Monday, October 15, 2018

Roots


I am researching my family genealogy and it has been fun (and time consuming).  I’ve traced ancestors back to the pilgrims and to the revolutionary war.  I’ve found some really hilarious and interesting family stories.  I’ve also found that I cannot escape the sins of our nation.

All my life I have thought of myself as part of a family that was above the sin of slavery.  We were northeasterners who moved to the Pacific Northwest.  You won’t find a Morrill (my maiden name) that owned slaves.

Ah.. but now I find my family goes back through other branches to North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia.  And there, in black and white, thanks to Ancestry.com, are records that list slaves. and ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.

Not only that, but I discovered a very intriguing story about one branch who lived next door to Daniel Boone’s family in North Carolina.  Boone led some of my ancestors to settle Kentucky!  How exciting! Until you realize that by “settle” they mean “kill Indians”.  They fought at Fort Boone against the native peoples, killing them and taking their land. 

I wonder if we will ever be a truly free nation until we boldly face and repent of our original sins? 
The backlash against “political correctness” has some basis in truth – people just want to move on and want to stop the back and forth labels of racism.  They feel they want to just live and let live and treat people as humans.  I do think there have been complete overreactions to minor things and I also find these frustrating.  But I now think they are rooted in this issue:  We still have not fully repented of our original sins so, like a festering wound, it just keeps opening up again and again.

In 12-step groups, this is called Step Eight.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed and were ready to make amends to them.  But this is difficult when the core of the harm is generations ago.  
However, the BENEFIT to ME of that original sin is clear as I do my research!   Generations of my ancestors had land, power, and money because they either built it on the labor of slaves or took land from native people. 

So, in 12 step groups, this is what you do when you can’t directly make amends to a person you’ve harmed:  A living amends.  A Living Amends is when you start living your life the way you should have lived it back when you were harming others.   A living amends, means rooting out the current forms of institutional racism and unconscious privilege.  It requires acknowledging that generations of oppression have led to an inherent systemic inequality FROM BIRTH.  Stop pretending that we all start on a level playing field.  It requires deep self-examination to see where our institutions have inherent bias against people of color, such as in our policing and justice systems, hiring practices, real estate sales, and schooling.

And, for the Native People of this country, wow… I don’t even know where to begin, the sins are so deep.  Maybe by just stopping taking their damned land and using it for oil pipelines! 

My hands are not clean.   I did not just drop on the planet without a family history.  While I cannot go back and change the actions of my ancestors, I can participate in repentance and make a living amends to the ancestors of those who were harmed. 




Friday, February 23, 2018

85 Years a Woman, by Del Morrill


This is a reflection by my mom. I found it very interesting to remember how far we've come.  Eileen

83 Years as a Woman of Two Centuries
Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., N.B.C.H.

I notice how many more elders are coming to my practice these days – we are an aging world and you will see more and more people trying to find ways to cope, not only with their own aging experiences, but with the radically different world they are in as compared to their own growing up. To this end, it is helpful to understand the great difference that people of the later decades have gone through, compared with life as it is now, for women and for men. Perhaps it might be helpful in your own professional and personal life to understand the history, especially in how these changes have affected men like yourself.

I'm now 83, so I grew up in a very different time for girls and young women.  We had few choices in what we could do.  Below are just a few of them, which led me to become awakened by and active in the Women's Liberation Movement, and my continued concern beyond these shores for women everywhere.  I have seen our society change a great deal - and I believe it's been changing, mostly for the good, at least in this country and others that have embraced more modern changes. This is especially true for women as they have been able to participate more and more fully in life as equal partners with men - especially in areas that involve decision-making. 

In school classes I used to get "shushed" by other girls, and later, young women, for asking questions. When we dated, we were NEVER to reveal ourselves as smarter than the boys, or more skilled - in fact we learned to purposely "lose" games, etc.; and our dates consisted of being "enraptured" by whatever the guy said, no matter how boring.  They had little interest in what we had to say - and just like many today, our bodies were far more important than anything in our brains.

Basically, you were not really considered a woman unless you got married. You either got married or, if working, you quit work if you got married.  You even quit great careers if you got married - be it a ballerina, great pianist or singer, or whatever.  It was simply assumed that, in no way, could you be an artist and married.  Those who worked (until they could get married) had about 3 choices - teaching, nursing or secretarial. Women who tried to get into other professions usually had a truly hellish time of it - and I thank God for their courage in persisting.

