King Darius

In the Old Testament, there is a story about how the Israelites, because they were bad, bad, bad, and had royally pissed off “God,”  were exiled to Babylon for many years.

After a very long time, a young Jewish woman named Esther became one of the king’s wives.

We can argue (and scholars do) all day about exactly who that king was.  Sometimes he is called Artexerxes, sometimes Ahaseurus, but it appears that those names are actually titles, and that he was actually King Darius of Persia.  This is all terribly confusing but really doesn’t matter much because most probably three-quarters of the story is fiction anyway.

So, for the sake of brevity and so I don’t bore everyone half to death, I’m going call him King Darius, and assume that Esther’s king, and Nehemiah’s king, and Ezra’s king were all the same person.

That’s how it was presented to me when I was a kid.

Esther became queen. If she actually existed, she was probably one of many of the king’s wives, but they didn’t tell us that in Sunday School because immorality and of course, she had to be Queen Esther.

God had given this young girl this great position.  The moral here was that if we young girls did as we were told and pleased God, he might also use us to do something wonderful.

from Esther, chapter 4 (NIV)

The wonderful thing she did was to ask the king for a favor.  The favor was that she wanted to explain to him that he had the wrong man condemned for a crime, and she wanted him to spare Mordecai (the condemned man).  It’s a convoluted story and irrelevant here, but the king decided she was right and Mordecai, instead of being executed, became a big shot.

Esther 10 (NIV)

Two things to note here, because they are relevant.  Mordecai, the male Jewish character, became the really big shot and was revered and practically worshiped.  Queen Esther went back to the kitchen.

The other thing is that the king (King Darius, or Xerxes, or Artexerxes, or whoever the hell he was) did not convert to Judaism.

But the Jews got their land back.

Enter from stage left: Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 1, (NIV)

Nehemiah had become the king’s cup bearer. He served in the palace. He had access to the king.  Nehemiah was upset about the wall.

Nehemiah 2 (NIV)

It pleased the king to send me. . .

Remember, the king had not converted to Judaism.  The king was a heathen, somebody the Jews looked at as unclean and pretty horrible.  But they needed him.

They needed him to help them regain their country.

They needed him to make their country great again.

They needed him to re-build the wall.

Nehemiah did just that. He built the wall.

A while later, along came Ezra.

Ezra 1 (NIV)

. . .the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia. . .

God did it.  Maybe Cyrus was the son of King Darius, and it doesn’t matter. God did it.  The king?  He couldn’t help himself.

Just to make it a little more confusing, here’s the letter they found, when somebody pitched a hissy fit about the Jews getting to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, with the instructions from either Cyrus or Darius or whoever he was.

Not only did “God” get this king to let the Jews regain their land, rebuild their wall and rebuild their temple, he got the Persians to pay for it.

Ezra 6 (NIV)

What does this ancient, probably fictional, story have to do with anything?  I gave you some hints.  Did you pick up on them?

I keep seeing articles like this one.

New York Times

A Google search for “Trump” and “Christian” will give you stuff like this. Journalists are collectively scratching their heads trying to figure out why Trump’s hold on the religious right is so secure regardless of what he does or says.

In the beginning, some of those on the religious right tried to turn Trump into a Christian.  Here’s Dobson on the subject from way back then, before the election.

view source

I don’t know if James Dobson is getting senile, or if he convinced himself what he was writing was reasonable and sensible, or if he’s just a big liar, but this was patently ridiculous and pretty much everyone knew it, including the rank-and-file evangelicals.

They know Trump is not one of them.

They know he’s a liar. They know he’s an idiot.  They know he’s a womanizer.  They know he doesn’t have the slightest idea how to be president. They know all this.

They don’t care.

He is Darius.

He’s the king that is going to give them their country back. He’s going to build the wall, and Mexico will pay for it. He’s going to protect them from the persecution that they are convinced they are suffering.

I have known that story about Esther and Nehemiah and the wall all my life. I can’t remember the first time I heard it. I’m sure it was in Sunday School and I was a kid.

The parallels between that story and Trump’s relationship with the religious right are striking and significant.

It doesn’t matter to the evangelicals if Trump is a Christian or not. They don’t care. Darius wasn’t a Jew.  “God” used him anyway.

So Trump can lie, and cheat, and fuck anyone over (including the evangelicals), and it doesn’t matter.  It’s useless to try to convince these folks that Trump doesn’t share their moral values.  They already know that.  They have Esther, you know. Her name is Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Because they need him, they will tolerate anything he does, including plotting with the Russians to sway the election. They will tolerate things from him that they would never have condoned had President Obama done them. They will blatantly defend him.

They just want the wall, to protect the temple, the temple that people like me are tearing down, brick by brick, as rapidly as we possibly can.  They think Trump will do that for them, because they believe “God” put him in office, for “such a time as this.”

There is no way in hell to fight this with reason.  They won’t see the light.  They won’t change their minds.

We have to out-vote them.



Just for the hell of it, I am going to keep track, right here, of this sort of thing. Of course, the two ranting videos are on other pages.  I am not including the usual links from the goofy sites Nicole frequents, articles about some child abuse/CPS something or other.  These are only the ones where she is bitching about her own case. Since court the other day, it’s ramped up, I think.

Wonder why.

