romney was an adult before the ban was lifted. Russert pointedly asked if Romney had a problem with associating himself with an organization that was seen as racist. Romney answered, “I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”

Russert asked if Romney was willing to disavow the Church’s earlier teachings, and Romney refused — choosing instead to cite examples of how his father supported civil rights. Mitt even claimed that his father, George Romney, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.; a statement that was later proven false and that Romney recanted.

There is “no religious test” for holding political office, but there is a moral one. As a leader in his church, a young Romney would have been compelled to teach the racist Mormon ideology to others. His curious answer to Russert affirms the belief that the church was infallible in its teachings. Romney cannot be excused of his own affiliation with an explicitly discriminatory organization without, at the very least, providing an acceptable answer.

Barack Obama was forced to disavow controversial statements by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign culminating in his now famous race speech. Romney cannot be given a pass especially when, unlike Obama’s situation, Romney remains in a church whose codified beliefs are sketched in proverbial stone. The priesthood ban may be gone, but the cursed text remains and is still taught as divinely inspired doctrine.

The former governor rarely discusses religion. But the recent controversy over the contraception clause of the new healthcare law and the Catholic Church’s public disagreement with the Obama administration precipitated comments from Romney that Obama was attacking freedom of religion. Romney spoke while campaigning ahead of the Michigan and Arizona primaries that he “knows a lot about being persecuted” for one’s faith.

There is a cognitive dissonance inherent in the idea that one can be a victim of religious persecution, while simultaneously adhering to a faith which does the same based on race.

It’s a complicated subject, with an equally complicated history, and though Romney may not now, or ever have held racist feelings or beliefs on a personal level, it is a public office that he seeks. And, as such, he must be compelled to offer an open and honest explanation. Frankly, with his well documented history of flip-flopping (lying) – is this the guy any American would want to be the next president of the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcw0woPX5VY

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”

Legacy – A New Season is Coming!


Drum Beats of Yesterday

The drum beat of the Republican Party’s dogma looms large in this political season as the GOP desperately try to find someone to unseat President Barack Obama. We have witnessed endless debates with the kind of political rhetoric unlike any that I’ve ever seen. Wait a minute; let me qualify that by saying not since the last Presidential election. At which time America, because of the republicans, was facing financial Armageddon and now in 2012 we are about to really see Armageddon; if one of these right wing-nuts were to become president.

I read an article recently written by the author Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad where he said:

“Four years ago, they were predicting terrorist attacks in the first month of his administration if Obama was elected. Of course, it didn’t happen—but the rhetoric sounds good. The Republican’s “Big Three,” which many call the last three, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul sound like the Supremes singing “Baby Love” asking the American People, “where did our love go” for President Obama. Stands to reason it went the same place our love for every incumbent President facing re-election went…in the gutter. Mud-throwing is a professional sport in politics. No matter what the incumbent does, it will never be good enough for the party out of power. Same goes here.

The real question is how far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Will they say anything to get Obama? Will they be, God-forbid, unpatriotic in their attacks of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, that ended the war they started, soft-landed an economy that was falling fastest than a safe pushed off a roof, and had to fight for every single concession—even perfunctory tasks like debt-ceiling raises and payroll tax extensions. The rhetoric of refusing to compliment Obama, on anything, is not healthy for the national morale. Stands to chance that none of them would have done any better they been in the President’s shoes and the rhetoric toward healing our wounded spirits would be much different.

Under Nixon, Reagan and Bush II, the nation did what it was asked to do for the national good during recovering economies and re-election bids. The opposite party was asked to tone down the rhetoric for the good of the nation’s morale. There has been no such call from the Democrats for this President. In fact, some Democrats have added to the rhetoric. While the President has no party opposition (at this time), some in his party have kind of been getting their “digs in” on the slide… And then there’s the Tea Party rhetoric, an obstructionism that makes no sense.”

