In the News: Zombies will Eat Grandma’s Brains at 3 am

And if you don’t forward this to 10 people you don’t love Jesus and you’ll get head lice.

I rarely talk politics.

There are plenty reasons why. For instance, when I want to go around in circles spouting the latest catch phrases from the left or right, I simply play with my children. Their conversation is usually more intellectually stimulating anyway.

I have about as much faith in the current two-party, line-up-across-from-each-other-and-fire-regardless-of-what-we’re-talking-about system as I do in my current business plan of winning the lottery.

Also, what is there to talk about? We have 24 hour news stations covering both Republican and Democratic propaganda – what good will it do for me to weigh in?

And, to be honest, I think that political discourse is nice, but I’m busy with my (not-so) subtle ploys to subvert the empire in other ways.

I don’t trust either of our major political parties. I think both have their own interests at heart and typically those interests only line up with the common good when the common good happens to benefit the party’s interest. 

I don’t trust what politicians say and I trust political talk show/talk radio personalities even less. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority…at least among people who have my email address.

And I am unbelievably tired of deleting forwards. I’ve never liked them and to be honest I rarely read them. I find fishermen’s tales to be more factually accurate than the majority of “true stories heard on the news” which are constantly rotting in my inbox.

I do, however, love – I wish more people who enjoy sending ridiculous fear-mongering email forwards would learn to love as well. If you feel strongly enough about an issue to send to it to 100 people in your distribution list…please feel strongly enough to find out if its true. Just because the email begins with, “this was on the news” doesn’t mean it was on the news. 

If you don’t have time to check the facts, don’t feel too bad, apparently the news media doesn’t either. But, since they’re already (not) doing the work for you, why bother?

Lately I’ve been bombarded by the most horrendous “facts” about the healthcare reform bill. First of all THERE ISN’T A HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL YET!!! There are still 4 or 5 proposals floating around – and to my knowledge none of them mention the President killing your grandmother. However, we’ve all been asked to ponder what’s gonna happen when he answers the phone at 3am…maybe he’ll get cranky and take out his frustrations on an elderly woman who makes good cookies, I don’t know.

This may be a bit harsh – in retrospect I probably should have vented this frustration slowly over the past 30 years. To be honest, I don’t necessarily care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican (unless you assume that everyone who aligns differently than you should leave America), I don’t care whether you support universal healthcare plans or not – though I hope you do care that the system is broken and something needs to change. 

And I care whether or not we’re mindlessly spreading hysteria because Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity (or if you don’t live in Texas, Keith Olbermann) have given us their word that its true. 

There are a lot of serious things that need to be decided regarding healthcare and the economy and any number of other things. And we have got to be able to talk about it like big boys and girls. A friend of mine posted a link to this article, which is at least an attempt to wade through some of the fear tactics that have people so worked up these days. 

You may still oppose the health care reform options being discussed. That’s fine – I’m still trying to sort through the details myself. But please disagree because you think it won’t work – not because the President and a band of zombies are going to eat grandma’s brains while burning churches and confiscating our guns.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled brainwashing.


Posted on August 12, 2009, in fear tactics, healthcare reform, politics. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Bret, thanks for your thoughts. I saw myself in some of this. The truth is, I find myself in precarious position when it comes to politics. I've always loved politics. I know it sounds crazy to say, but a lot of educated people I was around as a young person knew and discussed politics, so I guess it rubbed off on me a little. What I'm saying is, I tend to have a (slightly) more positive outlook than you do. I believe that we do have a responsibility when it comes to changing the world, and public policy is part of that. But, I struggle at times with discerning just how my faith affects my personal political beliefs. I worry that the Church is failing to act on a number of important issues, such as poverty, etc., so with that in mind I lean toward advocating more active involvement in the public arena for Christians. At the same time, I worry about negative perceptions people have of Christians because of our political beliefs (and our tendency to be closed-minded and proud of it) so with that in mind I lean away from it.I have come to believe that faith and politics are a volatile mix – the minute we tie our faith to a certain political philosophy, it is subject to the whims of a political climate that changes as often as the news cycle. Just as important, we run the risk of tainting Christ's image. Like most aspects of our faith, I believe there is a balance that must be struck, and I don't think it's an easy one to find.I'll admit that my thinking on this subject is at best incomplete and that it's something I constantly struggle with. I also realize that this rant is slightly tangential, but as I said, I saw myself in some of what you wrote. It's a good reminder to tone down the rhetoric and think with discernment.

