This Fourth of July – Thoughts from a tired love warrior.

 

I’m so tired. I’ve been working (rather than resting) on cross-country planes these last days. Planning and budgeting with staff, helping our team get settled into a new temporary home, prepping for speaking gigs and preaching. Working on justice issues like the one we did at Stuyvesant Park a couple of weeks ago.

I’m a little behind on the news, but been catching it on the edges. It’s a hot-mess, y’all, right?

My flights took me to Big Sur to officiate at the wedding of my friends, David Kim and Aimee Allison. It was so beautiful! They are gorgeous, inside and out, and their friends and family are this multicultural mash-up of gifted, joyful humans. It was a celebration, but I was too tired to dance last night. If you know me, that is some kind of tired.

This morning, I was up at 3:30a PST and took a scary Uber ride from Big Sur to Monterey in a car with a lovely women named Rosina, who spoke very little English. So there I was in Spanglish encouraging her to roll her window down when she was drifting. Across the center line. Can you hear me? Driving on those bumps meant to wake you up!! I’m making small talk about why she likes driving—though she was as tired as I was—and learn she used to “work in the fields.” Doing what? Picking lettuce, and cucumbers and…She is that person, a Spanish-speaking immigrant who made a living picking vegetables. I guess 45 would call that a Brown Job. I told her about the wedding, she was delighted una pastora was in her car, and invited me to say oraciones for her daughter.

It’s July 4, and I was thinking on the plane about all the things—about immigrants and children; about marriage and family. I landed in Chicago a little while ago, here to help settle Dad’s estate; the family house is finally closing on Monday. I’m thinking of all the BBQ parties in the back yard, about yard toss games and badminton, about the sauce Dad made, and the potato salad Mom made; about the dreams they had for their children and for this nation that owed them a paycheck, Dr. King said. I’m thinking of shifting times and loss; of freedoms promised but not delivered upon.

And I’m puzzled about how we got to a place in this nation’s story in which an 81- year-old president and a 78-year-old former president—a convicted felon—are on that debate stage together and we somehow did not expect what happened. I would have told Biden not to do this debate, but he did not ask me. How in the world is Trump the presumptive nominee for the GOP? Is that party embarrassed? Insurrectionist, traitor, liar, sexual predator, lover-of-foreign-dictators. How? And Biden was 78 when he was elected 46. He was going to turn 81, y’all. AND just to say, the man I’m in love with is 79, sharp as a tack, and actually tells the truth when called upon. So, I’m curious about ageism here; and the delicate balance of knowing the timing of our time and of all of us respecting wisdom. I wonder how POTUS himself and the Dems are processing this; and is there some decent Republican thinking about Trump NOT on the ticket? That’s my July 4th set of questions.

Someone is going to be the presidential nominee for each party. And I am going to vote Blue, no matter what. Why? We can’t have any more partisan, corrupt judges on the Supreme Court. We need to enact legislation that makes this nation work for most of us. And if you are not tracking the Presidential Transition Plan (Plan 2025) you should be. This is 100 conservative organizations, led by the Heritage Foundation, with a 180 day plan for when the next conservative candidate takes office and that plan will destroy our democracy. I’m not being dramatic, this is facts and they are saying it out loud. Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation said, “There will be a second American Revolution…” and it will be bloodless, if the left allows it to be. Whew.

I’m tired’ y’all. But I’m dreaming dreams. Someday, there will be a deep bench of young leaders who are ready to actually make America great, and live up to her promise, maybe for the very first time. Someday, we will have a system that is not built on two parties, and we will have more choices. Someday, the ideological wars between Left and Right will (big dream here)devolve into a shared understanding that we are each other’s keepers, and the “state religion” in the United States of America will be love. period.

In the meantime, I wrote another verse for O Say Can You See (sung to Star Spangled Banner). Let me know what you think. And come Sunday, me and my Middle Family will begin our 9 month spiritual residency with Judson Memorial Church. We outgrew our lovely space at East End Temple (thank you Rabbi Josh!!) and will be with Judson until we move back into OUR space at the end of March, 2025. You can worship in our digital church at 11:45a on Youtube, Facebook or our website, Middlechurch.org. And we will be in-person and live streaming at Judson Memorial, 55 Washington Square South, at 3:00p. I’ll be preaching at both; I’m a little fired up so…. be ready. And our Gospel choir is singing at Judson and then taking a summer break. Come through! Sending love, and…


Here’s my lyrical poem, O Say Can’t You See?

Oh say can’t you see what is plain to behold:

‘Though we shout, “liberty;” there are too many in chains.

We are shackled by greed and the fear we are small.

But this truth must be told: There is one God who loves all.

Won’t you give me your hand, and together we’ll stand.

With radical love, heal our souls and our land.

Oh say can’t we end all this fighting and strife,

And walk toward the Light, that we all might be free?

Oh say can’t you hear, in the tears and the songs-

Loud cries of the poor and the outcasts, unfulfilled.

Though we take to the streets, with demands to be free,

there’s a movement afoot to destroy democracy.

The conservatives rise,

in Plan 2025:

A 6-month assault hard-won rights won’t survive

Oh, when will fierce love warriors stand up and fight,

with brave voices and votes, that we all just might thrive?

 

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