I could not have said it better. However, the difference in this election season is that the last crop of pretenders projected their bigotry vaguely in subliminal coded language. This “pool of fools” has no shame in their game. The race card is being displayed so transparently that Ray Charles can see it. One of these pretenders owned a lodge named “N-Word Head” and another had a news letter that espoused racial hatred so vial that one would think he was the Grand Wizard of the Imperial Knights. Another Republican candidate has said that “black children where better off during slavery” than today.

Wait there’s more! One of them has publically talked about succession. Another said, get off welfare and get a check. It was this guy who went on to say if you’re twelve years old you should be cleaning schools. This is not the same candidate who said if you’re black and twelve or thirteen this “buck” should be treated as an adult if he were to be punished in the criminal justice system.

Who are they talking too or speaking for? I seriously doubt these people would say that about an enemy captured in a time of war. Oh sorry, when they were in power they did and brought them to a place Called Gitmo.

This language takes me back to a time I thought had long past. This kind of thinking conjures up images of Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond. Let’s face it because the man duly election to be the Commander in Chief is a man of color. It appears to me from the rhetoric that is being hurled with such distinction that these folks have come from under the hood and taken off the sheets.

Whichever candidate might emerge as the GOP contender to which each of them has used the coded language like “take back our country”. They WILL DO damage under a cloak of cover and not worry about the law coming for them because they will be the law.

So, we are back to the question: How far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Moreover, what will they do to us, if elected! And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel to “Just a Season” is soon to be released.

Visit http://johntwills.com for more information
and get “Just a Season” today! AMAZON


What Would Jesus Say???

I’d like to offer a few thoughts concerning the current political discourse revolving around the health care bill. I’ve often asked myself; how can man/people love God who he/they cannot see, but cannot love the physical being of a man who he can see?

If we were about to witness the Second Coming of our Lord, another question would be; what would Jesus say? Believing and knowing that his life was lived in service of the least of thee and also died for our sins – I wonder if he would react much in the way he did with the thieves in the temple.

Today, we will witness something that all moral peoples of other nations provide for their citizens – the ability to afford medical treatment when they are sick. We know that we are being poisoned by the food we eat, air we breathe and probably everything else we encounter in our environment that many think is by design because it allows the cartels to profit. However, we have a great president who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and now will accomplish something that no administration has done since the idea of health care reform was first introduced over a hundred years ago – Sheppard the passage of a health care reform bill.

I’ve watched the outrageous antics displayed during town hall meetings where the opponents of something as morally correct as helping the sick be able to afford the cost of staying alive – “act a fool”. Many of these folks are Republicans, it’s safe to assume, who believe in the sanctity of marriage, call themselves compassionate conservatives or Christian Conservatives, and believe in the right to life. Yet, they display such outrage and bigotry over an issue that would greatly benefit lives so many human beings.

These are, many of them, the same folks who don’t believe our current elected president is the president. In this democracy to be qualified for the job one needs to be born in America to which most reasonable people would agree Hawaii, where records clearly indicate President Obama was born, is part of America. Then of course one must be elected by a majority of voters, which he was and by some accounts a “Landslide”. These same folks are all for bringing democracy to countries around the world but they apparently are not willing to accept it when it works here unless it is financially beneficial to them. I suppose this is the hypocrisy of democracy.

While watching television coverage of a protest rally my thoughts were, I’ve seen this before – like in 1960 when black people were begging for civil rights. At one town hall event a news report covering the issue asked someone attending the rally; what are your concerns? She said, “We want our country back”. As if the country was overthrown. The elderly woman went on to say “she wanted to restore the country back to what the founding fathers wanted in the Constitution”.

I looked at her wondering if she was aware that the Constitution was signed in 1887 by all white men excluding everybody but them. The founding fathers she referred to lived in a time when they owned human beings as chattel and women had no rights whatsoever. Nonetheless, she was correct in that the Constitution affords us the right to free speech no matter how ridiculous it might be.