  2. I don't have time to worry, talk, discuss, change, etc. politics. If people were really concerned with, teenage pregnancy, other peoples health, lack of this or that, whatever the political issue is at the time, they would be too busy to write, talk, complain, argue. Because they would be out in the streets dealing with these issues that they claim to be so worried about…. Bret, thanks for reminding us that we need to focus on the real issues, which I believe that if we are focused on the real issues, we (all christians) would take care of alot of the problems that we complain about.

  3. Robert, I struggle with how we should engage in the political process. Certainly we should vote – we live in a society that provides an opportunity for (almost) everyone to speak up for what they believe. (that was my attempt at optimism…there's a good portion of me that isn't sure that's really the world as it actually exists.)However, beyond voting, I struggle. I am firmly convicted that the Church should be a vocal advocate for the poor, oppressed, weak and overlooked. But I look at the way that the Church has tended to function when it has a powerful voice in governments (be that our own or any number of systems throughout the centuries) and I cringe. We don't tend to do well from a place of power.Plus, unfortunately many of the Christians who send me emails about political issues don't seem concerned about others at all. The words, "My America" are popular and the theme of "me first" seems fairly prevalent. It is primarily Christians who have attempted to explain to me why helping the poor is a bad idea. After all Robert, you should know that poor people are poor because they're lazy and God wouldn't want us encouraging laziness, would he?I agree with you that there is a volatile mix and therefore a careful balance must be maintained, and I'm glad you've been blessed to be around responsible political discourse. I have not typically had that same blessing. And so, yes, I agree with Andy that our time is typically better spent actually serving the people we're lobbying for. But, like I said on the phone early Andy, this issue of health care is frustrating because I believe it is worth the discussion. Something needs to change, and there is little that I can do individually by serving people that will effect this issue. I can feed people, I can help foster community and reclaim neighborhoods, I can pick up trash, help out a struggling single mom, etc. But I can't provide health care. This issue is larger than any of us. That is the point of having a country in the first place; a group of people who band together to provide for needs that no one individual could meet alone. I pray that is what happens.

  4. Bret, my human side of me says," I have to be involved, I have to make a difference, I have to speak up, I have to be a man and make this a better place to live in, etc….. But then I remember the loaves of bread and the few fish that Jesus used to feed thousands….. And I remember the accounts in Acts, people caring for and feeding each other….. None of these things were done by any one "human", but by our God. What if I am obedient and feed the poor, clothe the poor, help the sick…. Will He be faithful and multiply small offerings….? Or do we need our goverment, our country to have a health plan in place to take care of us….?

  5. Andy, Thanks for keeping the conversation going! I've missed this blog serving as a place for actual dialog!I hear what you are saying. I certainly think we are prone to try to solve problems through our own efforts and forget the whole relying on God thing.However, I do think that its more than just your human side that's leading you to want to speak up and do something. God has repeatedly called his people to be the ones who do stand up and say/do something. We speak/act because of God's power.I also agree with what you point out about the community serving and providing for the needs of one another. But again, there are things which are too big for the community to handle. Of course we should depend on God – for both small and large things – but I don't think that precludes the responsibility of the government. Remember, the government is made up of us; American citizens elected by other American citizens. It isn't exactly fair to compare this to the Roman Empire where Jesus and his disciples were in no appreciable way connected to the decision making process of the government.While I am opposed to the Moral Majority's manipulative power-plays to control legislation and I don't think we should expect the government to do our job (serve God faithfully, loving people and working against injustice) but I think we have every right to expect the government to do its job – as described in my previous comments. Serving and loving someone will not eradicate their need for dialysis. And perhaps God will heal them, but perhaps God has provided medical means for their treatment and it isn't right to sit by and allow those means to be controlled by the rich and powerful while the poor continue to get overlooked.thats all I'm saying.Thanks again Andy for the dialog!

  6. I just sent you an forward that articulates my reply quite nicely.

  7. Hey Brett, I see what your saying. I have had this similar dialog going around in my head for quite some time. I just picked the opposite side of you this time. It is difficult trying to find the position to be in every situation. Thanks for starting the dialog by revealing your struggle. Whats up with the secrecy " I just sent you an forward that articulates my reply quite nicely"?

  8. Thanks Andy.And we'll never know what Rachel's reply would have been. It was a forward so I deleted it! 🙂

  9. You're such a communist;0

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