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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

what's christian about bush - new mexico

we got to new mexico just before dusk last nite - the town of clovis. after going thru desolate, almost emply stretches of land, clovis appears to be a huge city of around 30,000 with tons of military. we stopped at a convenience store & ran into two such young - i mean entering 11th grade - males in uniform - military recruits, one black, one white. these two young men-boys told us, to our horror, they had already enlisted this summer in the army & were willing to die defending their country. they were getting paid $1500 per month for early enlistment (who could resist that, especially in new mexico) & they both believed that iraq did NOT attack the u.s. on september 11th, but that the war in iraq is a war against terrorism.
these young men spoke with us for probably close to 45 minutes & let me say, we (adults) have failed our youth in new mexico. ben, the young african american man, was of the mind-set that slavery was good for his people because how else would africans have come to this country. he was shocked when i informed him that africans had been here over 100 years before his people dragged here in chains. the young white man's whole life was military since his grandfather was killed in world war II, his dad in the vietnam war, and maybe he'll be killed in this war - he's willing to die for us.
ben told us his mother would be very happy, very proud of him, if he was killed defending his country. they both spoke of honor, pride, self-preservation. they both said that even though they thought bush was wrong going to war against iraq, even though they both believed we should not be at war with iraq, they personally would fight there to protect our country.
ben was much more open to speaking with us and even invited us to come talk to his class of air force rotc recruits - george nixed that idea without a moment's consideration, saying the officer who taught the class would never allow us in. okay. we talked for a few more minutes about how american was this & then we left sadly, hoping we had de-glorified war just a little bit in these boys' eyes.
we rushed off to the library to get voter reg forms before they closed. the first librarian didn't want to give us more than 5 forms but then we found another librarian, an older, robust white woman all smiles & charm who was willing to give us more. we asked her about how the voter registration was going there in clovis. she was so proud to say that this was the first time so many folks had registered... i smiled ... republican....i frowned. okay.
rae & i decided we didn't want to vigil in such a town after dark so off we went to the office depot to make some desperately needed 'pink slip bush' flyers & quarter page info sheets re:marriage quotes from the bible. a young white womon began helping us. we found out she was 21 years old with a 18 month old son and a husband who was in the military. missy said she didn't really want to vote. when asked about why, she said she hadn't really thought about voting, she certainly hasn't talked about voting & her husband didn't like talking about voting because he's in the military & was afraid he'd lose his job. missy identified herself as a christian, saying she's been one since she was 3 years old. she declined the opportunity to be part of our video but she did say that if she voted, she'd vote for bush because he's a christian. i asked her what is christian about bush & she basically said she wasn't sure, that she'd have to ask her pastor but she believed it was because he talks to god and because he's defending our country in iraq. i asked her if she thought we should be killing people in iraq and she said no. she didn't want her husband to go to iraq & she knew families in clovis that had lost their husbands and sons.
she said she didn't really like bush but kerry was awful because he wanted to kill babies and do stem cell research and let gay people marry. she told us a few months ago, she had to copy a holy union ceremony for these two, well, fellows, and she thought that just wasn't right. she said the bible said homosexuals are not holy - deferring again to her pastor for the exact chapter & verse of this information. we shared with her the marriage quarter pages we were just running off - it has several bible quotes on one side, and the marriage & divorce records of the opponents of same-sex marriage on the other. she confessed its been ages since she's actually read the bible but she was going to ask her preacher & look up those quotes because they weren't right either.
i asked her, as i do everyone who takes her position, trying to look into her very inner being "do you really want to dictate to me who i can marry or who i can't marry?"
she hesitated a few moments, thinking, and finally said 'no, i guess i don't.'
but bush is a christian, she continued, because of his protecting innocence unborn babies. i asked her what about innocent born children in iraq? she thought that was wrong but that abortion was wrong also. we talked about the difference between being pro-abortion and being pro-choice. she admitted how hard a decision it is for wimmin, her friends and she confessed she would take the morning after pill.....rae pointed out to her that bush would not allow her to do that if he had his way.
missy ended up taking all kinds of codepink info from us & promised to read up on the things we were giving her. she also REGISTERED to vote! AND she gave us big discounts on all the flyers we were copying!!! a sucess story!
we headed out of clovis & spent the nite at a beautiful new mexico rest stop under a tiny sliver of a moon and a myriad of stars we never get to view in the bay area!

what's christian about bush - amarillo & westward!

