Saturday, October 27, 2012

There is a Difference Between calling someone a "BullShitter" and a "Retard"

Normally hearing that Ann Coulter would be on Pierce Morgan would send me running wildly down the stairs to change the channel on the downstairs TV (which is hooked up to the Dish and then my bedroom TV only has a device that lets me watch whatever is on and forces me to run downstairs whenever I want to change the channel but I digress).  But I thought, silly me, that she would have the humanity to back down a little when confronted with the pleas of the disabled and parents of the disabled and the gentle rebuke of John Franklin Stephens in his open letter to her.  Surely she would show some shame, some semblance of apology, for using the word "retard" as an insult. 

I was wrong.  She was just as belligerent and even played herself as a victim of the word police.

I was so appalled, I did what any savvy social media person would do - I expressed by dismay on Facebook.  I usually avoid politics on my pastor Facebook (yes I have two Facebooks) but this is so outrageous I again, in my naivety, assumed even Republicans would have to be repulsed by this woman.

Surprise.  A Republican friend responded with basically this argument --Obama called Romney a bullshitter and I have blinders because I only point out her insults.  

My my my.  Where to begin.  Well first of all, I don't have blinders.  I do call out my own side when I think they are wrong.  I angered some of my Democrat friends when I said Harry Reid needed to shut up about Romney not paying his taxes if he didn't have any proof to show.  I posted my concern when it looked like the White House was going to throw Hillary Clinton under the bus over Benghazi.  She, classy and smart team player that she is made a preemptive move and gracefully climbed under it herself.  But I digress...

Okay number one.  Mitt Romney IS a bullshitter.  That's not an insult, that's the truth.  And while I would not want to hear that language in say, the State of the Union address, it just does not bother me in the context the President used it in Rolling Stone, for crying out loud.  If Mitt called Obama a bullshitter my only response would be "is not!'   I would not whine about the insult or the language.  Or suggest that was equal to calling someone a "retard"

But here is the big difference.  You never hear bullies surrounding a child chanting "You are a bullshitter!  You are a bullshitter"

And if you can't get that, well there's just nothing more to be said.

Friday, October 26, 2012

On Taming Feral Cats & Grace

So Mama kitty is in the house.  

She let me pet her and rubbed up against me this morning.  Now normally I like to take this more slowly but she is BIG and the weather has been terrible and it could snow any day.  And I need to have access to those kittens to tame them if there's any chance of them finding another home.  I'm not going to stay here and can't be raising dozens of barn cats.  So I picked up by the scruff of the neck and put her in her own room.  She's not happy and there won't be any petting for awhile.

But she will get used to it.  She'll be warm and fed and realize soon just how safe she really is.  I think she will turn out to be a friendly cat.

I've never had any trouble taming feral cats.  But this is the secret.  Patience and letting them be.  I've had cats live in my house for months and even years who never wanted much to do with me.   Eventually, they came around.  I still have one who will run away if I approach her but every time I sit down she jumps up in my lap. 

There's a show on Animal Planet called "My Cat from Hell" where this guy with tattoos and a goatee and a guitar case full of cat toys goes around solving the cat problems of  stupid cat owners who have no business having cats.  

I could do his job but I'm not nearly as interesting looking as he is.  

The most common problem is these idiots chase the cat and pick them up when the cat obviously does not want to be held and then are surprised that the cat has tried to rip their face off. The secret to cats is letting them decide the parameters of the relationship.   

You want to control an animal, get a dog. 

 Most shelters will euthanize feral cats because nobody wants a cat that just lives there and doesn't give you anything back.   But to me, letting a feral cat share your home is a way to express grace.  You take care of the cat, love it, take care of its needs and demand nothing back from it.   When it is ready to reciprocate, you appreciate and accept, however, it does that.  I believe that is what God does with us. 

 I wish we could be free enough to love others this way.

So now Mama Kitty is hiding and fearful and I wish I could make her understand that all I want to do is care for her and she is better off with me.  Is that  not like Adam and Eve hiding from God in fear when all God wants to do is enjoy a cool walk in the garden with them?  I will be patient with her as God is patient with us.  And pray to have the same patience with people.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vocation, Creation and Yes, a Pregnant Stray Cat IS My Neighbor

 First it was the orange tom cat that showed up stalking my bird feeders.  I had no problem chasing him away.  He never got any birds but he always came back.  He looked skinny but I was strong.  No feeding him.

Then the pretty orange and white showed up.  She was eating the peanuts for the birds.  So I put the peanuts on the roof of the shed and she jumped up on the roof to eat the peanuts.  Well I figured if she was eating the bird seed I was feeding her anyway, so I started feeding her.

  And of course the orange Tom showed up for his share.

At first I thought "She's  not that skinny, she's eating somewhere else"  Then it became clear that she's not that skinny because she is pregnant.  And the orange Tom is no doubt the Baby Daddy. Just what I need.  One of my life's challenges is NOT to become one of those crazy women you see on Animal Hoarders.  This is not helping.

After awhile I decided to just give in to my secret piety which tells me God sends me these creatures to take care of.  Just go with it.  Buy her the special food for kittens and pregnant cats.

So here I am in Dubuque for our Theological Conference and the theme is Vocations.  Stanley Olson from Wartburg Seminary is our presenter.  He starts out asking us who is the neighbor God is calling us to serve.  Everyone shouts out - the sick, the lonely, the outcast, the immigrant,  you know the drill.  When it was my turn I answered "A pregnant stray cat"  Everyone laughed but I was not joking.  Is not creation our neighbor?  St. Francis, whose day was not so long ago, would certainly agree.  Is it not just a holy a calling to care for animals, plants and even the earth as it is to care for people?

"God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid", Luther said.  God is taking care of this pregnant queen through me.