Sinning for God

Ta-Nehisi Coates today has a post about Martin Luther King in which he quotes some of King’s bedroom utterances.  The one that charmed me is “I’m fucking for God!”

As I said over there, I love this, not because I like the idea of King cheating on his wife, but because it sounds just like something a minister would say, something about how, when ministers go wrong, they go wrong spectacularly.

I’ve been thinking, too, about the story of Maury Davis. Not about the story, per se, but about the comments after the story, rushing to Reverend Davis’s defense.

The thing is this–human beings are just human. People who are pastors are people first.  The Christian god’s concerns are not our concerns.  So, you know, God doesn’t really give a shit if having a convicted murderer as a minister looks bad or wouldn’t be right.  He doesn’t care if a plagiarizing philanderer wouldn’t be the best face of the Civil Rights movement.

The Christian god doesn’t care if you’re not good enough to do what He has for you to do.

But boy do we want to believe that people who are called are called because they’re so great, so deserving, so much more morally upright than the rest of us, that they are deserving.

They are not.

But the more we cling to this idea that they are better than us, the easier it is for their true selves to be obscured. In the case of MLK, I don’t think it matters much, except that, in catching glimpses of his sins, I feel like we catch glimpses of his humanity.  But in the case of someone like Davis, I can’t help but wonder if it doesn’t allow him shelter from his humanity.  What do I know?  But a minister in a million dollar house is in a fortress to protect him from something.

I don’t know.  This has ended up someplace different than where I thought it was going when I started it.

My dad was back in the pulpit on Sunday.  On the one hand, I know he enjoys it so I’m glad for him.  On the other hand, I feel a little like, “Oh, god, this again?”

Maybe some ministers aren’t fucked up.

But, frankly, I would doubt they were very good at their jobs then. It seems like you go a little crazy when you are truly hooked into the Holy.  So, if you aren’t crazy, I don’t know that you’re hooked In.  Maybe that’s not fair, but that’s years of observation.

It just seems very unfair what it does to families.  I mean, I laughed at King’s outburst, because it sounded so much like something my dad’s friends might say, so familiar, the private things ministers say when they don’t have to pretend to be deserving of what they’re doing.

But damn, my heart when out to his kids, who like so many of us, end up squashed between the weight of a man and his congregation.

ICE’s New/Old Policy: Stop Giving Us Your Traffic Offenders

One wonders if this is ICE’s way of confirming that Nashville has been scamming the federal government out of money by incarcerating and then charging the Feds for everybody they could stop in a car who couldn’t prove they were a U.S. citizen.

One also wonders why, if Sheriff Hall wants so much to be an immigration enforcement agent, he doesn’t just go work for ICE.

Monday Stuff

1.  Who the hell are Bob Corker’s people? Because not only should everyone in the state (starting with the employees of the Spring Hill plant) get to line up and give him a swift kick in the ass, his people need a swift kick in the ass.  Too busy to meet with the Supreme Court nomination? What? Too busy researching which industry Tennesseans depend on for jobs so that you can piss that industry off?  You didn’t want to give women the idea that they could keep you waiting? What, exactly, Bob Corker, was so damn important that you yet again had to represent Tennessee as a bunch of jackasses rather than act like a statesman?  And who on your staff lets you get away with this petulant baby crap?

2. Nope. Not buying it. Who cares if dude only lost his job because of what Goforth was going through?  Maybe between this and watching Lee and Sam argue in the comments, I have figured out where I stand. I don’t want to sit around saying “Well, shoot, look at the Republicans, look at what they’re doing.  We have to fight like they fight. Etc.”  I want the Republicans to know that there are just some things that are unacceptable and, if they do them, we’re going to call them out.

But it’s on them to straighten out their own house.

And if they don’t, then it’s their loss.

But if I’m going to sit here and say that I think the Tennessee Democrats have lost their way and that they don’t have a coherent message except “Let’s do what the Republicans do,” I don’t think that having another conversation in which we sit around and say, “But look at what the Republicans do–how they effectively manage their message, etc. We need to do that.”

I don’t know. Maybe we do.  But I don’t like it.

I want to get our house in order and, for me, that means doing stuff much differently than we have in the past or than Republicans do now.

But I’m naive that way.

3.  As for May Town Center, Mikes got two good posts up.  One is about how the Mays want less urbanity for themselves and the other is about how weird the Planning Commission is being about this whole thing.

4. Interestingly enough, Christine Kreyling has a story today that might be called “Isn’t the Planning Commission being weird about this whole thing?“.

5. I also had a post at Pith that might be titled “Isn’t the behavior of the Planning Commission weird?”

I don’t know what to make of that, but I just thought I’d point it out.