Up until only recently, when you saw pictures of the hours of people going to work, it would show a sea of men's hats.  When I first started traveling in business, people were shocked that I was by myself with a briefcase - it was unheard of to most.  And, breakfast at the Hilton was with all-male clientele - not a woman in the place mid-week. Of course, the fact that I needed a room in the hotel raised eyebrows, offering a second key, with the expectation that I would be seeing non-client males on the side. In restaurants it was not unusual to be given the worst table by the most traffic, and get very little service.

At that time, you never saw a female doctor, or a female lawyer, or a female business executive. The only women you saw in offices were secretaries. And there were NO women in Congress anywhere to be seen by the public.  They might be the ones to guide you through the Capital Building or White House on a tour, but that was about it. It simply was assumed everywhere that women really were not up to making important decisions. So, women learned to try to maneuver, in whatever way they could to influence their husbands who made the decisions.

Of course, women weren't even in mid-management (let alone top management) in the business circle up until the late 1970's.  In fact, I was one of the first in NYC to move into mid-management from a secretarial-office manager position - yet my salary was not raised, and it was one half of the man next to me who did the same job, only a hell of a lot less work than I did.  When Metropolitan Life asked me to come on board to train as head of their all-male sales dept., they offered me the same salary I was currently getting.  I declined - not so much due to the salary, as to the fact that I didn't want to go into the insurance business - even in NYC!

You don't have to look far to get some idea of that if you ever are into the old classic movies. These movies also are very revealing about the attitudes of men toward women, by the way - and, no doubt, vice versa. Just pay attention to the dialogue the next time you watch them and see how many outdated clich├ęs you can find. Put-downs of women were very common - she runs like a woman, she throws like a girl, she drives like a woman, etc. - those are a meager few of the many comments that inferred our inferiority. (I think "you throw like a girl" is still popular!)  If women protested in any way they were called names - it was common to be referred to as a ball-cutter, bitch - you name it., if you happened to be a self-confident and strong woman. Such a woman seemed to be very threatening to men at that time - although, sometimes I wonder if that has ever gone away, even in our culture today.

As a girl going to school, even at the youngest ages, you wore dresses and you didn't climb things - a Tom Boy was a "sneering" comment.  I was told not to walk on fences or ride boy's bikes - guess why?  Because I might fall and break my hymen - the hymen being necessary to have intact when one got married. If broken, a woman was in serious trouble, considering that being a virgin when first married was critical.  Women learned all kinds of tricks to get around that problem.  Of course, it was assumed that men should, by marriage time, have plenty of experience.  The double-standard reigned through every imaginable part of life.

Up to the Victorian and Edwardian ages in our own country, women owned nothing - they had to turn over any of their money to the male of the family, and the husbands "owned" the children.  So, if a woman did even dare to divorce she, in no way, would be allowed to have her children or any money to exist on, even if it was hers to begin with.

Now all of this was despite the fact that women were the ones who arranged the social calendar, educated their children, encouraged the arts, volunteered their time to help the poor, and tried to influence their husbands, wherever they could, to be as human as possible. Later, when we got more rights, it was due to what women did - not what men did, until forced to by women who refused to give in. We finally got voting rights from our fore-mothers who went through hell to obtain them!

My own real awakenment to the expanding possibilities for women came while I was a stay-at-home mom, and read the book, The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan. My immediate experience was, “My god, I am not alone!  Soon I found myself entering an amazing, rapidly changing milieu, soon tagged with the name, The Women’s Liberation Movement. Scores of women soon found themselves sharing together in varieties of ways, after thinking they were weird or alone for not fitting in to the popular conceptions of their roles in life. 

It was the Civil Rights movement that woke up many women, while providing them with valuable tools for revolution. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon how you look at it, it was the experience of many women, fighting for the rights of African-Americans, who found they were relegated to doing the so-called "shit work" of the revolution- the secretaries, if you will. They claim they had very little voice in that movement - and this caused some of them to do some serious thinking about the rights of one half of the population! Writers like Betty Friedan’s book, 
  

The Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) of the 1970’s was scoffed at by just about every other part of society. Shortening it to “Women’s-Lib” (with a sneer) by those who despised the changes it was proposing made it easier to deny the effect it was having on society. To this day, it is still a sort of curse word to many.  There are those who have accused the movement of liberation for so many women of causing the family breakdown, teenage rebellion, violence, and almost every other social ill.  Yet it took the WLM to bring about a great number of valuable changes, not just to women. 

