Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!



When I watched this, I cringed. I don't know or really don't care if the man sitting on the pavement has Parkinson's or not, (I think he does, judging from his head movements) or what created the situation that put him in the position to want to counter-protest the group of Tea Partiers. I don't care about what life choices he made to be without health insurance. I don't care about his lifestyle habits. The only thing that matters to me is the chilling attitude of the man in the white shirt and tie throwing money, and his words, "I'll decide when to give you money."

Does this man think he has the right to decide anything for any of us any more than the rest of us in a free republic?

Money seems to be the one thing that we always seem to think we have more control of than we really do. There's always someone out there who wants to tell any of us how to spend our money, and we always seem to act like we know more than God in how to spend our money. We always think "we" earned it.

Earned. That's an interesting word. Forces beyond us determine the worth of our labors. Society has deemed janitors are worth X amount an hour, and managers are worth Y, and the various professions are worth Z. Even the same job has different worth in different cultures and geographic areas. But "we" earned it.

I wonder how the man throwing money at the man on the ground felt. Did he feel justified? Did it make him feel a little wealthier for a moment? Did he feel a little guilty later that he was "over the top?" We'll never know.

Did the man on the ground ever pick up the money? Or did he leave it lie?

So many questions; no good answers. But it chilled me to think any of us has the capability of being either the man on the ground, or the man tossing the money around. Probably each of us has behaved at least a little bit like either person in the video at least once in our life. Pray for all of us.

4 comments:

I used that in a post too and in the post I do say "what have we become?"

We are always all the people in the story. It is tragic.

Lent reminds us that God is God, and we are not.

We are awful when we decide we are God. This video demonstrates that.

Having been raised a Calvinist and believing in the total depravity of man, I have no trouble understanding the behavior of the man in the white shirt. Still, watching this scene, I also cringed. Reminded me of the black and white newsreels of Germans taunting Jews in the thirties - the viciousness, the lack of shame, the lack of empathy for others. Sad. Sad. And yet this sort of attitude is encouraged by the hate-mongering, right wing commentators - by the far right wing of the Republican Party - a party that prides itself on "family values" - "Christian values" - a party that supports teaching "Creationism" in the schools, and yet displays the most vicious, the most radical social Darwinism in public policy - Darwinism camouflaged by the euphemism of "personal responsibility".

Know you do not care about whether or not the "mocked" man has Parkinson, but I want to share what I know. The "mocker" is a member of the phony grassroots group, "Americans for Progress". The man seated on the curb, the man "despised and rejected", is Robert A. Lechner. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2005, went on Medicare, had brain surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, surgery that changed his life. He did not attend the rally for himself. He attended so that others may get the same health care that he received. It is reported that he said: "I don't mind those people ridiculing me, laughing at me. This battle is about people like me, and I knew if I sat there, they could not just ignore me." His presence was one of gratitude and concern for others. Said "I will spend the rest of my life thanking the public for my health care".

Sorry, for the political rant. The fundamentalists believe that Evil is real, is active in the world. Sadly, here I have to agree with them.

I hear you, Kirkcyclandrous. Like you, I believe evil exists in the world. Unlike fundamentalists, I don't believe it exists in a fallen angel or a being with horns, a tail and a pitchfork. I believe it exists in the hearts of humans, right next door to where the Incarnation exists.

I remember early in my medical career, I went through a period where I pondered repeatedly that my "colleagues" included Albert Schweitzer AND Josef Mengele. If I were to embrace Schweitzer, I could not deny Mengele. It took me a while to get to the place where I realized, as an agent of free will, I was given power to choose--choose good, or choose evil. It's all about those "choices," isn't it?

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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