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Enough Coddling: Figure it Out America

Warning: This is a frustration post.

I’m tired of people trying to pat us on the bottom to get us to turn it around. Even Jesus knew the value of a good butt chewing. He got downright pissed in the synagogue at the greedy vendors disgracing his sacred temple. Yes, Jesus was the kindest man who ever lived. But he wasn’t a “nice guy.”  He wasn’t passive about things that required action.

Passive guys don’t have the cojones to walk on water. They don’t stand up for prostitutes when self-righteous powerful men are ready to stone her.  They don’t save their own tails over the ones they love because they’re afraid to get a nail put through their hand.

So with that, especially this month I’ve really started to consider if the future of America exists.  I mean, I’ve always considered the future of America, but I’ve never doubted it. I’m sure white middle-class kids in Rome like me thought Rome was bulletproof, even when it was burning down around them.

But the things we’ve been doing, and the things we haven’t been doing lately are seriously jeopardizing our future.  And I’m not a radical. And I’m not a cynic. Almost every song I write has the word hope in it.  But hope doesn’t become a reality without a reality check first.  So here is ours. Here is what our country has come to (and I’m part of the problem on a lot of these):

We don’t want to spank our kids. We don’t budget. We don’t balance our checkbooks. We don’t balance power. We don’t read books (at least my generation doesn’t), and not only that, we act like it’s cool that we’ve read less books than we have fingers. We don’t inform ourselves of what’s going on in our country (let alone the world). We don’t want to look uncool. We don’t want to communicate face-to-face. We don’t want to take responsibility in the name of integrity.

Hell we don’t even want to play football anymore because owners don’t think a 360% increase in the value of their franchises from 1998-2008 is enough (, Life of Reilly). They want to add two more games to the schedule, so they sell more $6 footlong hot dogs. Is anyone else scared to death at how obsessed with excess we’ve become?

Here’s what we do do (haha): We do have music on the radio that a drunk four year old could write the lyrics too. And I know this is unpopular but I feel/fear a lot of worship music is the same way. Not all of our worship is really music. I think my church (Resonate) does a good job at picking thoughtful songs, but read the Psalms and then read the lyrics to Chris Tomlin’s, How Great Is Our God: No offense to Chris, I’m sure he loves Jesus, and these lyrics don’t contradict the gospel in anyway, but the guy just doesn’t have a lot of artistic genius, and King David did.

Anyways… We do think that what’s good for our political parties is more important than what’s good for our country. We do have a lot of morons on the radio who reinforce these ideas. We do think we’re entitled.  We do actually have chain-clothing stores with giant pictures of a guys waxed treasure trail (the space between a guys belly-button and his peep) at the front of the store.  This one always gets my mom. She always, in complete and utter amazement says, “They’re not even wearing clothes to advertise their clothes!” But sex sells right? Yes, sadly it does, especially in todays world. And we just say this phrase so casually like it’s just how the world is. Have we ever tried not selling it?  I’d bet my lucky Green Bay Packers boxers our divorce rate would go down if we did. Last of all we do a pretty good job being in denial about all this.

I wish we could go up to heaven just for one day and watch ourselves.  And see how stupid we sound.  How stupid and mistaken we are when we put up billboards with mutilated dead fetus’s on top of the U.S. quarter  and text that says “abortion is murder” (I’ve actually seen this… ugh. It makes me want to throw up just writing about it).

If we were truly after God’s heart, instead of that, instead of trying to make these sadly mistaken teenage girls feel like we (Christians) are certain they’re beyond grace, couldn’t we put up more adoption billboards?  Shit, I mean, more of us could even adopt.  You know… caring for the oppressed and brokenhearted and such… like Jesus always talked about.

What’s awful is that all this stupidity is worst is in all the worst places: politicians, big business, and the media. I’m not going to start writing to or about them though.  A: because they’re not going to read this blog. B: they’re egos wouldn’t allow them to read it with any sort of seriousness even if they did (although I’d be thrilled if they proved me wrong). No. I’m writing to us chumps who have been buying into this system.  And don’t come crying because, “I didn’t know any better.”  I… know, we need to stop hiding behind that excuse.

I’m amazed at some of the kids in my classes who are amazed they don’t have A’s even though they never go to class. They look at the professors with this idiotic look on their face like, “How was I supposed to know?” Well Beavis, you pay $100 for each of those classes, you’re here to learn self-sufficiency and the fundamentals of your career, your primary education of 13 years always required you go to class… FIGURE. IT. OUT. Enough ignorance, enough entitlement. More logic. More accountability. I’m going to end this post now before the big vein in my head pops.


About ananiasgo

Charles Westerman is a freelance writer, songwriter, school bus driver and murder mystery theater actor living in Portland, Oregon. He grew up on a ranch in Chugwater, Wyoming as the youngest of five kids and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Journalism and English Lit. in May 2012. In between driving his Jr. High minions back-and-forth from school, he is currently at work writing his debut literary novel, Where Heaven Meets Cheyenne and its sequel. A two-part telling of the story of his ordinary family that came together in an extraordinary way. For the past two and half years he has worked to tell this story with honesty, excellence and honor to the characters who made it possible.

3 responses to “Enough Coddling: Figure it Out America

  1. Lynn Kirkbride ⋅

    A good rant….”I wish we could go up to heaven just for one day and watch ourselves. ” Great line. Yikes!

  2. Great. You should read Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell. He points out some similar stuff. But not as awesomely though. Is awesomely a word? Probably not.

  3. Jasmine Sterner ⋅

    Totally agree! And I’ve been thinking about that worship music lately too. I want something that comes from the depths of your soul, that provides all the things you want to say to God that you didn’t know how. Not just simple, repeated, watered-down phrases. I’m enjoying your blog.

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