we're continuing to get only visible positive reactions to the truck - and in texas! what joy & hope! the last time i was in texas, and only going rapidly thru the pan handle, i was inundated by f.u.'s and swerving truck drivers! this time, the negatives are pretty tight-lipped and silent.
when we stopped to get gas, two white truckers bounded over & gave me a 'teamsters for kerry' bumper sticker - i've made a row along the imprison bush side of the truck of bumper stickers folks are giving me!
finding a health food store in amarillo texas turned out to be a mixed blessing: used to be a travelor could count on finding all the diversity in town at the health food store: folks of color, dykes, earthmamas, lefties. the same could be said for espresso shops. well in texas, it looks like the christians have taken over the health food industry so when we pulled into the parking lot of the health food store, we received mostly with polite nods. and christian white wimmin who didn't want to talk, were voting for bush, and didn't want us to pass out any information or disturb the folks eating organic vegetables in the deli! okay.
but our reception at the starbucks was completely opposite - a late 30's, large white man with long hair tied back rushed out behind the counter to open the door and welcome us in! everyone was all grins & welcomes & glad to see you's! everyone was registered to vote and our welcomer, after talking about how ignorant, uninformed & blind most texans are, even abashedly admitted that he was one of the stupid texans who 4 years ago voted for bush! i asked him how he went from a bush supporter to an adament opponent of bush & then to a kerry supporter. he said 4 years ago, he was uninformed, he didn't read, listen or talk about what was happening - his eyes & ears were tuned into the propoganda he was receiving - he wasn't looking for the truth. but now he is & he's spreading the truth whenever he can as well!!!
there is hope, and in texas no less!
we made a brief detour to the cadillac ranch (traveling w/a youngster has it's moments, for sure!) - this is a place outside of amarillo where someone, an arteeest, has burried several cadillac's nose first (or maybe feet first - my cadillac anatomy is lacking) into the ground so they are nearly perpendicular to the earth - i'm told they are at the same angle as a pyrimad - okay. these cadillacs are painted heavily over the 30 or 40 or so odd years they've been there. we've added a big "bush" painted in white in a black circle with a red line thru the bush & surronding the circle. i'll try to post the picture later help laura! we also painted "codepink: women for peace" and stuck pink slip bush stickers in appropriate places!
now we're rushing off to new mexico, a swing state, where we will register voters & spread imprison bush! peace, sam

what's christian re:bush - heading to amarillo

i had no sooner pulled onto the highway this a.m. when, oh shit, a texas state police officer pulled us over. we stopped & after several minutes, a 30-something white male, tall, full-bodied, blond crew-cut, gradiated shades, ambled over to the truck to drawl: license & proof of insurance please.
as i pulled the limp, wet insurance paper outta my back pocket (it's been hot as hell this trip - totally humid as well), i asked him if he was stopping me because i had left the back door open again. (yes, it had been a problem once when we first hit the road - we forgot to close the roll-up door & traveled for a few blocks like this - grrrrr). he said, no, he was stopping me because he didn't think i had my seatbelt on. okay. i did have my seatbelt on - i had taken it off when he stopped me & then didn't approach the truck for a few minutes.
he then asked me about the paint job on my truck, as in 'why'? i told him i felt so strongly that bush has got to be defeated in this election - 'you know, like he was in the last election but only better this time'.
'well, i'm former military' he says, as he turned to go. 'wait' i call after him - 'former military vets are some of our strongest supporters' i counter.
he turns around & says he doesn't know about that but what he does like is that bumper sticker - the one about abortion! he actually said he believes it is a womon's right to chose, but he really liked that 'get a vascectomy' - and he only blushed a little as he stumbled over that last word.
rae was so thrilled with this, she dug into our codepink stash & found a 'peaceful police officer' pin for him & told him we'd like to present him with it - even tho it says 'nyc'.
he took it happily & then stated that i was mistaken about iraq - that he had been stationed there in 1996. i asked him at least 5 times in as many different ways was he SURE he was stationed in iraq? he insisted he was, at a u.s. military base & he was training iraqi's how to be soldiers. he spoke of the immense poverty he witnessed, the oppression of wimmin, & the general disrepair of the country. again, i reconfirmed the date, 1996, and the country, iraq. i said you mean the iraq that we had invaded 5 years previous, the iraq that we had a 12 year embargo against where we didn't even allow medicine to enter - but you entered? -, the iraq that we were now fighting a war in? then he said, without blushing, that it must have been kuwait. ufb - to think, here he is, a man that has actually lived & worked in a kuwait & has no idea which country he was in.
he then asked what i thought about the economy. i was so pleased i'd listened to molly ivin's book on tape (thanks to rae!) and knew that bush had begun his term as governor of texas w/a 6 billion dollar surplus - only to leave w/a $10 billion deficit. so i could say to this officer, 'hey, you're a texan, weren't you here when bush turned a texas $6 billion surplus into a $10 billion deficit in 4 years - just like he's turned a national 287 billion dollar surplus into a deficit so big i can pronounce the trillions of dollars we're owing'.
now he did turn bright red, acknowledging yes, he did know what bush did as governor, as he backed away. he bid us a good day & wished us luck on our mission!
so we're off to amarillo, where we intend to find a health food store & another soy latte! peace, sam

Doesn't this look like what Bush is doing to the country?

The Code Pink message, brought to Cadillac Ranch in Texas.