In her rage, she also said she does not want the government in her life making medical decisions for her. Hmmm – like the insurance company’s and HMO’s are doing now, if you are lucky enough to have insurance or can afford it. She went on to say that “Obama wants the government to kill old people, socialize medicine, and take away our Medicare”. The lady who looked to be in her seventies and was wearing a t-shirt that said support the troops obviously did not understand that both entities are government systems providing medical services that are socialized. I’ll bet receives and takes advantage of Social Security. To be respectful, this lady was surely among the low information crowd.

Standing near her in the frame of my television screen were people carrying signs with an erratic horary of issues. The most disrespectful was a sign that had the president looking like Hitler, arguably the worst man to every live. This might just be the reason for the Nazi remarks that could very well be a codeword for N- — (n word) much in the way they throw around words like communist or socialist when referring to our president. Let’s be clear, the real issue is the face of what America looks like; a black President, a Jewish Chief of Staff, newly appointed Latin Supreme Court Justice, a woman Speaker of the House of Representatives – faces of ultimate power that are no longer all white men.

I don’t have to go back thirty or forty years because these people are the same ones we saw last summer attending rallies held by President Obama’s campaign opponent. However, I am old enough to remember the Jim Crow era when bigotry was a way of life and segregation was the law of the land. The problem is, I think, most African Americans have forgotten what it was like to be “Colored” and in spite of wanting to forget it I believe we are witnessing a “Columbus Experience”. By that I mean, we are discovering America or at least that segment of the “Real America” the now former Governor decried during the presidential campaign. Because the actions of these people are eerily similar to the racism of a time I’d hoped to never see again.

I am an avid history buff. I just love knowing about the past because to know it and understand it allows you a glimpse into the future. For example, I can recall somewhere around 1860 when there was a movement by many states with a perverse idea called “secession”, which occurred and the United States split into two countries. The reason, as we all know, was about money and the profits gained from the institution of Slavery. Today the issue has again been raised for the same reasons – money, profits, and race.

I heard a recent interview with the Republican Party Chairman, a colored man, who agreed with the “Tea Party Folks” that the country is going in the wrong direction. I suppose this was to symbolize the Boston Tea Party where the colonists were planting the seed of revolt. It is the same thing that was done in 1860 – revolt. I wonder if this guy realized that he would have been chattel at the time he was referencing or maybe he is now. Before I go on, let me say that these people seemed to forget what course the nation was on during the last eight years.

The actions of these people and let’s not leave out the radio commentators they listen to, who want the president to fail, spew their venom are creating a very dangerous environment reminiscent of a time that should be long past. Surely there are a lot of mean spirited evil people in this world and evil is not usually associated with Jesus. Let’s make sure we understand all of this is about money not health care because there is no money in the cure. Therefore, I think we know what Jesus would say.

But today we witness history as a Health Care Bill will pass and of that I am sure.
Thank you Mr. President!!!

Just a Season


Oh What a Time!!! 2000 to 2009

Time is our most valuable commodity, 1440 minutes each day is all we get. Unfortunately, once spent it can never be returned concluding that most of us understand we have less time in front of us, than we have behind us. Or another way of putting it is that we are dying slowly, and I mean that literally, from a life standpoint and from the standpoint of life. Therefore, as this year ends I will reflect upon this time in which we have lived. Further, it is also the end of a decade to which I will recall some of the highlights or maybe low-lights. This post is a little longer than my usual articles but I tried to capture the essence of a decade. So let me try to remember the time.

The decade began with a huge scam called Y2K. Remember, the world was supposed to end when all of the computers shut down – it didn’t. This was just the start of what was to come. We witnessed the nation’s capital paralyzed with fear because of a psychopath known as the DC Sniper. At its resolution, I received a huge shock, and dare I say to most people, when it was discovered that this terrorist was a black man – particularly most African Americans. It was believed that crimes such as this were committed by others. This was just an example of insanity being a disease that is a human condition, which will be relived throughout this decade.

The nation was introduced to a Texas Governor, who was known for putting more people to death via the prison system than anywhere else in America. However, he became infamous as the new president for what many believe was stealing the election. He and his partner in crime, you know the guy, who shot his hunting partner in the face, left the scene and the wounded friend apologized for catching the bullet. This ushered in an era of what I call “Gangsta Politics”.

