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Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Water is Wide

A few weeks ago, while I was at work inspecting one of the tower sections in our storage lot, I had the idea to make a quick recording for my wife. I used my phone to record myself singing the folk-song, The Water is Wide" for her. It was raining, and there was a brief outburst from my radio.  Still. Not bad for a two minute diversion.

There are several more verses to the song. The third verse here is one that I wrote.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Jesus for President

The powerful ones were there that afternoon in the lakeside home of the Missouri millionaire - a couple of bankers, a senator, a rancher from Wyoming. Powerful men. Wealthy men. They declined, however, to think of themselves as “movers and shakers” of society. They preferred Stability and Status Quo to progress and change, unless it was happing in one of those socialist countries in South America or someplace in the Middle East. Shaking there could be turned to profit. No, these men (all men, of course) were assembled to plan for the future. They’d come to discuss their candidate for the next presidential election.

A silver haired and silver tongued Senator welcomed their specially invited guest: “Jesus, we want to thank you for sharing your time with us this afternoon. We know that you’re busy, and we appreciate you willingness to be here as we plan how we can return our country to its Christian heritage. Before we begin, can we offer you something to drink? Some water, perhaps, if you’d like a glass of wine…”

There was polite laughter around the table. Jesus smiled. “No thank you. But I’m glad to be here among you,” he said and made the sign of blessing over them.
“Well, let’s get right down to it, shall we?  We’d like to put your name forward to the nominating committee of God’s Own Party as the presidential candidate with our backing and support, but first we’d like to discuss your platform, your stance on a number of important issues.”

“Wonderful,” Jesus said.

“Let’s start with domestic policy.” The men around the table nodded for Jesus to describe his plans.

“Excellent. One of my first steps would be to announce the cancellation of debts…”

The nodding ceased; a low grumbling ensued. “Excuse me for interrupting, Jesus, what are you talking about?”

“Well, you know. The obvious - student loans, mortgages…”

“Jesus, Jesus!” the silver tongued Senator exclaimed. “You can’t be serious! Why, several of the men in this room own banks that hold those loans, Jesus. Why would you want to do something like that?”

“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.” Jesus explained. “This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to their fellow countryman. There need be no poor people among you…”

“I’m sorry to interrupt again, Jesus,” said the Senator, who did not look at all sorry to be interrupting, “but where are you getting this policy?”

“The scriptures; that’s in the Law of Moses. Deuteronomy 15.”

“I see. I see. Obviously that’s where the confusion is, Jesus. Deuteronomy? That’s in the Old Testament, right? We thought you’d be guided by the more relevant portions of the New Testament. The gospels perhaps…”

“Sure. Sure,” said Jesus. “How about “…forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…?”

The murmuring around the table became a low grumbling. “Alright. Alright. Let’s change topics for a while; we can revisit this issue later. Let’s discuss military spending.”

“Excellent,” Jesus said.

“And Jesus,” said the rancher from Wyoming at the back of the room, “don’t be bringing up that whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing. We ain’t pacifist peaceniks here. This is serious business.”

“Right,” said Jesus. “Serious business.”

“Okay then, Jesus.  We think we can get you another 10 to 12 percent, but we need to hear your plans. How much do you plan to increase military spending?”

“Actually, I’d like to reduce our spending to one-sixth of its current level.”

The grumbling exploded into vexed vocalizations. “For the love of God, Jesus!”

“Exactly" Jesus said. "I’d prefer to reduce it further, but this seemed like a decent compromise for the first term. We can discuss further cuts in my second term.”

“And just where did you pull this one-sixth figure?” the exasperated Senator inquired.

“It’s an arbitrary number, yes. But it is grounded in the same kind of policy I gave to my disciples.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Jesus?”

“After the last supper, the disciples said to me, “Lord, here are two swords,” and I said to them, “That is enough…”

The silver haired Senator threw up his hands in frustration. “I told you this would be a bad idea,” he said to the men around the table in a low, curt voice. Then he turned to Jesus and said, “I’m sorry to have wasted your time, Jesus. Security will be here shortly to escort you from the premises.”

Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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