Today, woman's health concerns are being considered by doctors and medical scientists in a way never done before. It is hard to believe that up until women became involved in such areas as medical research, only men's anatomy and physiology were considered when learning about medicine.  Many doctors I've dealt with are still very chauvinistic when it comes to women - however, I understand that some doctors are still chauvinistic to all their patients, male or female, including their nurses - so it's probably not just a woman thing!

Until the WLM, no one dared interfere with the horrifying abuse that went on with children and women; it was kept hidden, or if known, ignored due to the idea that you didn’t interfere with other families.  Even Freud, in the Victorian Age, when he tried to get his colleagues to consider the fact that some of his so-called "hysterical" women patients had been sexually abused by their fathers, was practically "lynched" by his peers - so he backed off.  The term "hysterical women" remained, however.

There is so much improvement in our society that has occurred because of a movement some people still snigger at and others remain ignorant about.  Some of this is lack of education about women’s history.  Many people have never been taught about this important part of our country’s development. They seem unaware of what has happened, not just in America but in other countries, as well.  Most universities, today. have courses related to this important part of history, usually as electives.  I wish it were required in every high school, so that most of our children would be exposed to it. The WLM has been, and continues to be a major influence in changing our society. And It is largely due to those women, and men, who took a lot of ribbing and abuse to make it clear that we had to enter a different time.

In the past, and even sometimes today, it breaks my heart to hear any woman talk about how they got ahead on their own, and that any woman should have been able to do it. Some say that the ERA wasn't ratified in New York, not just because of men but, finally, due to the negative votes by women!  That's how well we women were brain-washed at that time.  I so wish women and men of today would realize whose blood and bones they walk upon; whom they should continue to honor.

I had hoped my grandchildren (all women) would never have to be put down in any way, nor made to feel less than anyone else.  Yet it still happens now and then.  I cringe when I watch young women in their 3-4" heels, and their ridiculous imitations of the clothing of crass musicians, and their absorption in idols and the most ridiculously inane activities. (I realize there was plenty of that during my youth, as well.)  But I also glow with some pride when I see young women (and men) who move forward with interest and responsibility for their communities and the world, many who do some very daring things in life; many who give of their time for others.  What more could I ask?  That it be done across this globe with as much enthusiasm.

It fills me with pride to see other nations in this world have female prime ministers and presidents, and take congressional seats, and fill the seats of news anchors that once was the realm held totally by males.  I think it is great when any person can work toward their life goals, and be chosen for positions because they are skilled and otherwise qualified for those positions, whether male or female.

We’ve come a long way in this country, especially people of color, women and children.  Some of our men and women have forged ahead with us, yet many stay behind longing for the good old days, that never really existed as they hold in their imaginations.  My concerns now lie more with women and children of so many countries in which their men try to hold them back, often by brutal means.  I am in awe over the bravery of some of those women who resist being coerced, hidden and voiceless.


Important books on this subject:

The 1970’s (some of these may be out of print, but available with dealers):

            The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan
The book that opened the eyes of women, and let them know they were not alone.
Gloria Steinem: The Women’s Movement (her essays and articles)
            Sisterhood is Powerful (An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation
Movement), edited by Robin Morgan
A classic, this 1970 volume is perhaps the best single collection of writings from
the early days of the “Second Wave” women’s movement. Expensive, even through
“used” sources, but worth it.
The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origen’s of Existentialism, by Simone Beauvoir

Current:

Freedom for Women: Forging the Women’s Liberation Movement, by Carol Giardina
            This highly-regarded book includes important information on the role of the African-
American women in forging the WLM.
The Women’s Liberation Movement (Perspectives on Modern World History) Sylvia Engdahl
            This new addition to the Perspectives on Modern World History series explores
the historical and cultural events leading up to and following the Women's Liberation
Movement of the 1970s.
The Women’s Liberation Movement in America (Greenwood Press Guides to Historic Events
of the Twentieth Century), by Kathleen Berkeley
Berkeley examines the background of the modern movement in the early 20th century,
by detailing the stirrings and development of the movement in the 1960s, analyzing
the key issues that defined the feminist agenda in the 1970s, and chronicling the growing
backlash against feminism that reached its peak in the 1980s



Copyright © 2013 by Del Hunter Morrill
Written on 2/29/2013


Monday, January 22, 2018

Suffering: What is the Point?


