Defy Tradition and Religion

Winter and the Cold Moon

Monday gratefuls: The Ancient Brothers. Cold. 3 degrees this morning. MLK. The Civil War. The new Civil War.  Heather Cox Richardson. Writing. Iowa. GOP primaries.  Wild Neighbors in the cold. Lodgepoles and Aspen, too. Built for it. A warm house. The mini-splits. Snow. Brother Mark’s ideas for warm places. Miami. New Orleans. Los Angeles. Upset stomach. Coffee. Water.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Gastrointestinal System

One brief shining: Look up and Snow falls driven by a western Wind coating the Lodgepole Needles, raising the lev to  Snowy memories of Winters past, a smile and a gratefulness for all memories settle in for a beautiful January day.


Wonder how the Texas grid is doing? It be cold outside almost everywhere in these disunited states. Even, especially, in Iowa. Brother Mark sent me a link to a video based on an old Paul Harvey story called And God Made a Farmer.  In this one it’s And God Made Donald Trump. I wrote back to my brother, as one of His former employees I call bullshit. Sure even 45 was made in God’s image but like any well-made product venality and hubris will invalidate the warranty. (OK. OK. Not really invalidate. I mean. You know. Teshuva. The return. Sort of the Jewish equivalent of redemption. Always possible.) But he whispered, highly unlikely.


MLK. Malcolm X. So glad we have this holiday and now Juneteenth, too. Even in these benighted political times they shine a spotlight on where we still could go as a people, as a nation. Reading Heather Cox Richardson’s Democracy Awakening. She makes a strong case that today is a direct extension of yesterday. Both in terms of the populist racist anti-semitic tone of our era and in terms of the liberal consensus that lies just beneath the surface, one that agrees government needs to regulate business and support the commonweal.

The most telling part of her book for me has been her recounting of the through line from William Buckley to Trump.  Buckley pushed tradition and religion rather than fact based decision making. I had not made that connection and it’s pretty damned obvious when you read her.

His creation, Movement Conservatism, gained momentum after Kennedy through the machinations of a storied cast of characters including Roger Stone, Lee Atwater, Pat Buchanan, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and other political operatives. With their strategic help Newt Gingrich, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, especially Reagan, took Movement Conservatism into the realm of government policy. George W. Bush pushed the ball forward too.

We are now reaping the whirlwind of Buckley’s insistence that tradition (think white, wealthy, and racist) and religion (think evangelical Christian and rightwing Roman Catholicism) are the only anchors for a stable society. Ironic, isn’t it, that those very forces have created the most unstable and chaotic society I’ve known in my lifetime.

It remains on us to join hands with MLK and Brother Malcolm. To defy the tradition and religion held close to the heart by those who would gut our democracy.