For the record, nobody is responding.

Tuesday, March 13

Thursday, March 15

Friday, March 16

Oh, for crying out loud. Your children are only “worried” because you worry the shit out of them. You are their worst enemy.


Walk Out

On March 24, Dave and I will join the kids and march. There are marches planned all over the nation, modeled on the Women’s March.

I assure you that we know exactly why we are marching, and so does everyone else who is doing it.

She didn’t like the Women’s March. She mocked the appearance of those who marched (ironically) She has mocked me for marching in it.

She seems to dislike everything. I’ve rarely seen her actually like anything. Deb has called her Negative Nicole, and it’s an apt nickname.

But she can’t even bother to write anything herself. Nicole doesn’t express herself well in print, so she shares memes and links and other people’s words, often without reading them.

Joseph Dobrian is a moron, of course.

The Walk Out was sanctioned by lots of schools, yes, in part because in some cases, teachers wanted to join in.  They’re getting killed too, you know.  I suspect lots of teachers saw the event as a way to teach kids something about civic participation. Can you imagine a better way to introduce the subject into a class than to actually go on a march?

But it was not sanctioned by every school.

In Kentucky, more than 100 students got detention because they walked out.  The school attempted to substitute a meeting in the gym or some other stupid thing for the walk out, but the students understood that if you’re going to protest, you have to be seen.  If you’re hidden in the gym, nobody knows it even happened.

Do you know what those students did during their detention?

They wrote letters to their congressional representatives encouraging them to consider reasonable gun control measures.

Do you think they knew why they were marching?  Do you think they understand what they are doing?

I graduated from high school in 1966.  I watched my generation, my peers, march protesting the Vietnam War.  I was too hamstrung by my mother’s religion to participate myself, something I have always regretted.  Fundy religion saw the war as good for some reason (they always think wars are good), but I watched and I realized that those kids, mostly college students, or college-aged, stopped that war.

It took a while. One protest didn’t do it.  It took several years of protests. There were even deaths associated with protesting (Kent State). Lots of protesters went to jail for refusing the draft, including Mohammed Ali.

As a generation, we learned something, though. We learned that if you speak up, enough, with enough people, you can change things. Our generation did just that.  Those were the years when the Vietnam War was stopped, when Nixon was brought down, when Medicare became a reality, civil rights became a real issue with real answers and real legislation passed.

I was in the tenth grade when John F Kennedy was killed.  Coming on the heels of the fifties, it was a shock to the nation, something like 9/11 so many years later. The event profoundly affected my generation, and many of my peers took to the streets in response to it.  It was the kids who did it. Their parents pursed their lips and disapproved.

That’s what these kids are learning. They are approaching voting age. They are finding out that the only way to effect change is to participate. They are finding out that sitting there, on your phone, sharing a meme on Facebook, while refusing to vote or participate in any way means that you will continue to sit there while your teeth fall out and your children grow up totally uneducated, facing a very difficult future, and nothing will change at all. They are choosing a different path.

Were there some kids who marched simply because it was easy, their school wasn’t going to punish them, and hell, it beats sitting in class?

Of course there were, however, I bet they were in the minority.

I have to wonder how many of those kids, the ones who did it for a lark, will revisit that in the months to come and think, “You know, I think I’ll register to vote.”

If the opinion of the students marching was “government approved,” as that idiot above claims, we’d already have reasonable gun control in place right now. It’s not “government approved” at all.

While those students were marching, a dog died on a United Airlines flight due to a flight attendant forcing the owner to put the dog in the overhead bin.  Within hours of that occurring, House members rushed to introduce a bill to make it illegal to force anyone to put a dog in the overhead bin.

That is “government approval.”

Seventeen students were killed in a school shooting, and the best those same representatives can offer is thoughts and prayers.

The person with no clue is Nicole.

These were not organized school events.  The students themselves did the organizing.  The march I am attending on the 24th was organized by students.  Yes, adults have joined in, but the original impetus came from the kids in Florida who found activism as a way to work through their shock and grief and fear.

Denigrating that is so horrible it makes me sick.

Nicole doesn’t know the first thing about the public school system.  Her children have no friends, so she doesn’t interact with public school students.  She makes all sorts of pronouncements about it but knows nothing at all.

We live in a world where most families require two incomes to stay afloat.  Most families actually want to have a real bathroom and running water and refrigeration and something other than a garden shed to live in. How are they supposed to home school, Nicole?  You don’t even home school. You do nothing at all.

The only “active shooters” on your property, Nicole, are your own children.  Let me explain what I fear.   I fear your son, Quinten, who marches around your property regularly carrying a gun, with a scowl on his face,  watching anyone who drives by. Don’t even bother to try to deny this. He’s been seen over and over again doing just that.

Every kid isn’t Quinten, though.  Every kid isn’t facing a future with no education, brainwashed with fear and paranoia.  More than a million of these kids are facing the future with optimism, determined to speak their minds.  They are the future, not Quinten.  I suspect future presidents are in their midst.  Certainly future congressmen are.

Dave and I will join them on Saturday, March 24.

A LITTLE UPDATE: I graduated from Wade Hampton High School. Good for the students, a pox on the administration. This is why we support the ACLU.

And another little gem, pointed out to me by a friend.