I have been thinking lately about suffering and why we suffer. It’s not a new question. It’s one humans have wrestled with for eons.
I’ve had fibromyalgia and painful knee and back injuries for 35 years, stemming from an auto accident. I feel pain every day. But it is minor in comparison to the emotional and physical pain some of my friends endure, such as the loss of a loved one, cancer, or degenerative diseases. Then, there is the pain of professional failure, job loss, or public humiliation. Some experience poverty, debt and even homelessness. Some struggle with depression or other mental illness. Really, none of us can escape some form of loss, pain and suffering in our lives.

Why must we suffer?

I can’t say that I’ve come up with any definitive answer, but I have kind of changed the question to, “What is suffering doing for me?” Meaning, what can I learn from it?
Richard Rohr, in his book Falling Upwards says that we must suffer and “fall” in order to have a chance at moving upwards spiritually. Death and resurrection are not new concepts. Nature itself reflects this reality.

Physical suffering has taught me compassion, patience, the importance of rest and care for my body, to meditate, to exercise, to stretch. It has taught me to slow down (a bit!).  I have learned to sit with pain and listen to it and be present for it. I can decide not to let it rule my life. I can connect with other people to help me cope.

But, its negative energy also has the potential to teach me bitterness, complaint, resentment and anger. I can eat compulsively, drink and/or abuse pain medicine to try to relieve it. I can lash out at others. I can isolate.

I have choices in how to respond to suffering.

I have wondered if one reason our society is in an epidemic of drug, alcohol and food abuse is that we do not teach our children (and we have not been taught) how to deal with suffering. We shield them from losses and disappointments. We do not teach them about death or let them participate in processing the pain of loss. In some cases, we don’t even teach them that they cannot always have what they want, when they want it. Or we teach them they are the center of the universe and it revolves around their needs. We teach the illusion that life is fair and can be perfect and that we can be happy all the time.

No wonder people self-medicate to escape suffering! How would they know how to cope?

Over the past year, I have watched a friend go through an unbelievable amount of suffering with the most amazing attitude and self-care. She has gone to support groups, found spiritual help, used healing arts, and reached out to friends. She is suffering, but she is doing it in a way that allows her to journey through the dark night to a place of grace. What an inspiration!

I wish us all such a path of “good suffering”.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On Being Special


Some people are sadly burdened with having been told they are worthless.  I have the opposite problem. 

From an early age, I was told I was special.  A precocious and reflective child, who read four years above my grade level, I was ‘superior’ to others my age. My dad says I wasn’t really ever a child. I was a small adult. And, as the oldest of three children, I also felt responsible for everything.

Then, when I was eight, my parents became involved with a radical left-wing religious group that thought of itself as changing the world. While there was a lot of good in it, including work toward civil rights, it was also a cult in which you were either with us and saving the whole world or you were basically just one of the unconscious sheep. There was a constant drumbeat about my responsibility to be one of the God-chosen elite who would bend history.

The leader of this organization often told me I was special.  I had long theological conversations with adults at the age of 12.  I taught religious courses at the age of 15. I was important.  I was called to change the world.

During this time, I also was starving, like most of the kids who had been dragged into this strange institution.  Food was bad, often burned, and there was never enough of it.  We ate powdered milk and powdered eggs.  I learned to steal and hoard food wherever I could, and to stuff myself if we happened to have a treat. And, thus, the seeds of my addiction were planted.

Fast forward to adulthood, and finally getting so burned out that my husband and I left.  I was physically and emotionally drained. It took a lot of counseling to begin to recover, and I started learning to take the world off my shoulders. When I told my pastor that I felt guilty I wasn’t changing the world, he said, “Sometimes it’s enough to just change the baby’s diaper!” What a gift that counsel was!

But, to this day, I struggle with feeling I should be doing something bigger, better, bolder, wiser, and with more impact.  I am “special”!  It’s my responsibility!