Then about 8:30 AM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the world changed as we knew it – the unthinkable happened. The nation was attacked by nineteen guys with razor blades. They high jacked four commercial planes crashing them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington DC with one crashing into a Pennsylvania field killing thousands – a horrible tragedy. The worst attack upon America since WWII. Let me pause to offer my condolences to the families of those lives lost. But something has always puzzled me, they were able to find bones, identify rings and watches of victims but never found any of the black boxes from the planes.

The United States under the direction of the new regime responded to the attacks by launching a War on Terror invading the “Graveyard of Empirers” (Afgahanistan) to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists. Our government enacted what became known as the USA Patriot Act giving the them the power to do anything they wanted superceding all or most Constitutional rights, and George became King.

He and the shooter used this event to invade two nations under the guise of many misrepresentations, like “weapons of mas-destruction”. These wars, which appear to be endless, caused the deaths of over a hundred thousand people and wounded countless others, and no victory. They then funneled all of the money authorized to a company once headed by the shooter. They hired mercenaries and hung the leader of one of the country’s who had nothing to do with the attack. When in fact the culprit was a villain or an international terrorist known as Osama Bin Laden who is like the invisible man that can’t be found, but he has put out more videos than Tupac.

They have satellites that can tell the time on your watch from space, yet they can’t find this guy. Now in a country where people make a dollar a week, why has no one come forward with information concerning his whereabouts, particularly with millions of dollars on his head? The hunt for him and these wars introduced us to torture, rendition, secret prisons, and GTMO (Guantanamo Bay). Oh, I cannot leave out the “Coalition of the Willing”, which was a group nation’s supporting us so small and insignificant that no one knew they were on this planet. I will forgo the remainder of the “Gansta Years” because we all know the story.

However, the most reprehensible act of King George’s rein, aside from refusing to attend any of the NAACP conventions, was his regimes response to Hurricane Katrina. As it was happening he was enjoying a birthday party and did not take an interest in New Orleans drowning until he returned to Washington. As the televised images of visibly shaken and frustrated political leaders, and of residents who remained stranded on roof tops because of flood waters without food, water, or shelter. He sent his friend “Brownie” down to help.

Deaths from thirst, exhaustion and violence days after the storm had passed, fueled more criticism, as did the dilemma of the evacuees being called “refuges” at facilities such as the Louisiana Superdome (designed to handle 800, yet 30,000 arrived) and the New Orleans Civic Center (not designed as an evacuation center, yet 25,000 arrived). Of the 60,000 people stranded in New Orleans, the Coast Guard rescued more than 33,500 people of which most were black. Some alleged that race and class contributed to delays in the government’s response.

This caused many to agree with rapper Kanye West who veered off script at a benefit concert for the victems to harshly criticized the government’s response to the crisis, stating that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” I am sure you will never forget the images of how America abandoned its poor people. They can get aid anywhere in the world in almost a heartbeat yet did attempt sucessfully to do so for its own citizens within its boarders.

As desperate as the situation was a shining knight appeared as God sent his best soldier to the rescue – General Russel L. Honoré. He gained my respect, praise, and accolades for turning around the situation in the city. In one widely played clip, Honore was seen on the streets of the city, barking orders to subordinates and, in one case, berating a soldier who displayed a weapon, telling him “We’re on a rescue mission damn it!” Mayor Ray Nagin, who I fondly call “My Nagin”, was quoted on a radio station saying: “Now, I will tell you this — and I give the president some credit on this — he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is Lt. Gen. Honoré. And he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving. And he’s getting some stuff done.” – I thank you General.

Now, I’ll fast forward to the election season of 2008. The country was in disarray as we endured a presidential primary election campaign that seems too lasted forever. Actually, it was kinda like the Mod Squad – one Black, one woman, and an OLD guy. This is very significant because the Black guy beat a formidable opponent in the wife of who I thought was the closest we would get to a black president in my lifetime – Brother Bill. Now, during the campaign in support of his wife he digressed a few time letting us know that he was still a white man, but all has been forgivin.

