Saturday, July 14, 2012

Red Bramble Blue Bramble

Pardon my absence.  I have been a busy little Baptist - trip to the east coast, teaching, preaching, and an e-book coming soon! More about all that some other time.

This here posting is about politics, seeing as we are near unto another election.  I have my own thoughts on the matter of course.  But everything I need to know about politicians is found right here:

Judges 9:8 – 15  The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.   But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.  But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.  And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

There’s a good set-up to this parable.  You should read it.  That’s your homework.  And why the good and useful trees would want a king in the first place is beyond me.
But really today I would like to draw attention to something that has been around for almost twelve years.  It’s a type of prism through which we identify ourselves and others in terms of politics.  That's a fancy way of saying we label one another.  It appeared shortly after the presidential election in 2000.

Let me type it.  I’ll set it aside just a bit with some white space.  Read it and pause.  Stare at it a minute and try to imagine having never seen the phrase, then continue.


Is it just me or is this idea simple?  Perhaps it is a little too simple.  It sounds like a child’s game.  It reminds me of ‘Chutes & Ladders’ and how just when you think your little plastic person is going to win, down he goes and then the other plastic person is winning for a time.  Or, substitute the word ‘state’ for ‘fish’ and we arrive at the title of that book written by Dr. Seuss in 1960 for new readers.

I bet you know what color state you live in.  I do.  That’s nice; that way we know if we live in enemy territory, or not.
Red State / Blue State has marketing and public relations written all over it.  Public Relations is just propaganda wearing nice clothes.  It is an ingenious idea, a slogan more readily recognized than the NIKE swoosh.  It is a fulcrum for manipulation and keeping masses of otherwise docile consumers angry and upset towards one another.  It is Branding 101.
Coke and Pepsi – which are you?  They are both brown.  They are both carbonated.  They both have sweeteners and caffeine.  They cost about the same.  I don’t know the secret recipes but I imagine there’s not a dime’s worth of difference in a bottle of each.
Truth is, we’ve been living under the shadow of the brambles for quite a while.  At this point I would say they are all of the same root.  I urge my fellow Americans that if we want to be angry at someone then let us point our anger towards the right tree.

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