Thank God for Overeaters Anonymous and the 12 steps. With the help of my Higher Power, I am learning that I’m just another bozo on the bus, neither above nor below others. This is a lesson I have to learn every day, one day at a time.  My job is just to be of service to others. Self-centeredness and ego-driven self-aggrandizement is one of the many character defects that I turn over to my Higher Power. Day by day, and very slowly, I’ve gained humility.  I DO see the fruits, although I also see that there is vast potential for many more days of miracles ahead of me!

The beautiful gift of understanding that I’m loved as I am, but I’m not loved any more or less than anyone else, is saving me from my over-developed sense of superiority and responsibility. My job is just to be a conduit to share that gift with others and be of service.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Racial Healing

In Columbus, Ohio, I was one of the founders of The United Methodist Church for All People, a highly diverse and inclusive church. During that time, I started a Healthy Living support group. It was a small group and almost all women. It was also very diverse in class and race.
Although our topic was healthy living, the conversation often turned to race, in a good way. It was usually very meaningful and just the kind of dialogue that everyone seems to be calling for on a national level. Two of the core group were even from the same county in Appalachia, one black and one white and both in their 50’s. They compared stories of racism growing up and they became good friends.

One day, an older white woman, who had come for the first time, accidentally used the word “colored” instead of “black” or “African American”. This term was once considered the politest way to discuss someone’s race (hence the NAACP) and is the term she had grown up using. She was instantly berated by an African American woman in the group. Although our little core group tried to pour oil on the troubled water, the damage was done and the Caucasian woman never came back. An opportunity for connection was severed.

When people lash out against “political correctness”, this is part of what they are pointing to. Is the litmus test for racism really whether I use the right terminology rather than my actual actions? If I ask a question about your hair does it really indicate racism or could it just be a real interest and desire to understand you better?  How long will we waste energy on these superficial, meaningless things and avoid the real deep dialogue that forms relationships and heals ancient wounds?
This morning, after a shocking election, it is manifestly clear that decades of labeling and shaming those we perceive as racist has not eliminated racism.  It has been growing like a cancer beneath the surface.  I think the suppression of this voice has helped give rise to the noxious hate-filled movement of “Trumpism”. We think of them as old white people, but we see students on campuses shouting “Trump, Trump, Trump”, and they say they are reacting to the echo chamber of political correctness on campus.  They are coming from all age groups. Supporters talk about his authenticity.  He “tells it like it is”.

Visible Trump followers are only the most vocal and ugly. Over the years, I’ve had conversations with moderate Caucasians who have shared that the politics of victim-hood and the accusations of micro aggression and racism have made them completely back off trying to have any conversation with a person of color. This has sometimes fed resentments and intolerance in people who started out trying to genuinely create a relationship. I wonder how these people voted in the privacy of the voting booth.

In an environment where even innocent questions from well-meaning people are viewed as “micro aggressions” and use of the wrong (ever changing) term to describe someone’s race is a minefield, dialogue cannot happen. Relationships cannot happen when friendships cannot form because of an attitude of anger and condemnation. No one feels comfortable getting to know someone or trying to understand another perspective when their every word might generate an accusation of racism.

Isn’t the perspective of a Caucasian parent whose child couldn’t get into a university because  of Affirmative Action valid? Can’t we open up the dialogue to allow expression of that grief and anger, while still acknowledging that Affirmative Action may be necessary from the point of view of overall societal justice? Aren't I allowed to be outraged that my child was bullied by a group of African American girls because she is white?Must my only contribution to any interracial dialogue be “mea culpa”? Are only some of my experiences valid? Can't we acknowledge that racial profiling and aggression sometimes happen against white people, too? When I’m attacked because my skin is pink, is the only response I should make “I deserved it because I was born white”? Isn’t that actually racism?

We cannot have real healing unless we allow all experiences and points of view. And every side has its truth. How can we challenge someone’s perspective and introduce the possibility of changing it if we don’t even allow it to be heard?  A lot of people are talking today about a big chunk of the population that feels unheard and is very, very angry. As hard as that is for me to think of, maybe we need to start by listening.The national dialogue has to be, as it was in South Africa, about truth and reconciliation from ALL SIDES. It has to allow expression of things that might seem very offensive, but channeled into a structure that begins a journey toward understanding. It has to acknowledge that, even if I find your perspective abhorrent, until I acknowledge your pain and recognize it as real, we cannot even begin to change our opinions.