Now, the real opposition, the Republican opponent was a different story. He took a page straight out of the fifties with racism being the foundation of his campaign. One of his themes was to repeatedly ask “Who is Barrack Obama?” Implying and reminding his constituents that he was a Negro, but it was the war hero’s running mate that came off as the real redneck. Caribou Barbie came into the race as the pure example of white womanhood, which lasted about a week. Then it became clear she was about as unqualified as a door knob and about as well informed. However, the joke took every opportunity to remind those of the same hue that they represented the “Real America”.

I have learned that there comes a time when time itself needs a change and after the brutal rein of “King George” – that time was now. There had always been Robber Barons but this crew was “straight gangsta” with one objective “cash and cash only”. The economic situation was a mess nearing times compared to the Great Depression. Unemployment rocketed, home foreclosures skyrocketed as everyone struggled financially, and investment money seems dry up as Wall Street was bailed out with government funds. It was like they thought we were unaware of crooks like Bernard Madoff, Bernard Ebbers, and the likes of ENRON – but Wall Street prospered.

Then the unimaginable happened – Barrack Obama was elected the first African American president in the nation’s history. From the hatred and racism that followed from some quarters, it must have been the same feeling the confederates had when colored men were freed after the Civil War. Nonetheless, Obama has broken a huge barrier and has had a profound impact on the entire world. A black man and a man that is the embodiment of what so many African Americans have prayed so disparately for since we were dragged onto the shores of Virginia to build this country. Ironically, the new president won the state were the first slaves landed, which was also the home of the confederate capital that fought to keep us enslaved.

The election of a Black man president of these United States is something no one living or dead ever thought would happen. I cannot think of a single event more significant in world history, or at least since the resurrection of Christ, to compare it too. Ironically, the thought of a scripture comes to mind, which tells us that “the first will be last and the last will be first”. His recent Nobel Peace Prize award just goes to show how much the rest of the world values his presence and feels the impact. However, in spite of this there has been talk of secession and tea parties were formed instigated by the Drugster, the Alcoholic, Caribou Barbie, and of course Fox comparing our president to Hitler as many prayed for his death, and that of his family using Bible verses to rally their faithful (Psalm 109:8).

Then in June the world stopped to mourn the death of “the King of Pop” Michael Jackson. In the pop culture world, no story has been bigger than this one. Michael Jackson was an iconic music legend, and his unexpected death shocked and upset millions of fans around the world. The legacy of Michael Jackson will no doubt live on for all eternity.

Probably the most dangerous of all the issues was health care reform. It brought out the birthers, deathers, and the tea party crowd to represent the most extreme right-wing politics since the citizen’s councils ruled a segregated society. I found it amazing that a cause so moral and just would cause people to come to where the president spoke openly armed bringing Christ into the debate. Like these Bible thumpers misread the part where Jesus healed the sick, which was his mission – provide for the least of thee.

Thankfully, as the decade ended something in terms of health care reform has passed to provide for the needy. Is it a good bill, we’ll see, but it is better then what the insurance company cartel’s have offered. To show how deranged the world has become a woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass. Oh what a time…

Lastly, I would be remised if I did not briefly cover the obituary. We lost so many great souls who impacted the world and were huge parts of our lives: Richard Pryor, James Brown, Shirley Chisholm, Coretta Scott King, Luther Vandross, Aaliyah, Bernie Mac, Marlon Brando, Rick James, Yolanda Denise King, Mrs. Rosa Parks, John Lee Hooker, Farrah Fawcett, Lionel Hampton, Althea Gibson, Maynard Jackson, Gregory Hines, Reggie White, Ray Charles, John H. Johnson, Barry White, Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, Ed McMahon, Paul Newman, Super Fly, Moses, Superman, and my son to name a few.
A FOND FAREWELL – Rest in Peace…

Happy New Year!!!

JUST A SEASON


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