Monday Morning Confessional

Monday Morning Confessional September 30, 2013

“Come on children… you’re acting like children.” – Jeff Tweedy

I confess that I am harboring seriously ill-feelings toward House Republicans. Seriously I am struggling with anger this morning and it is directed at the U.S. House of Representatives. The government shutdown is squarely the fault of House Republicans who are living in lala-land. Here’s why: The House will not raise the debt ceiling, which will cause a shut-down. They say they are doing this because they don’t want to fund Obamacare… here’s the kicker. The money used to fund the ACA does not depend upon appropriations from congress!!! ACA is funded whether or not they raise the debt ceiling. This is a made-up crisis. House Republicans have tried to link the two together and are holding the debt ceiling hostage in order to try and subvert the health care law.

I confess that the more I read about this stuff this morning, the angrier I became. These politicians want to moralize about ACA and yet are willing to shut down the government out of spite. This totally screws a whole lot of people, and hurts a whole lot of families who work hard for our federal government every day without much thanks (and now no paycheck). Not only that, a shutdown can slow the economy down to a halt. I cannot believe that they are playing chicken with the economy because they are bitter that Obamacare was signed into law. It’s over you guys. You lost. Stop trying to re-write history and do your job. The economic recovery is just gaining steam. This manufactured crisis is the last thing our economy needs right now.

I confess that my hope is that Obama will continue to stay out of it. The Senate should continue to reject all continuing resolutions or bills that de-fund the ACA, and force the house to quit trying to escape reality. You can say you hate the president, or can’t stand Harry Reid, but the looming government shut-down is nobody’s fault but House Republicans. Your are acting like children. I think this is a failed strategy. I confess that I believe the shutdown will be blamed on the House leadership in the end. I think it will backfire and they may even lose their majority in the mid-term elections… pitiful.

I confess that I’m getting bummed that more people don’t confess along with me on Monday Morning. There’s a trend lately of people who read my confession but don’t share theirs. It seems to be part of an overall trend since I moved the blog to Patheos. Not nearly as many people seem to comment anymore. I can’t tell if it’s that Patheos runs the disquis system now to verify comments, or if the prospect of more people reading a confession scares people off. Confession is good for the soul, though, so I’ll keep on posting in the hopes that some of you will jump in.

I confess that I’ve been irritable and impatient for the past week. I have had to apologize to my wife and both of my kids multiple times lately for being short or snapping at them. I know that my behavior is connected to some vulnerabilities that I’m feeling. I know what they are but I’m not ready to confess them publicly yet.

I confess that I finally succumbed to peer pressure and started watching Breaking Bad last week. I watched two episodes. I confess that I’m all in favor of more television that puts drug use in the worst possible light.

I confess that I watched SNL Saturday, and was encouraged by the new cast members. I have high hopes that the new guys will be able to keep Saturday nights funny for the next few years.

I confess that I am always bummed out when people who are in the midst of a challenge – illness, job loss, life stress of some kind – say things like, “God has his reasons,” or “there’s a reason for everything.” I am uncomfortable with the inference that bad things happen to us because that’s the way God wants it to be. When life is in the crapper, I think it’s a mistake to blame this on God, or to explain it by saying that God must have a reason for it. I think it’s good to affirm that God can work with whatever broken thing is happening, and cause it to serve a good purpose. Almost every good character trait is born through struggle. I think God wants us to struggle. I don’t think God wants us to suffer, nor does God cause suffering. If you are looking for a mantra to say when bad things happen, don’t say “God has his reasons,” or “there’s a reason for everything.” Instead say, “This is complete and total bull-crap, and God doesn’t like it any more than I do… but he’s with me always, so I can do this.”

I confess that I’m actually sad that Royals baseball is over for the year. This is the most fun I’ve had watching the Royals play since 1994. I cannot wait for next year. Here’s hoping that Carlos Beltran is playing right field & that he has a career year.

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  • Libby Bailey

    I confess I found myself working at Panera off 119th & Blackbob a couple different times last week, in hopes of running into you. And I was sad each time when it didn’t happen.

    I confess that I am totally freaked out that tomorrow is October 1st. As in I’ll only have one more 1st of the month before baby’s due date. I confess that I’m equal parts excited and terrified to become a mom.

    I confess that it’s Young Life’s end of year / start to the new fiscal year, and I hate how stressed I let myself get over both personal and ministry budgets. I confess it brings out the worst in me–the desire for control, control, control, which is always an illusion.

    I love and agree with your thoughts on the phrase “God has his reasons” and similar ones. Whenever I hear “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle” my immediate response is to think “he gives me more than I can handle ALL THE TIME!”. But he is with us…and learning that is more than we need is good.