I will continue to be an advocate for equal rights and black lives. I will continue to fight hatred and bigotry at every turn. But I fear that if we don’t find a more open dialogue, the cancer of race resentment will never be removed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Reflection on 60 Years of Experience

It has taken me 60 years to learn the following:

1) If I already think I know the answer I can’t learn anything.

2) Fess up when you mess up.  Ask for and give forgiveness.  It’s super healing.

3) I don’t need to share everything that comes into my head. It is good to shut up sometimes and listen.

4) I really wish I hadn’t shared some things. I extend a general apology for my thoughtlessness to anyone I’ve hurt.

5) Most diets are gimmicks and there is no way around the truth of ‘eat less, exercise more’.

6) This knowledge has not ensured that I follow this advice.

7) Life is best when I just get comfortable with being uncomfortable and jump in.

8) ‘Fake it till you make it’ actually works.  Acting as if I’m happy/competent/confident/etc.
almost always helps me be that person. Except for tap dancing.

9) Even when I’m absolutely positive I’m right, I might be wrong.

10) The times I failed, was most hurt or humiliated were the times I grew the most and found a wonderful new path.

11)What you give is what you get: love, joy, friendship, laughter, even money. Live a generous life and, in one way or another, it will be returned to you.

12) Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.  Thank you, beautiful friends, all around the world! You’ve made me rich!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Christians and Politics

I was at a book signing last week for a book called "Weird Church" ( by Beth Ann Estock/Paul Nixon). Part of the event was a very interesting panel of folks who are doing unusual things with congregational growth and development.

One of the panelists, Alexis Eduardo Francisco, is a member of New Day United Methodist, a church in the Bronx that is committed to crossing boundaries and being radically inclusive. One of his comments filled me with both recognition and sorrow. He said, "I realized I was searching for God, and I knew I wouldn't find God in a church." 

Wow. Think about that for a minute. This is not a unique experience.  I have heard things like this from many people.   I felt so sad about how Christianity has been associated with hatred, exclusion, fear and narrow mindedness and how many people I know absolutely expect that they will not find love, acceptance, or God, in a Christian church.

I am a follower of Jesus. A broken and imperfect follower, to be sure, but as a Christian I feel Jesus should be my role model and that I should take seriously Jesus's commandments.

This brings me to the current political campaign.   I am absolutely outraged, offended and unspeakably sad when I hear that Evangelical CHRISTIANS are responsible for the success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who, as far as I can tell are saying absolutely nothing that coincides with the actual words and commandments of Jesus.   I am also wounded that these people are perceived as speaking for all Christians.

Here are just a handful of instructions from Jesus:
  • Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the merciful.
  • When someone in need asks you for something,  give more than they ask for. 
  • If someone hurts you, turn the other cheek -- (don't return violence with violence)
  • When you care for widows, orphans, prisoners,or the hungry, you are loving Jesus.  If you don't, you do not love Jesus and you will be thrown into the fire.  (seriously... that's what it says, Matthew 25)
  • Love your neighbor.  When asked "who is my neighbor", Jesus told a story about a hated foreigner who helped someone.   It would be like saying, "there was this Christian lying in a ditch.  A priest, a minister and a deacon walked by and ignored him.   Then a Muslim came by, patched him up, and paid for his care."
  • To inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor.
  • Don't be all 'religious' in public, trying to show off.  Pray in private.  Also donate in private.
  • How will you know if someone is coming from Jesus? You will know them by their fruits.
So, what are these fruits?  The Apostle Paul says, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.

Hm...   Do you see any of those fruits on display by candidates shouting their Christian credentials from the rooftops?  

Me neither.

And, by the way, Jesus said exactly ZERO about abortion, birth control, and homosexuality.   These issues are not a litmus test for Christian faith.  People of faith may disagree about these issues but they are not, and shouldn't be, central.   Love trumps (you should excuse the expression) all!

Jesus also reserved his harshest words for religious hypocrites, calling them "whitewashed tombs".   I think that still sums it up.

I could go on and on, but then this blog would be as long as, well, the New Testament.  Which maybe a few politicians (and voters) should actually read.