  • PureLogic101

    I’m no fan of the ACA. It has already cost my company hundreds of thousands of dollars as we now have to provide healthcare coverage for dependents up to the age of 26. That’s 8 years beyond high school! Also, two months ago my family doctor send us a letter saying that she can no longer serve our healthcare needs because she won’t deal with insurance companies or the government any longer! She will only deal with cash-paying patients from now on! The US federal government is the most inefficient, bureaucratic organization in the world, so why are people so anxious to turn the healthcare system over to its control? I am certain that we will continue to see our healthcare system deteriorate under the ACA, or any other attempt to establish centralized control over it. It’s very frustrating to see us try to turn our economy into a socialist system patterned after failed European economies!

    • randybuist

      As a fellow business owner, you are talking about an added expense to your company with the ACA. While it will cost more for a healthier workforce and society, are you suggesting your companies bottom line can not support the cost or will it simply cut into profits for the CEO, board members and stock holders?

      • PureLogic101

        All of the above. Why is it my company’s responsibility to pay for the healthcare needs of a deadbeat 25-year-old who doesn’t work for me? We have to compete with companies from overseas who don’t have these costs built into their cost structure, so it makes us less competitive. If Obama wants everyone to have healthcare, he’s done so on the backs of American businesses, without regard for the impact on their competitiveness. I question whether this approach will actually create a healthier society, in that it will add so much more inefficiency to the healthcare industry. I’m already having trouble finding good care in my area for my kids, having to travel two hours just to find good quality care. I can’t imagine how much worse it will get as the ACA becomes fully implemented?

        • randybuist

          Your concerns are certainly fair. When looking at other industrial countries thought, with their single payer health care systems, they are doing health care cheaper and better that we are currently do it. So, why have we given up on improving our current system which has actually been harming American business for a decade now? We seemingly have given up on real innovation in the area of improving heath care in our country.

          • PureLogic101

            A single-payer health care system in the U.S., paid for by a consumption-based tax like Canada’s, is probably where we are heading. It will likely lead to rationing of quality care in this country, but I would add that we are already starting to see a drop in quality care in certain parts of this country. U.S. businesses not bearing the burden for providing healthcare would probably help improve their global competitiveness, as long as our politicians didn’t significantly increase the corporate income tax rate to fund the single-payer system.

  • randybuist

    Thanks for expressing my thoughts with your words. Be blessed.

  • [“I confess that I’m getting bummed that more people don’t confess along with me on Monday Morning. There’s a trend lately of people who read my confession but don’t share theirs. “]

    I confess that I am more inclined to preach than confess — sorry . . .

    I confess that I am not totally sorry for this (only sort of).

    I think part of the reason we have trouble confessing in a public forum like this — in the presence of those on whom our sin or impropriety has no direct bearing — is that it often seems inauthentic (i.e. it is hard not to structure our confession in such a way as to make us look good under the guise of confession).

    While there seems to be a sound scriptural basis for confessing our faults and making things right with those who we may have offended (or by whom we are offended), it seems to me that our most honest and authentic confession must be before God (in “aware presence” and “alert stillness” — without trying to make ourselves look good or manipulate the outcome).

    Quoting Jeanne de Salzmann,

    “This ordinary “I,” our ego, is always preoccupied with what pleases
    or displeases it—what “I” like or what “I” dislike—in a perpetual
    closing that becomes fixed. It desires, fights, defends itself,
    compares and judges all the time. It wants to be the first, to be
    admired and to make its force, its power, felt. This “I” is a center
    of possession in which all the experiences inscribed in our memory
    are accumulated. And it is from this center that I wish “to do”— to
    change, to have more, to improve. I want to become this, to acquire
    that. This “I” always wants to possess more. With ambition, avidity,
    it always has to become something better. Why does the “I” have this
    exaggerated need to be something, to make sure of it, and to express
    this at every moment? It has a fear of being nothing. Is not
    identification, at its core, based on fear?” (“The Reality of Being”).

    [“I confess that I’ve been irritable and impatient for the past week.”]

    In “aware presence” — without faux remorse or personal ambition — our confession is authentic and our faith is alive. Quoting Madam Salzmann, again:

    “When the mind is freer and truly quiet, there is a sense of
    insecurity, but within it there is complete security because the
    ordinary “I” is absent. My mind is no longer moved by the wish “to
    do” on the part of my “I,” by its demands, by its ambitions, even
    for my own inner growth. In this tranquility all the responses,
    reactions and movements of this “I” are left behind. My mind is at
    rest, stilled by the vision of what is. An order is established
    that I cannot institute myself but to which I need actively to
    submit. I feel a kind of respect, and suddenly I see that it is
    trust. I have confidence in this order, in this law, more than in
    myself. I entrust myself to it with my whole being.” (“The Reality of Being”).